There was one thing I learned from my two-day trip to San Diego’s 2008 Comic-Con.
Four days would have been better.
And also possibly one more person joining me to help cover the event. The vastness of Comic-Con is staggering. I know that I didn’t get to spend enough time on the exhibit floor, but even the 3-4 hours I put in allowed me to only explore maybe a quarter of the booths and displays.
Sure, I wandered almost from one end to the other, but I’m talking about really sinking your teeth into what is the heart of Comic-Con:
The comic books, writers and artists.
I initially was excited about attending because of the panels they had scheduled. Lost, BSG, Chuck, Fringe, Heroes, Watchmen, Terminator Salavation and the list goes on and on.
And they were all great. In fact, I had a very cool experience while waiting for the 24 panel to begin.
In order to ensure a seat, I jumped into the panel BEFORE 24 just in case there were rabid Jack Bauer fans out there. It turned out that Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files, was the guy talking to fans right before Bauer.
I’ve never read a single book in the Dresden series, nor heard much about Butcher, but he was one of the more entertaining personalities I saw at Comic-Con over the course of two days. He sat there by himself, with a meek little editor, in front of hundreds and hundreds of people likely waiting for 24, Prison Break and Avatar, and he made the entire room focus on him for the next hour.
He truly loved his fans that got up to ask questions. He gave detailed and awesome responses, the kind of thing these Comic-Con attendees go nuts over.
It was a pleasant surprise to accidentally walk into an entertaining panel. In fact, I may pick up a copy of The Dresden Files because of it.
But that moment was one of the main reasons I loved being there. Not because I got to see the shows I loved, but for the little corners of Comic-Con that I discovered on my own.
My favorite corner was the one that housed a comic book called The Black Coat. I plan on writing a review of their first trade in the coming days, but I’m loving it so far. I met the creator and writer behind it, interviewed him on how he came up with story and was handed a free copy of the first issue released after the graphic novel.
All signed of course by himself and the artist.
It reminded me of the introduction in the first Rex Mundi collection. The guy who wrote the intro talked about how he found the two gentlemen behind Rex Mundi hiding in a back corner booth at Comic-Con. He read it, fell in love and now they are working on their seventh collection (I believe).
I admired the writers and creators of these comic books for putting so much effort into promoting their stuff. There were countless booths where authors sat and hoped a potential new fan would stop by and enjoy their work.
It was fun to be a part of that.
The other enjoyable aspect of the convention were the fans themselves. At first I was a laughing at all the insane costumes I saw, but then I realized how much a part of Comic-Con they are. Some were outrageous, skimpy, detailed and just plain crazy. But all of them were worn by people having a great time.
I also met a few new friends along the way, like Bill from TNT’s web department. There was also Shannon from Sparkplug Comic Books, an independent label who had a title up for an Eisner. I was in awe of Angelica, a young woman who had more swag than I thought humanly possible. One bag must have contained around 20 books, and she said she only paid for two. Slung over her shoulder were three posters cases and then a third bag contained even more goodies.
Then there were the two guys I met early on, who both were interested in our little blog here and I hope to see visiting sometime soon.
Next year I want to be there a day or two longer, if only to pack my wallet with a few hundreds and walk the floor looking for new and exciting comic books, artists and writers.
It was truly a blast to attend Comic-Con this year, even if I’ve never been so tired before in my life. My age is catching up with me when it comes to these things.
I leave you with a bunch of photos from my two days there that I didn’t get to post yet. Thanks to everyone for helping make this a fun trip for me. I truly did it for you guys, because if no one was reading this stuff, I’d have no reason to write it.