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Category: Comic-Con

July 25, 2009

Comic-Con: Saturday

First goal of the day was to try and get into the Chuck panel and it was also my first failure: not only was the panel full, but the line to get into Ballroom 20 was closed (I've never, ever, seen that occur before).

The nice thing about missing Chuck was that there was plenty of time to settle in for Quick Draw. Peter David was impressive with guessing the secret words: the initial list was, "There is no list, just draw random stuff." He got it correct. They then proceeded to put up three real words, which he similarly dispatched with ease.

I sat through half of the Comics Syndication panel, which was interesting, even if I don't draw comics nor seek to syndicate them. It sounds like it's an easier and more difficult time to be syndicated: if you are syndicated, it's much easier to deliver your product, and it's easier to "prove" yourself by building an Internet audience first. However, it's more difficult in that newspapers are declining and there are 4000 people applying for about 2 new spots a year.

After the syndication panel was the Spotlight on James Jean. He put together a pretty good presentation of 100+ slides that took us from his childhood photos, through art school, his influences, his technique, his Fables and commercial work, his personal/artistic work, and forward. I was tempted to buy the final drawing to accompany the New York Times sketch I bought from him a couple of years ago, but my wallet has already felt enough damage from this year's Con.

I finished the day at the convention center in the Fringe panel (1+ hour of waiting in line, still missed first 15 minutes). The cast had a lot of fun with the audience, asking us trivia questions in exchange for shirts. They seemed genuinely surprised that even their toughest questions were no challenge to a room of over a thousand fans. There was no preview of what is to come. I was disappointed at the time, but more appreciative for the lack of spoilers now.

After I left the Convention Center I joined up with the rest of Team Uni at the Alice in Wonderland exhibit that's showing in a separate building on Seventh street, between J&K. It's a really well done exhibit with most of the main props from the upcoming movie on display. You start off walking through the door into the rabbit hole, "landing" in the same room as Alice, where they her dress, the keys, the potion bottles, and a miniature model of the room are on display. You head through the next set of doors and find the Tweedledum and Tweedledee tea setting, along with the Mad Hatter's hat, clothes, and wig. In the final room is the throne of the Queen of Hearts and her costume, as well as the White Queen's and the Vorpal Sword.

It's hard to explain as just a list of items. They really recreated four different sets there that are richly decorated with actual items from the movie. You get a rusted key as a keepsake. They send you through in small groups with a personal tour guide, so it is quite intimate. My wild-ass-guess is that it is costing them $50 per person to conduct that Tour and apparently it's going to 11 more cities, though no more US.

Here are m's photos from the Alice in Wonderland Exhibit

Comic-Con: Friday

I ended up spending most of the day in the gigantic Hall H watching Hollywood previews after I discovered that even the panel for The Guild was full. When a video podcast in the morning is full, you can tell what sort of day it's going to be.

I got into Hall H a little late for the Warner Bros event -- big thanks to littlestar, who called me just in time to let me know that she was several rows ahead in the same line. I also went to the spotlight on Kazu, where he talked about quitting his job and managing to make the first Flight and Daisy Kutter while living off of $15K in savings. Flight came out around the first time I went to Comic-Con, and it's amazing to see how it's evolved into a full-fledged mini-studio of its own.

My gut reactions to the various movies/panels:

Warner Bro:

  • Sherlock Holmes: I have to say, Robert Downey Jr.'s self-aware narcissism shtick still works, and the movie looks really good. They showed us a montage of clips instead of a scene, so I hope that they still leave a little bit of sleuthing in between the fisticuffs.
  • Jonah Hex: could be entertaining, though Josh Brolin doesn't fully inspire me as the anti-hero Western gunslinger. Megan Fox seemed to have an uncontrollable urge to lick her lips and toss her hair the entire panel. They were fairly proud of how much they did on so little of a budget, and the Merrimac-style ship in the previews did look pretty cool.
  • The Box: Might have been interesting. A man shows up with a box to a home in Northern Virginia in 1976, presents housewife with a box with an offer: press the button, and someone you don't know dies, and you get a million dollars. It's based on a short story by Richard Matheson. The "might" comes from the fact that it sounds like Cameron Diaz gave away the entire third act, and the fact that Cameron Diaz is the star.

Disney:

  • Ponyo!: Miyazaki was, as expected, curt with his translated responses to translated questions, but the epic sea storm sequence that they showed us was an amazing feat. This is going to be a strange, strange film, but I'm excited to see it, even if just to watch that sea sequence again.
  • Princess and the Frog: this is an attempt to re-Disney Disney. Having a black female lead, even in frog form, is a move forward, but it feels like it might get bogged down in the tropes of trying to be a "Disney" film, yet new at the same time.
  • Beauty and the Beast 3D: Gimmick. While the ballroom scene was probably the inspiration for doing this, the 2D animation with faux-3D just gave a jerky effect to my eyes and was a distraction.
  • Toy Story 1 and 2 3D: Not gimmick. We saw the opening sequence to Toy Story 2 was awesome in 3D. The movies are identical, just re-rendered in 3D. I'm not sure about the wisdom of requiring audiences to sit through a double feature, but it is two for the price of one, so you could always go twice.
  • Toy Story 3: Michael Keaton as the Ken doll might just make this movie -- they showed a short 'interview' with Ken that was hilarious. The movie itself will take place when Andy leaves for college.
  • Prep and Landing: this is a special that Disney/Pixar will be running on ABC for the Christmas holidays. It features and elite team of elves that is the advance team for Santa. I wont' give away the gags, but it had the audience rolling. I'll definitely setup the TiVo for this one.

Side note: Studio Ghibli, I realized, is the opposite of Pixar. Female lead characters, hand animation, and no sequels...

Focus:

  • The Nine: this movie looks really, really cool

July 23, 2009

Comic-Con: Preview Night

Preview Night brought the expected log jams to the roads surrounding the Convention Hall. The line to get into the Exhibit Hall was absolutely ridiculous, circling half the building, so we waited it out comfortably, scanning through the guide. Can you believe both Tim Burton and Hayao Miyazaki coming to Comic-Con in the coming days? Madness.

Our group started off accompanying me to Penny Arcade to pickup a Cardboard Tube Samurai Blank, we then split up as I needed to talk with Scott Kurtz. I made my way across the convention floor to stop by Flight in its new central location. Flight 6 was out, but I'll have to wait until September for Amulet 2. A little further down the floor I also dropped off two commissions for [Scott Morse][morse] as this one needed an update. I also picked up Strange Science Fantasy which, as promised, comes with original art from each issue. It's kind of fun to read a comic and have one of the original panels just sitting in the pages.

Despite splitting up, amazingly enough, all of us managed to accidentally reconvene at Stuart Ng books on the opposite side of the convention hall (those that know the distances involved would be impressed). Perhaps its the fact that Stuart Ng's booth is like a refuge as they control access into it to keep it comfortable. There I spied a copy of Vive il Ciclissimo, which was beautifully tempting, but as almost $100.

