Hello Sane Ones,
You can not believe how crowded this place is. We barely escaped San Diego Comic Con's Preview Night with our lives. 124,00 rabid geeks stormed the exhibition hall Wednesday night in search of freebies.Viz totebags, "300" shields, trading cards, sampler DVDs, books, comic books, beads, bookmarks... all kinds of promotional items.
The floor is amazing.
It's about the size of 3 city blocks with about 5000 vendors. I got to meet one of my all time favorite artists, Kuniko Craft. In addition to doing the book covers of numerous fantasy novels, she has illustrated more than a dozen picture books for children. I tried to get near the Viz Media booth, but was trampled by Narutards anxious to demo the new Wii and Xbox games.
Yesterday the chaos was a little more controlled.
I sat in on four panels, one on comics in education, which was fascinating. Many schools and universities across the US and Canada are using graphic novels such as Maus and Watchmen in the classroom.
one of the major distrbutors of manga,
has a handout of all of the ALA award winning and reccommended titles in their lineup.
Underground comics are huge and there are so many talented artists and writers out there waiting for and deserving national recognition. The Viz media panel assured me that manga and anime are still a huge market, and some of the best is yet to come. Featuring two manga editors and an anime editor, and moderated by an assitant product manager, they previewed a dozen upcoming series. And yes, the Death Note anime will be released in the US in November, woo hoo!
I sat in on the "Where Did that Come From" panel,
featuring 8 masters of thrillers and horror literature.
David Morrell (of "First Blood" fame),
F. Paul Wilson,
Stephen Woodworth (of the awesome "Violet Eyes" series...I geeked out on him so badly it freaked him out! I LOVE that series),
Simon Wood...and two others I can't remember were very entertaining as they spoke about where they get all their gory ideas, and about the psychology of horror fiction.
The last panel of the day was 100 Manga Magazines in 60 Minutes,
which proves that the Japanese truly value the visual arts like no other nation. With weekly, biweekly and monthly titles, the population reads their manga the way we read newspapers. They even have newspapers manga style.
I saw Mark Singer of "Beast Master" fame
....It was a pleasure meeting Richard Hatch --what a gentleman!
(of the Go Go's, yes indeed)was really fun to hang with. She made a point of reading everyone's name badge and addressing people personally.
My biggest thrill was standing near Christopher Judge of "Stargate."
I didn't win the lottery for an autograph (yet) so I stood gawking. I was taking a picture of him when he looked up, smiled and waved at me, and my daughter had to pick me up off the floor.
I go back today for more...It's really kind of cool,
I'd say 90% of this city is at the convention, and it's been fun riding the "trolley" (the equivalent of our Tri Rail, but it works) with other geeks, nerds, and dorks.
Till next time,