On The 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International - Part 2
By A Long Time Comics Fan Who Started Selling at the 1972 SDCC at the El Cortez Hotel!
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Above Top Photo (L-R): Michael D Hamersky with Steve Saffel, Editor at Titan Books!
Immediate Above Photo (L-R): Tina LoSasso and Michael at The Hub!
At the Top Left: Did YOU have Breakfast at Cafe Comic Con in the Marriott?
At the Bottom Left: The Logo for the Comic Con International: San Diego - a.k.a. San Diego Comic Con 2010.
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3198:
The 41st Comic-Con International: San Diego ended on Sunday, July 25th, at 5PM, although Tina and I stayed later, making a last minute bulk purchase for our online store.
That's because there was so much to see and do at this comic con; that for the first time ever in attending this Con, I didn't get to walk the whole event which included the dealers section!
For purposes of this Special 2 Part Blog Series...The 2010 Comic-Con had so much going on, that I'm going to list the topic first, write a few thoughts, and then give a 'comic book grade' for a score.
Yesterday I started at the very beginning for this year's Comic-Con, which was buying the membership for 2010. Today I'm going to pick up from that post and finish the topics for those areas or events or publications that I did attend or read, but didn't get to yesterday:
Autographs - There are separate parts to this - Under the Sails & at the Exhibitor Booths & Off-Site.
Under the Sails - Same as usual. Well organized and scheduled as far as I could see when going past these autograph booths. And No, I didn't stop for autographs, but I took photos of several persons for possible networking / cross promotions / blog topics.
At the Exhibitor Booths - Forget It! At least for me! And if YOU want a 'Must Have' Autograph, then figure on being there way early for it, standing in a long line, and maybe having to pull for a ticket in a 'draw' for the privilege of getting the autograph later that day. Good luck on that one! And DON'T schedule too many of these or YOUR Comic-Con day may be over sooner than you think it would be!
Off-Site Signings - I wasn't aware of these signings building in number, until reading the 2010 Events Guide. These Off-Site Signings demand a lot from the fans. One was even at a bookstore near the convention center, but I'm not going to promote that here.
Please Note: Be prepared for some 'sticker shock' as to the prices being charged for each autograph. However, You must consider the expenses that each signer incurs in coming to Comic-Con, staying overnight for several nights, etc. Just be aware that the costs do add up for the signer and thus to You...
Overall Grade for Autographs, averaging in the above three venues? FINE (F) 6.0 out of a 10.0 possible Comic Book Grade.
Freebies Table (Under the Sails) - You gotta be kidding! This was the 'worst selection' of items I have seen in my many years of attending this con. I found three (3), count 'em...3 items of any value during the whole 5 days & 4 evenings. And I went by that table a lot going back and forth between program halls! What were they? The Animation Magazine with Tron on the cover, The Prometheus Project Book 1: Trapped by Douglas E Richards, and the Uncle Jam Quarterly (magazine) published by Phillip Dana Yeh. I no longer pick up posters as they are too hard to handle, (even with a tube that we brought for this).
Everything else that I personally saw on the table were advertisements for this or that, and just xtra weight to carry around the Comic-Con, so unless it was an upcoming event I wasn't already aware of...I didn't pick them up! Usually I find magazines, comics, DVDs, bookmarks, or other items that are worth picking up to check out.
If I want to see ads, I can find them everywhere else online and offline. I don't need to carry them around Comic-Con adding weight to my carry bag! Comic Book Grade? POOR (P) 0.5, but please note, the Grade is for the selection that was sent to the Comic-Con folks to place on the Freebie Table. The Grade does NOT reflect the efforts of those working this table.
Security - Contrary to what I've read since coming back from the Comic-Con...I found the Security this year to be the best yet in many years!
