When people were talking about San Diego Comic Con to me months ago, they made it seem like I would need a Higgins Boat in order to properly arrive through the front door. As far as volume of people goes, they were correct. SDCC is immense, with a vast assortment of booths, pitches, swag, items-you-just-have-to-buy, celebrities, and other things you would come to expect from a Con of this size.

Of course, that?s what everyone else is yapping about. This update concerns what I was doing and seeing. There will be more coverage provided from other contributors in the future, in case you?re wondering.
Before I get started, I?d like to mention that it?s too damn early to start writing this. I was a bit peeved when the Hyatt stopped serving booze at 1.20am, but now I would like to thank them for their foresight. I really don?t need a bigger headache than I have right now. Also, I would like to thank Tobey Cook from Cosmic Rants for taking these chunks of data I?m sending and making it look all nifty for the site.
Let?s see… I have a stack of stuff sitting right here?notes, pictures, comics, business cards, and… Oh, you don?t need to know about that one. So, yeah, with this stuff I shall piece together the highlights of my Friday experience for you to enjoy. Or something like that.

Entering the Convention Center was pleasant enough, as the staff was very helpful and courteous (see last update as to why I needed to get my press badge on Friday). I then entered a sea of people, all of whom were excited and talking about creators they were meeting, things they were getting signed, or were squeeing about something some-such, etc etc etc. Walking through the crowd and checking things out I started to get a gameplan of sorts in my head. Not that it did me much good. I think that plan changed at least 67900614 times in the course of a few hours. As I was cruising the Con, someone started talking to me… Pitching me, as it were.

It was in the Small Press area where Mike Bocianowski who does a comic called Yets! got me. After a few minutes of listening to him and seeing what he has to offer, I introduced myself and from that moment forth, SDCC was truly ?on?. Mike and I talked for a little bit and I picked up his run of Yets! comics released so far.

Visit Mike?s site here and find a little out about Yets!, a great all-ages comic about monsters who don?t have a name yet.

After parting Mike?s company, I wandered around until I found the Illusive Arts booth. It?s always great to see Anna and the crew (we met at Emerald City Comic Con) and I hung around a bit, snapping this picture…

Illusive Arts put out the excellent Dorothy and Tony Loco comics. Here is their site. Anna has a great smile, doesn?t she? And the pizza… you know, those guys are SO taunting me. It simply wasn?t fair.

But I soldiered on, pizza or no, and stopped by the Atomic Basement booth. Not only was the awesome creator Mike Wellman there, but so was the ?youngest writer? in comics. Then I was introduced to Ryan Lederer, writer of Captain Candy, as you can see here:

Ryan?s ten and tells me that he?s been working on Captain Candy for the past two years. Reading through the book, I can say that he?s put a lot of work into it. Pick it up when you get the chance.
While at the Atomic Basement booth, I bumped into Stormcrow Hayes, the writer of Afterlife. He and I yapped for a long while, and Sam (as he likes to be called) has lots of great stories about the writing business in general. My friend Chuck snapped this picture of us:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mike Wellman.

It?s always good talking to Mike, and I plan to talk to him more in the future on ATR.

Wandering around still, I saw the Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft booth and made a beeline for it. I?m a huge fan of the Old Ones and their favourite author, so it goes without saying that I would want to talk to these guys about their Lovecraft comic. It looks good and reads fast and smaft. I think that fellow Lovecraft folks will really dig it. For more information, go here.

I?m sure you can tell that the unspeakable horrors of working on a book like this have taken their toll on Mac and Adam?s sanity. Poor devils. But great work, so it?s worth it.
I was terribly pleased when I came across the Titan Books booth. There I purchased Dan Dare: The Man From Nowhere. Huzzah! Many thanks to Tim Whale for taking the time to talk to me and listen to me do a British accent. In fact, here?s Tim now:

I didn?t catch the young lady?s name, sorry. She was very nice, though.
Mr. Whale did manage to get rid of me when he mentioned that the 2000 AD booth was near-by. I don?t even know if I bade Tim farewell in my mad dash to get to the Tooth Booth. Once there I proceeded to talk Keith and Simon?s ears off. Zarjaz gents, they are. It was good to see people stopping by and buying stuff, especially the Judge Dredd Case Files collections (the purple one is Simon?s fave). Here?s Keith and Simon, by the way:

After buying 3 t-shirts and talking even more to the 2000 AD guys (really, I could go on for a long time here, but I need to move on and get out of the hotel) I wandered around some more…
If I have to pick a booth that wins the ?neat-o looking? award, then it has to be the Sci-Fi Channel?s offering. Take a look…

Neat, eh?

Then it was over to the Image booth, where I saw C.B. Cebulski. He was kind enough to come from behind the table and do a picture. Of course it cost me $50.

