Friday, November 14, 2014

San Diego Comicfest 2014

As I sit here looking at my "Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos," "The New Warriors," and "Cyborg Blue Devil CAT WOMAN," I remember so many quiet early upstate Western New York Saturday mornings. After a bowl of cereal and milk, I would grab a pile of new comics, slide out the front door and jump onto our pink lounge set on our front porch and gleefully read about my favorite heroes, their challenges, their losses, their victories; life lessons on a printed page... sharing new story lines and favorite characters with friends who brought their comics and piled onto the outdoor lounge set beside me. San Diego Comicfest this year reminded me of why I stay connected to the comics community

I enjoyed participating on several panels and serving as moderator for the Friday evening Apocalypse/Dystopia Panel. The room was packed with apocalpyse fans and onlookers who provided lively questions and discussion.  Many of the panelists I knew from last year. Fans and presenters sat and talked, shared our lives, newest projects and just had a good 'ol time as community.
         Panel for Science and Mutation Experiments Gone Wrong

BJO Trimble, Delores Fisher (Moderator), William H. Stoddard, Andy Howell, Liam Sharp

Comic Book vendors, graphic novelists, scientists, fantasy/horror novelists, Afro futurists, Feminists, Hollywood writers, cosplayers, bloggers, podcasters, and many more gathered at the Town and Country Hotel for three days of frolic, fun, festivities, AND serious dialogue. The Comicfest Cafe featured Twilight Zone decor.

It was such a joy to sit and talk face to face, laugh, reminisce, and take photos to remember our Comicfest gathering.

                                          BJO Trimble and Joh Trimble with panelist.

                               Cartoonist Effren Villanueva and Delores Fisher

Little Fish Comic Studio was there working with children, helping them to shape and enjoy creative expression.

                                                   Delores Fisher and Phil Roberts

Film producer and writer Phil Robert shared some of his work with BJO Trimble and me as we sat talking long into the evening. We were tired, but enjoyed quietly sitting at a table in the courtyard, listening to our perspectives and experiences surrounded by gentle, warm late summer breezes. Here is one of Phil Robert's intriguing videos that he shared with us.

One of my most exciting panel discussions was as a participant on  the Afro Futurist panel with SDSU  Africana Studies Department professor Ajani Brown 
 Fans and followers were busily tweeting/trending our panel.

 Adilifu Nama, Delores Fisher, Grace Gipson, Jimmy Diggs (on Skype) and Ajani Brown

Professor Brown is a sought after scholar-speaker on Afro Futurism and will offer a groundbreaking
Afrofuturism course at San Diego State in the Spring. The course is already creating academic and media buzz--students need to register early for the class in order to get a seat. My History of Hip Hop class will focus on cultural links and tenets of Afrofuturism in Hip Hop culture and Rap music.(Put  both courses on your SDSU Course Enrollment wish list.. Seats are limited). Paraphrasing and signifyin' off of Deep Space 9, writer and panelist Jimmy Diggs who skyped in from LA: Spring semester is gon' be Black to the Future!

And speaking of the future and portals to the unknown, I had a chance to meet and talk briefly with Twilight Zone creator Rod Serlings' daughter, author Anne Serling. Her insight into her father's writing habits, his wit, and his genuine concern for all humanity was inspirational.

                                                  Delores Fisher and Anne Serling

Publicity brochures state "Comicfest is The intimate friendly comic convention." It may grow beyond the Town and Country setting next year, but its creators are dedicated to embracing its friendly, sharing atmosphere.

Comics, coffee, and a bag of chips,
Delores Fisher

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