I'm in San Deigo for Comic Con International, and again this year, the first bit of excitement centers around getting my pass. This time, I get a text from a man who identifies himself as "Aric" who wants me to meet him in the lobby of a hotel in the gaslamp district. After I final locate the hotel in question (which was much harder than it should have been owing to hotels and streets with almost identical names) Aric passes on the badges for myself and my friend Brandon (who always arranges these exchanges that somehow get left to me to carry out) marking us as "Professional Guests" (which amuses me to think we've somehow elevated the art of "guesting" to a degree as to actually be professional at it) and our oversized and gaudy souvenir bags that are the mark of SDCC attendance.
I thank Aric and make my way over to the covention through the crowds--and in the shadow of a giant inflatable Smurf. Beyond that, the overwhelming message of the San Deigo streets is that I shoud play this Arkham City game because billboards are everywhere, including on the backs of moving vehicles.
Anyway, inside the convention center its the usual mixture of fairies, steampunks, and cardboard Daleks--though my impression so far is that there are fewer costumes than last year. Ignoring the cosplay, I buy myself an $8 personal pizza and $4 bottled water and set out to do some shopping. Several major genre book publishers are there, but they mostly disappoint me by serving up a plate of Star Wars or video game tie-in novels or fantasy with smoldering covers hinting at romance undertones.
I do see that The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is out, though I resist buying one at that momemt. Also Grant Morrison's history of/meditation on comics Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human is out, so that I quickly download it to my Kindle. I've only read a couple of chapters, but its great. Morrison's insights into the iconic comic characters are at once exactly what everybody says, but at the same time delivered in such a way as to seem fresh and insightful. Maybe I'll do a fuller review at some point.
Back at the Con, Heavy Metal tempts me with the latest of Jodorowsky's and Mannara's Borgia and 2000AD woos me with a Nemesis the Warlock collection, but both lose me to the wonder of an almost 3 foot long shark swimming stately through the air above our heads, its tail moving sinuously as it goes.
I'm told these are called "Air Swimmers" amd will soon be available at a toy store near you.
After that I try to go to a Batman panel. Too long a line. I don't even try A Game of Thrones as its line already stretches into infinite.
Maybe I'll have more patience for standing in line on Day 2...
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