Wednesday, July 23, 2008

San Diego Comic-Con, Day 0: Finally, A Flurry of Fandom Frenzy

Whoo-ee! Now that's what I call a first day!

Welcome to Comic-Con!

Welcome to San Diego Comic-Con '08, everybody! Preview night was held tonight, open only to those who had purchased four day con tickets, members of the press, all the exhibitors, cute little girls in Supergirl and Batgirl costumes, anybody who could sneak in, and Kevin Church. And yours little stuffed truly, the only stuffed bull blogger on the floor!

For such a busy day it's imperative (thank you, Word of the Day Calendar!) to get a hearty breakfast stuffed inside you early in the day. For that I love to visit San Diego's historic Old Town, "birthplace of California" and home of many gift shops and restaurants...but my favorite is the lovely and friendly Old Town Mexican Cafe, where they serve up spicy food with a smile and a gracias, and they don't scold you if you order tacos for breakfast! Me, I had delicious, savory chorizo with eggs:

A spicy Old Town breakfast

And my vegetarian kid sister Marshall had pamcakes. I bet there's some chili peppers in the pamcakes, though!

Marshall had pamcakes

Don't forget to get the kind ladies in the restaurant to toss you a piping hot tortilla fresh off the griddle! Owwwww! That's too piping hot!

Tortillas made fresh right in front of you!

Off to the San Diego convention center, carrying boxes of last-minute books for the Norton booth. The exhibitor's check-in line is much longer than it's been in previous years. Could this be the Con where the exhibitors finally outnumber the attendees? (Answer: no.) But the line moves swiftly and there are friendly and familiar faces to see while you're queueing up, and in no time at all I have my green "exhibitor" badge and am whisked past security into the still setting-up con, much to the jealousy of paid attendees who are already lining up outside to get in six hours later. See ya later, suckers! (I kid, I kid. I kid because I love.)

The next few hours are a busy blur. I help John unpack boxes and boxes of fine Norton books:

Helping to unpack the books

It takes a lot less time to see them in photos than it is to actually do it (trust me), because when you look at my pictures, in the blink of an eye it's all set up and lookin' great:

Please come by and buy our fine Norton books!

So please c'mon by booth #1714! You can shake my hoof and I'll sell you some fine, fine Norton books! (No, really, they're absolutely fabulous!)

On top of Will Eisner (All Covered With Bulls)

Before the show opens to the general public, it's peaceful and calm-lookin':

It's not busy yet, but it will be!

That will change at 6 PM when they let the rushing hordes in, but for the moment I can wander about and explore a bit. (Some of the photographs from the floor were taken by the delightful Lucy-Anne.)

There are friends new and old to see again! Thoughtful and tall Miss Gina Gagliano from First Second Books (no, Kevin Church, I will not call her "Gina First Second"!) gives me a boost so I can see what's going on at the show:

Gina Gagliano gives me a boost

I am very happy to see Andy Runton ("Owly")...even happier that he's happy to see me! Hi, Andy!:

Andy Runton ("Owly") and me!

A pair of raucous and rampaging new dairy product friends tried to convince me to run amok with them on the floor, smacking fanboys over the head with baseball bats and broken bottles, but I resisted. Sorry, guys, but I am lactose-intolerant to hate! I sure do like running around yelling "MERV GRIFFIN!", though:

Fun with Milk and Cheese. MERV GRIFFIN!

Hey, everyone, it's fellow blogger Sleestak makin' a rare con appearance, promoting his sure-to-be-classic Hayley-Con 2008! I'm so there, Mister there.

Giant Sleestak!

My old pal John Cunningham from DC Comics dropped by to talk shop, and graciously accept compliments for the big sales spike the Watchmen trade paperback is currently undergoing. John's a pretty big wheel over at DC, but even he couldn't get me in to ride the Owlship. I got to peer in the windows, though. Don't press that button marked with a flame, Miss Juspeczyk!

