Remembrance of Comic Cons Past
The San Diego ComicCon (SDCC) will begin this Wednesday. And I'm not overly excited about it, because I'm not going. And maybe this year would have been a good year to go because of The Simpsons Movie coming out the same week, but nevertheless, I'm not going.
I haven't been since the year I got married which was September of 2002, and from what I hear it has grown to epic proportions this year. They sold out. One of the biggest conventions in the world is sold out. You can't go to the door and say "Hi, I would like a ticket please" because they have none to give. Amazing, and I like what that says about the climate of acceptance for geeky endeavors.
It isn't that I haven't been because I didn't enjoy it. It is just a major time and financial committment. The hotel and airfare are pricey. And even if I got to tag along if chris was a guest, there is still the time committment and you cannot leave there without dropping some serious cash. There are too many dealers to make it a frugal affair. Having always gone with Chris my admission badge has been free, but that is a drop in the bucket.
It is also a 5-6 day show. And while you feel like you can miss some days of other shows, you never want to miss a day of San Diego. No matter what day it is, there is a panel you want to go to. Panels at San Diego are great because often they have free promotional stuff. I still have my Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law wall clock!
So many of my friends are going and everyone has been asking us if we will be at San Diego. But we're not going. Getting to San Diego also takes a lot of planning. You practically have to reserve your room for next year while checking out of the hotel this year. And we've had lots of other things we wanted to do this year.
And of course I am out of vacation time. I'm sure we'll think about it for next year, that is unless we decide to go to England again or someplace else that isn't work related for Chris.
So to Sean, Neil, Jeff, Kurt, and to everyone else who is going, I hope you have a blast. Try and grab some cool free stuff for me, willya? Stay away from the pretzels in the convention hall and if Pat and Oscar's is still there, eat a breadstick for me. And to all the pros, don't work too hard.
We'll catch it again some other year. What should those of us who remained home do to make our weekend super geeky too? I think I'll attack my way too large stack of unread comics while listening to my out of print and bootleg soundtracks.
For my part this week while not attending the country's biggest geekapalooza, I'll get some work done in the nice quiet privacy of my own studio, read the heck out of my copy of Modern Masters: Michael Golden(hopefully), and share the following bunch of photos from past San Diego shows...
Ah! One of the things I love most about comic conventions: Stormtroopers in anachronistic situations!
Doing time in artists alley, 2001... I love seeing all my long-distance friends, meeting cool fans, selling artwork, and talking comics. It's grueling work sometimes, though--lots of missed lunches and sore backs. Just look at Karl's posture! Oh, yeah--for the record, going down the table from nearest to farthest we have me, Brian Stelfreeze, Karl Story, Georges Jeanty, and Cully Hamner
Xan attending a panel, one of the cool things she does while I'm in artists alley. I think this one is the Cartoon Network Adult Swim panel in 2002
Me and Karl at the Adult Swim panel...I have the dreaded thousand yard stare going...too much artists alley time...
One thing that makes San Diego stand out from other conventions(besides its enormity and crowdedness) is the huge number and diversity of actors and musicians in attendance. Over the years, we've met or rubbed shoulders with everyone from Kevin Smith to Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. Stephen Root has browsed through my pile of artwork, my brother was Jason Mewes' chaperone one year(!), and in 2002 Xan even got to be in a movie being made by Mark Hamill. Above is Xan meeting Maurice LaMarche, voice of The Brain(as in "Pinky and the...") and Kif from Futurama.
In 2001 my friend Gary and I met the lovely and awfully nice Erin Gray, who starred in Buck Rogers In The 25th Century back when we were 13 or so...
Another cool thing that one sees more often at the San Diego Comic Con than anywhere else are the dealers room displays of original movie and TV props like the Batmobile (above) and one of Yoda's little puppet hands below...
...and finally, the after-show dinners with other comic creators are always a highlight. We get to put down the pens and pencils, stretch our legs, and unwind at last. In this photo below from 2001, you'll find (among others) my friends Gary and Hiroshi, Brian Stelfreeze, and Cully Hamner