Wednesday night is Preview Night at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, and it’s intended as a little extra time for people with four-day passes to get in and walk around the booths early before the crowds hit. Though as you can see from the photo above, there are certainly plenty of people already. This year Dave Banks and I have the privilege of attending Comic-Con, so we’ll be sharing a little bit about our experiences there. Be sure to follow Dave on Twitter, particularly so you can get hints about his whereabouts for the Puzzle of the Week. I found him, but he said I didn’t say the secret phrase, so the ThinkGeek gift certificate is still up for grabs.
When you arrive at Comic-Con, you get a program guide, a souvenir book, and a bag to carry all your swag. It’s been five years since I first attended Comic-Con, and the bag has gotten a lot bigger. Those green Warner Brothers straps you see on some of the attendees in the photo are the straps for the bag. (And if you look in the lower right area, you can see two of the bags, sort of blue-ish.) They’re huge, almost waist-high. I could probably comfortably fit both of my kids in one. I decided to fold mine up and stuff it into my messenger bag. Tomorrow I’ll bring something mid-sized, larger than the messenger bag (which fills up too quickly) but not so big that I couldn’t actually carry it when filled.
It’s hard to highlight every single thing that I saw, even just in the three hours I was there tonight. I met several authors and artists of books that I’ve read, got a doodle in my sketchpad from Penny Arcade’s “Gabe,” picked up a few books, and collected a few autographs. (Here’s my convention tip: if you don’t want to haul all your comic books around to get them signed, bring a stack of blank labels—I use the classic “Hello my name is” stickers—and have the artists sign those, and then take them home and stick them in your books!)
I’ve posted a few photos into the GeekDad Flickr account and will try to add more as the convention continues. But here’s two highlights that I thought were worth a mention. Patrick Scullin (pictured at right with a lovely Galactus headgear) has been drawing a web comic since 2008: Super Siblings, which he bills as an “all-ages comic strip for geeks with kids.” Sounds like a good fit, right? What really caught my attention, though, was that he also had some comics drawn by his two sons, ages 12 and 8. Patrick said they worked hard to get them done in time for Comic-Con, and I thought that was a great idea to let his kids be involved as exhibitors in their own way.
And the other highlight was Steam Crow, and indie publisher run by the husband-and-wife team of Daniel and Dawna Davis. When their son (now 8) was born, they decided to work on some monster-themed books, among other things. Daniel also draws a web comic, Monster Commute, and Dawna creates fantastic monster handbags (with little matching monster wallets inside). I’d met Daniel via Twitter so it was fun to meet him face-to-face and admire his impeccably-groomed mustache. Later on I’ll tell you more about their books, which include monster haiku, monster ABCs, and a grim fairy tale about a little girl who goes on a quest to retrieve a stolen eye.
Stay tuned for more Comic-Con stories! Tomorrow’s dilemma: do I stand in line an hour (or more?) early for a half-hour panel and glimpse of TRON: Legacy? Will I even get in the door? Or perhaps I’ll walk the exhibit hall some more, or attend a panel about Jeff Smith. So many choices!