Now Playing: Beth Gibbons
It's clear that workshops have utility. What you get from a workshop depends both on how it is structured, and how well you and the other participants engage with the host/icon.
I based my attendance as much on how much I had followed the work of the guy presenting and didn't care if the slides only showed covers and copy I'd seen before. People came in late and had to be ushered to seats that were close, rather than in the numbers they'd been allocated and this meant that my great little view to the great man was increasingly compromised.The Opera House's policy must not extend beyond chamber orchestras.
Such is comic geek immortality that creators continue to evoke discussion long after they're gone. The value in workshops is that they examine the craft of the writers and the artists, rather than just allowing the paying workshoppers to appreciate having the one whose work they know so well, now live in front of them.
Why this should be with comics alumni moreso than the countless musicians who've graced the stage, is not certain. Perhaps it's still a relative novelty here where, in America, you could easily have an evergeen show up at your fete.
Perhaps the most vital part of the workshop is when the presenter stops presenting and throws it open to the room ('throwing it open' means getting volunteers to line up behind strategically located microphones, but you know what I mean).
A Gary Groth workshop is necessarily going to attract more intense and industry focussed questions than a Joss Whedon one, and this is more down to the size and the weight of the audience than anything.