Once again, my budget limited my ability to attend the San Diego Comic Con. Since I couldn’t afford lodgings in San Diego, it was going to have to be a single day trip. That meant rising early and making the 2 plus hour drive down the I-5. I hit the road at quarter to 6, and stopped in San Clemente to add some gas. I also took a 10 minute cat nap there, since I hadn’t gotten a full night of sleep. I got to the Qualcomm Stadium parking at quarter to 9, took the trolley into town and walked into the Convention Center at quarter to 10. It meant that for the first time in a while, I wasn’t going to miss the first programming item I wanted to attend.
The particular panel I wanted to attend was one titled “Inside the Writers Room.” The particular organizer of this panel has done it a few times in the past, but on those occasions I either missed the presentation or attended something else at the time slot.
The panelists were not there to tell anecdotes about the specific shows they’d worked on, but rather to inform the audience (filled with many aspiring writers) what the experience of collaborative writing is like. I think they did a pretty good job of conveying the challenges and mechanics of being part of a group writing team.
The next thing on my schedule for the day was fortunately the next time slot and in the same room. It was IDW’s panel about their summer Teen-aged Mutant Ninja Turtles activities. Since some of my friends were on this panel, I really wanted to attend.
My friend Erik Burnham was part of it, as he’s writing a mini-series for a supporting character in the IDW TMNT universe.
Friend Tom Waltz is also writing the Turtles for IDW. So I got to say “Hi” to these two friends (briefly, after the panel was over). Listening to the whole panel was interesting, because it’s obvious the IDW team is having a lot of fun with all their Turtles projects.
One of the highlights for me of this panel was the last part, where Stan Sakai got to talk about his cross-over project of his Usagi Yojimbo meeting up with the IDW Turtles in a mini-series. I wish my budget would let me get all these things!
After the panel, I lingered a bit to catch a few words with Tom and Erik. This gave me the opportunity to meet Erik’s frequent partner in comics mischief, artist Dan Schoening.
After that I hobbled my way from Room 24 across Sails Pavilion (and picked up the full Programming Schedule on the way). I got myself a Mrs. Fields cookie and some Gatorade and made my way into the Pro Lounge in Room 10. After the last several years of the Pro Lounge being in Room 32 (Siberia, I called it), it was good to have it in reach of the programming I mostly attend.
I relaxed a bit. The Pro Lounge was chock full of folks. I briefly saw Barbara Randall Kesel and she came over and greeted me. She said she was there to get some ice.
The next thing on my schedule was also planted in the meeting room next door to the Pro Lounge. In Room 11, J. Michael Straczynski was doing another of his Q&As for writers. I’ve seen him do this several times in the past, and Joe is always interesting. He seriously wants to help and encourage writers who are serious about learning the business and polishing their craft.
After the hour with JMS, I went down to the Exhibit Hall. My knees were not very happy with this expedition, but I was determined to check out a few things. On the way to the DC booth, I checked out a couple of things in the Sideshow Collectibles display. One large sculpt that caught my attention.
I definitely had to get a picture of the Bane sculpture, just in case my friend (and Bane’s co-creator) Chuck Dixon wasn’t aware of its pending release. The little tag indicates that it will be priced at $699 – with an October 2018 release date.
Another sculpture that caught my eye was one of Wonder Woman, based on the movie version of the superhero.
The DC booth has in recent years just become an exhibit space. One no longer finds editors, writers, and artists hanging out in it any more. I sort of miss the old days. So I moved on from the display space. I wanted to head down to Artists Alley to say “Hi” to a couple of friends. My knees were really unhappy by this time, and I was regretting that I’d forgotten the Aleve (I’d left it in the car, unfortunately).
As I made my way down to Artists Alley, I encountered a woman in a fabulous outfit. In the style of a medieval dress with a fitted bodice, it was made of swag bags from previous years. I asked her how many bags it took, and she said she really didn’t know. She had a large collection of them, and when she got the idea for the outfit, she just started cutting.
I stopped to greet Sue Dawe and find out how she was doing. Her lovely fantasy artwork still catches the attention of fans, so I didn’t linger too long. Since the artists don’t have much table space, I didn’t want to crowd out potential customers for her. I moved on to say “Hi” to Sergio Cariello. In recent years, Sergio has done a lot of work connected to his Action Bible art, so that’s what he brings to Comic Con. It was good to chat with him, even briefly.
After all this, the afternoon was winding down. My knees were very stiff, so I figured I might as well head back to the car. I was going to have to make the long drive back, working with a lot of fatigue. I didn’t have the budget to snag a motel room somewhere on the road, so I didn’t want to be starting the trip late in the day.
So… I boarded the trolley with other weary attendees (noticing a cosplay Professor McGonagall with a cluster of Gryffindor students on the platform), and got to Qualcomm. I sat on a bench there for a bit, before heading to my car. Once I got my feet in, I was on my way. I stopped in San Clemente and had dinner. I figured I was going to need more than snack food to sustain me on the long drive ahead of me. It took a lot of focus for me to make it all the way without falling asleep at the wheel, but I did it.
And so ended my most recent venture to the San Diego Comic Con. I had a good day, aside from the stiff knees.
Oh yes, I forgot: once again I didn’t get in the swing of taking pictures of the cosplayers. I did take a picture of Professor McGonagall – but it’s blurred out by sunlight. I need to practice. However, here’s short list of some of the cosplayers seen:
Beetlejuice doing a conga dance with a Harley Quinn and some others.
The Door to 221B Baker Street (yes, the door itself! Heh)
A father and his (I’m guessing ) 4 or 5 year old son, both as Sonic the Hedgehog
A Gandalf sans robe (ie, just a really long beard while wearing briefs)
A very fine version of the movie Wonder Woman
Gamora with Star Lord
Someone cosplaying as Kevin Smith
Lots of Game of Thrones cosplay (I don’t know the characters well enough to distinguish)
and one guy who had the top of the Black Tower with the Eye of Sauron (Peter Jackson version) sticking out of his back pack.