For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to go to the San Diego Comic-Con. Finally this weekend, I was able to cross it off my list. Because I work for Disney, I was able to get passes for my wife and I and our two boys. Unfortunately with work being so busy right now, we were only able to go for one day. But it was still amazing. When we stepped off the train to a swirling mass of humanity, both costumed and not, it was a lot to take in.
We wandered around a little, trying to find the right place to get our badges, and the boys would excitedly point out whenever they saw a superhero walking around. Being a DC comics guy, I figured that would be a good place to start. And it definitely was. As we walked up to the huge DC area, I saw prolific writer Kurt Busiek sitting at a signing table. I took London over to meet him and we spoke briefly about Astro City. He was super nice.
As we stepped away, I noticed a writer I really like, Grant Morrison, doing a signing about ten feet away. Sitting beside him was Frazer Irving, artist for Batman and Robin. He signed our card but said he was told he couldn’t do any drawings, because it would hold up the line. We thanked him and moved on to Mr. Morrison. He’s from Scotland and sounds like this, so it was awesome just talking with him. But even better, he was amazingly nice. I told my boys that he wrote Batman stories, which they thought was cool. There was a woman sitting beside him who said that he’s also a pretty good artist, and upon hearing this, he started sketching Batman. I guess when you’re Grant Morrison you can get away with drawing sketches for fans. We chatted a bit and thanked him and left with our sketch. He was incredibly nice and now we have a Grant Morrison original to hang up. Next I saw writer Gail Simone just about to leave her table. Even though she was ready to walk away, she happily signed our card. I asked her some questions about writing, and she gave some good advice. Not that I expected them to be rude, but I was amazed at how genuinely nice these folks were, and how willing they were to spend a few minutes talking with us.
We spent the next few hours walking around, seeing some but not all of the zillions of things to see. It was fun to see some of the celebrities there, like Chevy Chase and LL Cool J. We even saw Wesley Snipes walking by, surrounded by a bunch of security guys.
After awhile Asher fell asleep and as I carried him around, we found the booths of two of my favorite comic creators: Mike Mignola and Jeff Smith. I’ve already talked about him, but Mike Mignola created Hellboy and I absolutely love his art. The man is amazing. He was very soft-spoken, so we didn’t talk much, but I bought a sketchbook of his and he signed it for me.
Next we came upon Jeff Smith’s booth. If you don’t know who or what Bone is, you really should do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s an amazing comic, and is pretty much accessible to all ages. We asked the girl at the booth if he would mind getting a picture with us, and he obliged. Asher was still asleep at this point, so Jeff decided to have some fun with it. They were also selling a three piece set of the Bone brothers, for the exorbitant price of…$3. Three dollars? They easily could have charged 10 bucks for the set and people would have paid for them. We would have. So we bought three sets. Just another display of how cool and down-to-earth these guys are. As thrilled as I was to meet these artists, I was also a little depressed. Here were two of the greatest comic creators of our time, at the biggest comics convention in the world, and their booths were more or less devoid of fans. There were probably tons more people excited to see LL Cool J or the folks from Community than these guys. But I guess that’s what I get for taking so long to get to my first Comic-Con. Maybe everybody else is already bored with them, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to that stage.
We were also able to meet inking genius Scott Williams and the amazing Adam Hughes, and my wife also met Dustin Nguyen, whose art she fell in love with. She even bought this print of his. She said he was super nice to her and even gave her an extra print because she had London with her. By then we were pretty tuckered out, so we made our way to the train and home. Overall it was an incredible experience. The people we met were amazing, and we’re already making plans for next year. I would definitely recommend going if you can make it. But just do me a favor. Do some research about a comic creator who’s going to be there, and make it a point to stop by and say hi. We’ll all be better off for it.
Epilogue: On the way home I left the camera on top of our car, and it flew off going 75 mph on the freeway. My amazing wife and her dad were able to go back the next morning and locate it. The camera was slightly dinged up, but still works perfectly, and more importantly, we didn’t lose the pictures. So yay for Canon cameras and Denali Tech cases. And my awesome wife.