Yeah, yeah...I know I waited just long enough for the San Diego ComicCon to be old news and for anyone who may have cared about my time spent there to lose any and all interest. Regardless, I'm going to press on.
I had only planned to attend the SDCC for a single day this year, Thursday, so I bought my pass way in advance (the show sold out long before the day of the Con). Little did I know that through the beneficence of my good Canadian Buddaroos, Laurie And Kandrix, I would be presented with an all-access Exhibitor's Pass for the whole Con. How cool is that? With the Supreme Powar! of my Exhibitor pass, I was able to attend Wednesday night's Preview Night for the first time.
Holy cow! It was like Saturday afternoon at SDCCs past (although, it may always be like this on Preview Night, I couldn't really say). There were people everywhere - it was massively crowded. Not many of the people were buying anything (myself included), but there sure were a lot of them. I actually hung out at the Art of LaurieB! booth nearly all of Wednesday night and handed out Pure Heroine temporary tattoos and LaurieB! information cards (with the little swimming naked girl from last year's banner). I lurked menacingly around Laurie's booth for a fews hours while I waited for Laurie and Kandrix to wrap things up so I could talk with them about the Art of Laurieb site I'm helping them with.
But enough about the uber-unexciting part of my ComicCon adventures...on to the acquisitions!
My first purchases were all from Laurie's booth:
The Art of LaurieB!
The 2009 Calgary Expo Pure Heroine sketchbook
The 2009 ComicCon Pure Heroine sketchbook
The 2009 ComicCon Art of LaurieB! sketchbook
Witchblade #126 with the cover by Laurie (I also picked up a con-exclusive Witchbalde #128 with a non-Laurie cover)
Laurie also drew me amazing color sketches of Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy (a huge 11" by 14") and Red Sonja.
I also saw and spoke to Mike Kunkel for a few minutes while I was hanging out at Laurie's booth. He didn't have a booth again this year, but was there to walk around and talk to the many, many people he knows. I talked to him about his recent work with DC on Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazaam and the other projects he's working on - one of which is a sequel to The Land of Sockmunster. How cool is that? Random events like this are why - even with the overcrowding by the people who aren't really fans of comics - ComicCon is still worth the time and effort.
And speaking of the changing Comiccon Demographic, here's the back cover from the 2009 ComicCon Souvenir Book. What does that tell you about the direction ComicCon is moving? I wouldn't be surprised if it was re-titled San Diego MediaCon or something equally non-Comic-related in the future. The SDCC seems to have fewer comic/art-related exhibitors show up with each passing year, while more of the booths/panels are focused on movies, tv shows, video games, toys, etc. One of the reasons this is happening is due to the SDCC-powers-that-be raising the rents on exhibitors, thus pricing out the smaller artists/comic shops (I've heard this from a few different inside-sources). It's only a matter of time before comics will no longer be the focal point of SDCC.
Bobby Rubio / Alcatraz High
I also saw Bobby Rubio again this year. I was bummed when I realized that I hadn't taken a photo of him and his booth this year (every time I tried, someone wanted to talk to him, so the timing was just never right). I picked up his new comic, 4 Gun Conclusion, and Bobby did a quick sketch inside. I mistakenly thought this was the finale to Alcatraz High, but it turned out to be a whole new story with brand new characters. I also found out that one of my co-workers went to High school with Bobby (not you, Dan - this is a new co-worker). Small world. Oh, and I forgot to get a copy for you, Dan. You'll have to get one from Bobby.
I eventually found Chris Sander's booth all the way on the opposite side of the convention hall from Bobby and Laurie's booths. I've only known about Chris Sanders since last year, but I've quickly become a fan. Unfortunately, he wasn't there when I stopped by, so I didn't have a chance to ask him to sign his sketchbook. There was an unexpected bonus in his booth, though - a free print (it was way too big to scan). It wasn't a Chris Sanders print, but it was beautiful nonetheless. And it was even printed on heavy, quality paper.
On my journey across the convention hall to find Chris Sanders, I also found Mark Schultz and bought another of his sketchbooks (volume 3 - I missed him last year, or I would have been up to volume 4). I also hadn't realized that he was the artist for the Prince Valiant Sunday newspaper comic strip until then (it's still not one of my favorites, but I do read it every week now).
I also found Frank Cho over by Mark and Chris. He was selling the un-edited sketch cover to Jungle Girl #4 (volume 2), so I got one signed (for comparison, I also scanned the color version).
Dean Yeagle had a booth near Laurie's and I picked up another one of his sketchbooks, Scribblings #3. How could I resist? His wide-eyed Mandy character is the primary inspiration for LaurieB's stable of innocent-but-slightly-naughty characters.
The company that publishes one of the beautifully illustrated (painted) comics that I discovered at ComicCon a couple of years ago, Paulo Parnete's Dust, had a booth with a bunch of new books. One of the books, 13 Chambers, had a Paolo Parente cover so I didn't hesitate to pick it up. The artist who did the interior work in the book was also there and did a sketch for me. I still need to read the book to see who the skeletal dude is.
Obligatory Eye Candy
And what would ComicCon be without models like Miss November 1998, Tiffany Taylor, selling signed photos? (There were far fewer models this year than there have been in years past. The Committe to Clean up ComicCon must be cracking down.) You'd think she would at least wear a Wonderwoman or Lara Croft costume.
As always, I took loads of random photos around the convention center. I played no favorites: costumed nerd boys, nerd girls, cute girls, random exhibitors - I got them all.