Last week was San Diego Comic Con, and as ever, Kieron and I had a table at the Image booth. After taking the train down with Katie West, we checked into our hotel (the brand new Hilton Bayfront, right next to the Convention Centre) and then got ready for Preview Night. Once accessible only to pros and exhibitors, it is now open to all and is often just as hectic as the rest of the show. Luckily, this year we had Matthew Sheret onhand as our helper monkey (or "booth babe" as he liked to refer to himself), as he was selling the Phonogram fanzine he had curated. The fanzine seemed to go down a storm with our fans, which is great. After that we made our sole visit to Fred's Mexican Cafe for margaritas and tacos.
Con week tends to blur into one huge thing for me so I can't remember which events happened on which day a lot of the time, so some of this may be in the wrong order.
Thursday was the first full day, and was super hectic. A lot of the week-pass attendees seem to do most of their shopping on the Thursday, so we were on our feet the whole time. I think this was the day where we first met author/troublemaker Caitlin Kittredge? She ended up spending a good chunk of the weekend keeping us company at the table. It was also the day of the Longbox panel, where we explained the potential benefits of the app to the packed audience. The new demo looks very impressive, with new features added since we saw it in New York.
Oh - I should make a mention of the impressive dedication of Twilight fans. There was a panel showing the new trailer (and I think the cast were there) on the Thursday afternoon. Some of the fans were camping outside the con for up to two days before the show so they could get in.
I've heard of some comics fans complaining about how "Twilight fans ruined Comic Con" which is bullshit. Any and all expansion of the attendee base - *especially* female - should be encouraged. So they're in a different fandom to you? Who cares? What I will say is that the organisation for the Twilight stuff was very badly organised. As panel rooms are not cleared out between panels, the Twilight fans got into the very first panel of the day and stayed there until the Twilight one, so that they could have their spaces. As such the earlier panels in the day did not have an audience who cared about them. The best thing to do would have been put the Twilight panel on first.
Thursday night was spent having dinner with a group of friends who then went back to Ed Brubaker's hotel for a relaxed evening on the balcony/roof. Ed's wife is lovely, in keeping with the tradition of comics people having much better significant others than we deserve.
Friday, as per usual, was a little quieter - the calm before the storm of Saturday. Friday night we had a lovely seafood dinner with Bryan O'Malley, Hope Larson and Becky Cloonan. Speaking of Bryan, it was pretty great to see a giant poster for the Scott Pilgrim movie hanging in the con hall. Friday was also the day that Wil Wheaton came by the con, so we got to have a quick catch up. Wil brought along his son Ryan, who seems like a great guy (but wouldn't you be, if Wil was your dad?).
Saturday was another crazy day, meeting lots of fans and signing, selling and sketching. I think it was Saturday where I was asked to sketch "whatever makes me happy". After some thought I settled on this. Sorry, Kieron. Amber Benson stopped by the booth to give me the medication I'd left at her house when I stayed on Tuesday. She had a few panels relating to her new book, which seems to be doing very well. Following the show we had a quiet dinner at a Mexican place before picking Amber up from her signing at Borders and taking her over to the bar to have a coffee before her drive home.
Sunday, things began to wind down as they do, which gave us our first chance to wander around. As such I managed to acquire a page of Kill Your Boyfriend from the ever-excellent Philip Bond. KYB is Kieron's favourite comic, so I showed him the page.
"Does he have any more pages left?"
"Where is he?"
"I'll be back in a minute."
Sunday night we had dinner with Fraction, Joanne, Marc, Katie, Chrissy, and Sheret before heading to the hotel for a relatively quiet drinking session, joined by Brian Wood and a couple of others. Rick Remender sadly showed his face at this point.
After a Monday morning breakfast with Becky Cloonan, Katie and I took the train back up to LA. As a last minute plan we ended up having a wonderful dinner with Wil, Amber and her boyfriend Adam, and Chad Michael Ward. It was a pretty perfect end to the trip, although I still have "In The Summertime" in my head (thanks Chad!).