My pilgrimage to Geekland

So I have returned safe, sound, and inspired from the San Diego Comic Con 2010!  What a blast!  Once again I saw more people than I've ever seen ....errr, more of my (geeky) people than I've seen in one place for the same awesome reasons:  Comics, Movies, TV, Toys, and Video games.  Giants from each of these industries were all present (as usual).  It is quite a sight to behold to see people of every type old and young descending on this convention.  My main goal (as I couldn't get my own table) was to meet up with some people and gain some more knowledge from the experts. Here is a brief breakdown of my trip: (match numbers to pictures)

sdcc2010

1.  The crowds were crazy again both inside and out.  You have never seen so many people so desperate to get in and also people desperate to give you free fliers and junk.  I was happy just to get in!  The banners covered the buildings all around the downtown "gaslamp" district.  Truly a sight to behold.

2. I am sure San Diego itself felt like this diorama with all 120000 of us geeks descending on their beautiful city.

3. The inside of the convention seems endless, as does the torture of trying to navigate from one end to the other.

4. The costumes are always as crazy as the convention itself.  I think most of the people who dress up don't get to enjoy any of the convention because if you have a good costume you will be asked to pose for a picture about every .4 seconds.  Stormtroopers are always a staple photo op for me - though they were "a bit short" to be stormtroopers...

5. Many movie companies were there and I just had to take a picture of some of the District 9 stuff.  They had a life size statue of the little "prawn" from the show too.  D9 has to be one of my favorite all time Sci-Fi movies.  It's just amazing.

6. I happened to run into these comic-con'ers every single day on the trolley.  It didn't matter what time I happened to be leaving or arriving, the odds we estimated were about 1 in 115000.

7. The Hoff.  There were oodles of celebrities all over the place.  I don't know were exactly the Hoff fits into with this all, but he was there, on his bus, singing his songs...

8. My good friend "Spidey" posing for a picture with me.  He was shorter than I last remembered him.

9.  Marvel had one of the largest displays at the convention.  I found out later that this was "Thor's" chair or something from the upcoming "THOR" movie.  Count me as a bit skeptical for this one.

10.  I had a great time, wish I had a bit more money as I would have loved to buy these two lego sets for my son and I to build.

So I met a lot of really cool people too.  Here are just a couple more of my highlights:

Cory Godbey and Justin Gerard of Portland Studios were first on my list.  Two amazing artists and super nice guys to boot.  I must have stopped by and said "hi" in one form or another every day I was there.  Cory even had an iPad with some amazing top secret stuff that he showed me.  I met them last year and I look forward to hanging out with them again about a year from now.  Two gentlemen scholars and awesomely talented guys.

Jake Parker and I cruised the con for a while one day too.  I've been a fan of Jake's work since before blogs existed and I was just starting out.  He signed my Missile Mouse book too.  He is another one of those "coolest nice guy" types with buckets of talent.  Looking forward to MM2 Jake!

Dan Santat is more of a new acquaintance that I made a few months back when I helped color his graphic novel.  Dan and I made plans to hang out one day.  He might be the busiest guy I've ever met, and we talked for quite a while about all things geeky and even talked some Hockey! (Dan used to play Goalie!).  I saw a sneak peak version of his finished graphic novel as well as his newest picture book "Oh No".  Dan also falls in that "most talented guy ever" category with the above people mentioned.  Dan also introduced me to a number of other great guys, James Burks, Kyle Neswald, and Bob Boyle and we hung out one evening.  All really nice guys, definitely check out their work!

One morning as I was waiting for a the trolley to take me to the madness I happened to be standing by a really nice family.  The kids were playing about and I just felt I had to give them a copy of my Farmer Burrows Book, a sketchbook and a couple Chuck Chance posters.  We talked a bit on the trolley and it turned out they were there because the "dad" happened to be Gene Luen Yang who had once again been nominated for an Eisner!  He was a super nice guy who just came across as humble and genuine.  He also gave me a copy of his first Eisner winner "American Born Chinese", which is fantastic and hilarious.  ***Update*** Gene won again for "Urgent Request," the last story in The Eternal Smile, was named Best Short Story.  Huge congrats Gene!

John Nevarez is a hero to me.  He surprisingly remembered me from last year too.  The animation guys are so down to earth and real it's amazing.  John happened to give me a free sketch just for my son of one of his favorite characters.  Just the coolest guy.

Sean "Cheeks" Galloway and I exchanged a few prints and sketches too.  I am in love with his Bastion's 7 property and it was cool to see how it's progressed from last year.  We have talked in the past as we both are seeking to get our properties made into toy versions and have used the same sculptor to help us out.

Reed Gunther is now my new favorite comic.  Created by brothers Chris and Shane Houghton, it is just fantastic.  A cowboy who rides a bear, I mean seriously, how cooooool is that.  Not only is Shane's writing great, but Chris's artwork is out of this world.  Mark my words, these guys are going places.  Oh, and chalk up two more for the super great guys chart.

There are many many more fine people who I met and hung out with, but for now I must get back to work.  I have much to prepare for, as in August I have a table at two other comic conventions: Chicago Comic Con and Toronto's Fan Expo!  If you are going to be attending either of these definitely let me know!

Take care,

-Mike