PIPELINE DAILY RETURNS NEXT WEEK
The final topic lineup hasn't been finalized yet, but you should be able to look forward to advanced reviews of some comics, a special column on G.I. JOE, a look through the latest PREVIEWS, and the long-delayed UNBREAKABLE DVD review. Along the way, there will be comics reviews and maybe even the return of the one-liners.
So make sure to stop back here on Monday and every weekday next week to see what's happening.
SAN DIEGO PHOTO WRAP UP
The con center, itself, is just outside the gateway to the Gaslamp District. One of these years, I'll get there early enough to take one of the tours and get all the great stories for you of the area and why it's called that and all the rest.
About a block behind our hotel, which was right across the street from the convention center, is a new piece of construction. When it's done, it'll be the new home for the San Diego Padres. As a baseball fan, I geeked out at the view from the hotel room, which overlooked the new construction. It's really weird to think that there was some older building there last year. Now it's the rough outline of a baseball stadium.
I just hope there aren't any home games when the con is in town next year. That'll be an awful lot of people in one small area. On the other hand, if there is, I think it would be really cool to hit a game at night or to just hear the noise from the game from anywhere else in town.
(Update: Just read more on the web site. It seems construction has been halted due to funding issues. Anyone in the area have any updates on this? Will the park ever be built? The plans for it sound great. It would be horrible to see it go to waste.)
And we'll start with the convention center itself. It grew this year from 250,000 square feet to 300,000. What you see in this picture is the part of the con center that was filled with comics. To the left – out of frame – is a whole second, but connected, convention center. That's still being constructed, but will eventually double the size of the center. Will Comic-Con International grow to fill up all that space? Somehow I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.
Ah, the traditional overhead shots. This is taken from about the midpoint of the con floor. On the second floor there's a little seating area with two vendors selling overpriced pizza and sandwiches. This is where you can look out over the con floor at the bustle of activity. I took these pictures early one morning, so it's not nearly as busy as it got.
This is also the same spot you may have seen on the Late Show with David Letterman this past Monday night.
This is the view from the far end of artist's alley. This is all the new section of the con. It's the area where Top Cow had their huge booth and Hollywood reined – with the Batmobile, the Time Machine, and He-Man all being over to the right, but out of sight, on this picture.
One of the first stops I made in Artists Alley was at the table of to two of my perennial favorites at the con, the Gearys. Artist Rick and his wife, Deborah, are always so incredibly nice. It's a pleasure to talk to them and pick up something new to read. Last year, I picked up a copy of his Jack The Ripper book. This year, I went for THE FATAL BULLET, the story of the assassination of James A. Garfield, and THE MYSTERY OF MARY ROGERS, which inspired Poe to write a "sensational tale."
All of these books are published by NBM, whose books I've really been getting into lately. Over at their booth this year, I also bought copies of the latest BONEYARD (reviewed last Friday) and N. Kanan's LOST GIRL, which will no doubt get reviewed eventually here.
Scott Kolins is the artist of DC's THE FLASH, a book that is undergoing a creative rebirth right now, with Kolins behind the pencil and Geoff Johns behind the keyboard. Kolins did a nice FLASH sketch for me and showed off some insanely detailed art coming up in recent issues. Can't recommend that book highly enough these days.
Albert Pena draws a comic book called ORVILLE. It's the story of a squirrel who only wishes he could fly. I have a weakness for squirrels, having grown up with them on the back porch of the house. When I saw ORVILLE on display, I rushed over to pick up the books. Only three issues are out right now, but future issues will be available through Diamond from Acorn Comics. The issues are slow to come out, due mostly to financial concerns. The character is really cute, though, and you can see Pena in this picture displaying the sketch he did for me in my sketchbook of the title character.
Down amidst the activities on the con floor by the major publishers, John Kovalic was celebrating the release of THE BEST OF DORK TOWER. It's a 32-page comic reprinting some of the stories and gags from early issues of the on-going DORK TOWER comic book. Because the comic was packaged with one of the major gaming magazines, SCRYE, it also (technically) belongs in the top 10 list for comics circulation for the month. Since the Diamond list doesn't take into account copies of a comic distributed outside of its own distribution system, you won't see this book listed amongst GREEN ARROW and all the Marvel Comics. I just thought it was important to point out that the book has a circulation of roughly 75,000 copies and will probably be read by more people than 90% of comics put out this month.
The Saturday panel at which the IMAGE COMICS hardcover book was announced had (from left to right) Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, and Jim Valentino in attendance. Generally speaking, it was a light-hearted affair, with plenty of jokes made at Erik Larsen's expense for sticking his head in the ground and doing DRAGON continuously for ten years. (That seemed a little weird to me, but I might be a bit biased.)
This is where they announced the 10th anniversary IMAGE COMICS hardcover.
Hourglass Studios had a terrific display of their statues, including this prototype for the upcoming Savage Dragon "nodder" (think bobble head) statue. I've never bought a statue. Don't have the place to display them, and would rather spend the extra money on original art or more comics.
This statue is just cool-looking enough that I may make my first purchase.
ONE FINAL SAN DIEGO RECAP
DAY 0 reviews what I read in the airplane on the way to San Diego: SKY APE and Ed Brubaker's A COMPLETE LOWLIFE. There's also the first installment of what eventually turned out to be an on-going series of rants against America West Airlines.
DAY 1 is Thursday at the con, including first impressions of the convention and reviews of DOUBLE IMAGE #5 and SLOW NEWS DAY #1.
DAY 2 mistakenly reviews SLOW NEWS DAY #1 again, but also talks about The Eisner Awards, costumed attendees, Scott Kollins and THE FLASH, and more.
DAY 3 kicks off Saturday's highlights with Scott Shaw!'s Oddball Comics panel, segues into a conversation with CrossGen founder Marc Alessi, The Image Founding Fathers panel, and some rapid-fire name-dropping.
DAY 4 wraps up the weekend with the review of BONEYARD #3 that should have been in a previous column, more woes on America West, and the mad dash to fill my sketchbook with special help from Andi Watson, the TELLOS gang of artists, Stan Sakai, Michael Avon Oeming, and more.
More than 225 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They're sorted chronologically. The first 100 columns are still available at the Original Pipeline page, a horrifically coded piece of HTML.
I'm also tentatively scheduled for a day at the Small Press Expo in Maryland this September.