Update #19 – August 1, 2017 – Comic-Con was a blast!!

Posted by Bill Schelly on August 1, 2017

Now that I’ve had a few days to recover, here are some thoughts after attending Comic-Con International 2017 in San Diego. It was everything I wanted it to be! My goals in going were specific:  first, to sign copies of my new book JOHN STANLEY, GIVING LIFE TO LITTLE LULU, to do two panels on the talented Mr. Stanley, to meet as many readers of my books as possible, and (last but not least) to spend time with my buddy Jeff Gelb, who lives in Southern California.

If I was surprised by anything, it was the sheer enthusiasm that people have for the book!  Stanley has a lot of fans, more than you might think, and many of them have been waiting decades for him to receive this sort of recognition. I’m sure I signed more copies of it during my signings at the Fantagraphics booth than any of my earlier books. Everyone seems to love the giant 10″ x 13″ size, and the design by Keeli McCarthy.

The John Stanley panel with Gary Groth, and the slide show that I’d prepared, was well-attended, with people streaming in as it went along. I’m usually a bit nervous before those sorts of things, but, as usual, I lost my jitters once I got into speaking about the subject at hand. To judge by the applause at the end, people seemed to enjoy it, so I came away on a high — with a gaggle of readers following me into the hallway to get various of my books signed. (Plenty of copies of OTTO BINDER, THE LIFE AND WORK OF A COMIC BOOK AND SCIENCE FICTION VISIONARY were put before me, as well as others, which I happily inscribed.)

The Little Lulu-John Stanley Club panel, a more intimate affair, also went beautifully. I have to thank Ed Buchman and Joan Appleton for organizing it, and for making me feel so comfortable and welcome.

Finally, I must add that Gary Sassaman did a wonderful job on the convention’s thick, slick Program Book. I’ve included an image of him holding his masterwork in my “montage.” And of course, I was pleased to have three pieces in it, on Jack Kirby, Will Eisner and, yes, John Stanley!

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