Sunday, August 05, 2007

San Diego Comic Con report...Final wrap up!

My final report on Comic Con '07. Scroll down two posts for Part 1, ( or jump to it here )......Last day of Con...I had debated whether or not to go back to visit the show, but the allure of the event was too great....

Sunday seemed to me to be just as busy as the other days I was there. The same unending flow of humanity, the ocean of books, toys, collectables and movie promotional items.... In fact, because it is the last day, there seems to be a frenzy of last-minute rushing about the floor, trying to pick up those last items, visit some favorite artists, attend some final panels.

For me, it was about revisiting my friends at their booths (to see how some survived the previous evening's dinner party), and meeting costumed superheroes. As I was just looking at this next photo, I suddenly realized that in my first year or so of attending Comic Con I had taken a photograph with a guy at the DC Comics booth dressed as Batman (at the time they were heavily promoting their recent BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES). And here we are some 15 years later with me taking another picture with another guy dressed as Batman! Only this time I'm promoting my film and have 10 years behind me as the creator of my own comic book character. Sure, this Batman may be a little heavier than the Batman of 15 years ago...but who am I to judge!?

Giving equal time to the bad guys (or, girls) I also ran into this gal in a Harley Quinn costume. For the uninitiated out there, she was the Joker's right hand gal on the BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES....

This next pic may be mistaken for a shaky photographer's hand, but I swear this is how I often see the show on a sunday (and this is without me having been there since wednesday as an exhibitor!).

This shot was taken on the far end of the 'new' part of the convention center. They built this half about 3 or 4 years ago, to accomadate the massive influx of people who've been attending the show. You can't even imagine how long a walk it is to the other side of the convention hall. It's not so much the physical walk as it is the complete onlsaught of booths, displays, vendors, exhibitors, people and noises, color and hype that fills the cavernous hall! You walk across the floor and you see the Warner Brothers booth, an actual Mach 5 from the Speed Racer movie, a person selling original artwork they've created, another person selling their self-published comic book, a booth selling drinking glasses printed with superhero graphics, Simpson's creator Matt Groening being wisked by with an entourage of security, a sloppily constructed Captain America costume worn by a pudgy fan, and a battery of people lined up playing video games at another booth! You pause to take it all in then proceed to the next barrage of pop culture. Freaking unbelieveable, I tell you!

Even in this 120,000+ person crowd I actually run in to the occasional fan, I'm glad to say. This gentlemen, Chris, I've actually had as a student in my Comic Book Workshop. He says I'm his 'art mentor', which makes me feel so old for some reason! But he's a great guy and he's a restless creative type, always exploring new types of art and music. Glad to be able to inspire someone in a small way, to be honest. I mean, if I wasn't inspired myself as a kid you wouldn't be here reading this blog!

(That smear on my wrist is a Muerto skull temp tattoo I had put on the day before. We gave those out at the screening on friday night. They come included in the Muerto DVD. Which by the way is available on Sept. 18! If you wanna pre-order your copy now, take a look to the right side of the screen...just below my profile pic...)

One of the other reasons I came back to the Con on sunday was Bernyce and I wanted to catch the SIMPSONS MOVIE and we invited our friend Tami, wife to Jason Martin (creator of the SUPER REAL comic book). As Jason had to attend to his booth that day, he could not join us. As an added bonus, we stopped by Jose Cabrera's booth (CRYING MACHO MAN) and asked his wife, Naomi, if she wanted to join us too! So there I was, strolling downtown San Diego getting ready to watch a movie during Comic Con. By the way, the film was hilarious. I haven't watched SIMPSONS in years but really felt that the characters on the big screen were as fresh as I remember them to be. Here's me and the gals after the film....

By now it was about 3 pm. Bernyce and I had hoped to be on the road before 5pm. So we headed back to the convention center and went about saying our last good-byes. Always time for one last great photo op...Like this fella....

The book Sr. Nacho Libre is proudly endorsing belongs to the mad genuis, and treasured friend,Michael Aushenker!.

Michael and I have been friends for a good 10 years or so. He was actally self-publishing his own comics for a few years when I had me him. We immediately hit it off, being attracted to one another's absurd humor (believe me, you need it to be in business of publishing your own comics for as long as we have!). Michael was making his return to Comic Con after a few years absense. It's funny, and a typical Michael observation, but since I was only there as a spectator for the weekend, Michael had commented that I still would find myself sitting at friend's booths behind the table! I just can't get the whole 'exhibitor' side of me to ever take a rest!! I hung out at Jason's table as well as Michael's for a break and a laugh.

Eventually though, Bernyce and I had to make our way out of the building. As we left, I made last minute stopovers at various booths on the way out, just browsing for 'something' that might make it home with me. But the best thing I took home were the great batch of memories I made this year. Showing the EL MUERTO movie to a Comic Con crowd will certainly be one of the all-time great moments I've had in San Diego. And to be able to share the whole experience with this little lady is just the icing on the cake.

About 15 years ago, I had the honor of meeting Jack Kirby, the much-loved King of Comics, at Comic Con. He would pass away shortly thereafter in 1994. But my friends and I were hanging out at his booth, gawking at the artwork hanging off the walls. When all of a sudden, in walks Jack Kirby with his wife, Roz. Jack came over to talk to us (well, he talked we just kinda of muttered and stared!). He chatted with us briefly after giving each of us a firm, strong handshake. He looked around the hall, his hands calmly clasped behind his back. "This is a pretty big show," he told us all. "You should be able to find what you're looking for".

Thinking back over the past weekend, the past 15 years of attending San Diego, I can honestly say that Jack was right.

Thanks Jack.

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