Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reflections on Comic-Con

So, I went to my first official Comic Con, Dallas Comic Con was last weekend, and it was a surreal experience.  First let me forewarn you readers, this post will be dripping with fan boy rantings, and full of name drops.  That being said, the first rule of Conventions, wear comfy shoes.  A good friend of mine from back home came down for the weekend, not being a comic book fan, but a Star Wars nerd, I was confused as to why he would want to go to a comic book convention.  I realized it was more for the experience and of course to hang out with me (I mean who wouldn't want to hang out with me!).

The big draw for the con was of course Stan "The Man" Lee, who had to cut short his trip and was only available on Saturday, so they set him up special on Friday night, which I did not attend, although Stan has been an invaluable soldier in comic book creation, my goals were on a few other things.  Firstly, my two favorite people in the comic industry, who also happen to be Harding University graduates and from Little Rock, Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser were going to be there and they had a limited edition print that Mitch drew and Bettie colored.  Even cooler I found that it was limited to only 60 copies.  Those who don't know, the smaller the batch run, the more valuable these things are, but I don't care about that, I mean its original, and its limited, auto-buy.  Secondly, I had my three volumes of Batman by Neal Adams hardbacks that I wanted to get signed, which I did, and had them personalized to me, which I was informed made them less valuable, again, those are for me, no one else, so value be damned!  Oh wait, back to Mitch and Bettie, I had Mitch's first official series he did for Marvel, "Drax the Destroyer" 4 issues mini series, which I had him sign, along with Defenders #5 (the best so far, art wise), this was also a collaboration with Bettie, so I got her to sign as well.

Now let me go back a step here, so we got to the Irving Convention Center at 10 am, the show was supposed to open at 11, describing the line is hard, so lets just say it snaked its way from the door, up the stairs, down the stars, along the side of the building and then back to the street and then up the center of the stairs.  I really didn't pay a lot of attention to the time, but it was 1145 before we were inside.  another 75 minutes waiting for Neal Adams.  Then to learn that as I was heading to Kevin Conroy's line (he was the voice of Batman in the animated series in the '90's) only to learn it went all the way around the convention center and was capped, ok over to George Perez's line, oh wait its capped too.  Well lets check out the wares.  Tons of toys, books, comics, a booth selling knives and swords, no thats not dangerous...a booth selling custom leather work, including bracers, superhero masks, etc.  Costumes, yes, nerds do it right, from 7 year olds as Captain america, to a 60+ creepy Riddler (I swear he had free candy!).  We decided to grab some lunch and that took over an hour, then went to the panel room to get ready for Patrick Stewart, we got there an hour before and sat in on Neal Adams, who of course talked about how he was turned down by DC at first and wound up at Archie Comics, and was told all along that the industry would be dead in a year...Tons of stupid questions bounced off him and his son, but the best he answered with and get this he told us it was a lie.  "Who is your favorite character to draw?"  the truth is all of them, its just that much fun.  The lie, Batman, because he has a cape, and thats like drawing two people.  Honestly, I liked the lie!

Patrick Stewarts Panel, was packed, although not all the VIP seats were filled, so he made a comment about it and all of the sudden they were like you guys move on up... He told stories about his childhood growing up in England, and how he got started, and how he loved playing bad guys on stage.  About midway through, a question was pitched from the other side of the room, "Who was your favorite villain?"  Holy shit its John Delancie (Q from TNG).  He approaches the stage, and they have one of those moments, you know two old friends, give each other the handshake hug, and then start to reminisce.  So very cool!  Not one question about X-men, all about Star Trek and his Shakespearean works.  Fast forward, I leave a bit before its over to try one last time to get Perez, I have been lugging around the first six issues of the New 52 Superman for him and the lines not horrible, I am however at the very end.  told I will not make the cut today.  Fortunately one of my friends who works at the local shop is there and like 15th in line, tells me to give him my books and he'll get it for me.  That was awesome, thanks again Brad, you totally rock!

Sunday, my friend says we need to get there earlier, but today won't be as crowded as Saturday, as they never are.  So we get up and have a great breakfast at the Old West Cafe, 2 eggs, 2 bacon, hash browns, and some toast, they do it up right!  We roll out, 45 minutes later we're at the convention center, maybe 100th in line.  90 minutes till doors open.  Got a few shots of some great costumes, a great Batgirl, a mini Batgirl (she had to be 5 or 6), Maverick, Goose, and Iceman, a little girl as Indiana Jones (it was too cute!), Master Chief from Halo, Bane from the new Batman movie, a family of Superman, Supergirl, Green Lantern and the daughter was also Supergirl.  My one goal for Sunday was to get Kevin Conroy to sign my Batman the Animated Series Boxed Set.  I went immediately to the line to queue.  So, the ruling here is first is VIP then Priority, then General Admission.  We are told that the first hour will be only VIP and Priority, my thought is 11-12 right...well 1230 rolls and then we are told the line is capped and he has a hard stop at 330 to catch a flight.  the 3 people in front of me start raising all kinds of hell, and genuinely so, we could have been up there waiting, but they held us all back.  They claim if they get though all that that then they will let us through.  The Red-shirted nerd with a little power leaves and the orange shirt guy was like you 4 go on, no promises, but I'll let you through.  fast forward 2 hours and we are through, I'm standing in front of the man who no one will recognize in a photo, but the minute you hear his voice its like, holy shit your batman!  He signs my stuff, even stops for a photo, and I'm done.  Wow, that was incredible, and to the soldier in front of me, good luck on your deployment, and thank you for being such a hard ass to the line nazi and getting us through!  I also found out that Mitch's print of 60 sold out mid day saturday, which is awesome!

So that was my experience for Stan Lee presents Dallas Comic Con, lots of line standing, great people watching, and overall a fun weekend!  Next time, I'm going VIP, 30 minutes early and line cuts sound good to me!

Live long and prosper.

1 comment:

  1. I KNEW that was you I saw ducking out of the Patrick Stewart panel early! I tried to find you afterwards but the place was too damn crowded. We should have caught up! You going to fan days in October?