Friday, July 21, 2006

Comic-Con Day 3: More stars than there are in Louis B. Mayer's movies

Note: Boistrous Bully-booster Michael correctly points out that today, Friday, is more accurately Day Two of Comic-Con, and that I should have counted Preview Night as Day Zero. In my defense, 1) I blame society, 2) Hey, I worked all day setting up the booth on Wednesday...I consider that a full day! And 5) 3) I thought 'bout correcting the errors but I realized that'd affect my incoming links because the numbers are in the post titles. Chalk it up to experience, thanks for the correction, and next year my numbering will be a little more bull-liveable!

You know how in each successive Star Wars film George Lucas crammed more and more people into the background of every scene? That's just like Comic-Con: the more it goes on, the busier it gets. I don't want to draw any specific other comparisons between Star Wars and Comic-Con except that the stormtrooper population gets denser every time we come back to the show. Seriously, it was this busy

Greetings once again from the San Diego Convention Center, folks—it's Friday, it's steamy-hot outside and icy-cold in the Con. Really cold: even the Lara Crofts were wearing fluffy cardigan sweaters today. That's a nice change from most convention centers I've done shows in, where the temperature increases a degree for every thousand people who step across the threshold. The crowds poured in, the climate stayed cool, and once again I had a busy and fun day. Despite the amazing rush of people, there's never any log-jams of traffic; the show aisles seem wider and clearer than at BookExpo and there is never a time when there aren't at least twenty people in the Norton and Fantagraphics aisle. John dragged me out of my comfy soft bed again this morning at five-thirty so we could be at the Convention Center parking lot by six-thirty—his paranoia about getting a parking space is cutting into my valuable sleepy dream time and seriously beginning to cheese me off. Stop it, John! But we made up for it by scoring another excellent parking spot poised right at the exit (excellent for making a fast departure in the evening) and walked across Harbor Place to have a spicy and lovely Mexican breakfast before heading back to the Convention Center, full of energy, anticipation, and beans.

Still firmly on duty in the Norton booth today, but the usual assortment of comics celebrity sightings made it a perfect place to experience the Con: Kurt Busiek dropped by the booth to look over Norton's books; I got a chance to compliment him on his excellent automobile-themed Hawaiian shirt as well as fanbullishly telling him how much I enjoy his comics writing. Top Shelf gets good value for money bringing their authors to Comic-Con, because just like Andy Renton yesterday, Eddie Campbell was working the booth, front and center, happily wrapping up my copy of his new book The Fate of the Artist and accepting my thanks for his great work on From Hell and Bacchus with a friendly and cheerful grin. He also has quite possibly the best hair in the business, maybe apart from Jim Steranko. All-around nice guy and uber-news-blogger Tom Spurgeon darted into the Fantagraphics booth to say hi very quickly before dashing off again to do seventeen or eighteen panel discussions, and Denis Kitchen dropped by to whisper a confirmation in my little stuffed ear of that big movie rumor we've all been buzzing about. Rian Hughes, master of design and typography passed through, and the Fantagraphics autographing area continued with more hits than a top forty radio station: Dan Clowes, Linda Medley, Los Bros. Hernandez, Roger Langridge, R. Kikuo Johnson, Kevin Huizenga and many, many more showed up to sign and inscribe books for fans.

But by far my favorite celebrity sighting was the cheerful boisterous guy who lunged dramatically into the Norton booth, tossed a copy of the Agreeable Comics sampler into my fuzzy lap and then shook my hoof with grace and aplomb: yes, folks, it's the ebullient BeaucoupKevin himself, Kevin Church, full of glee and gossip and bringing the world of my little oatmeal cookie-flavored blog together with his massive media powerhouse. Don't believe he's really here at the Con? He can prove it.

This little stuffed bull LOVES Der Faust!!So if you're here at the Con, don't run (because they'll yell at you over the intercom), but stroll swiftly and with intent and purpose, to booth 1531, grab Kevin by the lapels, plop down your eight bits, ten dimes, or that crumpled dollar bill the soda machine wouldn't take to buy a copy of the Agreeable Comics sampler, and walk away a happier and more joyful soul than you were with that filthy lucre weighing you down. I hereby declare Agreeable Comics the most fun comic of the Con, and I'd be saying that even if he hadn't grabbed my nose ring and threatened to toss me to the heavily-eyeshadowed goths if I didn't like it.

The colorful parade of costumed attendees continued today as well: add to my character-spotting list Dr. Strange, Anakin Skywalker, Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood, Metal Bikini Leia and Bare-Midriffed Amidala walking arm-in-arm down the aisles in some sort of vaguely disturbing mother/daughter skin-barin' outing, and the compellingly clanky yet prehistoric Caveman Robot. Zatanna posed near the DC booth early this morning, and a little light bulb popped on over my little stuffed head: Ah ha! I now see the attraction of fishnets. Green Arrow, Willy Wonka, Spider-Man and Santa crossed paths. Thorn was accompanied by an elaborate Fone Bone, and Shaun of the Dead looked on as an Adam West-style Batman strolled purposefully down the aisle. I saw two beautifully creepy (or is that creepily beautiful?) Corpse Brides at different times, but synchronicity rules later in the main aisle when two different crimson-leather-clad movie-style Jean Grays faced off against each other (with compliments for each other's costume work rather than Phoenix-fire). An amazing quartet of Ghostbusters posed with kids and let them hold the spectral container units. Around mid-day it hit me: it was a real-life Neopolis from Alan Moore and Gene Ha's Top Ten comic—if you're good at your pop culture you can spot 'em all. Seeing them interact in one universe is like the biggest team-up comic of all, and it's happening right before your little button eyes, a universe where the Imperial forces are always on the move:
Imperial battle stations!

...where Catwoman's fightin' back and Blue Beetle's happy just to still be alive:
The best defense is a purr-fect offense.

...where nobody's a little short...or be a Stormtrooper:
Apparently the Emperor is an equal-opportunity employer

...where Ulala and Holly Golightly can swap alien dance-move tips:
Live from the Con, it's Space Channel Five!

...where the Imperial troops are still on the move:
Hurry up! Lord Vader needs his pizza!

...where Superman's never too busy to strike a pose:
Vogue, Kal-El! ...and neither is Aquaman! (If only Tegan could have been here to see!)
Hey, where's Johnny Drama?

Okay, before I sign off for the night and head for bed to dream of Zombie Businessman Roommate, scroll back up and take a peek one more time at that first photo in this post, the one of the crowded con. Pretty busy, huh? Pretty darn crowded and hectic Comic-Con, ya think?

Well, folks, tomorrow is Saturday, the busiest day of the Con. In other words: You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Other Comic-Con entries: TuesdayWednesdayThursdaySaturdayExtra #1 (Wolverine)Extra #2 (Eisner)Sunday

1 comment:

Michael said...

Hey Bully, it's always fun to see the con through someone else's eyes, but I've never seen it through glued-on glass ones! But in your bullish zeal you forgot that Preview Night (Wednesday) doesn't really count as Day 1 since it's a Preview. It's like a Zero issue. So call it Day Zero, then Thursday is Day One, etc.