Nearly every creative industry has felt the momentum of the rapidly changing world around us. It’s hard not to notice the effects expanding to all parts of life. The comic industry is no exception. While this trend has been on the rise for many years and continues to gain momentum, the shift is not always seen by those not looking for it.
Long gone are the days of the stereotypical superhero in a cape, helping damsels in distress as they fight crime. Those still under the impression that comics are only for teenage boys or men who refuse to grow up would be quite surprised to see the breadth of subject matter and characters available for readers of all kinds. Similarly, while most have heard of the big players like Marvel and DC Comics, smaller publishers, both those in the mainstream and independent, are increasingly targeting a wider audience and fighting for readership.
For those wondering what this medium has to offer them, as well as creatives who are wondering if there’s room for them in the industry, connecting locally is a fantastic way to start. Montclair’s own East Side Mags has become a staple in the community, bringing people together for a variety of events.
“I’m really excited about the future of comics. I see more risk-taking storylines, more diverse characters, and opportunities for smaller publishers to make their mark and sell more books,” says East Side Mags owner Jeff Beck.
This Saturday, Beck’s shop will offer one such opportunity to get in on a panel and discussion aimed exactly at this subject as it hosts The Future of Comics, presented by Comic Creator Conference (C3). Comic industry veterans Joan Hilty (Nickelodeon) and Martha Donato (Long Beach Comic Con, Wizard World Events) will engage in a conversation with journalist Heidi MacDonald (ComicsBeat.com) about the future of comic book fandom in a rapidly changing industry.
Martha Donato, Founder of Long Beach Comic Con and its industry-only offshoot, C3, said, “The goal of C3: Comic Creator Conference is to bring together comic creatives by offering opportunities to learn and network with other professionals. Jeff at East Side Mags has been friendly to us for many years and is supportive of the C3 initiative. We’re excited about the future of the program and appreciate the industry support we’ve received.”
Exploring such topics as whether mainstream comics can give voice to new and diverse creators, the role of indie publishers, and how national and regional comic conventions and fan groups will evolve to make room for new creators and content, Martha, Joan, and Heidi will offer their insights and answer audience questions.
“This is a crazy and exciting time for comics; everything’s being turned upside down. It’s confusing even to those of us who have worked in comics for years! But it’s going to be great for fans of all stripes — kids, educators, geeks, gamers, history buffs and art lovers — when we all figure out how to make the most of it,” Joan Hilty said.
Don’t miss this exciting chance to be a part of the future of comics!
WHAT: C3 Presents: The Future of Comics
WHERE: East Side Mags, 7 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair
WHEN: Saturday, May 19th, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM