Sunday, August 03, 2008

SDCC08: final thoughts

Final thoughts on this year's Comic Con.

  • This guy wore a pedometer to count the number of steps he walked at the convention. He recorded over 36 miles of walking from Preview Night on Wednesday to the close of the con on Sunday. I can totally believe it. (via Comics Reporter)

  • Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog made an appearance (at the NBC panel, maybe?). Here's the clip from the Conan O'Brien show. (via Mark Evanier)

  • I whipped up a business card for the site on Powerpoint, had a sheet of them printed out on cardstock at my local Kinko's, then cut the sheets by hand into card-size chunks. Between what I handed out and what people took from the Legion World table, I probably gave out over 100 cards. Welcome, new readers, and if you're new, please leave a comment!

  • I was pleasantly surprised by people who recognized me from my name, picture (the Simpson-ized one at the upper left), or the Omnicom logo I created for my badge holder. Many people said they read this site regularly, so thanks to all of you who said hi.

  • I talked to Paul Levitz at the DC booth early in the con. I told him that when I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up (I almost made it). When astronauts go into space, they get what's called a "personal preference kit" in which they can bring up souvenirs and stuff. I told Paul that if I ever made it into space, I'd bring my Legion flight ring, and have one of my fellow astronauts take a picture of me wearing it. That would disprove the label on the original box that said "warning, ring does not enable wearer to fly".

  • When I gave him my card, Paul said he recognized the name and that he pops in here from time to time. Score!

  • One of the nice things about conventions is the opportunity to get free sketches from artists, something quick as opposed to a detailed commission. Keith Giffen was drawing Ambush Bug but said he'd draw anyone they wanted. I asked him to draw Karate Kid, and he looked at me seriously and said "no", but then asked if he could do it however he wanted, even if that meant Karate Kid's hand reaching from the grave. I said however he wanted to do it. So he gave me Ambush Bug in Karate Kid's outfit. Robert Loren Fleming did the dialog.

  • At his panel, Geoff Johns said that if DC ever put out a new "Who's Who in the Legion" that he wanted to draw Sun Boy. So when he was at a signing at the DC booth, I asked him to draw Sun Boy. I think he should keep his day job.

  • I've been to 8 cons since my first one in 1995. What makes it fun is hanging out with all of my online buddies (first Compuserve, then Usenet's rec.arts.comics.*, now message boards and blogs) and meeting them for the first time.

  • I even got to meet Bully, who gave me a couple pins for recognizing him (how could you not recognize a stuffed bull in a Batman costume?).

  • Hat's off to the Legion World guys and gals for their showing this year, they bought a booth in the fan area. Hope everyone got to see them.

  • I signed up for a Twitter account shortly before the con, thinking I might be able to tweet from the panels, seeing as how we had free wi-fi. But I took notes and text-messaged posts here, so I'm not sure how much use you at home found it. Still, I picked up 18 followers. I'll probably keep it going, if only to use it to announce new posts here.

  • As you probably know, the cover to this year's con program was a reprint of Alex Ross's Legion litho from a few years ago. I took the opportunity to have as many of the Legion creators who were there as I could find to sign the book. I got Keith Giffen, Jeff Moy, Chris Batista, Neal Adams, Jim Starlin, Adam Hughes, Tom & Mary Bierbaum, Mike Grell, Colleen Doran, Paul Levitz and Geoff Johns to sign it. I missed out on Joe Staton, Mark Waid, and Karen Berger.

  • Also pleasantly surprised that Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, and Mike Grell recognized me by name or sight.

  • Big disappointment - there was no LSH stuff being given away at the DC booth, not even the pins that they've handed out in years past, or some sort of promotional poster. It would have been nice, seeing as how the Legion was on the cover of the convention book and it was one of the themes of the con.

  • A lot of people stopped me and asked where I got my Legion pin and my Watchmen pin. I told them that the Legion pin was an old one, but the Watchmen pin was just a generic smiley face button with a red Sharpie marking it up. DC had no Watchmen promotional material either, missing an opportunity since by this time next year the movie will have already come out 4 months earlier and they'll be talking about the DVD for Thanksgiving.

