ComicCon@Home: Bob’s Saturday 7/24/2021 Panels reviewed

This is part 2 of my Blog about ComicCon@Home 2021 video panels, which will cover panels that originally aired on Saturday, July 24th, 2021 but can be streamed at ANY time after their original air-time, which another great thing about this format that I have mentioned in previous Blogs about pre-recorded “@Home” panels. 

You can find the entire panel schedule here:
https://www.comic-con.org/cci/programming-schedule
(You may need to use the arrows directly under the word ‘Schedule’ to set focus to July 22-25, 2021)
The full list shows the tremendous variety of selections available. Even if there is nothing I talk about here that interests you, there should be something on the full schedule that will interest every fan of pop culture/movies/comics.

Bob’s Recommended “Must See” Panels from Saturday 7/24/2021:

  • The Sergio, Mark, and Thomas Panel
  • Will Eisner and the Metropolis
  • First You March—Then You Run-Celebrating Congressman John Lewis’ Legacy

More detailed information/reviews/links can be found below.

Saturday 12pm: The Sergio, Mark, and Thomas Panel

Panel Description: Sergio Aragonés (MAD), Mark Evanier (Garfield), and Thomas Yeates (Prince Valiant) discuss their latest collaboration—the Groo Meets Tarzan mini-series which debuts at this year’s Comic-Con International and shows you what is happening in that big convention hall right now. It’s also the long-awaited meeting of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic adventure hero Tarzan of the Apes . . . and, Groo the Wanderer, a barbarian with roughly the I.Q. of one of those apes that Tarzan is of.  There is a new website for “all things Groo” at https://groo.com/ and Groo Meets Tarzan #1 will be in comic shops on July 28th.

In honor of the upcoming Tarzan/Groo project by these 3 guys, the panel starts out with all of them talking about how they were introduced to the Tarzan character, the various artists who have drawn Tarzan through the years, and (on a related “jungle characters” note, we get to hear Sergio talk about the time in the early 1950s where he put on a Sheena costume and dis a dive into the water as a stunt double for Irish McCalla!!

They move on to Sergio describing how Kurosawa’s Rashomon gave him the idea of how to have Groo meet characters like Conan & Tarzan without having to definitively have any one character ending up with the advantage over the other.  The Groo vs. Conan was wonderfully done with Sergio drawing Groo in his signature cartooning style and Yeates drawing Conan in his non-cartoony classical style, the same method will be applied to Groo Meets Tarzan with Yeates doing Tarzan.  They even went to the lengths of having Stan Sakai letter all of the Sergio pages and Groo word balloons on shared pages (since Stan generally letters Groo) and using computer lettering for the Tarzan stuff (since that is how the Tarzan comics are done).  Listening to these guys talk it’s really fascinating to hear the amount of thought and care that was put into making what seems like an impossible crossover “make sense”.

RECOMMENDED?  8/10.

Saturday 12pm: Robert Kirkman @ Home

Panel Description: Creator Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible, Die!Die!Die!) answers fan questions on his comic book titles, film and TV adaptations, and more! Stay up to date with the latest from Kirkman and Skybound at http://www.skybound.com.

Kirkman spends the 1st 11 minutes bringing fans up to date on his various projects (as much as he could… no revelatory new information provided here) and then switches to Q&A mode answering questions that were submitted in advance via Twitter.

I just love watching Kirkman chat with fans, even in a clearly one-sided way as he talks to his computer, he feels very genuine and relatable to me and also seems to really appreciate the fact that he has fans.

RECOMMENDED?  7/10.

Saturday 3pm: Will Eisner and the Metropolis

Panel Description: From his comics to his graphic novels, city life is at the heart of Will Eisner’s work. Using his native New York as a template, Eisner shows everything from the joys to the terrors of metropolitan life. His classic Spirit stories are set in “Central City” and his autobiographical graphic novels are in the New York City of the Great Depression. In A Contract With God, New York: The Big City, City People Notebook, and others, he reveals the Metropolis as interpreted by his extraordinary skills as a writer and artist. Join David Hajdu (The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America), Paul Levitz (Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel), Jerry Craft (New Kid), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), and moderator Danny Fingeroth (A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee) in this discussion and slideshow presentation as they reflect on the relationship between the artist, his work, and his city.