Plus just like my wife Tina, I was floored by the way many of those in charge of lines etc., allowed individuals to 'rejoin' their group who were already in line. Whether those individuals were using 'line buddies' like we do, I don't know, but both Tina and I found this year's security and line enforcement to be professional and courteous. It was like there was a mandatory 'charm school' that they were sent to since last year! And yeah, I did notice there were new colored shirted persons there. Comic Book Grade: VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0.
Fullfillment Room - To go from the above topic to One of the Worst, IF Not THE Worst thing that happened to us at Comic-Con is because after feeling good about how Security controlled themselves and the crowds this year, our early morning on Sunday fell really flat.
That's because we had to walk all the way to the Marriott to pick up our 'free prizes' for attending certain panels. So after walking there, of course there would be a long line to get in. Kudos though for how quickly Comic-Con staff and volunteers were able to process that line into the room to pick up the goodies.
However, Booooo to FOX TV for NOT having the 'reflectors' at this Fullfillment Room the VERY NEXT Morning after the Saturday Program for the Human Target. Tina and I are very BIG Fans of this TV Show, and were beyond disappointed in that there were NONE left of the giveaway. Supposedly there was only ONE BOX of these giveaways that were sent to the Comic-Con for distribution. We asked for the supervisor of the distibution. Not receiving satisfaction, he went to his supervisor, who is also known as 'The Wizard', whom I have met before. We left with nada, zilch, nothing. As well as two other individuals who were there at the same time to pick up the Human Target Panel giveaway.
Really bad, FOX TV People! Not to let this subject go, Tina went to the FOX booth on the Exhibit Hall Floor and pursued the topic with them, while I hit the Small Press Pass mid-Sunday morning. She came back saying that while the FOX representative would like to help her, there was a signing going on at the booth...??!!
The Comic Book Grade given this Fullfillment Room exercise in futility is GOOD (G) 2.0 out of a 10.0 Grading Scale. Don't get the 'GOOD' wrong. It was NOT Good, but I've settled down since Sunday morning! Comic-Con officials should see that there is something to be distributed, even a 'token' gift should something like this arise again in 2011. No tickets to be redeemed unless there are giveaways in like number. Or have something else in lieu of something happening to the original giveaway running out. Even a Comic-Con sticker or something? We were turned away after spending time in line with nothing to show for it? Sheesh!
The 2010 Events Guide - Yesterday I mentioned how we enjoyed seeing the schedule posted online. The schedules were both published timely and for an app to use with your smart phone. However I found that using our new Droids that way added to the problem of our Droids' batteries running down.
Which is good that this 2010 Events Guide was still published in hard copy format. As always there is so much to read in this Events Guide, that I couldn't read all of it while we were sitting 'Under the Sails' to get in on Preview Night. Nor was I able to finish it before the Comic-Con itself was over on Sunday early evening. There is THAT much in it to read!
NOT complaining, just stating that the Events Guide is so well stocked with informative information that it can't be read in its entirety during the Con, even when arriving hours earlier each day before the Exhibit Hall or Program Halls are opened! There must be some way to possibly get this online via .pdf before the Con actually starts...??
My Comic Book Grade for this Events Guide itself, (minus any problem in distribution of it), is a NEAR MINT (NM) 9.4. I can't enjoy Comic-Con without it in this printed format!
2010 Souvenir Program Book - Would you believe that it is two and a half days after the Comic-Con and I STILL haven't been able to read this in its entirety?
The fact that it is distributed when you pick up your membership badge, and you are enroute to get in line for actually attending a program hall or to get on the Exhibit Hall, means that this Souvenir Book is actually 'dead weight' to carry until you are able to get back to your car or your hotel or check it in at 'baggage room' to pick up later. Once again I found several of these being left around the Comic-Con, possibly because of their weight...??
For myself, I always quickly flip through the book on Preview Night to see if anything jumps out at me in case I missed it, but like so many others I basically lug it around until the next trip to the car. Since we have an online comic book store, I do sell the extra copies to those that weren't fortunate enough to attend the current Comic-Con.
