THE SDCC EXPERIENCE 2009

Just back from San Diego and five days at Comic-Con International. As always, there was fun to be had, although I’m never sure if I would have had more fun spending the same money on a real vacation somewhere else.

The show started out on Wednesday night with Preview Night, giving me a few hours on the convention floor to check out the layout, followed by dinner at the Bayfront Hilton beside the Convention Center. I had two friends staying there and they were very happy with the laidback quiet atmosphere. Meanwhile, I was staying at party central at the Hard Rock Hotel (which at night had crowds outside begging to get into the parties inside) and wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

Thursday I learned an important lesson. If you’re really interested in going to a panel, you need to get in line more than ten minutes before it starts. Thus I missed the “Burn Notice” panel, which I might have minded if star Jeffrey Donovan was scheduled to appear. Sadly, that meant I never got one of the cool “Burn Notice” bags people were walking around with.

But it did mean I got into the only panel that really mattered to me (and no, I’m not talking about “Twilight: New Moon”!). Friday morning, I rolled out of my sleeping bag at 7:30 and was in line for the final “Lost” panel of Comic-Con by 8:30. The time went by fast considering the panel was starting at 11:00 and it was worth every second of waiting. Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof went all out, spicing up the proceedings with plenty of specially made videos and live guest appearances. You can see it all at docartz.com, so check it out. Just as exciting was the afternoon panel for “Totally Lost,” hosted by Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Jensen and Dan Snierson. I was sitting near the door and every time someone opened it, I couldn’t hear what was being said. I was getting a little peeved, when suddenly right beside me, I heard someone yell out, “What are you doing?” It was Carlton and Damon making a surprise appearance to kidnap co-producer Greg Nations before he could give up any secrets about the show. That was soon topped by acting genius Michael Emerson walking right by me to go up to the dais to answer questions for ten minutes. Sadly, they ran out of time before I got to ask a question. I also loved seeing the display of “Lost” props on the main convention floor. They had everything, and it will all be auctioned off next year.

Those were the only two panels I attended though. Still I found plenty to do, constantly scouring the DC and Marvel booths as well as Artist’s Alley for comic stars to sign my various books and draw some sketches. I especially appreciated Jill Thompson’s take on her signature character Scary Godmother, “Air” artist M.K. Perker’s detailed rendering of a demon and Ryan Kelly’s head sketch of a character from “The New York Four.” Final total: 13 free sketches and 67 new autographs. Sadly, I just didn’t think it was worth it to pay Adam West $ 40 to autograph my “Greatest Batman Stories” book after 46 people had already signed it for free…

Made it to EW’s TV columnist Michael Ausiello’s meet and greet party on Thursday night (he says he gets the most mail about “Grey’s Anatomy”), although I didn’t get into any other big parties or screenings, including a concert by Daughtry that I could see from the window on my floor when I was waiting for the elevator. Probably had the most fun just hanging out in the Hard Rock’s lobby at night, watching the girls go by as well as the stray star, including “Chuck”’s Adam Baldwin and “Buffy”’s Seth Green. Of course, the biggest star sighting was Marvel’s Stan Lee, whose co-creation of such icons as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four put him far in front in importance of any appearances by Johnny Depp or Robert Pattinson in my mind.

I also spent some time at the outdoor carnival “Heroes” sponsored to promote their upcoming season, especially enjoying the free snow cones. Didn’t grab too many promotional items, although I was wowed by a copy of Detective Comics # 854 given to me and autographed by writer Greg Rucka. Beautiful artwork by JH Williams.

So another Comic-Con gone. Time to get reservations and tickets for next year!

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One Response to “THE SDCC EXPERIENCE 2009”

  1. disco King Says:

    Did you see any Three Stooges comic book? I am a collector.

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