WonderCon | Random thoughts on day one

• I arrived in San Francisco a little after 11 a.m. and walked over to the Moscone Center. The press line, as always, was efficiently handled, so I grabbed my pass in no time flat and went downstairs to see if I could get on the floor. It wasn't open yet, and there was a big line of folks wrapping through the cavernous Hall 100, where they typically host the big movie and TV panels every year.

• I had lunch plans at noon with David Brothers and Esther Inglis-Arkell from the 4thletter, and Jeff Lester from Savage Critics, other various Internet sites and Cthulhu Tales #12. We solved all the problems of life, the comics industry and the blogosphere during our discussions, but unfortunately that was more than 12 hours ago so I couldn't tell you what the solutions are. I do remember having a really great cheeseburger, though.

• After lunch, headed back to the Moscone Center and hit the floor. I visited the Image booth first, as I needed to grab some artwork for my panel report I'd be doing later in the day. Ivan Brandon was at the booth with a preview of his new book with artist Nic Klein, Viking. The preview art looked pretty spectacular. It's a crime fiction tale set in the era of Vikings, so, as Brandon put it, you have their version of the mob stealing boats of pelts instead of Tony Soprano's cousin stealing a truckload of electronics. I'm definitely adding this one to my list.

• So, what were the crowds like? Honestly, I think today's going to be the better gauge for crowds. I remember Friday being fairly low key last year, then showing up on Saturday and being blown away by the number of folks who were there. The line waiting to get onto the floor seemed pretty large, but walking through the floor it didn't feel that crowded. But that's also the nice thing about Friday at WonderCon; you can move through the aisles and talk to people without feeling the convention crush. Today's also big media day, with the Watchmen and Star Trek panels, so we'll see what it's like.

• BOOM! seemed to be moving quite a few of their holofoil Farscape covers. Image was selling their variant cover for Savage Dragon and that seemed popular as well. Here it is:

• Panel wise, I sat through some of the Black Panther panel, where they talked about the comic and the upcoming BET cartoon, as the Image panel I was covering was up after it. The cartoon is probably something I'll add to my TiVo, if for no other reason than to see John Romita Jr.'s artwork in animated form.

• During the Image panel my fellow contributor Carla and her husband Lance found me. You may recall that last November both were seriously burnt in the Tea Fire down in Santa Barbara. I was amazed that they were able to travel down for the show, then I remembered the Star Trek panel on Saturday ... I don't think anything would keep Carla away from that. Although there are two more days left, I don't think any moment at the con will top seeing them again. I ended up having dinner with them and David Brothers, and, unsurprisingly to anyone who knows David and Carla, there was a lot of Marvel Comics talk at the table.

• Odd moment: someone at the Image panel asked Erik Larsen about the Spider-Man game for N64. Apparently there was a screen where you could go to type in cheat codes, and if you typed in cuss words (which I'm sure no kids ever did), Spider-Man would pop up on the screen and punch the word. And apparently if you typed in the word "Larsen," Spider-Man would pop up on the screen and punch the word. Does anyone remember this? Someone else in the audience verified it as well.

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