Dean Haspiel spent last weekend in Los Angeles, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood high-rollers as he picked up his creative-arts Emmy Award for his work on HBO's "Bored to Death." This weekend, the Brooklyn-based cartoonist ("The Quitter," "The Alcoholic," Billy Dogma) welcomes Baltimore's more familiar vibe.
"Baltimore Comic-Con is one of the last big shows that still celebrates comic books and its creators," Haspiel tells 'Riffs. "I stopped going to San Diego Comic-Con when it became too difficult to navigate and too expensive to attend -- and when the majority of the show became less about comic books and more about big entertainment."
"The fact of the matter is, comic books proper -- whether in print or digital -- is still a niche story art form and will never be able to compete with the Hollywood industry," Haspiel continues. "The filet mignon I enjoyed at the Governor's Ball in Los Angeles to celebrate the Emmy win ... doesn't mean I can stop working until midnight six days a week and stop eating peanut butter sandwiches at my art table for dinner. I do what I love and that's almost why the pay is allowed to be so damned lousy but I have no fantasy that my work will get me on Easy Street and that's okay.
"However, let's please keep anything dubbed a 'comic-con' comic book-centric, so that the creators and fans can congregate and toast our beloved comic books."