I was already exhausted and needed to take a food break. A cheeseburger, fries, drink, and $14 later, I was ready to go again.

I made my way back to the webcomics section once again, again stopping at Flight inbetween to pick up a print of the cover for the Flight 1 rerelease. This I explored the likes of Dumbrella. Sadly, there was an awesome kitty-holding-machine-guns "Baffer" by Chris Yates that we just missed out on. The POOP Stop signs were tempting, but I don't think the kitties can read.

I also chatted with Jorge Cham of PhD comics, stopped by picked up James Jean's Process Recess 3 and Fables Covers at Last Gasp, and otherwise wandered aimlessly with my now extremely heavy bag. Hopefully I've knocked off the heavy items for this trip, but there's still some Mouse Guard Winter hardback action and couple more bookish items that I'm sure will weight me down.

Here's Parakkum's summary

http://scottmorse.blogspot.com/

November 1, 2008

APE

Scott Morse: Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!

m and I went up to San Francisco for APE. Rainy November weather was an odd setting for APE, which was bumped from it's Spring slot by Wondercon. It's only been three months since Comic-Con, so the new timing and weather was a bit of a downer. The big booths were carrying mostly the same stuff as Comic-Con, though I did manage some new finds:

I also purchased some original art from Scott Morse. I commissioned an Obama painting, but after he refused payment (due to it being based on Fairey's print) I took the opportunity to purchase some original art from Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!

Scott Morse: Obama

August 3, 2008

Comic-Con Sketchbook: xkcd kwc

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Randall Munroe showed extreme patience and goodwill to fans as he endured a long line of fans waiting for sketches and didn't skimp a bit. Stick figure art may not be trying, but try drawing Sierpinski's Triangle to five levels of recursion and tell me whether or not you feel like doing that all day. He humored my request for a 'KWC' doodle, ala his doodle he did for Google. The W and C gave him pause until he tied it together as a person climbing up on to something (W) and then jumping off (C). He also did a quick handwritten note for a colleague simply stating, "Python: It Works Bitches."

Comic-Con Sketchbook: Penny Arcade/Leeroy Jenkins

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A crazy looking Leeroy Jenkins drawn by Mike Krahulik (Gabe) of Penny Arcade and, for good measure, a 2007 sketch as well.

Comic-Con Sketchbook: Cheeks

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I love Cheek's (Sean Galloway's) character designs for the Hellboy and Spectacular Spiderman. I picked up a copy of his new art book, "Spread the Cheeks," and he did a sweet Hellboy sketch for me.

August 2, 2008

Comic-Con Sketchbook: Axel 13

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This sketch by Axel #13 is my second-favorite sketch from Comic-Con (my favorite will be posted later and is of a similar subject matter). It's easy to see why I like this sketch: who doesn't think their pets are superheroes?

Comic-Con Sketchbook: KMNDZ

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KMNDZ's (Command Z) work stood out immediately to me as I was flipping through my issue of Hi Fructose. Perhaps it was because his art features awesome robots, but I like to believe that it's more than that (they are really awesome robots). When he's not busy doing art he's busy working on ARGs (Alternate Reality Game), which I'm a huge fan of but never have enough time or patience to fully engage in. The company he worked for did the popular I love bees game, among others.

Comic-Con Sketchbook: Dave McKean

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Dave McKean, master of many artistic media, did another quick sketch for me at Comic-Con this year. I've been the fan of how he can find the surreal in whatever medium he chooses, whether it be photography, 3D graphics, or illustration. I felt bad as I accidentally caught him as he was running late, but he kindly received my request.

Comic-Con Sketchbook: Tara McPherson

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I really liked Tara McPherson's art for the Fables: 1001 Nights special collection. Her style of cute grotesque seems well at home in the Fables universe.

July 30, 2008

More posts forthcoming

Even a shortened Comic-Con (skipped Wed/Thurs) was full of fun goodness, but the gas tank is now empty and I'm pushing the car in neutral. I'm really fond of the sketches I got this year and I'm looking forward to scanning them in and sharing.

July 26, 2008

Tour de Comic-Con: Friday's Stage

comicconsplash_ccilogo.gifkwc arrived in San Diego just in time to walk over with the rest of Team Uni (bleusky, ota, parakkum, and littlestar -- m had already gone on a solo breakaway) to the Convention Center.

The big panel on the day was Joss Whedon, plus the writers and actors of Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. The line for Ballroom 20 was once again a nightmare, but kwc was able to guide littlestar and bleusky through the special door he found last year, past the cast of Stargate: Atlantis, through the security guard check, and into the ballroom. A harrowing course, but easier with experience.

The first goal on the day was to obtain the Lego pieces for the Joker figure, which like all good schwag, is upgraded to even better schwag when completed: you get a display box that also contains a Lego Batman figure. It was time consuming, though easy to complete, and Team Uni now has six Lego Jokers, seven Lego Batmans, and an extra Lego Joker head.

Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris dueled on stage in real life as on screen and Whedon answered the many questions with the normal entertaining, sarcastic responses. There didn't seem to be much difference between Captain Hammer and Nathan Fillion, and much of Dr. Horrible's character was formed out of Neil Patrick Harris' amusements for boredom. Felicia Day was forced to keep her hands on the table after the audience misunderstood what it meant to be "twittering".

The sketches today were few but quality: a couple Attaboy sketches, a Pirate Scratch by Kurtz, the yearly Stan Sakai sketch, and some monsters by Rodolphe Guenoden. parakkum collected some signed Queen and Country definitive editions from Greg Rucka, who entreated parakkum to "Please, don't blow me up." Yes, Rucka can peer into men's souls. There was also a bit of 3D to this year's sketch haul: a Gary Baseman-drawn Vimobot.

Team Uni regrouped at the end of the day for the Avatar finale. The audience was tested with long lines into Room 6CDEF and the verbal challenge: "If you get out of line to go to the bathroom, the line is closed, we will not let you back in. If you have to go to the bathroom, you will have to chose." The crowds where huge, the silhouette of a Fire Lord logo was visible -- MST3K style -- at the bottom of the video screens, the fan art and costumes were entertaining, and the finale was epic.

July 24, 2008

The Tour de Comic-Con is a go

comicconsplash_ccilogo.gifSchedule conflicts and sold out tickets had me thinking that I would have to miss Comic-Con this year after five straight years of attendance. I was forced to think what my life might be without the crushing crowds and schwag schwindling. But Team Uni has proven that the Tour de Comic-Con truly is a team event. littlestar, parakkum, and m on site braved the volatile Wednesday parcours to secure a last minute entry for me. Southwest frequent flier vouchers took care of the rest.