The Owlship

Other fun pals I got to talk to all in a rush: Hi, Reading Comics's Douglas Wolk! (Stop by again, I didn't get much of a chance to chat!) Publisher Weekly's Calvin Reid introduced me to his lovely wife and we talked shop about Norton books. Phillip Ginder stopped by to talk eighties Marvels (and show me the box o' Power Packs he picked up to all-but complete his collection. I'm comin' over to your place to read comics, Phill! Why all these wonderful visitors make me feel totally special:

I'm totally special with my friends Rebecca and Enid

There are plenty of displays on the floor to gape and gawk at (I have to remember not to drool!) Hey look, it's Bartman at the Bongo booth:

Na na na na na na na na Bartman!

Don't worry if you get lost on the big, big floor: there is always someone there who will hunt you down:


Still, it's useful to have a speedy alternative mode of transportation to get around the big, big floor:

I need one of these to get around the city

If spaceships aren't your preferred method of transport, why not hop on one of the Bat-bikes and tool around the Con? Both hands on the handlebars, Boy Wonder!

Please park your Bat-bikes here

But I think I'd prefer to be in style behind the wheel of the new James Bond car (Bond Girl not included, darn!)

The new James Bond car

It's Preview Night so I haven't seen many costumed attendees yet, but never fear: you're never more than a blaster shot away from some Stormtroopers and Jedi:

Jedi convention

Hey, Lego my Batman!

Lego my Batman!
Lego Robin
Of course there are always many new stuffed friends to meet:

Lotsa toys

But hey! You guys should know better than to play in plastic bags!

Hey, you guys shouldn't play with plastic bags

Luckily, the cutest little galactic dictators ever are on hand to enforce law and order:

The cutest universal dictator ever!

Comic-Con can be so huge and overwhelming that you often find your hooves getting sore and you run out of steam. Luckily there's a place you can check into, and by simply uttering five words, you can be filled with power:

By the power of Greyskull...I HAVE THE POWER!

I also got a couple chances to add some awesome drawings to my Bully sketchbook (I'll share 'em with you good folks in the near future). Teen Boat's John Green did a boo'ful portrait of me. Here I am with John:

Me and John Green!
I got some fantastic comics by John and others at his booth (Comics Bakery, #P2 in the Small Press section...stop by an see him and all his bakery pals!)

John Green minis!

And Debbie Huey (Bumperboy) did a sketch of me and Bumperboy that's so cute I'm still blushing at how adorable I am! Thanks so much, Debbie!

Me and Debbie Huey!

I so fell in love with her Bumperboy comic that I bought a stack of 'em, plusa batcha buttons for my messenger bag! You need Bumperboy stuff too...the world is not complete without stop by Debbie's booth in the Small Press section (Booth # O16) and tell her I sent you there!

Cool stuff from Debbie Huey

See, that's my favorite part of Comic-Con: meeting lovely new people. Why, I even made a brand-new friend to take home with me! I like him a lot because he nods and agrees with me constantly:

A good friend is one who nods a lot to agree with you

At last the long, long, long day is done, and in the words of Mister Kool and his Gang, 'tis time to celebrate. Or, at least, get off your hooves and have some delicious dinner at a restaurant suggested by Randi's smart and lovely friend Rocky, Mangu! Hey, look, burgers just my size:

Hamburger sliders just my size! Plus, calimari!

And even better: three dollar mohitos!

A mohito after a long day is very refreshing

Aw, don't worry, folks. Even after a long and exhausting day, I can handle my drink and

Those mohitos aren't strong at all...zzzzzzzzzz

(More tomorrow, if I wake up!)


Unknown said...

Best. Con Report. Ever.

Novice said...

Bully's reports make me want to go to these Cons, only to follow him around at little stuffed bull eye level.

Sleestak said...

I can't believe I didn't go again! And hey, ask Funko where my Sleestak bobble-head is!

SallyP said...

You've been a very busy little bull.

Cougar said...

It was so nice to meet you, Bully!