Saturday, August 8, 2009

Comic-Con, Day 2

Friday, July 24

Friday was a really good day for Comic-Con, heck they were all really good days! But anyways,
Friday was the day when I blew most of the funds appropriated by Amanda for Comic-Con. She had been saving for me for many months so that I would have a fun birthday. So thanks Amanda, you are a wonderful wife and I loved my birthday!

Free stuff!!
First thing we did on Friday morning was go straight to the Random House booth and wait around for 40 minutes to get a free copy of the Eragon/Eldest Omnibus and instead of getting two copies Amanda got an advance copy of The Maze Runner by James Dashner (It doesn't get released in stores until October 6, 2009). It wasn't too bad of a wait either because we were first in "line," although the guy at the booth didn't want a line 'cause that would be unfair to those who showed up at 10:00am when the giveaway was scheduled for. Anyways, he was actually a cool guy from Random House Publishing and it was fun to talk to him about books (and he personally knows R.A. Salvatore, cool). While we were waiting they had some other cool books so Amanda bought a book called The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. So we got those and on we go to...

10:30-11:30am Coraline DVD
This was a really cool panel. Amanda and I both enjoyed the movie Coraline and just before leaving for CC we had ordered the DVD and the book from Amazon. So this was a must-go-to panel for us. Plus the legendary Neil Gaiman (author of Coraline) was in attendance as well as Teri Hatcher (who did the voices of all three of Coraline's mothers), Keith David (voice of the cat) and the director Henry Selick (also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach) who were joined by some of the animators and people involved in production. This was a fun panel and it was interesting to hear from both of the creative genius' of Gaiman and Selick and hear from Hatcher about doing three different versions of one character. Great panel. Oh, and side note: if you have seen or when you see Coraline, doesn't Coraline's Other Father remind you of dad (Mark)?

Buy, Buy, Buy
So after that panel we had some time to really hit the exhibition hall and get all the stuff that costs money! Overall I bought 18 Graphic Novels, but on Friday I only got 16-17 of them. That plus the three other books we got at Random House meant on heavy backpack for me, but it was worth it.

1:15-1:45 Spartacus
This panel actually started at 12:45 but we just dropped in early to give my back a break and wait for the next one. Spartacus is a 13 episode miniseries/show coming out on Starz that will push the TV limits both for gore and nudity. So not much interest. But we ended up getting a voucher for a ton of free stuff!

2-3 Marvel: Cup 'o Joe
This panel was with Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and was a lot of Q&A and some new announcements for Marvel. The biggest announcement here was that Marvel had recently purchased the rights to Marvel Man from his creators estate and that a Marvel Man series should be starting up next year. It was a nice panel and gave us a break. In between this panel and the next we ran to the opposite end of the convention center and back to get our free Spartacus goodie bag.

3:30-4 Spotlight on Kevin J. Anderson
This was another halfsy drop-in to get good seats. Anderson is actually a pretty good author so it was a fun little panel with a small group to listen in on. And at the end everyone got free paperback copies of The Last Days of Krypton, sweet! Oh, and during the panel I snuck up to the front to get prime seating for the next panel and ended up sitting next to Anderson's typist.

4-5 Spotlight on Stephan Pastis
This was one of the best panels of the entire week!! Stephan Pastis is the creator of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. Pastis was hilarious and this was such an entertaining person to listen to. The other funny thing is that the room was less than half full for Anderson, but by the time Pastis had set up his presentation and got comfortable, the room had run out of seats and people were standing in the back!

Anyways, Pastis gave a presentation chronicalling his road to Syndication and the growth of the strip. He then read some of his favorite crocs strips, then read some controversial strips and letters people wrote to their newspapers to complaing about some of the most ridiculous things. Also, apparently an entire country (I believe it was Turkey) hates Pastis for a name he used for a Llama in one of the strips.

The other funny thing was that Pearls often makes fun of other strips (for those who don't read it) and he talked a bit about those and read some of the strips. When he talked about his relationship with The Family Circus he read various strips from his clashes with Circus and then mentioned that he was friends both creators of the strip: Bill Keane (father) and Jeff Keane (son), and that they
were really good sports about Pastis' treatment of their strip. At this point he mentioned that Jeff was probably even there and asked if Jeff would stand up. Pastis recounts what happened like this:

"And to prove my point, I scanned the audience for Jeff.
"'Jeff?' I asked, hoping he had come. 'Are you here somewhere? Jeff? Jeff?'
"And slowly someone I couldn't see rose from the back of the audience.
"'SCREW YOU!!!' the person yelled.
"The person being Jeff Keane.
"My good friend."

You can read the entire account from Pastis here in his blog post entitled "And Now a Few Words From the Creator of One of the World's Most Beloved Family Comics" Hilarious panel, and I must say that he did the crocs voice exactly how I imagine them to be and how I read them.

Right after the panel we went down to the exhibition hall where Pastis was signing and got him to autograph one of our books. He drew a croc head in my book, how cool. Also, I got his Comic-Con name tag so I had him autograph that too!

I don't remember what happened after that...I think we just wandered around to see what else was going on a maybe bought a thing or two more. What a great day!