Once again I’ve had to settle for a single day at Comic Con. But, even for a short excursion, I enjoy the trip. Of course, for a day-trip, it meant getting up very early in the day to make the drive down. Which I did. I hit the road a bit before 6 a.m., and reached San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. There was free parking there, and a pleasant trolley ride from there in to the Convention Center.
I got quickly through registration, and then went up to the Pro Lounge. That gave me a chance to check out the programming schedule to get an idea of what I might do during the day. The first thing was a panel titled “Graphic Novel Programming at Your Library.” The discussion was about arranging author appearances at libraries, engaging with the local comic shops and readers, and including graphic novels in the library collection. It gave me some ideas.
I then headed down to the exhibit hall, to see if I could connect with some friends.
I stopped in Artists Alley to see Sergio Cariello. I wanted to show him how Creating Graphic Novels turned out, since I used some of his work in the book.
From there I went on to see Sue Dawe at her spot. We chatted for a bit, and then she had to run off to a presentation she didn’t want to miss.
At 1 p.m. there was one of the panels I definitely wanted to make: “Batman in the ’70s”. I hoped to have at least a few minutes of chatting with Denny O’Neil, so I could show him the book as well. The key part of the panel was that Denny and Neal Adams were featured on the panel.
The panel was moderated by Mark Evanier.
Mark has a wealth of knowledge about comics and comic history. And he knows many people in the business.
Also on the panel was Michael Uslan.
Early in his career, Michael had worked as a writer, and had written some Batman tales. But more notably, he has served at the Executive Producer of the Batman movies. Even though they didn’t actually deal with the 1970s, he had a few stories about launching the movies with Tim Burton. He did say that when they brought Burton aboard, it was major works from the ’70s that they gave him for reference work.
Also on the panel were Anthony Tollin and Len Wein. Len arrived late, so I forgot to get a picture of him. They both had many things to relate to the appreciative audience. There was a lot of discussion about the various artists who contributed to the look of Batman in the period.
I really appreciated this panel. The works of the ’70s were all ones I had enjoyed. (I am actually not a fan of the 1960s campy television show. I always wanted “the world’s greatest detective” and the TV Batman was not him.
At the end of the panel, I spotted Denny’s wife, Marifran and went over to greet her. They are a wonderful couple. I got to show Denny the book. Another person who apparently had been in the room for the panel was Jordan Gorfinkel, who had worked with Denny in the ’90s. Gorf had his daughter with him – he informed us that it was her first experience of Comic-Con.
After I parted with them, I attended another panel. It was the panel about editors – a version of the one Barbara Randall Kesel did at WonderCon earlier in the year, “Just What Does an Editor Do?” The panel included Bob Schreck, who had been Batman Group Editor back in my letter-hack days, and who is currently Editor in Chief for the comics division of Legendary. So I got to show him and Barbara the book before the panel began. Barbara promptly held it up to show the audience, shilling it for me. (Thank you, Barbara!) I enjoyed listening to the observations the panelists made.
Once the panel was over, I headed back downstairs to see if I could catch up with more people I know. Travis Hanson was hard at work in his spot, doing convention sketches for fans.
I also stopped to say “Hi!” to Scott Shaw! He was conversing with a young fan, about all the cartoon characters he’d worked on in the past, and even the comic book for Annoying Orange. The kid at first denied that he watched the show, but his parent called him out on that. Heh.
The walking was getting to my “problem” knee, my feet were getting a bit weary, and it was almost 5 o’clock. I was pretty sure that I would not be able to connect with any other friends (I did try with Erik Burnham, but we didn’t get together – we did exchange messages, though).
So I headed across the street to the Tin Fish, my favorite stopping place during Comic Con. Since I hadn’t really had much lunch, other than the jerky and almonds I had brought with me, I decided to have a real dinner. In addition to my usual order of their clam chowder, I had their grilled sea bass, and a side of cole slaw.
After dinner, it was hopping on the trolley, enjoying the quiet ride back out to Qualcomm Stadium, getting in my car and hitting the road back.
A longish day, and not quite as productive as I’d like, but a good excursion and worth it to me.