  • Lots of viral marketing stunts. HBO's "True Blood" went all out, sponsoring banners inside the convention center and stuff outside as well, including happy hours at some of the bars in the Gaslamp District, giving out a free pint of beer with a logo glass, free t-shirts and comics, and branded coasters and napkins. "Fringe" had some stuff going on too, including a "follow the clues" thing that ended up in a preview of the pilot episode (and for some reason, one of the clues was a parking lot full of cows. No, really.). The remake of the "Prisoner" show also had a booth, website, and skywriting.

  • Too bad that some panels that I wanted to see were too crowded, especially the media ones. But I did get shut out of the first DC Nation one, too. Lots of people are talking about what to do but when you've got 140,000 people and you've maxed out your space, there's not much that can be done. You either wait in line for an hour or more, missing some other stuff, or you miss the panel you wanted to see live and wait to read the recap or watch the video on YouTube later.

  • I talked with Chris Batista in Artist's Alley. I had no idea he was such a big fan of the Legion, both before and after his run on the book. We made tentative plans to set up an interview so hopefully you'll read something here in a little while. I bought a really cool page from him from the Foundations storyline. He also told me that he's working on an Animal Man miniseries with Gerry Conway, who's been off doing TV stuff for a while.

  • If you can't make a stop at Ralph's Supermarket on the way, I highly recommend the Cine Cafe in the Gaslamp. It's only about 2 blocks away from the convention center. Prices are a little higher than you'd seen a supermarket (typical convenience store markup) but they make fresh sandwiches. Each morning before I entered the con I stopped there for a sandwich and chips to take with me. Much better than convention center food and much cheaper.

  • Very impressed with the costumes this year, though I did not see a single Slave Leia. Here are all my photos.

  • Huge thanks to Angus MacLennan at the WizKids booth, who brought me a bunch of Legionnaire Heroclix figures.

  • I didn't hear anything about Jim Shooter allegedly leaving the Legion book, though everyone was coy about what was coming after L3W. Didn't hear anyone talking about the Superboy/Superman lawsuit, either.

  • At the Pro/Fan Trivia contest (podcast here), I was disappointed that Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek were not able to make it, I really wanted to see them go head to head with Tom Galloway on Legion trivia. What made up for it was that Tom wasn't able to correctly answer some of the questions that I submitted (all of which came from my previous trivia quizzes here).

  • I'll believe Mattel's Legion figures are real when I see them in person.

  • Finally, Ali Kokmen (whose name I remember from Usenet years ago) wraps up the con with a speech that only Shakespeare could have written. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..."


Tom Galloway said...

Yep, I've been utilizing CineCafe for at least a decade now. Also worthy of note; The Tin Fish, located between the Convention Center and the Hard Rock next to the fountains. Good, reasonably priced, fried seafood. Since they opened, I've usually eaten there 2-3 times during the con.

And if you're up near Horton Plaza on the Ralph's side, Beach City Deli, conveniently located right on the street (i.e. no dealing with the "Escher Mall" aspects of Horton), has an excellent selection of drinks, does good sandwiches, smoothies, salads, etc.

Hal Shipman said...

Not all of your questions came from the quiz - I used several that you had emailed as well. I'll email you the question sheets.

Hal Shipman said...

Oh, sorry, realized I'd misread. I used questions you had submitted by email as well as pulling some from past quizzes here. I didn't recognize the emailed ones from previous quizzes, but it makes sense.

Mike A. said...


I had stopped by the DC Direct booth to specifically ask the (to us here, I would think) age-old question "where's the love for the Legion?" I mentioned that with this being the 50th Anniversary that I would have thought SOMETHING would have been done (a poster reprint, a re-release of the flight rings, anything) and was told, somewhat cluelessly, "oh, well, if it's the 50th, then maybe they'll do something"

I think that if it hasn't been announced yet, DC Direct has sort of missed their 2008 window.

Anonymous said...

Caught a mistake listening to the podcast of the trivia contest! Due to a post-Great Darkness retcon, Cosmic Boy was the first Earth-born Legionnaire.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious that you asked Giffen to draw Karate Kid :lol