Steve Bein, writer & philosopher

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Comic Con debriefs

Two major Comic Cons in two consecutive weekends. Not a bad way to start an October.

At Austin Comic Con I hosted “Martial Arts and the Art of the Fight Scene.” This panel seems to be blessed with unusually good karma. As I was walking through the con, I happened to meet P.J. Hoover, an Austin-based writer and a third degree black belt in shaolin kung fu. (Check out her books
here.) I invited P.J. to join me on the panel, and with all of half an hour’s notice she agreed.

This was putting her on the spot to say the least, but she proved her kung fu is strong. What would have been a one-man show became a three-way dialogue between two authors and their audience, and it was a smash hit. P.J. writes children’s and YA fiction, so her take on violence and combat in writing overlaps with mine in some ways and radically differs in others. I learned a lot from the conversation and so did the audience.

Here’s P.J. and me:


This is the second time this panel evolved from a solo act to a duet; at Minneapolis Comic Con it was swordsman and author Doug Hulick who joined me, and that time too the conversation became more than the sum of its parts. I sense a trend growing here.

Then came New York Comic Con, which eclipsed San Diego this year for the first time. With 133,000 fans in attendance, NYCC edged past SDCC’s 130,000 to become the world’s largest comic book convention. A few hundred of those fans came to a standing-room-only panel on Dr. Who featuring Yours Truly. You can see the crowd came gaily dressed:

NYCC14 standing room only

The panel was a lot of fun, with excellent questions from the audience and the moderator alike. Fellow panelists
Alex Hughes, Paul Park, and Anton Strout all made me laugh. Our success deserves a special mention, given the fact that Stan Lee was in the very next room.

NYCC14 autographing

One of my favorite things about NYC is the random things you see on the street, things you can’t see anywhere else -- for example, Batman catching a taxi with his Batcase rolling along in tow. Note that none of the other New Yorkers in this picture are even looking in his direction.

NYCC14 Batcase

I guess it’s just another ho-hum day in the Big Apple. Or Bat Apple, maybe.