Comic-Con 2004: Day 0


Welcome to Day Zero of the San Diego Comic-Con, also known as "Preview Night."

And I'm scared.

It's a frightening convention. "Preview Night" is a misnomer. It's the real first day of the con. While there floor is only open for three hours (5:30 to 8:30) and there are no panels, that doesn't stop the four day pass holders from starting their conventions a little early. The line outside the con hall stretched across the front of the entire convention center. Lines inside for registration ran in circles.

The press registration was a mess. To make a long story short: I got in the wrong Press line. I was moved to another Press line. When I got to the front of that one, they moved me back to the end of the line I was in earlier. That's where I eventually got my press badge, after waiting in line with some of the folks from ICV2.com. I spent nearly an hour in a line, though, to pick up my pass for the weekend.

I stepped onto the con floor and nearly panicked. There was no difference between it tonight, and a normal Friday at the con from the past few years. It's that busy. The prospect of choked hallways on Saturday is enough to set the hairs on the back of my neck standing straight up. Heck, Friday is beginning to scare me.

Didn't see much of the con floor tonight. I stayed between aisles 1100 and 2900. I know there are at least twice as many aisles as that before arriving at the new Hall H, though. I stuck to the area around the publishers' booths. DC and Dark Horse both expanded the size of their booths. Marvel has a table somewhere, but I didn't see it. Fantagraphics dumped their adult area.

Picked up three books from NBM, including another LI'L SANTA title and two of P. Craig Russell's Oscar Wilde fairy tale adaptations. If you stop by there this weekend, though, be careful. They have some bizarre inventory tracking system with the cash register that even they can't figure out. It's early yet. I have faith that they'll work it out.

Visited Todd Nauck, who has a table of his own at the Image pavillion. Flipped through his stack of original artwork, and picked out two nice pages from his YOUNG JUSTICE run. One is the first meeting of Secret and Darkseid. Funny page, and the lettering on the board was a big draw. Being able to read the dialogue on the original art is often what makes it so special.

Caught Scott Mills at the Slave Labor Graphics booth, and picked up the issues of SEAMONSTERS AND SUPERHEROES that I needed. Also flipped through his original art, but resisted the temptation to buy anything more. For now.

Ran into Mark Englert in the aisles. Thanked him for the good work on the Freak Force story in this week's SAVAGE DRAGON. He said it was hard to find photoreference for it, but harder still to keep it a secret for almost a year now.

Scariest booth of the day: eAdultComics.com, which consists of a booth babe you can take your picture with. What boggles my mind is the "e." You're alread a dot-commer web site. Isn't the "e" redundant? Was iAdultComics.com already taken? (Yes, it is. I just checked so you don't have to. Thanks me later.)

Chatted with Larry Young and Mimi Rosenheim, our friends at AiTPlanetLar. Picked up the new ELECTRIC GIRL t-shirt, which has Blammo in a spacesuit on the front. Very cute t-shirt, and available in girls' sizes, too.

Hung out at the Dark Horse booth with Dark Horse internet poobah, Mike Ring. Took a raking for not reviewing enough Dark Horse books. If you start to see STAR WARS books being reviewed in this column, you know that he successfully guilted me into it.

And that's the con so far.

The flight out was relatively non-eventful. I'll give you the full low down on that after the con. Right now, I'm coming up on being awake for a whopping 20 hours straight, so I'm going to lie down.

Tomorrow at the con is Alex Sinclair's computer coloring demo. Right now, that's the only panel I'm definitely going to. Stop back here tomorrow for the low-down on it and more.

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