Hearing these folks discuss how Eisner portrayed New York City (by various pseudonyms) and its people was very entertaining and informative.  Danny Fingeroth gets my “Gold Star Panel Moderator” award for 2021, I’ve seen 4 panels he’s done this year and enjoyed them all.  I particularly enjoyed how the panelists offered information and insight that drew me in instead of putting me off.

RECOMMENDED?  8/10.  Must see for fans of Will Eisner.

Saturday 4pm: Jack Kirby’s Favorite Stories

Panel Description: Elana Levin (host, Graphic Policy Radio podcast) and Adam McGovern (columnist, Jack Kirby Collector’s Kirby as a Genre) join the Kirby Museum’s Tom Kraft and Rand Hoppe for an in-depth discussion of the stories Jack Kirby said were his favorites. One is well-known, from his groundbreaking Fourth World at DC in the early 1970s, New Gods #7’s “The Pact!” The other is not as well known, from his Boys’ Ranch comic with partner Joe Simon in the early 1950s, “Mother Delilah.”
Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center: www.kirbymuseum.org

“Mother Delilah” (Boys’ Ranch comic #3, 1951)
“The Pact!” (New Gods Vol. 1 #7, 1972)

It’s always fascinating to hear people deeply analyze old stories reading tremendous amounts of meaning subtext into them that may or may not have been intended by the creator, especially when extremely modern concepts are overlayed onto very old works.  I really like and appreciate Jack Kirby’s work, but panel discussions like this help me understand that I don’t LOVE Jack Kirby the way some other people do.  I’m a Jack Kirby “tourist”, not a happy resident of Kirby-land.

RECOMMENDED?  6/10.  Should be appreciated by people who are far more hardcore Kirby fans than I.

Saturday 4pm: First You March—Then You Run-Celebrating Congressman John Lewis’ Legacy

Panel Description: All too often, the depiction of history ends with a great victory. But John Lewis knew that victories are just the beginning. Run: Book One, a new graphic memoir from Abrams ComicArts, shares an overlooked chapter in civil rights history, following the career of civil rights leader John Lewis after the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Join the Run team including co-author Andrew Aydin and co-illustrator L. Fury as they discuss creating the follow-up to the #1 bestselling graphic novel trilogy March with the late Congressman John Lewis, and the importance of sharing his legacy with future generations. Also joining the panel is Congressman Lewis’s nephew, Anthony Dixon, a firefighter with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for over 30 years. Moderated by Professor Qiana Whitted.

I loved the March trilogy by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin… Run is a follow-up continuing the story of the civil rights movement (something that was not really taught when I went to school, probably STILL not taught in most US public schools).  These are very deeply researched and have the benefit that John Lewis was there right in the middle of this period of history as it was happening.  I look forward to reading Run: Book One when it comes out in early August.

Andrew Aydin used a number of acronyms I was unfamiliar with… a few searches later and I learned some things about the LCFO (Lowndes County Freedom Organization) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, often pronounced SNIK) which was the principal channel of student commitment in the United States to the civil rights movement during the 1960s.

These books are really important works that teach as well as entertain, reaching out to audiences young and old.

RECOMMENDED?  9/10.

Saturday 5pm: Terry Moore 2021 Updates

Panel Description: Terry Moore discusses the books he’s put out over the last year and how they fit into the Terryverse. Also, what to expect in the coming year as his current series Serial, featuring the irrepressibly deadly character of Zoe, proves to be a hit. Also, an update on the books currently under contract in Hollywood. What’s happening with Katchoo and Francine and Echo and Motor Girl and their possible future on the silver screen? Watch the panel for the latest news!
https://abstractstudiocomics.com/

A short panel, just over 30 minutes long.  The live panels with Moore are very conversational (and typically have somewhere around 30 or 40 people in the room).  This should have a MUCH larger viewership, but lacks the interactivity.  I give him credit for how wonderfully conversational he is talking to his computer with nobody on the other side.  It really feels like he’s talking directly to me.

For questions, he’s done enough fan interactions that he just anticipates the most popular questions that people tend to ask and he answers those.  While doing that he gives some interesting insight into his creative process.

RECOMMENDED?  8/10.  If you’re a Terry Moore fan you’re probably clued in about this already, if you’re not, you should check out his work, he’s one of my favorite current creators.

Opinion piece by: Bob Bretall
(bob@comicspectrum.com)
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics