BOOM! Studios Neil Loughrie is responsible for BOOM!’s booth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, from set-up to managing the workers to tracking inventory. What makes it even more fun, however, is the fact that Neil has never been to the San Diego Comic-Con. Oh man.
I spoke with Neil briefly as he prepares for the event of a lifetime — you never forget your first, do you?
JK: Tell me a little bit about your job at BOOM! — what’s your job description when you aren’t getting ready for a big convention?
Neil: My official title is publishing coordinator, but I know that means different things at different publishers. Basically at BOOM! I handle all of our printing and shipping. As soon as a book is completed by our editorial team, it comes to me, I make sure it gets to the printer and then on to the distributors so the books comes out on the correct date. Want to know when a BOOM! title will be on the shelves? I can answer that. If a comic needs to be somewhere, I am the guy to get it there.
JK: In terms of BOOM!’s San Diego presence, what exactly are you responsible for?
Neil: I have been coordinating all of our logistics leading up to the show. Whether its filling out all of the paperwork, ordering new banners, coordinating our exclusives or gathering stock for the booth, I have a hand in most of it. At the convention, you will find me front and center at the booth. I will be keeping track of everything we are selling and making sure everyone is is where they need to be.
JK: What do you guys have planned at the BOOM! booth this year?
Neil: We have a lot of great stuff planned for the con. We just announced Roger Langridge from The Muppet Show comic book will be exclusively at the BOOM! booth, which fans are really excited about. He’ll be signing a Comic-Con exclusive hardcover of The Muppet Show comic book that is limited to 250 copies and priced at $50. Roger will be doing this in a group with Mark Waid and Alan Porter as we will also have the same type of limited edition hardcovers for The Incredibles and Cars: The Rookie. We also have Keith R.A. DeCandido of Farscape, Michael Alan Nelson of Fall of Cthulhu and Hexed, who will be joining Roger at the BOOM! booth for much of the entire show signing for fans. We also are going to have signings with Rockne S. O’Bannon, the creator of Farscape, and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria with a preview of his new book Kill Audio. It’s going to be pretty eventful.
JK: And is it true that this is your first-ever San Diego Comic-Con?
Neil: Yes. It is oh so very true. I have always wanted to attend the San Diego Con, but it just never happened. Being my first time at San Diego, it feels like I am taking the first step into real comic industry manhood.
JK: What are your expectations for the con, personally and professionally?
Neil: The closer we get to the con, the more I realize that there is no way that the show will not exceed my expectations. I am preparing for the craziest time ever. My gut feeling is that my previous convention experience has in no way prepared me for Comic Con. The only thing I am expecting is a great show, a whole lot of fun at the BOOM! booth!
This wraps up the first half of our San Diego-oriented interviews. I’ll catch back up with both Neils, Johnny and Tony, and Justin after the show, to see how everything went.
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