Will MorrisonCon Be The “Burning Man” Of Comics Culture?

In a recent interview with the L.A. Times, Grant Morrison described his upcoming self-named convention as: “Something that would combine visionary ideas, occult ritual, music and spoken word performances, art workshops, experimental films, DJ sets and in-depth discussions inspired by the comics.” While the intense crowds, noise and general hype of San Diego Comic-Con does occasionally give me “visions” after about the third day (usually remedied by a brisk stroll though Balboa Park and plenty of hydration), I’m sure that’s not quite what the comics writer is referring to.

MorrisonCon, to be held September 28-30, will accommodate far less people than SDCC — compare 1,000 to 130,000+ — but promises to deliver its attendees a “one-off, unique event which will never be repeated.” Such comics/pop-culture luminaries as Robert Kirkman, Jim Lee, and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way will all be at the show. And if you are thinking of going, you’re in luck: there still might be $699- $1,099 packages available (the lowest-costing tickets, at $523 per person, are unfortunately all sold out). As Morrison said in his interview, “What can I say? It’ll never happen again so if you miss it you miss it forever.” So start saving your Marvel Value Stamps, True Believers!

an artist’s conception of what MorrisonCon might look like

Will MorrisonCon be sort of a “Burning Man” of comics culture? Will the vengeful egregore of Jerry Siegel make an appearance, signing copies of Morrison’s infamous “Action Comics” #9 with protoplasmic ink? Is the three-day “happening” a crucial step in the “2012” madness that has been so prevalent in our culture as of late? Morrison — a self-proclaimed “shaman” and the author of “Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human” — thinks so:

“Well, 2012 is the year of the Mayan apocalypse and we reach the omega axis of Terence McKenna’s Timewave Zero graph so on the off-chance the world is about to undergo a radical and unprecedented shift in consciousness and/or translation into higher dimensional space, we’re here to help kick it off…If anything, it’s going to be more like one of those life-changing, paradigm-shifting weekends where everyone goes mad and sees flying saucers.”

So what you’re saying, Grant, is that it’ll be a little more like Dragon*Con?

At any rate, it will be interesting to see if more “niche” conventions, following the MorrisonCon model, will spring up. Certainly, one convention cannot truly be all things to all people — the comics fan, the Comix fan, the manga devotee, the Marvel Legends action figure collector, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” aficionado — though SDCC certainly makes a valiant effort at it.

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