San Diego Comic-Con International is a multigenre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, California. It was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970 by a group of San Diegans, which included Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger and Mike Towry; later, it was called the “San Diego Comic Book Convention”. The name, as given on its website, is Comic-Con International: San Diego; but it is commonly known simply as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con or “'SDCC”. 1)
Originally showcasing primarily comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts, the convention now includes a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels.
According to Forbes, the convention is the “largest convention of its kind in the world”; it is also the largest convention held in San Diego. 2)
Comic-Con International features one of the most diverse guest lists of any convention. The first wave of guests for 2014 included creators from mainstream and alternative comics, graphic novels, comic strips, animation, and science fiction and fantasy books. François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters were among the first 20 special guests 3).
Comic-Con International San Diego returned to the San Diego Convention Center in 2014, beginning with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 23, with the four days of the event running Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27. 2014 marks the 45th year for the show, making it the country’s longest continuously-run comics and popular arts convention.
Schuiten and Peeters had two official convention autograph sessions on Friday, July 25, from 12:30pm - 1:30pm in AA19, and on Saturday, July 26, from 4:30pm - 5:30pm, also in AA19.
A two hour panel was held as the “Spotlight on Benoît Peeters” on Saturday, July 26th, from 2-3pm followed immediately by the “Spotlight on François Schuiten” from 3-4pm. Both in Room 4. Steve Smith moderated both discussions, sharing with the audience film clips and images from their careers. In addition, Benoît, François and Steve Smith spent part of the presentation time discussing The Obscure Cities and the future of the series in English language editions 4).
In addition, Alaxis Press had Benoît and François in their booth, #4401 on Thursday for an hour to sign and meet fans. Also, Benoît and François have been asked to present the Eisner Award for best foreign comics at the Awards ceremony held during the convention 5).
Some images of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters in the plane to San Diego. In the plane they met British artist Dave McKean and they worked on the draft ideas of the exhibition Revoir Paris later this year.
A photo impression of the first day at Comic-Con by Benoît Peeters (and some photos by François Schuiten).
During the second day there was an official autograph session for Schuiten and Peeters. Deb Aoki and Steve Smith took the following pictures of this session.
The Eisner Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the comic book industry, has been given out in 30 categories 6). François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters were presenting the Eisner awards for Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia & Best Adaptation from Another Medium.
The Eisner award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material was won by Jacques Tardi & Jean-Pierre Verney for “Goddamn This War!”. The award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia was won by Osamau Tezuka for “The Mysterious Underground men”. The Best Adaptation from Another Medium award was won by Darwyn Cooke for “Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake” 7).
Image by Hannah Means Shannon. Some additional backstage images by Benoît Peeters:
On the third day of the San Diego Comic-Con a two hour panel discussion was planned. Afterwards there was the second official autograph session. Schuiten and Peeters also met many people like some talented illustrators and Mrs Sachie Fujita from the Japanse magazine Ultra Jump. The evening ended with a diner with Steve Smith.
An impression of Day 3 by Benoît Peeters:
During the third day there was also a two hour panel with Schuiten and Peeters. The discussion was moderated by Steve Smith. The event was attended by over 50 fans and began with Benoît Peeters being awarded the Inkpot Award for lifetime achievement in Comics for his writing.
Benoît Peeters received the The inkpot Award for Achievement in Comic Arts. The Inkpot Award is an honor bestowed annually since 1974 by Comic-Con International. It is given to professionals in the fields of comic books, comic strips, animation, science fiction, and related areas of pop-culture 8). François received it 18 years ago, when he visited Comic-Con in 1996 9).
Alaxis Press is the publisher of the new English translations of the Obscure Cities albums. They had SDCC booth #4401, very close to main entrance F. Publisher Steve Smith is sharing the double endcap booth with his longtime friend and business partner, Dave Dorman.
There were several autograph sessions in the booth of Alaxis Press. Pictures by Steve Smith and Kelly Kilmer.
For those who visited the booth of Alaxis Press a new limited edition bookmark was made.