A longtime comic book writer and regular attendee of Baltimore Comic-Con will be the event’s guest of honor this year.
Mark Waid, a Muncie, Ind.- based, Eisner award winning writer, has worked with DC Comics on titles including The Flash, Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright. He also worked on Captain America for Marvel Comics, and is currently working on Avengers for Marvel.
Waid, speaking with ABC2 News last week, praised Baltimore Comic-Con for its focus on comics, rather than celebrities. Baltimore Comic-Con, now in its 16th year, will be held Sept. 25-27 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
ABC2: You are the guest of honor at this year’s Comic-Con. What does this mean to you?
Mark Waid: I fully expect a throne and an entourage. (laughs) But failing that, I think it just means that the organizers are sort of acknowledging that I’ve been to every Comic-Con show but one.
ABC2: What’s made you want to come to just about every show?
Waid: It’s a combination of things. (Organizer) Marc Nathan is great, very approachable. Then Baltimore has something a lot of Comic-Cons don’t, in that it’s so close to New York City. A lot of artists who worked in the golden age of comics in the ‘40s and ‘50s who live in New York might not want to get on a plane to travel, but they’ll take the train down from Baltimore. There are several comic creators whose work I admired as a kid whom I’ve been able to meet.
ABC2: How have you seen the convention grow?
Waid: It’s grown enormously since the first couple of years, when it was held in the basement of a hotel. Marc Nathan has always had a very strong vision of what he wanted it to be. And unlike other shows that have become all about pop culture and media culture, this is all about comics.
ABC2: What are the fans like?
Waid: They tend to be more polite, which is great. They’re very enthusiastic. And they want to talk about comics, so you get into spirited conversations with fans.
ABC2: What’s been your favorite Baltimore Comic-Con experience?
Waid: A few years ago, I was asked to deliver the keynote speech to the Harvey Awards. That was by far my favorite experience.
ABC2: What’s next for you?
Waid: I’m working on Avengers for Marvel, which is due out in November, plus doubling down on the digital end of things.
ABC2: How has the Internet changed the comic industry?
Waid: The hardest part is trying to figure out how to monetize it. Comics tend to be sold in boutique stores across the nation, but digital makes them easier than ever to find. It’s sort of the new newsstand. As digital has grown, print sales have not sunk. If anything, print sales have continued to rise.
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