By Beau Smith

Well, amigos? I wanna thank y’all for lettin’ me off the hook last week while I attended this year’s San Diego Comic Convention. In doin’ so I figure the least I can do is give ya a report on the show and what manly things I did while I was there.

I was there representin’ IDW Publishing as well as tootin’ my own horn. Both things went well. The first day in town was a hectic one. I had to get up at 4am to make my flights to sunny southern California. All my connections were on time and went good. Thanks goes out to US Airways. I was even on the same flight with Newsarama’s Matt Brady who was also wingin’ his way from the deep-south.

I got into San Diego about 11 am and had a little time to kill before I had to go to Preview Night for the con. Two of my friends and former co-workers at Image Comics drove down to visit me. Now these aren’t your regular friends. One was Ronna Vladic, former L.A. Rams cheerleader and the other was Teresa Ellis, former L.A. Raiderette. I know what you’re thinkin’ “How can one man be so lucky?”

Well when your name is Beau Smith lovely ladies hunt you down like heat seekin’ missiles. This bein’ true, then consider me paintin’ a big ol’ target on my big ol’ head.

We had a great time and caught up on all the things we were up to. And don’t worry? I took some photos of these leggy lovelies. I’ll be showin’ those to ya in the weeks to come when I get my film back.

After they departed back to L.A. I got cleaned up and headed to the convention center for Preview Night. The IDW booth, or should I say Island was great. Cindy Chapman and Chance from IDW did a heck of a job getting’ it all up and lookin’ good. We had lots of floor space and even a little meeting room.

Now I’ve been doin’ the San Diego Con for many years. I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong.

When I say this show was huge? I mean it was HUGE!

I’ve got the blisters on my feet to prove it. There was much walkin’ to be done. This is without a doubt the biggest pop culture event in the world. If it had anything to do with movies, comics, toys, TV, or anything related then it was there.

It was over whelming for the eyes and ears. I can’t even begin to tell you how many folks in the business I ran into just walkin’ to the IDW booth. It was like old home week for this cowboy.

“Joltin'” Jeff Vaughn and “Massive” Mark Haynes were the first guys I ran into. For those of you that don’t know? these are the boys that write the IDW comic book 24, based on the hit TV show. We traded manly greetings and then went out own ways.

As I rounded towards our booth I ran by the Diamond Comics Distribution booth and saw all my old buddies-Mark Herr, Marty Grosser, Eric Beck, Roger Fletcher, Bill Schanes, and even Steve Geppi himself. A better bunch of guys you will not find.

Preview Night was big. The lines outside were heavy and long. For three hours our booth was under attack from hordes of comic book fans. It was great. The whole IDW gang was there talkin’ it up with readers. IDW President Ted Adams was seen talkin’ to many a Hollywood producer at the booth. No doubt some big announcements will be comin’ from these meetings Ted had. Keep your ear close to the ground.

The IDW gang was decked out in some very flashy IDW bowling shirts for the show. II even saw Billy Tucci makin’ notes on where he could buy one of these shirts. After all, we all know that dirty Yankees from New York all love to wear bowling shirts. Just check out Billy or Jimmy Palmiotti, you’ll see what I mean.

All the IDW crew was there in force for the show. Kris Oprisko, Chance, Cindy, Robbie Robbins, Jeff Mariotte, Alex Garner, Jeremy, Ted, and our new guy Chris Ryall. We made sure Chris was hazed in fine IDW fashion. He only wept for a little while.

Every day of the show got bigger than the day before. We were swamped at the booth. I had wall-to-wall meetings as well as spendin’ time at the booth spreadin’ the IDW word. I met with retailers and book buyers. Lots of really good stuff will be coming out of these meetings.

There were long lines for most of the IDW creator signings. The biggest came when Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith were signing. Those boys packed em’ in. Why even I had a few folks in line when I was signing copies of Wynonna Earp.

The IDW Publishing panel went well. We had a pretty good turn out and it was fun to kick back with the readers and fans. It didn’t hurt that we had the famous actor Thomas Jane on our panel spreadin’ the word on his new IDW book called Bad Planet with Steve Niles. For those of you that don’t know, Tom just played The Punisher in the movies this summer.

Saturday night was the big IDW party at the Rock Bottom Brewery. It was invite only. Lemme tell ya, it was so big that security had to turn away over 100 people that were wantin’ to get in. The place was rockin’ and I was knockin’ down the cold beer. The celebrity count was high that night. Thomas Jane, Patricia Arquette (True Romance), Diamond Dallas Page (WWE Superstar), and Ken Shammrock (UFC Champ and WWE Superstar) There were more, but I just didn’t get a chance to press their flesh. The drinks and food flowed free all night. Everyone had a great time and new friends as well as old were happy.

Just to be fair I gotta mention a few names of folks that were there at the party. Maureen McTigue, Cher Lim, Brian Pulido, Roger Price, Bob Ingersoll, Thom Zhalmer, Michael Schurer, Billy Tucci, Debbie Bishop, Mark Herr, John Jackson Miller, Will Eisner, Brian McCaughey, Julia Simmons, Pat Lee, Matt Fraction, Andrew Kardon, Matt Forbeck, and many, many more.

Usually on a Sunday during a con you get a break. Things are usually kinda slow on Sunday. Not this Sunday! It was wall-to-wall action the whole day. I’ve never had so much fun and been so tired. This was THE con to be at. I even managed to buy some great comics by my all time hero Don Heck while I was there. (Avengers #32 and #33).

I cannot stress enough the need for ya to attend San Diego Con. It is like nothing else you will ever go to. It has it all. It will be the best four days at a con you will ever spend. I should be jaded by this time in my life, but I had a blast!

I’ll be fillin’ ya in on more of the con as the weeks roll by and my brain cells come back to life. Same with the photos. So keep comin’ ’round to hear my words.

I aint’ hard to find.

Your amigo,

The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
http://www.flyingfistranch.com


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About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin