Two names that especially jumped out at me were these: Heidi MacDonald and Tom Spurgeon, two of the bigger and better-read comics bloggers blogging about comics. As we comics bloggers don't get talked about too much in books (a travesty, if you ask me, given the exciting lives we lead), I thought it worth pointing out some of the nice things Saklowitz had to say about them.
The final part of the ICv2 conference addressed this question. Moderated by Heidi MacDonald, one of the most perceptive observers of the comics industry from her perch as editor of the influential "The Beat" blog...On Spurgeon:
The sentimentality and nostalgia that inspired the early fans are woven into the DNA of the institutions they created, including Comic-Con. Vestiges of the old ways have persisted even as Comic-Con mutated into the pop culture monstrosity it has become in the 2010s. Heidi MacDonald calls these atavistic rituals "ancient Pictish rituals," equating them to the mysterious folkways of rural Britain that survived succeeding waves of foreign conquerers. Their antiquity confers authenticity, a commodity that is more valuable at COmic-Con because of its short supply.
At the bar, Bill Sienkiewicz, another radically innovative artist who had brought fine art, painterly, and mixed-media techniques to the pages of the mid-1980s classics like Elektra: Assassin and Big Numbers, chatted with the erstwhile enfant terrible of the late 1990s independent scene, Paul Pope. A few seats away, longtime industry reporter Heidi MacDOnald shared a few laughs with Paul Guinan and his wife, Anina Bennett, two Portland-based creators hoping that their steampunk creation, Boilerplate, was bound for transmedia success as a graphic novel and an upcoming film. The young Brazilian twins, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, whose heartfelt acceptance speech at the Eisner Awards on Friday night had charmed the audience and announced their arrival as the next major talents on the global stage, breezed in as the party was moving into high gear, fashionably dressed as if for a night of high-end clubbing in Sao Paolo.
The Middle East and Africa have produced an impressive roster of acerbic editorial cartoonists whose keen sense of satire flourishes in a target-rich environment of pompous, corrupt, and disingenuous political leaders. During the events of the Arab Spring, the plight of Syrian cartoonist Alie Farzat, who was severely beaten by police following the publication of some cartoons critical of the Assad regime, became a cause celebre in the international comics blogosphere. Tom Spurgeon, at his influential blog The Comics Reporter, is one of the best journalists in any medium at maintaining a truly global perspective, frequently tying news from the comics world to larger events (such as the death threats against Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose caricature sof the Prophet Mohammed were deemed blasphemous by Islamic fundamentalists)And on Spurgeon's blog:
This book does not purport to be an authoritative history of Comic-Con or a complete view of all the activities that take place at the show. For the former, you can turn to the fantastic official fortieth anniversary Comic-Con history book that came out in 2009. For the latter, to the extent that a "complete view" is even possible, I recommend the many great bits of reporting and memoir on the web, curated by Tom Spurgeon via the "Collective Memory" links at his Comics Reporter site.