»Skip to the photos if you’re so inclined.
There was a very strong comic book focus to the con, maybe not so much as at Long Beach, but all the major comics publishers were there, plus many of the minor ones. I was surprised to find webcomics wrapped around the large-press area and not hidden off in a corner. The small press and Artist’s Alley areas were huge (especially when compared to Wizard’s Comic Con in the same hall two years ago). And there were comic book dealers all over the place.
*They’d like to return to San Francisco after Moscone Center’s renovations are done, but that’s still up in the air.
Around the Con
Sunday was very different, because we brought our son along. Having a toddler with you really changes what you can do, how quickly you can get around, etc. (We also got in later, which meant parking waaay out at Angel Stadium and taking a shuttle in. Fortunately the shuttles were fast and frequent.) Crowd weaving with a stroller is a lot more difficult even than crowd weaving with a giant backpack. We were only there for about four hours, and mostly spent the time exploring. I don’t think he really understood what was going on, but he had a good time people-watching, and playing with demo toys, and I made sure to find him a place out of the way that he could run around.
Signings, Swag and Encounters
I talked for a while with Randy Milholland of Something*Positive, and while I wasn’t planning on buying any original art, I figured I’d take a look, and stumbled upon a piece that inspired a running gag here. Then he told me the real story of the childhood event that inspired the storyline. Somewhere in here, the real T-Bob showed up, and he and Randy caught up while I continued looking through the art.
I got Naomi Novik to sign the latest Temeraire novel, Crucible of Gold and Ernest Cline to sign the audiobook of Ready Player One. (I’d read the book on the Kindle, and discovered that morning that Wil Wheaton reads the audio version. Apparently they’d been trading recommendations for quite some time, informally, and Wil was quite pleased to get to do the audio version. He didn’t pre-read the book, so he didn’t know he was in it until about the page before, and still managed to read it “like a boss.”) Humberto Ramos signed my copy of Impulse #1 (previously signed by Mark Waid), and I caught up with Fiona Staples for Saga, and Joe Benitez for Lady Mechanika. I talked briefly with Flash co-writer/artist Brian Buccellato, and intended to head back to his Artist’s Alley table later, but somehow never quite made it.
I caught the Superman vs. the Elite screening on Friday. Since it was Friday, I had no trouble getting in, and getting a really nice view of the second row of screens. It moves the premise from Action Comics #775 to a more political stage, and while there are problematic elements, and the animation style takes getting used to, my favorite part of the movie was the interplay between Lois and Clark.
In general, I’ve found that if I have to choose between an announcement and a discussion, I’ll go for the discussion. (The announcements will be online by the end of the hour anyway.) I did check out the Hobbit panel, which turned out to be less preview and more “What we know so far…” from The One Ring.net, and the Friday DC Comics & Vertigo panels. I got some good quotes, but not much information out of the DC panel, while Vertigo has me seriously considering checking out American Vampire.
A couple of audience surveys at the DC panel: Only about 1/5 of the audience raised its hands when asked whether they read comics online. And it was sad that only a handful recognized China Miéville’s name.
More fun were the Saturday panels on Rewriting History and the Science Behind Science-Fiction.
Rewriting History featured Naomi Novik (Temeraire), Ernest Cline (Ready Player One), Rob Reid (co-founder of Rhapsody, with a sci-fi novel coming out called Year Zero) and — when he finally made it through the parking mess — Todd McCaffrey (the more recent Dragonriders of Pern novels).
One of them told us about the time he was almost bitten by a radioactive spider, and how just for a moment, he actually considered letting it bite him.
“Are you clamoring for a Canterbury Cricket series?” “I am.” “Oh, you’re the one…” – DC All Access on Friday
“Is intertwinededness an actual word?” “It is now, I’ve got the podium.” – DC All Access again
“Is that Thorin, or Gowron?” – The One Ring/The Hobbit on Friday
“A hipster will wear a Captain Picard shirt and say, ‘Look how dumb this shirt is.’ If I wear one, it’s because I want some mofo to make it so!” — The Nerdist, Friday
“Why doesn’t Batman talk about his feelings more?” — CAC #7, Female Superheroes and Trauma, Saturday
“Who would do this to their dying friend?” — Ernest Cline, re: taking someone to see Star Wars: Episode I, Saturday
“If you don’t know who Boba Fett is, your opinion is invalid.” — Ernest Cline, Saturday
But Wait! There’s More!
See Also: Convention Photos & Write-Ups