PORTLAND'S A COMIC BOOK TOWN, home to some of comics' best writers and artists and a freakish number of great comics shops. Apparently, that's not enough: The second annual Rose City Comic Con takes over the Oregon Convention Center this weekend. This year Rose City has teamed up with the organizers of Seattle's well-regarded Emerald City Comicon, resulting in an impressive two days of geekery.
Panels are a useful way to plan for shows like these, and Rose City's got a solid lineup to choose from: There's one on digital comics publisher Monkeybrain (Sat 2 pm) and another featuring members of Portland's Periscope Studios (Sat 2 pm). There'll also be hype for new books from local publishers Oni (Sat 3 pm) and Dark Horse (Sat 11 am), as well as from the industry's current creative leader, Image (Sat 1 pm).
For fewer sales pitches and more conversation, hit the creator-focused panels—like ones with Captain Marvel's Kelly Sue DeConnick (Sat 3 pm), Batman '66's Jeff Parker (Sat 5 pm), Axe Cop brothers Ethan and Malachai Nicolle (Sun 11 am), The Sixth Gun's Cullen Bunn (Sun 2 pm), Lazarus' Greg Rucka (Sun 3 pm), and Matt Fraction, the writer of the best-titled comic in the universe, Sex Criminals (Sun noon). There'll also be discussions of diversity in comics (Sun 3 pm) and female creators (Sun 2 pm); other highlights include a preview of From the Gutters, a web series featuring creator interviews (Sat 2 pm), and free sets from charming nerd folk duo the Doubleclicks (Sun 1 pm) and Kirby Krackle (Sun 10 pm). It also wouldn't be a con without a chance to break into a frantic sweat while asking questions of the guy who played Teal'c on Stargate SG-1 (Sun 1 pm), or Morgan Gendel, who wrote that episode of Next Generation where Picard played the fuck out of a flute (Sun noon), or John DiMaggio, who voices Futurama's Bender AND Adventure Time's Jake the Dog (Sun 11 am)! Oh! And AVERY BROOKS (Sat 1 pm), better known as BENJAMIN SISKO on Deep Space Nine and HAWK on Spenser: For Hire! (Do not ask Avery Brooks if he will be my best friend. That is my question.)
But chances are the best things will be those you can't plan for, so don't discount the exhibitors—from small-time creators to bigger names like Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Bandette), Joëlle Jones (Helheim), Dylan Meconis (Family Man), Erika Moen (Oh Joy, Sex Toy), and Benjamin Dewey (Tragedy Series)—or the gaming tournaments, or the cosplay contest or... shit. Maybe just show up and roll with it? It's comics. It's supposed to be fun.