The San Diego Comic Con has come and gone. It was pretty busy, with the entire show selling out. Preview Night was just as busy (if not more so) than any other day. I would love to see some sort of expansion of the Con to cut back on crowd size. Maybe a professionals only night, or perhaps making the Con a full week?
With such a tough economy, certain aspects of the Con did seem smaller, such as this half-sized Vader. Some companies that had a rather large presence in years past seemed to be missing all together this year.
This didn’t dampen the spirits of the attendees one bit. Costumes were all over the place this year, with some of the most elaborate and detailed ones yet. You couldn’t go three feet without tripping over a “Dark Knight” Joker.
I walked through Artists’ Alley, looking for something that would catch my eye. I stopped at the booth of Patrick Block, a great comic book artist who worked with Carl Barks on several Disney comics. He continues to work in comics, along with his writing partner/wife, Shelly Block. This water color piece, titled “Old McDuck’s Farm” was on display (and was for sale).
Animation was well represented at the Con as well. Jeff Pidgeon was on site, selling what remains of his initial run of Happy Beaver vinyl toys. He also had several other things, such as shirts, books, and watches. Jeff informed me that he had already made back his booth costs for the year, and there was still a whole lot of Comic Con to go, so that was great news. Look for an upcoming audio interview with Jeff on the blog real soon.
Bill Plympton was set up next to the Animation Show. Here he is hocking one of their DVDs. If you haven’t yet seen the Animation Show, check it out when it comes to your area. You’ll be glad you did. Bill told me that his screening went very well, and the audience was a big one. Bill’s screenings are fast becoming a staple of the Comic Con experience.
Eric Goldberg was on site at the Stuart Ng booth, signing copies of his new book, “Character Animation Crash Course”. If you couldn’t make it to Comic Con, you have another chance to get Eric to sign your copy, when he appears on August 6th from 7-9pm at the Samuel French Theatre and Film Bookshop in Studio City. Eric was very nice, and talked to each person who stopped by. This was not your typical assembly line book signing.
One of the best parts of Comic Con would have to be the panels. I attended a panel about Amy Winfrey’s new Nickelodeon series “Making Fiends”. The show looks great, and is very true to Amy’s web series of the same name. It was nice to see that Nickelodeon didn’t “ruin” the show, which is always a concern when a short form project gets picked up and funded by a network. Charlotte and Vendetta look and act (and sound) the same as they did in the web series. Look for “Making Fiends” when it airs on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons in October.
Back on the main floor of Comic Con, I took a closer look at some of the Disney sculpts that Sideshow Collectibles had on display. Their Ursula, Captain Hook, and Snow White statues were amazing. The colors, sculpts, and poses in general were right on character. I’m going to try and pick some of these up next year.
Video games are also a big part of Comic Con. SOE (Sony Online) was showing off their upcoming “DC Universe Online” game. Comic book artist Jim Lee is the executive creator of the game. I currently work for SOE, but on a different title (yeah Free Realms!), so it was nice to see this game get such a warm reception.
At the DC Universe Online party at the Hard Rock Hotel, I met up with Adam Sessler of X Play. We talked about DC Universe Online, Free Realms, video games in general, and downed many beverages. The industry requires long hours sometimes, and not just for developers. Adam told me that he was very much looking forward to his vacation, after covering E3 just weeks before. I’m sure it gets tiring.
Comic Con 2008 was a great time. I caught up with many people I hadn’t seen in a while, and got to check out many upcoming projects. Were you at Comic Con? Do you have any stories of your Con? Let us know in the comments section.