San Diego Comic-Con International: Day 1

Traveling can be difficult sometimes. This time was different for me, though... much different. It was probably the most effortless and painless trip I have ever had (said in hushed tones, slowly shaking my head with an unbelieving expression). We missed most of the mid-day traffic on the way to the airport (that never happens). My dear wife and daughter were able to see me off, which is always a treat. My wife called soon after dropping me off to report that the accident we had witnessed on the way had airport-bound traffic at a standstill for miles. Then, I breezed through security after having checked my bag curbside. Wow! When boarding the plane, I traded seats to other people who wanted to sit next to each other -twice- to end up with a window seat. I love the window seat! My flight took off about five minutes early. It landed even earlier... by a half hour. I was in my hotel room less than forty-five minutes later, thoroughly amazed at how smoothly everything had gone, ready to hoof the eleven blocks to the convention center.

I think all of that goodness was just to prepare me for the contrasting madness of "Preview Night". Limited attendance, huh? I'm dreading to see what general attendance is like. It was a madhouse of milling people with no discernible goal other than to stand around and look vacantly into the distance (which was about sixteen inches in this mayhem). Others were standing in the middle of isles packed with people going every direction waiting for a chance that would never come to take a picture of some coveted toy or display without five-hundred and thirty-two rabid black-clad combat-boot wearing butts in the way.

OK - I only sound this way because I forgot to bring my printout of where the artists I was looking forward to seeing right away were seated. I thought that I'd be able to find them anyway... how hard could it be, anyway?

Real. Hard.

I never did find them last night.

But enough complaining. I had fun anyway, once I discovered that a large part of the madness was centered on the video game and movie sections. Over by the small press comics area and the Artists Alley, one could catch a breath and turn around without bumping into some jedi's lightsaber.

There are scores of artists - 90% of them are really, really good. 5% will take your breath away, and the other 5%... well, they won't take your breath away. I would go from "holy cow - that is amazing and I'm doomed if this guy ever wants to have a draw-off showdown" to "holy cow I could totally kick that guy's ass in a draw-off" in less time than it takes to say "your inks are kind of muddy". (That last was overheard being said to some sad sap who was looking for a critique of his new and never before seen tale of vampires and chicks with huge breasts.) The silly part about that whole conversation is that after having been told that his inks (inked lines, that is) were muddy... by an industry professional mind you... the aspiring artist started to argue with the pro. And his lines were no less muddy for the effort, sadly.

At any rate, I saw many cool things, although viewed through a wall of humanity, and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days. I've got a couple of panel discussions picked out that I'm excited about - "Animation on a Shoestring" and one about the heyday of the UPA studios.

I'm real interested in seeing the shoestring they draw on...

So long for now from San Diego,

K & the Blue Frog

1 comment:

Catherine Satrun said...

My twin and I went to both of those panels. We left the Shoestring one early but enjoyed the UPA one.