Comic-Con Report, Part 1

18 Jul

by Mike Hansen

Comic-Con

Comic-Con (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

Now that I’m getting over the worst case of Con Crud I’ve ever contracted (congestion, fever, sore throat, the works), I can start talking about my trip to Comic-Con. This was my first year attending with a free Professional badge (see? I’m a Real Writer), and I was able to crash at a friend-of-a-friend’s condo, so this may have been my least expensive Comic-Con yet.

Unlike previous years, I wasn’t there to work a booth or shop for deals – I was there to get a publisher for the stories I’ve been writing for the past several months. I know I haven’t talked about them much publicly yet, but after seeing how one or two projects got announced with possibly similar premises, I want to ensure that I’m not accused of ripping off anyone. (But hey, ideas are cheap – it’s the execution that matters. So hopefully this is a non-issue.)

Comic-Con remains Big. Really Big. Not only is the entire convention center completely filled, but there’s off-site programming at nearby hotels, and a lot of media companies have sponsored (and taken over) nearby areas: Cryptozoic Entertainment opened its own downtown retail outlet, Cartoon Network turned the Children’s Museum and nearby playground into an Adventure Time area, Disney built a huge Frankenweenie walk-through tent, the History Channel built a huge barbeque area to promote its shows (and give out free sausages!), Microsoft took over the second floor of the Hard Rock Hotel to promote X-Box games (and give out free T-shirts), SyFy took over a whole restaurant, and (most important for me and my friends) a nearby bar hosted by CNet and Gamespot offered free drinks to Con-goers in the afternoons. There’s nothing quite like trying to learn a new videogame for the first time while getting buzzed.

As I mentioned earlier today, I stayed the hell away from all of the “hype” panels – any panels that were promoting comics, movies, TV shows, or whatever got skipped. As awesome as it can be to see your favorite stars in person, or watch some exclusive footage before anyone else, I don’t have the time nor patience anymore to stand in line for hours for something I can read about or see later. There’s just too much other stuff going on at the same time. Comic-Con’s about making hard choices.

I heard this story about the world’s greatest baseball-card find on the radio on the drive down to San Diego. I’ll never make a discovery like this: I’m already aware of pretty much everything I’ve got, and what it’s all worth. Fortunately, this knowledge allows me to make some good deals. I never pay full price, because I am a Cheap Bastard.

Speaking of good deals, the best ones I found were Daredevil Vol. 4 oversized hardcover (haggled down to $20 – I’ve been looking for this forever, since it usually goes for like $80), Tomorrow Stories Vol. 1 HC and Promethea Vol. 3 HC for $10 each, and The Boys Vol. 4 & 6 limited HCs for $6 each. One retailer selling discounted books even GAVE me a copy of Taboo Vol. 9 with my purchase.

Those kinds of deals seemed to be the exception, though – there were a lot of good deals to be had (there were lots of retailer booths with half-off comics and books), but I didn’t see many great deals. I left early Sunday afternoon, though, so maybe the best deals were during the Con’s final hours. Oh, well.

More later…

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