I just flipped through it again while blogging this topic. The choice of cover feature is not always one I would have chosen, BUT I have NEVER been disappointed in the CONTENTS of each year's Souvenir Program Book. Period! Especially last year's 40th Anniversary Souvenir Program Book! Overall Comic Book Grade including the distribution / timing of passing out the book: NEAR MINT MINUS (NM-) 9.2.
On-site Newsletters - This publication is a really good idea. Unfortunately the few areas it is distributed at are far and few between.
Most attendees are probably not even aware of this fine update that is published for each day.
I see stacks of them at the end of each day still sitting in the distribution bins. I usually grab a couple extra by accident when picking up mine, (IF I remember to!), and when asked in line about what I am reading, I give them the xtra copy(ies).
Again, this is a good idea but the execution in distributing them doesn't seem to make them as effective as they could be... Comic Book Grade: VERY FINE PLUS (VF+) 7.5.
Small Press Section - I will be covering this area in more detail in the weeks to come. That's because once again I found several Indy Publishers that I had not come across before at this Con or other comic cons. However, and there's that 'however' again...This section is so far removed from the 'Artists Alley' that there seems to be a very wide gulf between these two sections. This is probably on purpose, but it makes it very hard to see both sections on a timely manner, or refer people to either.
I went through the Artists Alley in total on Friday Morning, but didn't get to Small Press until Sunday late morning / early afternoon. Would I have gone to such lengths to see this Small Press section if I wasn't looking for blog topics? Quite honestly, the area this section is located in is one I always walked past quickly on Wednesday Preview Night, and Thursday to early Sunday morning. I knew it was there, but I was on my way to other sections of the Exhibit Hall for other purposes.
So my Comic Book Grade for this section, which seems to overlap into other aisles around it, is a FINE (F) 6.0. Again, NOT for what I found in this section, as there were many deserving publishers that deserve mentioning or promotion, but for the way everyone seemed to be crammed into this section.
Off-Site Parties / Events / Etc. - This is one "area" that this year I consciously made the decision to invite my youngest child to attend the Comic-Con with us, knowing full well that we wouldn't be able to attend as many Off-Site Parties / Events.
That's because of the age limits at most of these. Or the fact that those under 18 probably wouldn't have as much fun. Or that the organizers of these events don't want very young or tweens / teenagers at them.
However, my youngest child had a GREAT time at the one he was able to attend. Here is the link to his blog on The Second Annual Captain Rochester Artists Appreciation Dinner Party. As you can tell by that post, tweens can have a great time at these!
Plus we did stop in at the EUReKA Themed Cafe Diem. Photos on that to be shared later. But that was more of a place to eat during Comic-Con off-site with great backdrops!
Overall Comic Book Grade for this Topic, (NOT just the Captain Rochester Party which I would give a NEAR MINT (NM) 9.4), would be a FINE PLUS (F+) 6.5 - As several invites I received to attend were held in venues not viable for those that had kids with them. But then again, I knowingly invited my son to join us this year. So I accept that responsibility.
I believe that this is the end of this two part blog series on this topic. Yes there are a lot more topics I could have covered, but again, this year I took it 'easier' and didn't see the whole Comic-Con! However, my wife Tina will be blogging Her 'Take' on this con, and my youngest son who attended wants to blog his view. So those should be ready soon.
Also...For those of you reading this blog, please don't get the idea that I didn't like this 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International! There is no place I'd rather spend my Birthday, which I did again this year on Saturday. That makes it 3 years in a row!
Plus it looks like I'll be there for my NEXT Birthday as well, because the 2011 Comic-Con runs from July 20th - 24th when you include Preview Night. "Woo-Hoo" as Tina says! So join us there to help 'Celebrate My Birthday' along with 140,000 other attendees, LOL!
My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over the 3,195 total posts in number! Be back tomorrow to either read Part 2 of this blog series or Tina's review of the same con!~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
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