I'm a bit out of form and I'll have to ride into form for the event. It took the help of d to help find my sketchbook (sitting on the bookshelf, where you'd naturally expect it). There's only ten pages left so I'll have to be selective tomorrow. I'm also forced to travel without many accessories as Comic-Con does not allow rolling luggage on site and I'll be flying directly to the event. Five years and I'm still a rookie.

Nevertheless, I'll put everything I can into the event because there is so much to be seen, so much to do, so much Comic-Con.

August 2, 2007

Sketchbook: James Jean

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One of things I wanted the most from Comic-Con was to get something from James Jean. He's the cover artist for Fables and picked up even more Eisner awards to add to his collection last Friday. I love his work and decided: I must have.

Process Recess (1 & 2) continues to be too hard to come by, so I went for a piece of original art -- a mockup for a New York Times science piece that he did. Actual finished pieces were at least $1000, but thankfully this little rough was much cheaper and I like it enough that I hope to find some artistic use for it.

But as James Jean art was at the top of my list, I was hardly going to be satisfied with just one piece, so I asked him for a Snow White sketch and he kindly obliged. I left to pick up more sketches... and came back almost immediately to ask for another sketch, a tiger. He did the sketch using a blue pencil, so I decided that inverting the scan to make it orange-on-black (blue original). That sketch cost me $20, which seemed a bargain considering that a sketch from Scott Kurtz of PVP now runs you $10. Thankfully for my wallet, I was more than satisfied to leave with three sketches in hand.

July 30, 2007

Tour de Comic-Con/Team Uni: Sunday

Sunday's stage is short largely ceremonial. Panels are sparse, most of the good schwag has run out, and everyone is generally exhausted.

Team Uni did several celebratory laps around the convention floor, picking up some last-minute sketch points and some goodies for the Credit Ruining Accoutremonts Classification (CRAC). bleusky, m, and ota hung together to hit up the Flight booth for additional sketches while parakkum and kwc struck out on their own. kwc focused most of his attention on James Jean sketches, purchasing a NYTimes science sketch and a Snow White and tiger sketch for his sketchbook.

ota and kwc made early exits to head to the airport, while parakkum, m, and bleusky celebrated at the team dinner along with parakkum's parents, who provided amazing support to our team throughout the Tour: lodging, transportation, food, and good company.

July 29, 2007

Tour de Comic-Con/Team Uni: Saturday

Saturday's stage blew away Team Uni's expectations in many ways. A gameplan to ride the queen stage with a warmup climb of the Quick Draw Panel (Cat 4) and then over the Ballroom 20 climbs of Heroes (Cat 1), Battlestar Galactica (Cat 1), Futurama (Cat 3), and Joss Whedon (Cat 1) turned more adventurous than planned, at least for team member kwc. The team made sure to shed all extra gear for this event to ride as light and slipstreamed as possible.

The team went into Saturday's stage with a plan to avoid the convention floor, fearing that it would be even more swamped than in previous days. Instead, the team observed it was perhaps the least crowded that it has been all week. Points for the Credit Ruining Accoutrements Classification (CRAC) were easy pickings and kwc was able to pick up limited editions of a Transformers Rodimus and Hot Wheel Batmobile, neither for himself, and the former being an item that m has sought after the entire convention. Instead of having to do the usual wait in line to get a ticket to get a time to wait in line again, kwc was able to walk directly to the cash register. Perhaps it was like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: kwc was able to retrieve these items because he had no desire for it.

Why was the convention floor so empty? Perhaps it was because other convention go-ers were doing was most of Team Uni was doing: waiting in line to get into panels. The length of the Ballroom 20 climb was five times longer (if not more) than in previous years for nearly identical panels (e.g. Battlestar Galactica). There were enough people to circle the entire east wing of the convention center.

kwc bridged up to bleusky and m, who were far up in the line but still found themselves unable to join the Heroes panel. This is when things got a bit interesting for kwc. He made a brief stop at the bathroom, which he found was temporarily closed for VIPs. The bathrooms were reopened and he soon found himself passing by the kid who plays Micah on Heroes washing his hands at the sink. kwc noted VIPs meant there must be another path from the bathroom to Ballroom and formulated a plan of attack.

kwc told bleusky and m about the run-in and possible secret path, and then decided to go scout the route. He poked his head through the unguarded double doors to check the security and... walked right into Ali Larter and the rest of the cast of Heroes walking down a back corridor. The breakaway was forming and kwc knew that this was the one to go with. He jumped into their draft -- not that there is much of a draft walking behind Ali Larter -- and pulled out his iPhone to block his badge and blend in with the assistants. A bodyguard made fertive glances at this new rider in the break.

The composition of the break at this point: the entire Heroes cast—Jack Coleman (H.R.G.), Noah Gray-Cabey (Micah Sanders), Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman), Ali Larter (Niki Sanders), James Kyson Lee (Ando), Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura), Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet), Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli), Zachary Quinto (Sylar), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Mohinder Suresh), Dania Ramirez (Maya), and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli) as well as Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale, and Tim Kring. There were also the guests and family of the cast, including Rob Liefeld. It would have been a fun scene to take a photo of, but kwc could only think, "don't give away that you don't belong."

The group swelled up at the back entrance to Ballroom 20, then split as the cast,crew and people with black wristbands were led in. Quite a lot of the guests did not have these wristbands and as Jeph Loeb zoomed past he promised that he would send someone back to bridge them back in.

With the big names now gone from our midst, the security drones descended upon us, setting a mighty crosswind that threatened to expel the wristband-less chase gruop. An assistant bravely stood at the front and absorbed the blunt of the wind shouting, "I cannot move from this spot. If I do, I will lose my job." kwc cowered in his draft.

kwc briefly jumped on Rob Liefeld's wheel as he led a group over to one of the sidedoors, where a security guard was offering to let them in. The Liefeld group quickly dissolved as they noticed the others getting backstage, so they quickly sped back to that group, through the door, and backstage. kwc was in and quickly found that backstage was crowded, and all you saw was the cast's back -- he left backstage to find a better view.

The Heroes panel itself was actually boring -- the sort of panel where the moderator asks each panelist the same trite question, except that the entire cast was there, so this was quite tiresome. There was the occassional playful moment between members of the cast, usually led by Greg Grunberg, and there was the brief appearance of Kevin Smith, who was the first on the session to wonder if the Japanese characters on the show were gay. As excited as the audience was by his presence, he warned that might spell doom for the show as it did Veronica Mars. There was a clip at the end of the show that revealed little in the way of plot and more in the way of who was in the clip (I won't give it away here). kwc got a "Comic-Con Exclusive" first printing of the Season 1 DVD box, which is just a ridiculous piece of schwag. Maybe he can take advantage of the same people who buy PS3 boxes on eBay.

kwc was able to grab a fourth-row seat for m, who remained patient in line and got in for the Battlestar Galactica panel, which turned out to be a "Women of" sort of affair as Lucy Lawless, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, and Mary McDonnell were the cast members present. It was a more entertaining event than Heroes and Ronald Moore talked about the upcoming Razor episode, which will be a sort of bridging episode that goes all the way back to the first Cylon war as well as back to the original attack on the Pegasus.

bleusky returned from sketch-hunting to watch the Futurama panel. Team Uni originally thought of the panel as being the Joss Whedon camping event, but it ended up being kwc's favorite panel on the day. The writers wrote a thank you comic to the fans and Comic-Con came on and performed it. It's one thing to see brief clips of voice actors on DVD extras, it's another to see the actors working together and someone like Billy West single-handedly do dialog between Fry, the Professor, and Zoidberg. John DiMaggio's larger-than-life presence was not all that different from Bender, and he, West, and Maurice LaMarche were all able to entertain the audience with displays of their voice talent -- the best being when they showed how they blended different voices to come up with their Futurama character's distinct signature.

