Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett looks at the news from San Diego Comic-Con.

Last week I was bent out of shape about how SDCC had become just one more entertainment industry network event, something along the lines of country music’s Fan Fair (now known as the CMA Music Festival) where artists can promote their projects in relatively close proximity to their fans.  I’d guess whatever it costs the producers of TV shows like Leverage and Hawaii Five-O for them to set up a panel is undoubtedly worth all the positive word of mouth it can generate.  As per usual I fussed and fumed until I came to some kind of acceptance, but then a couple of things started to bother me while I was on Con monitor duty last weekend.

I really don’t care for the way SDCC has become just another Hollywood promotional opportunity/cry for attention.  If you’ve been following any of the mainstream media attention Comic-Con has gotten this year on the usual suspect ‘entertainment news’ shows (E! News, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood, etc.) you’ve seen a lot of red carpet shots of theoretical celebrities (more and more I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve got to take their word) with the SDCC logo somewhere in the background.  And as someone who (big surprise) never went to their Prom it’s a little hurtful watching the class “cool kids” pulling these kind of stunts at what’s still supposed to be our party.  Comic-Con cannot and should never ever be about what you’re wearing.

And this year Marvel and DC didn’t do a heck of a lot to promote their actual comics at Comic-Con.  Last time I admitted I had no idea what the publisher’s big announcements were going to be but I never thought that there weren’t going to be any was an actual option.  Getting the whole cast of the upcoming Avengers movie was undoubtedly good press for all of the Marvel projects in the pipeline but next year they might want to have some publishing plans that will generate just as much attention.

I’ve got to admit the CrossGen/Marvel deal is another of those ‘obvious’ things I should have thought of myself. Of course the first thing they need to do is finish The Negation Wars miniseries (preferably with creators Tony Bedard and Paul Pelletier on board).  It’s the kind of big cosmic event the publisher used to specialize in -- plus a quick and easy way to put the CrossGen’s “Sigilverse” directly into the heart of the Marvel Universe (or introduce Marvelman for that matter).  It’s a pity they’ve already killed The Sentry -- I for one would have loved to have seen Evinlea reduce him to a skeleton.

And once it’s over Marvel could restart the bulk of the CrossGen titles, after jettisoning the Sigils which everyone (but CrossGen’s publisher) pretty much agreed was an unnecessary linking device.  It would definitely to be nice to see the company publish anything other than more Thor, Captain America and Avengers titles, something even Joe Quesada admits, having been quoted as saying “I think with the CrossGen stuff you’re going to see us attempt a little more genre publishing, which I think is much-needed in our imprint.”

I’ve got to admit I was surprised Archie had plans to bring back L’il Jinx; they also announced imminent revivals of Katy Keene, Josie (this time with Pepper; they’ve just got to bring back Pepper), Sabrina and even private eye Sam Hill all of which make a certain amount of sense, but L'il Jinx, bless her, was mostly a back-up player for most of her career.  I just only hope they're retiring the "L'il" portion of her name because it makes the character seem kind of dated (think about all of the other Little characters who are currently retired, Lulu, Lotta, Audrey, etc.) and that's the extent of their update of the character.  Because in a lot of ways she was ahead of her time; sure Jinx may have dressed all girly by modern standards but she sure came home with a lot of black eyes -- and could give as well as she got in a fight.

I sure hope it doesn't mean that writer J. Torres intends on "tweening" her, ala what they did to poor Little Lulu in Brazil when the original American material ran out (see Exhibit A).*

And finally Fantagraphics announced it was going to publish the complete Mickey Mouse comic strips by Floyd Gottfredson, the man who was to the mouse what Carl Barks was to the ducks, starting in May 2011.

Sometimes life just gives you a good bounce.

* Online opinion on the anime-inspired tweenification of Little Lulu is pretty much universally negative, and while I'm not arguing it's a huge departure from the John Stanley version I have to ask one question; does it sell?  And if it does sell, well, how hard would it be for some publisher to get the rights do an English translation?

The opinions expressed in this column are solely  those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of