A Look Back

Home, sweet home. After two weeks in the US for San Diego Comic-Con, here are a few facts for the curious mind :

No. of airlines taken to and from San Diego – 3

No. of hours spent travelling there and back – 42

No. of hours spent waiting in airports – 24

No. of fond memories – almost infinite

Before I start sounding like a credit card advert, allow me to break down the good, bad and ugly of my first SDCC. Well, I really enjoyed making a few new friends and sticking my head (and ‘business’ card) into a lot of the smaller publishers’ faces. I even met Victor Ho, one of the Movies guys from my INFUZE days. As I flick through the cards I gathered from the various people I talked to at the endless parade of publishers, it’s pretty impressive, I have to say. I hope to set up interviews with a few new kids on the comics block soon. I just filled a bookshelf with all of the TPBs and promo stuff I picked up over the 4 and a half days, so I have plenty to read and review. The independent companies were happy to talk to me and of course, welcome any exposure they can get. I figure they deserve it, as they’ve risked a lot to follow their dream. It’s not an easy step for them to make and the industry is full of uncertainties, so that kind of courage to create diversity should be rewarded.

The bus drivers who ferried us to and from the Con and the hotels around it were usually good for a chat too. One remarked that a female fan dressed as Poison Ivy had to get her desperate boyfriend behind her to cover her, as her plants kept falling down, revealing more than she was willing to. The same driver also noticed that overweight middle-aged people should not be wearing spandex, as “gravity affects us all.” It’s a fair point, but often times, enthusiasm defeats modesty at the Con. One day I saw X-Men baddie Mr Sinister step off the shuttle, in a rather impressive costume, soon followed by She-Hulk. She (?) certainly had the bulk for it, but I’m still not sure if s/he was more Hulk than She. Still, all in the name of fandom and everyone wearing a costume was happy enough to pose for photos. Meeting nice-guy David Mack was a pleasure, as was briefly meeting DC top dog, Dan DiDio and BOOM! dude, Chip Mosher. Another treat happened as I was talking to a guy who said he, “worked for DC.” Yeah, right. By his age I assumed he was the coffee boy or some such. Then, he said he was a penciller. Curious, I flicked his name badge over and he was Patrick Gleason! One of my fave artists, currently working on Green Lantern Corps. He’s one of the few artists whose books I’ll buy by name alone. Scott McDaniel is another one, and it turns out their good buddies. Meeting the team from CCAS (Christian Comic Art Society) was also a treat, as was shopping. I got a heap of trades and look forward to reading them all. I have enough to last until next Comic-Con I reckon.

Two interesting non-Con experiences were the earthquake in Temecula, where I stayed after the Con, with some wonderful people from the Calvary Chapel there. My first earthquake and it measured a 5.5 apparently. It only lasted a few seconds, but not many of us Aussies can say we’ve experienced one. Narita Airport in Tokyo was cool too. Yes, it’s huge, but when I had to kill a few hours there and grabbed the shuttle (and train) between terminals, I kept being reminded of Austin Powers. In the first film, all of Dr Evil’s henchmen wear the same clothes and work silently in his factory. The Narita employees, with their silent to-ing and fro-ing, clean hard hats and gloves reminded me of this. I was amused.

The only downside to the Con was that I didn’t really experience anything outside of shopping. Not really any panels or exclusive screenings at all. I was too busy getting rid of my US dollars, but it was all worth it and I’d definitely go again. Now that it’s over (unlike my jetlag) I can focus on comics news and reviews once more.