The final climb of the Ballroom 20 course was the Joss Whedon event. In prior years, Whedon was able to deflect bad questions with great ease; this year he seemed more eager to answer the "what makes you more creative than me?" sorts of questions that dominate these events. He talked about his new effort Sugar Shock (available online) as well as Buffy Season 8, feminism, etc... He also resisted chants from the audience to dance like a monkey.

parakkum took part in the separate Magic competition held on Saturday (parakkum's diary entry). He caught another opponent accidentally cheating and took that match, but bad draws and otherwise made for a tough event.

Ota rode the first Quick Draw panel with other team members and then rode a separate course through the Jim Henson/Tokyo Pop panel and the Hall-H-Category (HHC) Disney/Pixar event.

The full team grouped together to ride at the front of the line heading into the Sails Pavilion, getting a table up front and indulging themselves in the free nachos, cupcakes, and candy that the organizers generously offered. The first half of the event had some fun skits and costumes, but the team was passing out on the final stretch.

July 28, 2007

Tour de Comic-Con/Team Uni: Friday

Schwag

Team Uni was riding at full strength for the first time yesterday as ota did a full course and there were temporary reinforcements from Temecula, as bleusky's friend jw drove in. The full team showed immediate dividends in the schwag competition: bleusky and jw were able to collect the popular Harry Potter bags, while ota did a blazing timecheck through the Wizards of the Coast booth to collect a Magic starter set.

The team's fast start was helped by a switch to The Cheese Shop for morning grub. There was no Guinness/coffee combo to be had, but massive carbs were delivered promptly.

Sketch Classification

Team Uni sent honeyfields, bleusky, and kwc to collect points in the sketch competition. bleusky collected several sketches, including a Stardust sketch from Charles Vess and a color painting from Scott Morse that earned her first in the sketch ranking on the day. kwc focused on collecting points at the Flight checkpoint, getting an excellent vampire from Rodolphe Guenoden, a beautiful fairy from Sarah Mensinga, and generally filling up the front of his Flight book with signatures. honeyfields added two more Sakai sketches to Team Uni's totals, with both a sketchbook sketch as well as a detailed sketch in the Art of Usagi Yojimbo hardcover.

kwc collected on the long-promised "Usagi Yojimo Charges into Battle on Bike," which was assisted by the Tour de France being on TV in Stan Sakai's hotel for visual reference.

Usagi commision from Stan Sakai Flight 4 Guenoden sketch

Panels

Team Uni made a wise decision to avoid the early day Hall-H-Category (HHC) sessions. The Whiteout session was reminscent of Paris-Roubaix as Kate Beckinsale was caught behind a the train tracks across from the Convention Center and her fellow panelists were unable to convince security of their status.

The team instead sent a big contigent to the Neil Gaiman talk, which did not disappoint. Despite have no prepared remarks or plan, Gaiman 'burbled' his way to many laughs with his Alan Moore ("he's very big and very hairy. And as he gets interested in something, he loooooms") and Guillermo del Toro (Neil's "Magic Dumbo") anecdotes. There were also some anecdotes of the early days of Comic-Con:

Gaiman: You'd sign for 10 or 15 people and then no one else would come
Audience: awwwwww
Gaiman: It was great!

Someone asked him why, if there was a God, why is there the Endless? "Isn't that like saying, if there was a God, why do you need to buy hamburgers?"

On Volume 2 and 3 of Absolute Sandman: "And of course you could kill someone if you dropped it on them. Useful. For the right person."

parakkum's diary covers the talk as well, including the Spectacular Spiderman panel beforehand. I like "Cheeks"' character design for the cartoon, but the backgrounds were crap.

m held fast in the Stargate doubleheader, taking many photos and reporting that the folksy girl from Firefly is moving to Stargate: Atlantis.

The strenuous course eventually helped Team Uni commit some missteps in panel selection later in the day. The very attendable HHC Star Wars at 30 punished ota, parakkum, and honeyfields with non-Star-Wars marketing, and the Jim Henson talk similarly punished bleusky. A Scott McCloud family slideshow had kwc gritting his teeth and pulling an early exit.

The team's spirits were lifted as parakkum's parents treated the team to a dinner at Nati's in Ocean Beach. The team stuffed its stomach with quesadilla crisps, jalapeno-soaked carrots, and Mexican-flavored carbs.

The ever-busy Saturday promises much in the way of panels. Just in Ballroom 20 is a string of Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Futurama, and Joss Whedon. The hopes to avoid crashes on the convention floor and ride a good race, though it will have to do so without honeyfields, who has made a planned early exit for this year's Tour.

July 27, 2007

Tour de Comic-Con: Thursday

Nutrition is important to Comic-Con: eat enough calories at breakfast, you can hopefully hold off hunger until the floor closes for dinnertime. Fail, and you must choose between crappy convention floor food or losing a couple of hours to venture out into the Gaslamp district.

Just as important is where you get your food. Team Uni has traditionally eaten at Hennesey's on the weekday mornings and The Field on the weekends -- the The Field offers true Irish breakfast but is not open on weekdays; Hennesey's approximates Irish breakfast. The compromise has worked until yesterday, when poor service cost Team Uni an hour right out of the gate and set the team back in the CRAC (Credit Ruining Accoutremonts Classification). Harry Potter bags were already gone; tickets for exclusive Transformers were gone. Shaun Tan advance reading copies were offered as consolation from Scholastic.

Such missteps do not keep Team Uni down: the team recovered by heading over to the Wizards of the Coast area and making quick work of the giant d20. parakkum, honeyfields, and bleusky combined to win Axis & Allies: D-Day, an Axis and Allies Naval Starter Set, and a Magic core starter set with online CD. kwc picked up a Star Wars Bounty Hunters booster pack but wasted too much time collecting stamp bonus. Team Uni hopes to repeat its Thursday morning gameplan on Friday with better results; Hennesey's will be avoided and kwc has already pre-collected stamp bonuses to move through the Wizards area quickly.

bleusky showed she has good legs despite being a rookie, easily collecting all five cards scattered acround the Convention Floor for the Avatar competition, earning a sixth bonus card for her efforts. She and honeyfields also teamed up to do a privacy-for-schwag manuever, earning Eduardo and Samurai Jack cellphone accessories from the MMOG booth.

