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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Eisner Awards Plus Comic-Con@Home Continues To Live Online

 July 28, 2020 at 10:18 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Mark Sauer. This year's virtual Comicon has officially ended yet for the first time in its 50 year history. Anyone can still enjoy the programming. The panels continue to live online at the Comicon international YouTube channel KPBS art's reported death haka, Mondo consumed 70 hours of programming during the online version of the pop culture convention, Comicon at home. She is still watching panels now. Welcome Beth. Thank you. Yes, I can't stop watching. And with more than 300 hours available, I still have a long way to go well, in the past, talking about the best panels was almost cruel because with the exception of some Hollywood panels that a studio might post or illegal videos, there was no way anyone could see a panel after Comicon ended, but now anyone can watch for free. Yeah, it's really exciting. Speaker 1: 00:58 I have to say Comicon, isn't promising that all these panels will remain up forever, but for now, and as far as I can tell, they're all still up there and available, and it's the silver lining to not having a physical convention this year. I mean, I wouldn't want comic con to exist only online, but I've never been able to watch this many panels and be able to share them. Did you have a favorite? Yeah, the Ray Harryhausen panel was my favorite. This was celebrating what would have been the hundredth birthday of Ray Harryhausen, who is famous for his stop motion animation in films like clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts. And because this was a virtual panel, his daughter, Vanessa got to do it from her home and she was able to just run off and bring a prop onto camera and let us see perceives the shield or the head of the minutes on. Speaker 1: 01:48 And she had all these models that her dad had used in his stop motion animation. And she was just sitting there like petting the saber tooth cat that was in Sinbad. Like it was her pet cat, and it was just charming and delightful. But another favorite I had was completely unexpected. It was just one I signed up for because it struck my interest. It was called comic satire and the political cartoon. And this was just a really smart discussion that gave some wonderful insight into this particular brand of comics and cartooning. So an tallness of the Washington post talked about one of the many things that's appealing about doing political cartoons. It transcends class lines, you know, it's, it's, you know, even, even the filthy rich and can enjoy a cartoon of their experience, right? Well, one of the things you appreciate about Comicon is its diversity from the filthy rich Austin, what kind of panels could people find this year? Speaker 1: 02:50 Yeah. You know, Hollywood's been scrambling to try and become more diverse, but Comicon, I feel has been diverse for a very long time. There've been LGBT panels since 1988 black panels since 1992. And this year there were panels focusing on Aztec culture through a new video game, queer horror, Afrofuturism art, and the Holocaust, and even a panel on how issues of gender and race come through in comic book coloring. So race bending celebrated its 10th year of hosting the super Asian America panel. And this year there was a lot of discussion about racism towards Asians. And it was a great conversation that also gave us some history and insights into the Asian American experience. This has spoken word poet, bow fee. I'm trying to paint for you is I was this refugee, the youngest, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asians from the war where the first big visible Asian populations to come to the Midwest then mass. Speaker 1: 03:51 And so we were seen by everyone as the enemy, I was bookish comic books, Dungeons and dragons books, libraries. They were my salvation that's, that's how, who I am today. Star Wars, all of that stuff. All of these panels, you were talking about sound really interesting, but hall H is always the big deal at Comicon with people waiting in line overnight to get into Hollywood panels. Were there any Hollywood panels this year? And what were they like? Yeah, there were some, and I have to say, there's no substitute for being in a room of 6,500 people, reacting all at once to special preview footage of a film, but the online experience proved to be more intimate. So there was a great conversation with Charlise Theron that felt very personal and relaxed. Some panels like the boys season two had more than a dozen people. And they really tried to maintain this sense of kind of forced high energy as if you were in hall H but you know, it's a different experience, but I did love this panel that HBO hosted for their new show Lovecraft country, because it got to a serious discussion of race in America. Speaker 1: 04:57 And I'm not sure that that would have happened in a haulage or a ballroom 20 or one of those big venues. So there was discussion of a scene from the show in which a black man is pulled over by a cop in 1950s America. But after Courtney B Vance recounted, how he recently had an incident with cops where they came on a call at midnight to his mostly white neighborhood. And when he came out of his house, this is what happened, Speaker 2: 05:22 But I'm a black person and I get, and I've seen enough law and orders to know don't you say a word, Courtney, come out the house with your hands up in the air and get on your knees. And I said, I live here. Ma'am quietly. I live in, she was shouting at top of her lungs, midnight in this quiet little white air because I said, yes, ma'am, I'm just letting you know, I'm live here. My, my wallet inside. If you want to, you want me to go and get it or you want to go in and get it? My children's sleep. They had three. Speaker 1: 05:51 And then he asked the panel and those listening. So then he asks like, how long do we have to keep repeating scene? When can we say, this is something from the past that we're done with. And what was interesting because this was a zoom meeting, not hall. H you could see visibly how this resonated for some of the other black panelists. And some of them were genuinely choked up as he recounted this incident. Wow. Well, you and I, Beth are both fans of HP Lovecraft. You terrified me when I first read it as a child. Um, and this show sounds interesting. So how is it presenting love craft? So love craft is a writer who was born in 1890 and his books came out in the early part of the 19 hundreds. He has a reputation for being misogynistic and racist. So it's interesting that this show is being produced by Jordan Peele of get out fame. Speaker 1: 06:43 And it focuses on a black family's journey through Jim Crow America. So I'm very curious to see how Lovecraft's themes about race inherited guilt, nonhuman influences on humanity, the unknown, all these things get filtered through this particular narrative. I feel that Lovecraft is someone who is terrified of change, terrified of the unknown and that manifested itself in racism and fear of foreigners and fear of the others. What was interesting about him is he channeled all of that through his art and translated those fears into these amazing tales of horror and dread. So I'm really interested to see how putting a black cast into a narrative involving love craft might play out in the present day today. So Beth overall, how do you rate this Comicon online experience? You know, it's a really conflicting thing because I do miss the physical experience of going and being with friends and being amongst people who share your passions and obsessions, but this was far more relaxing for me. Speaker 1: 07:50 I wasn't, I didn't have to work running around the quarter mile exhibit hall or try to get from panel to panel. And it's also nice to be able to go to a panel, watch it for five minutes and go, you know, that's not really what I thought it is. And, you know, for the future, I hope what this may foretell is that we'll still have the physical comic con experience, but maybe like some of these smaller panels about librarians, about teaching with comics in the schools, maybe those can always be kind of an online component because those panels have actually gotten, you know, upwards of 10,000 views, which not that many people would have ever seen them at a real, you know, comic con convention. I've been speaking with KPBS arts reporter, Beth haka, Mondo. You can find a complete list of Beth's favorite panels and recommendations on her cinema junkie Beth. Thank you. Thank you.

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The first ever Comic-Con online came to an official close Sunday night. But you can keep the Comic-Con@Home experience going for as long as you’d like.
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