After five full days here in San Diego, I am now fully reminded of what I love and hate about Comic-Con.
Definitely the coolest costume I saw at the con
I love the chance to meet artists and writers from basically every genre, see new and exciting projects and work, visit with old friends, meet new ones, attend panels and seminars that are informative and enjoyable, and most of all oogle and a mind-numbing amount of really cool toys and stuff.
I hate the crowds, the lines and especially… strollers.
I split my time this year between the booths of the National Cartoonists Society, the ToonSeum of Pittsburgh, DC Comics and a last minute “Super Capers” booth. It was great and I really appreciated those folks allowing me to set up and sign stuff, do some drawing, and even sell an occasional page of original MAD art. If I come next year, however, I will have to try and get a booth of my own if I can… it’s just too chaotic to drag my stuff hither and thither through that tumult. Besides, I plan on having my long delayed book on drawing caricatures done in time for the Comic-Con, so that gives me a good reason to have plenty of space. Note the underlined emphasis… I just gave myself a deadline.
The highlight for me was getting to walk around with my son Tom, introduce him to everybody and share in a little of the “COOL!” moments when we’d turn and corner and see some life-size prop of Iron Man or something equally awesome.
Tom at the Ultimate Alliance 2 Video Game Preview
Tom spent a lot more time in panels and such while I was busy signing MADs or whatever. His favorite panel was the Iron Man 2 sneak preview, for which he waited in line for two hours. His favorite thing about the new trailer? “War Machine… he was bad-ass!”
Not exactly War Machine, but cool…
It was also great to see so many artists I know from either the NCS, the International Society of Caricature Artists (ISCA) or just from “the business”.
Big group of cartoonists out for dinner. From bottom left clockwise: Cagle.com’s
Daryl Cagle, Jenny Robb from the Ohio State Cartoon Library, Omaha Herald
editorial cartoonist Jeff Koterba, “Bonanas” and MAD strip cartoonist John Kovaleski,
“The Flying McCoys” cartoonist Glenn McCoy, Illustrator/cartoonist Sean Parkes,
caricaturist and voice actor Piotr Walczuk, animator/cartoonist Rich Moyer, “The Family Circus” cartoonist Jeff Keane, Number One Son Tom, Me, cartoonist Susie Cagle.
As for the bad… let’s just say the SDCC would be the greatest event ever if it was exactly as it is but with half the people there. It really is sometimes impossible to simply walk twenty yards down the floor hall. The only crowds I’ve ever seen to compare to it was at the 1996 Olympics in downtown Atlanta. You need to mentally prepare yourself to accept the reality of 126,000 people crammed into one building and exercise the patience required to handle this. Sometimes that isn’t easy.
Finally, here’s my rant on strollers: We all know wheelchairs are a necessity for people who cannot move about on their own, and every possible accommodation must be made for attendees who are in wheelchairs. Strollers, however, are a convenience and should not be allowed in the convention center. Seriously. If you have a kid who is so young he or she requires a stroller in order to get through the day DON’T BRING THEM TO COMIC-CON!! Those things are a major hazard to life and limb in that crush of people. This coming from a man with four children who has pushed strollers an estimated 450 million miles… but never at Comic-Con. Wouldn’t dream of it.
Otherwise SDCC is something every comic book fan needs to experience once in their lives.
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926 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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