Sketch competition

Scott Morse "sketch"kwc had a very good day in the sketch classification. Scott Morse did a "sketch" that was, in fact, the first color painting that he's done for kwc in five Comic-Cons and two APEs, and an awesome one at that. kwc also got a Mike Mignola, and Stan Sakai sketch, as well as a Wolverine sketch from David Finch of Ultimate X-Men fee. The latter was a split category prize: 1/2 sketch and 1/2 CRAC as it was a paid sketch. A Stan Sakai Usagi commission should earn Team Uni full dual sketch/CRAC points but will not be ready until Friday's stage.

honeyfields scouted the Flight booth and racked up huge sketch points: Sarah Mensinga, Johane Matte, Kazu, Clio Chiang, Reagan Lodge, and Ryan Estrada all did drawings for her sketchbook. They are all fantastic, but the Mensigna sketch deserves special mention. The rest of Team Uni will be making passes by the Flight booth based on honeyfields scouting report.

m's big prize on the day was a Magic art print from the artist that shows off all the detail that is lost in the smaller card form factor. m got his first-edition Stardust hardcover signed by Charles Vess alongside a previous Neil Gaiman inscription. He also dropped back to help kwc get his Stardust signed after kwc's legs cracked on the first attempt.

m, honeyfield, kwc, and bleusky did a team ride through the David Petersen/Mouse Guard booth, picking up three copies of the hardcover volume one and many sketches -- Petersen humored us and shared stories of eating dinner with Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, and Stan Sakai. The moral:

Never follow a Sergio shortcut through the snow,
what lies beneath you do not know,
for saved time you try to beg,
you must sacrifice Mark Evanier's leg.

King of the Mountain (KOM) competition

Thursday's stage had an unprecented addition that is a sign of Comic-Con's growing popularity: a Hall-H-Category (HHC) KOM with twenty-or-so unlabelled switchbacks that cut across half the length of the convention center and around the sculpture garden outside the Hall. The Hall-H-Category climbs were added in 2005 (related: Team Uni's first Hall H experience), but the major-movie-studio events that are held there have typically only occurred on the more popular Friday and Saturday stages. The Thursday event was a bit of an unknown: a Thursday major motion picture event, with Neil Gaiman and JJ Abrams.

m and kwc attempted to conquer this HHC climb, figuring that it would be easier than typical HHC climbs due to it being a Thursday. Instead, the course was harder than any previous HHC climbs, including events with Natalie Portman and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Only the fabled Spiderman 3 event ranks more challenging. m and kwc were forced to abandon after being told by referees that they were outside the time limit. With this surprising early defeat, m has already decided to forgo the KOM competition; kwc has yet to determine if he will have the legs to make a solo attempt on Friday or Saturday.

Panels

Team Uni regrouped at the Groo 25th Anniversary panel, which featured everyone who has worked on Groo, i.e. all five of them. parakkum's stage diary highlights some of the entertaining bits. I also enjoyed the banter between Sakai and one of the colorists (Colorist: "You could read the completed issue" Sakai: "But then the color would ruin it").

You can also read parakkum's diary to find out more about the Bill Plympton event.

Doping report

Overheard: Charles Vess remarking to his teammate, "I just had gummy bears, I can do anything!"

kwc has been suspiciously consuming packages labeled "doubleshot."

July 26, 2007

Tour de Comic-Con/Team Uni: Prologue

Team Uni limped (literally) into the Prologue Preview Night: honeyfields is sporting a fashionable cane and kwc visited the team doctor this week to get his patella taped due to a problematic kneecap. The team scouted the very crowded Comic-Con Convention floor and scouted the offerings in the schwag competition: starter sets and booster packs from Wizards of the Coast appear to have the best $$$:item ratio and Harry Potter Deathly Hallows bags from Scholastic are of good quality.

m came through with passes to the Stardust screening Thursday night; kwc was five minutes too late, even though he showed up five minutes early. m was less lucky in obtaining a CC-exclusive Transformers Ford GT Rodimus for the CRAC (Credit Ruining Accoutremounts Classification), but he plans on going in an early morning break to attempt it once more.

Team rookie bleusky gave Team Uni its first points in the sketch classification, picking up drawings from Stan Sakai, the Flight folks, and Owly. The Stan Sakai sketches are rumored to be more difficult this year as Sakai and Aragones are unhappy with the eBay aftermarket, so it could turn out to be important as the standings shake out.

parakkum rode in the wind and carried hardcovers to protect honeyfields and they focused on heavy CRAC so they wouldn't have to carry it on the longer stages ahead. kwc had a similar strategy and picked up a limited-edition Scott Morse Scrap Mettle, RD8 Mimobot, Isadore Vimobot, Usagi Yojimbo Vol 21, Penny-Arcade Birds Are Weird and Armadeaddon poster, and CC-exclusive pink R2-D2 (R2-KT) (to add to his collection of R2s). kwc has never waited in line at for a CC exclusive before and was exposed to the troubling underbelly of Comic-Con: parents forcing their kids to go around the convention floor with them to pick up exclusives (to game the item/person limit) and schwag.

The early-morning Thursday gameplan for kwc and honeyfields is to pick up Harry Potter bags from Scholastic and possibly head over to Mimobot. kwc will head from there to pick up his Stan-Sakai-commissioned "Usagi Yojimbo on Bike" and to the Wizards booth to start collecting schwag points.

ota rejoins Team Uni today, straight out of a five-day stage race in Vancouver.

July 25, 2007

Off to Comic-Con

With all that's going on, Comic-Con has snuck up on me -- but I leave for my flight in 5 minutes so I better get in that frame of mind. Off to San Diego!

April 23, 2007

APE 2007

I try to make it to APE every year so I can buy some indie comics from the creators themselves and find stuff that would often fall below the radar at my local comic shop. There are panels -- this year included Art Spiegelman -- but I find that I really only have energy to do those once a year at Comic-Con. This mostly makes APE a shopping experience for me, so without further ado, here's what I shopped for:

Ancient Book of Myth and War

This was the only item I went in intending to buy. It is a themed art book that Pixarians Scott Morse, Lou Romano, Don Shank, and Nate Wragg put together. I had read about it on Scott Morse's blog and figured that at least Morse would be in attendance. It turned out even better than expected as Morse, Shank, and Romano were all on hand to do free sketches (in the case of Morse, a painting) in the inside cover. The result is pretty awesome:

AncientBookOfMythAndWar.Morse.Romano.Shank.500.jpg

A great book and what you see above for only $20.

Kitosan Tea . an Eastern Beauty Tea Brewing Instruction Book

I know a fair bit about tea already, but this clever packaging of a tea bag was too good to pass up. Contained within is a single tea bag plus cute illustrations that take you through the proper steps for brewing tea, including how to brew the same leaves up to four times. I don't see how you can order them online, but I'm sure if you e-mail her arrangements could be made (only about $5). Afterworks 2 features the story of Kitosan.

