Barcelona is a marvelous city. I’m here at the Hotel Catalana attending the nearby 27th International Barcelona Comics Fair. It makes San Diego Comicon look small. Last year, they had over 120,000 guests. This year, they hope for more. They are good people.
I’m here with Jim Lee, Diego Olmos and Marta Martinez celebrating the release of Batman in Barcelona, a one-shot we did that’s being released simultaneously this week in Spain, America and (I believe) Italy. I’ll be the first to admit that, story-wise, you’ll get more out of it if you’re a Barcelonan than you will if you’re an American, but it’s worth buying just for Diego and Marta’s interior art and color work. They are also good people.
(L to R: City official, guy who still needs to shave off another 15 pounds, Jim Lee, some guy who is by now dead of heatstroke, my new crush Marta, Diego.)
I have been photographed more in the last 24 hours than I have in the entire 20 years previous. I met the Mayor. I met the City Council and the cultural director. I have been interviewed for every TV and radio station in Spain, apparently, and all of them–ALL OF THEM–employ cleavage-abundant female reporters who terrify me with their Telemundo-level energy. Luckily, I’m at my best on camera when it’s 90 degrees with a humidity that would suggest that we are, in fact, underwater. As my friends know, I sweat like a Southern lawyer even in December, so here, every time someone trains a camera on me, I feel like Spongemark Squarepants.
And I am, of course, preaching the BOOM!iverse to every journalist and every fan, and we have quite a following over here. Everyone’s excited about DIE HARD, IRREDEEMABLE, THE UNKNOWN, UNTHINKABLE, and all else.
Sat next to Scott McCloud on the NY-to-Barcelona leg of the flight, and he’s a delightful conversationalist and probably the smartest guy I know about the craft of comics storytelling. If there were some sort of scientific measurement for the widest ratio conceivable of knowledge-to-humility, it would be called the McCloud. Scott is the antithesis of arrogance, and that makes him pleasurable to be around.
Jeffrey Brown is also one witty and fun convention guest, and I look forward to talking with him a bit more and sampling his work, which I am ashamedly not familiar with. (Then again, I bet he’s never read Superman: Birthright, so it’s a wash.)
Superman editor Matt Idelson is a lush, but that’s not news.