See his face? That?s the “Fifty bucks is not enough money to be seen with this guy” look. Yes, he does it well. (I could be lying about the $50)

Random snap: Now signing – Steve Niles

Eventually it was over to the Top Cow booth, where Joshua Ortega flagged me down. Good to see him, naturally. And then I was introduced to Francis Manapul, who is pretty awesome. Have you read Iron and the Maiden? Some terrific artwork in there.
And here are Joshua (left) and Francis (right) pimping Necromancer:

Speaking of Mr. Manapul, it?s pretty much an open secret that?s he?s signed to DC (as if Francis playing for DC in the Marvel vs. DC softball game wasn?t enough of a big clue). Good pick there, guys.
Annnnnnd… People!

That guy in front looked like his was trying to duck out of the picture. I got the back of your head, man. HA!

And here?s Matt at the Marvel Booth showing me the game Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. Looks like it?s gonna be pretty fun, and it seemed to play well on the Xbox 360 (but it will be available for all the major platforms).

Yeah, I know. The flash. I see it, too.

And here?s Chip Mosher from Boom! Studios talking away. The big news with Boom! Is that Mark Waid has signed on to be Editor-in-Chief. Boom has set their sight high, and Chip mentioned frequently that “there?s Marvel, DC… and Boom!”. But don?t worry, it was said good naturedly. It?s good to see Boom! doing well and pulling out all the stops. As long as they put out Warhammer comics, I?ll be very satisfied.

I?d like to note that Chip was really, really easy to spot in the white jacket. Thanks, Chip.

Up next is one of my favourite people in comics today. This is Larime Taylor (below) and his brother (above) and pictured is his upcoming book, Hollow, which is being published by Archaia Studios Press. I?ve read Hollow and it?s gorgeous both in story and illustration. Take a look at a past ATR where I previewed Hollow here.

Larmie was kind enough to show me over to the Archaia Studios Press booth, there I met a lot of the creators and talked about all sorts of cool things. You may know ASP for their title Mouse Guard, which is great but there?s other great stuff from ASP, too! I?ll be covering some more about a few of their comics in the future. Time is flitting right now and I have to get this write-up done… But, yeah, I?ll certainly cover more on these guys in the near future especially titles like Starkweather Immortal and Awakening, since the guys who do these books were kind enough to pose:

Great guys. I must have hung out at the ASP booth for well over an hour (probably more). I sure can talk a lot, you see.
And since I?m talking ASP right now, I came across some information that many of you Mouse Guard fans will like. Mouse Guard is going to have its own role-playing game and board game. Nice, huh? From what I heard, we can expect an announcement at Gen Con Indy (August 16-19).

When I entered the convention, I wanted to find the Silent Devil booth. I finally did, right before closing. Here?s Mario Boon who?s doing the art on Venice is Sinking (written by Christian Beranek) of which there are preview issues available.

Mario came all the way from Belgium to enjoy the madness of SDCC. I? I think it might be getting to him a bit.

Here?s M. Sean McManus, who was keeping Mario company in the SD booth. As you can see, Sean does the noir-styled comic The Last Sin of Mark Grimm. Wanna see an animated version of the Mark Grimm comic? Check out Comic Flix and see for yourself.

I also got to see Ernie Hudson in the flesh (Winston from Ghostbusters; the warden from Oz). He seemed like a swell guy. I was fiddling around with my camera when it became time to shut down for the day, so I didn?t want to bug him for a picture while he was packing up. I might bug him today, though.

Directly from the Con I headed over to the Whiskey Girl for the Zuda party. Basically it was a meet-up where we all drank booze and chatted. Thanks to the DC and Zuda crews for setting up a fun little shin dig. Zuda seems pretty awesome, and I made sure to talk to the right people about covering it a bit in the future (there should be an echo effect there). I think I?m the only guy who didn?t take a picture there, but I was too busy drinking the drinks that Vito (I think that?s his name) was serving. Vito looks like Russell Crowe and Nick Frost?s love-child, by the way. Plus he?s a great bartender.
After the Zuda party it was to the place where just about everyone ends up: The Hyatt. Seriously, everyone goes there to drink. I proceeded to do just that. Which is why I have a headache. Again.
Take a look at what?s it?s like outside most of the night:

And I agree, it looks like that guy is gonna get lucky. You go, dude!
There?s a lot more to talk about, and I?ve pretty much just skimmed over stuff, but I have to hit the con and time is passing by quickly. Keep in mind that I will cover a lot of details in my post-Con report, which won?t have me mad-rushing to get updates out. Seriously, I can barely check my email. I haven?t even done that, really.
I?ll leave you with Tony Lee saying ?Jesus, Steve— GET TO THE CON, mate!?

Until next update, dear readers? That is, if I survive the dreaded SDCC Saturday!

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