Too Much Coffee Man

Shannon.APE2007.200.jpg

Friends of mine are fans of the book and I couldn't go yet-another APE without buying an issue -- I was lured by the Too Much Coffee Man guitar picks.

Gallery Nucleus/Christopher Appelhans: Last of the Unicorns shirt

lastunicorn.b.jpg

Who knew unicorns could be so big, ugly, and cute? I picked one of these shirts up for d.

Super7 T-Shirt

Super7 had at least 3 t-shirts I wanted. I ended up going with an camo-silhouette of a AT-ST, Star Wars dork that I am (not listed on Web site right now). I almost got the Star Wars spaceship lineup or the Godzilla lineup instead (also not listed on Web site).

Kazu Sketch

left: APE 2007 sketch, right: Comic-Con 2007 Amulet sketch

Kazu.APE.2007.250.jpg Kazu.Comic-Con.2006.Amulet.250.jpg

Kazu Kibuishi of Flight/Daisy Kutter/Copper fame does amazing sketches. I didn't buy anything this time around as I pretty much own everything, but Kazu was kind enough to do this sketch and also let me read through an Amulet draft -- there were some amazing pages in there (as expected). Amulet is an epic effort for Kazu. Book 1 will come out in Spring 2008 and will weigh in at 200+ pages. If I recall correctly, five whole books are planned, though Scholastic has only committed to two so far.

Bean's Song (Book 1)

This was one of those books that just caught my eye. Artist Travis Hanson was working on inking a print, it caught my eye, and next thing you know I have a book to read. It is an illustrated novel (think Stardust). Book 2 is coming out in a couple weeks, so if I like what I read I'll have even more to read. I was told by a Super-Con organizer that Travis Hanson will be there.

April 20, 2007

APE this weekend

ape.gif

I'm hoping to make it to Alternative Press Expo (APE) in SF this weekend, but I may be too busy. Here's some of the Flight folks that will be in attendance (via Flight comics blog) :

Hope Larson (Special Guest; table 123) Derek Kirk Kim (table 124) Lark Pien (table 439) Kazu Kibuishi Amy Kim Ganter Chris Appelhans Vera Brosgol Jen Wang Dylan Meconis Erika Moen …and Graham Annable, Scott Campbell and the rest of the Hickee gang!

July 31, 2006

Please make this costume

In my Comic-Con catchup posting, I was going to write about how I wasn't as impressed with the costumes this year -- nothing as elaborate as General Grievous nor as amusing as "My Harry Potter Friends Embarass Me", just your regular Elvis Stormtrooper and the like -- but then Cory of BoingBoing posted this piece of awesomeness:

Hello Vader

As it turns out, it's too good to be true.It's a photoshop job, but let this be a note to costume makers for future Comic-Cons: I want to see Hello Vader or better next time around, don't disappoint me.

July 23, 2006

Tour de Comic-Con: Sunday's Stage

Sunday is a day to explore the floor, break out the wallet, and fill up the bag. Yes, today is the day that Team Uni goes out in search of a high ranking in the Credit Ruining Accountrements Classification (CRAC).

Before getting started in the CRAC, there was some loose ends with schwag and sketch points to get out of the way. Team Uni started off with a quick stop by the Wizards of the Coast booth to see if they had restocked any Attack on Endor sets. They hadn't, but there were new prizes and Team Uni managed to pick up some Magic starter and booster packs. Then it was off to Scott Morse's booth, where I got a Triplets of Belleville-style sketch of Tom Danielson drawn with sharpie and honeyfield's water brush. The sketch combines a bit of the alien-ness of time-trial cycling gear with impossible Spiderman-like body positioning and the elongated Triplets form. It'll be posted soon with the other sketches I got. I didn't commission a painting this time around as I got one at APE and I wanted to wait until I've had a chance to hang up the ones I have in my new place before I decided what I want next. Morse should have a new book out with Lou Romano and others at APE, which I'm looking forward to.

The wandering gets a bit more difficult-to-remember from there. We won some hats from Viz Media, I got a sketch from Adrian Tomine and Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Push Man), and we got some sketches at the Flight book from the always super-nice and talented Johane Matte as well as Dreamworks storyboardist Phil Craven.

The big purchasing came when honeyfields picked up nearly every book in First Second Books catalog -- and I do mean nearly every (five out of the six spring catalog books and two out of the six fall catalog books, the latter were only available as gifts for buying the spring books). I also picked up a bunch of New X-Men issues for daveextreme, which was fairly easy to do for cheap once the Sunday fire sale began in earnest. It's always fun to see what you can buy on Sunday because some dealer doesn't want to ship stuff back.

Sunday ended earlier than normal as I wanted to get back home at a more reasonable time given the dearth of public transit options on a Sunday from San Jose Airport. m and I took off at 3, tired and happy.

Tour de Comic-Con: Saturday's Stage

I spent most of the morning killing time until Quick Draw, which is really the highlight of every Saturday for me. More will come on the Quick Draw panel later, but for now I'll say that it was as fun as expected. A bit more repetitive than usual with the types of prompts, but this panel always delivers year after year.

Next up was the Brisco County panel. Due to poorly managed long lines I got into this panel late, but I got to see a lot of the Q&A with Bruce Campbell, Carlton Cuse, John McNamara, and Julius Carrey. There weren't as many entertaining verbal ripostes as the Bruce Campbell one-man Q&A show, but it was full of plenty of fun moments in the semi-reunion. I may actually try to get the DVDs, though $65 ($100 list) is a bit steep to try it out.

After failing to get into the Spiderman 3 session, the day ended with watching the Masquerade on the projection screen in the Sails Pavilion. I don't know who won, but I think our favorite was the Nintendon'ts, which featured humorous interactions between various Nintendo characters, punctuated by the decapitation of Pikachu in a Highlander showdown.

Inbetween this was the usual schwag and sketches, as well as my first big points in the Credit Ruining Accoutremonts Classification (CRAC). I got a doodle from Dave McKean and sketches from Chris Mitten and Ben Templesmith -- the Oni booth is always fun to stop by and dangerous on the pocketbook, as I picked up three more comics: Julius (Antony Johnston), Past Lies (Weir and DeFilippis), and Wasteland (Johnston and Mitten).

Team Uni picked up some of the last available Attack on Endor sets. After winning two in the morning, we went back to the booth in the afternoon to discover that the prize heap had been reduced to worthless figurines. We considered it a job well done, walking away with seven sets by my account, for a total retail value of $140.

The big CRAC points came from buying an Usagi Yojimbo original drawing that has Usagi jumping up into the air. Next year I might commission a drawing from Sakai as it's the same cost, though it's not very important as I'm really happy with what I have. I'll scan and post it in a later entry.

