In the aftermath of our party of six attending the Comic-Con in San Diego, CA on Saturday and Sunday…

I am still recovering (of course, Mary’s four grand kids are just fine and ready to go again).

It may take days for me to recover (Mary’s just about there). The Comic-Con is an overwhelming experience. Herewith, some thoughts on the nonstop activity…

There is nothing like the cattle drives on a Saturday afternoon in the aisles of the exhibition hall of the Comic-Con. The bodies are piled vertically and moving very, very slowly, sometimes coming to a complete stop, especially around the perimeter of Lucasfilm, Ltd. (There’s nothing limited about this exhibitor; their space is huge, and popular.) I was tempted to moan “Moooo!” at the top of my lungs several times. The challenge for me was to walk in a straight line (I always failed). I recall glancing over to my right at one point and seeing legendary artist Murphy Anderson drawing close to me. I wanted to say hello. Suddenly, I was distracted by one of Mary’s grandchildren getting a little too far ahead of me. When I had successfully pulled her close, I looked back and Mr. Anderson had been swallowed by the crowd. I hope he got out safely.

You know those little rickshaw-type bicycle buggies that’ll get you from your expensive parking space to right across the street from the convention center where a big old train could block your path for thirty minutes? They’re fun!

I learned something from losing a child in the exhibition hall at the Comic-Con. Searching for him allowed me to really become acquainted with the layout of the place. I saw every booth and pavilion in the hall, twice, maybe three times. The missing child remained safely hidden at the Nintendo station until he decided to come back to our meeting place at the entry doors below big letter D and big letter E.

Two Morrows publisher John Morrow, Back Issue editor Michael Eury, Top Shelf co-publisher Brett Warnock, and fellow Silver Bullet Comic Books contributor Josh Adams are four of the nicest gentlemen I’ve ever met at the Comic-Con. I enjoyed chatting with them immensely, and I can’t wait to see Josh’s sketches from the convention.

I’ve yet to come down from seeing my tribute to Will Eisner published on page 115 of the Comic-Con International San Diego 2005 souvenir book (hey, I’m not tooting a horn here; I honestly didn’t know my contribution was going to be used).

I’ve yet to come down from being involved in fifty cattle drives on Saturday afternoon.

The Justice League of America poster by Alex Ross that took up some thirty feet in width at his booth was spectacular. To see fathers pointing out the various JLA members to their sons was genuinely heartwarming.

It took me until Sunday to get there (’cause Saturday was the day for cattle drives), but once I finally did I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the small press section. I bought some books from K.O. Comics (including a very intriguing title called The Signal), Bumperboy Loses His Marbles (and he does, literally) from writer/artist Debbie Huey, and dorkboy by Damian Willcox. Once I read them, I’ll give them all more detailed reviews.

The DC booth was fantastic. All their stations had something going on at all times, and as far as I could tell, the area was always packed with people who were having lots of fun. I know Mary, her four grand kids, and myself certainly did. DC was also very generous with giveaway posters, bookmarks, pins and removable tattoos.

Biggest disappointment for me? Marvel Comics not having their own space. Marvel appeared to be piggybacking on other exhibitors’ booths. I was not impressed.

My major back issue finds at the comic con? The Mighty Thor #168 (Thor battles Galactus), Our Army at War #242 (100 Page Super Spectacular), The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3, The Avengers #142 (the Avengers versus Marvel’s western heroes), Magilla Gorilla #3 (from Charlton Comics), Superman #199 (I believe this is the first Superman/Flash race), and House of Mystery #148, featuring the Martian Manhunter and his sidekick Zook. I wonder whatever became of Zook.

Most impressive looking new comic by a publisher that I just had to have? Autumn, written and illustrated by Tommy Kovac and published by SLG Publishing. Autumn looks like a cross between Fables, The Lord of the Rings, Big Fish, and the early Books of Magic. I also picked up a book called Pirate Club, by Derek Hunter and also published by SLG, that looks to be a lot of fun. I look forward to reading these books, and plugging them some more.

The air conditioning units held up this year, probably too well. It felt a little chilly in there at times.

Mary got me a Green Lantern poster signed by writers Geoff Johns and Judd Winick! She didn’t even know who they were, but she knows who my favorite superhero is! And she got Geoff to wish me a happy birthday on it (about a week away now), and he doesn’t even know me! Take that, Roland and Ray! Na! 🙂

Standing near the hall’s center late Saturday afternoon — with Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux on video screens above me, Sponge Bob dancing around over at a cartoon booth, large Tokyopop bags held by hundreds, Darth Vader in conversation with Willy Wonka, a giant Hal Jordan Green Lantern poster hanging from a makeshift rafter, King Kong statues on display in glass cases, and a costumed Batman and costumed Spider-Man strolling past me — I knew I was at the center of the pop culture universe. I had found some kind of peace. Then the cattle drive enveloped me and I was gone.



About The Author

Jim Kingman

Jim Kingman is a writer for Comics Bulletin