July 21, 2006

Tour de Comic-Con: Friday's stage

I haven't really posted about yesterday's stage, but today's stage was so awesome that let's just leave it at my "Tired" entry for now and move onto this morning and afternoon.

Entertainment along the route picked up throughout the stage. After Snoop Dogg and Lando failed to show up for their session, things picked up dramatically with a rollicking Battlestar Galactica session. They probably gave away too many Season 3 spoilers, but Edward James Olmos and Lucy Lawless added a lot more entertainment to this year's panel. The day ended with the New Line Cinema event. Kenan Thompson was a hilarious host and things got great once the Final Destination 3 promo was done. They showed a clip from the upcoming Tenacious D movie (hilarious rock opera clip with a Meat Loaf and Dio) and then, what we were waiting for, Snakes on a Plane, featuring Samuel L. Jackson, live snakes (anaconda!), a 10-minute clip, and a hilarious mashup of some of the fan parodies. Samuel L. Jackson played his bad-ass part well, kinda like a Bruce Campbell session but with a lot more muthafuckas thrown in.

The schwag points in this year's Tour have been much more difficult to come by: the movie studios aren't giving away schwag at their presentations, there's a lot less t-shirts, a lot less posters, a lot less of everything, which doesn't make much sense as this is the biggest Tour de Comic-Con ever. Or perhaps it's so big that companies don't want to give out that much anymore. m and I are probably going to save some crucial weight tomorrow and leave our poster tubes behind as they are fairly empty.

Nevertheless, this year's Tour has some of the best schwag booths ever -- so good that I hestitate to call it schwag. After trying yesterday and only coming up with a Magic Booster pack, Team Uni got five Star Wars Attack on Endor sets that retail for $20 each. Team Uni also picked up three Boba Fett limited edition Bust-Ups, which non-limited versions retail for $4-5.

The sketches also went very well for kwc, who has been working since Thursday to get a Mignola sketch but has failed repeatedly. Today, success, as I now have a Hellboy sketch to add to my collection as well as a Stephen Silver sketch. honeyfields and my sketch books are much less full this year, but the focus has been much more on getting sketches from specific people and it has paid off. kwc has gotten sketches from Mignola, Kazu, Silver, Sakai, Guenoden, Kurtz, Aragones, and Gabe, which is a happy haul.

For both the schwag and sketch point competitions, this year's strategy has been much more in the style of Michael Rasmussen and Richard Virenque: ignore the piddling Cat 4 and Cat 3 climbs, go hard on one of the stages and take all the big climbs. Today's stage was that stage for us. With over $100 in retail with about an hour's effort each, Team Uni can coast to the finish, though we may pick up an extra Endor set or two just in case.

July 19, 2006

Tour de Comic-Con: Prologue

Team Uni bonked like Floyd Landis on the opening day of Comic-Con. m and I got off our Southwest flight and went straight to the convention center with parakkum and honeyfields. I thought of picking up a pizza in the airport feed zone, but I figured that we were taking an early dinner after and I could power through a light and easy preview night. Preview night is only open to pre-registered attendees, and as there is no actual programming and it only lasts three hours, the convention floor is fairly open and an easy course to manuever. We weren't prepared.

Every year attendance Comic-Con gets larger and larger, but for the past couple years the size of the venue has not. The number of people on the convention floor at this year's preview night was as bad as a Friday or possibly even Saturday of last year. Instead of a nice easy prologue stage to get the legs warmed up, it was hectic right out the gate, or rather, right through the double doors that thousands of people were squeezing through. I was dodging strollers, stormtroopers, and camera crews as I tried to swim like a salmon upstream to the Kinokuniya booth to buy a large sketchbook and then over to Mike Mignola's booth to grab a small Hellboy print and book of sketches. Mignola politely refused my request for a sketch, so my new sketchbook remains blank front to back.

We kept our run of the floor to a short one hour, but by the end I was exhausted, wishing I had carbo-loaded like I would on a regular stage. parakkum's parents treated us to Mexican dinner afterwards, which I gobbled like I had just ridden a stage through the Alps.

Take note Tour de Comic-Con riders: preview night is now just like any other day in the Tour. It may be shorter, but that just sends people flying around the floor faster. Watch your nutrition, stretch, and remember to draft to save energy. Luckily, this was just a prologue stage. My sketchbook may still be empty and I may have no schwag points, but I'm hoping for a nice easy start to Thursday's stage as a lot of people will be at work or in sessions instead of on the convention floor.

FYI: Samuel Jackson, Robert Rodriguez, Sam Raimi, Quentin Tarantino, Snoop Dogg, RZA, Edward James Olmos, Deepak Chopra, Bruce Campbell, Neil Gaiman, Nicholas Cage, and many others are guests this year. It's going to be crazy. Even Marvel put its name on a booth this year (shared with Activision), which is an odd move for them. It's a different event this year, but I'm looking forward to it.

July 17, 2006

Comic-Con Game Plan Redux

In addition to tech, you need a plan. I looked over my plan from 2004, and it's still mostly true, so I'll just update with these little revisions here:

Daily Plan #1: Arrive at convention center early, park underneath ($8). Parking at the Convention Center means you can dump the quickly accumulating (and heavy) stack of books and schwag. An alternative is to reserve a hotel adjacent to the convention center about 4 months in advance. Update: it's getting harder and harder to park at the Convention Center. We're actually planning on taking a taxi in. Not as convenient, but saves us from having to implements Plan B if we discover there's no parking. Last year we actually had a hotel nearby, which worked out great as well.

Hotels, taxis: A $20 taxi can get you pretty far in San Diego. You may want to consider this when looking at a $300 hotel versus a $200 hotel.

Comic-Con 2004 Game Plan 2004

Tour de Comic-Con tech

With the shocking news that Team Uni rider h.o.b. now has a cellphone, now seems a good time to do a brief review of some technology that can help you along with the Comic-Con. In the past, I've recommended animal ID transponders for keeping track of the artists and your friends, but in case you have moral qualms:

  • Sketch book: the perfect sketch book depends on you. I prefer small, with pages you can rip out easily for framing, but the best sketches are usually in the biggest sketch books. It's more difficult to find a hardcover sketch book with ripout pages, so you may have to choose between durability and rip-ability. A hardcover version can also be used to protect flat items or as a weapon (see poster tubes).
  • Poster tubes: it'll cost you some $$$ to get one at the Con, but they're darn useful for many things you might pick at Comic-Con, i.e. drawings and posters you don't want crinkled. They're also quite useful for plowing a course through the convention floor.
  • Backpacks, rolly thingies: a backpack is essential, but they get heavy. You may want to consider something with wheels if you're planning a haul, though not as recommended for Saturday, when the convention floor looks like the mosh pit at Lollapalooza/Bonnaroo.
  • Twttr: a relatively new service, very much like Dodgeball, but seems more oriented towards broadcasting text messages to a group of friends -- Dodgeball is more about broadcasting location. Twttr can be a fast way of telling the rest of your team, "OMG Joss Whedon 6A."
  • Camera: Find yourself in a stall next to Jim Lee? Make sure the whole world knows! Okay, maybe not. I usually carry two: an SLR and a point-and-shoot. A 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens for my SLR allowed me to take these Bruce Campbell and BSG photos without being the least bit close to the stage. I also carry the point-and-shoot because it's easier to hand to someone else to take a photo and a 70-200mm lens can be too much sometimes when you're not trying to document nose hair.
  • Depends: when the lines are really long... nevermind.

Not as useful at the Con, but comic-related:

  • Bubble Snaps: what's a sequential art conference without the ability to create your own quickly? Answer: probably the same. But, just in case you want to quickly mockup some photos with thought and speech balloons, snaps might be your tool.

Comic-Con 2005 Recommendations

August 11, 2005

Comic-Con 2005: The Full Sketchbook

Mostly for my own indexing, I've gathered all my 2005 sketchbook entries into one large entry. A full 2003-2005 entry will follow if I ever do some rescanning. The sketches from Rodolphe Guenoden, Kazu, and Adrian Tomine are no longer part of my sketchbook, as they have been pulled out and framed.

Continue reading "Comic-Con 2005: The Full Sketchbook" »

May 27, 2005

Comic-Con recommendations

E-mails in my inbox remind me that Comic-Con approaches. Flights must be booked, fat reserves must be built up, plans of attack must be formulated. To help my fellow attendees, I have put together another list of Comic-Con suggestions that incorporate my two years of experience:

  • Waking up: use Caffeinated soap to get that extra necessary hit of caffeine
  • Breakfast: coffee for clarity, Guinness for strength, and an Irish Breakfast for a whole heaping of calories to let you skip lunch in favor of an extra session or two.
  • Dress (for the ladies): last year the women of our group had problems with otaku stranger men invading the circle of privacy and conflating their Asian heritage with anime characters. This protective garb should allow you to stay Asian and/or dress as you please, but keep your protective circle. If you don't mind the proximity but want to warn off touching, there's this shocking alternative.
  • Getting that sketch: if you try to catch someone popular like Jeff Smith or Jim Lee at an official signing, chances are you'll have to wait several hours in line. Some well-deployed animal ID transponders should allow you to catch your favorite artist/author in the hallway or bathroom (WARNING: always approach a cornered artist/author with care).
  • Getting that sketch (2): a good sketchbook is important. Hardcover sketchbooks will resist 4 days of handsweat, but a sketchbook that allows you to tear out the pages is also nice because it makes it easier to frame the exceptionally good sketch.
  • Getting the schwag: if you're in one of the big movie-related panels and they hand you a ticket, try to leave the talk early and locate the room with the schwag. If you're trying to get schwag on the Comic-Con floor, look for the discreet employee carrying the bag o' goodies or figure out under which table/in which box the goodies are being kept. Then get your accomplice to scream, "Oh My God It's Sarah Michelle Gellar!" In the ensuing pandemonium, Dodge Dip Duck Dive and Dodge your way to victory.
  • The Creator: In case you run into Stan Lee, familiarizing yourself with Spiderman's greatest bible stories should allow you to converse with the Creator (while he gives you that "where did my security guard go?" look)
  • Communication: SMS works really well. If all else fails, animal ID transponders should also work on your friends.

April 9, 2005

APE 2005

APE 2005 (Alternative Press Expo) was a good warmup for Comic-Con: < 1/10th the size, ~ 1/10th the cost, ~ 1/10th the time. It's also a good time to give more love to the indies that generally look a lot more lonely during the full-scale Comic-Con.

I picked up a print, a poster, and a t-shirt, and got a sketch from each artist that I purchased something from. My favorite item is a PETA-be-damned "How to Create a Fighting Machine" poster print by Jared Purrington, which is a visual instruction manual for turning a roll of tape, a knife, and a hamster into your own instrument of death (update: jwz did a scan of the cartoon). Purrington's sketch for me can be viewed as a sort-of appendix:

purrington

I also picked up a samurai rabbit shirt ("The Cursed" by Duzty) (no, not Usagi/Sakai). Haven't read the comic, as there is not much posted online yet.

duzty

My last item is a print by Attaboy, which looks like this without the text. This is a quick sketch he did for me, which is appropriately twisted:

attaboy

Gallery Nucleus had a bunch of stuff that I wanted, but did not have the fund$$$ for, so I thought I would buy their stuff online instead. I made the mistake of not getting this "Ninja in the Snow" piece, which is $50 instead of the $20 I could have paid.

July 27, 2004

Comic-Con '04 Backposting

In order to keep my panel notes in semi-chronological order, I'm backposting them. I will keep track of the new posts here, in case you are interested.

Newest: * Stan Sakai

New: * Quick Draw Panel * Kung-fu extravaganza

Slightly older: * Mirrormask (Gaiman and McKean) * The Incredibles (Brad Bird) * Composition in Storytelling * Ray Bradbury * PvP/Penny Arcade (Added photo) * 24 Hour Comic Panel * Quotations * TnA report

Older: * Costumes * Buffy! * Schwag report * Summary and Advice * Queen and Country Sketches * Pixar/Incredibles/Brad Bird

The Quick Draw Panel page is likely to be updated when I exchange notes with honeyfields.

July 24, 2004

Sketches: Queen and Country

update (7/27/05): I completed my Tara Chace collection -- Brian Hurtt drew me a great sketch at Comic-Con 2005.

Sunday was Queen and Country day. In addition to getting an advance reading copy of Rucka's new QnC novel, I also managed to get Tara Chace drawn by every QnC artist, with the exception of Brian Hurtt (ran out of time). Someone one-upped me and got a huge roster drawn by every roster on a large board; I think it became somewhat of a competition between the artists to do their best as their drawing was next to their peers, and it looks really cool. I have a photo of the nearly complete roster (two drawings are missing from the photo).

My favorite drawing is Rolsten's, as I think it portrays her character jadedness the best. It also helps that he was one of the only artists who did inked his drawing. I also really like Carla Speed McNeil's sketch. J. Alexander did an absolutely awesome sketch for the person doing the roster as he broke out the ink, and a lot of his style comes from the way he inks.

Queen and Country wouldn't be complete without mastermind Rucka's sketch, so I've included his sketch in the full entry even though the sketch is a 'self-portrait.'

Scott Rolsten

rolsten sketch

Continue reading "Sketches: Queen and Country" »

August 11, 2003

Comic-Con Backposting

I'll be backposting entries for the Comic-Con as I want to keep the chronology correct. I'm knocking off the easy ones first (i.e. the ones with the least amount of photoshop involved). I'll probably be using this entry as a tracking entry and advancing it forward in time.

Continue reading "Comic-Con Backposting" »