San Diego Comic-Con 2004 – Saturday

Oh man, that’s a lot of nerds.

This was officially the most crowded I’ve ever seen the convention. Look at the pictures. I mean, that was a lot of people. And the air conditioning couldn’t quite keep up with demand. That much geek puts off a lot of BTUs.

Saturday was our first full day at the convention. There weren’t a lot of panels calling out to us, so it seemed like a great day to really get into the guts of the convention floor and see what there was to see. However, with all there was to see, people, costumes, booths, displays, toys, comics, games, and all the rest, that would have been impossible.

Before the festivities officially started, we took a trip down 1980’s lane for some retro excitement. That’s right, for the first time I’ve ever noticed since their heyday, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman appeared together. They were promoting the newest DVD of The Lost Boys. For her thoughts on the event, we go to the lovely Lindsay Singer:

Ahhh… the sweet sound of Corey Feldman’s voice combined with the girlish giggling of Corey Haim filled rooms 6A and 6B (yes, there were that many people there) of the San Diego Convention Center. I was there bright and early, dragging Josh along kicking and screaming.

Corey Haim is a bit bigger. Larger. More rotund. It’s not really that he’s fat, just because he’s not a 14 year-old boy anymore. Corey Feldman on the other hand, stunted his growth (with drugs and sex no doubt) around the same time The Lost Boys was filmed, so he looked about the same. Haim was sporting a light blue track suit later to reveal a white t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Oohhh the view of his slightly pudgy tattooed arms… sweet, sweet Corey Haim arms. Hmmm…

Both the Corey’s sported sunglasses. One of the audience members begged for them to take them off. They both did, but Feldman quickly put them back on, his eyes untrained to the low light in the room. It was obvious that Feldman still thought he was the life of the party, and that he was funny. And sadly in comparison to the vastly uninteresting Haim, he was.

That fateful half hour brought on a rush of emotions for me. The whole thing was an oxymoron. Sitting in a half full room of others hopefuls in their mid to late twenties, I was thrilled, yet disappointed. It was my twelve year-old dream come true, yet also my worst adult nightmare. I was enlightened, yet frightened. I was sympathetic, yet unforgiving. Fascinated and bored all at the same time. I was relaxed, yet distressed. I was caring, yet indifferent. I was proud of the Corey Haim pinup I had plastered up on my pink bedroom wall when I was twelve, and yet embarrassed enough that I wanted to go back in time, rip that god-awful thing off the wall and tear it to pieces. But either way, I’ll never have to sell my teeth.

Then it was off to the teeming masses on the floor. Today I was curious about the majors. I noticed I hadn’t seen where the Marvel table lived. Then I finally noticed it. It was tucked in with the Activision display, and was quite poorly marked. Still, it was an improvement over last year’s table. But only slightly. It looked like crowd management was a problem, and the lines had nowhere to go. I could barely get close enough to tell who was signing, but maybe that was also due to the fact that I didn’t recognize as many folks as I once could. I did see Chris Claremont sitting all by his lonesome on the far side of the table, which is, on some level, a damned shame.

In contrast, the DC booth was enlarged. It retained the same basic shape, but expanded, giving the folks inside a little more breathing room, and it could accommodate bigger lines in theory. The place was still swamped every time I went by, and I usually couldn’t get close enough to see why or who was drawing the crowd. Still, they did have those incredible Dark Knight Returns figures on display, and they are some great toys. And the carpet, while possibly being outpaced by some of the manga companies, was still a blast of relief

We traversed the floor in search of good comics at good prices from good creators. I tend to put off my buys as long as possible, mostly to save myself some money in a subconscious way. If I wait, I’ll either forget about it, or they’ll sell out, thereby saving me some money. But that’s a lame way to go, and on Saturday, I threw that caution to the wind. Furthermore, I really like to buy stuff directly from the creators, because they make more money from it.

I started over by the Image table, and picked up a trade collecting the first 4 issues of Invincible by Robert Kirkman, who gained my trust with the brilliant Battle Pope. I’ll put up a proper review later, but for now, let it suffice to say, it was an excellent superhero book, and this is coming from a guy who’s sort of off the superheroes lately.

We wandered the aisles and met up with the creators and star of Caveman Robot, who through his exuberant caveman speech, like “WOMAN!” and “SIGNATURE!” convinced me to plunk down the bucks for his collection. The title pretty much says it all, and the villain seems to be some sort of evil gorilla Abe Lincoln. I bet I’ve already convinced some people to buy it.

Then I had a nice conversation with a creator from Santa Ynez, CA, named Ryan Claytor doing indie autobiography comics, and bought one from him. He wrote, illustrated and published a little book called And Then One Day. Check him out if you ever get a chance at

Lindsay bought some art and comics from various people around the indie area as well, and the only real disappointment was the utter sell out of all the Bob the Angry Flower books. I said I’d come back later and when I did, there were no books. He sold out by the end of the day on Friday. If you liked Dorkin’s Milk and Cheese (which I sure did), this will likely appeal to you.

Finally, I picked up the big one I’d been thinking of since before I arrived. I bought the Bone collection. 1,300 pages of the entire Bone saga collected in one massive brick of a tome for $40. I’ve felt I really missed the boat with Jeff Smith’s creation. I bought the first trade a couple years ago, and due to the size of what I had left to buy, I didn’t bother continuing. But we met Smith in 2002, and he did some sketches for us, and most of the iFanboy camp agreed that he’s the nicest creator we ever spoke with. The line was far too long and I didn’t get a chance to get my book signed, but I was really happy to be able to support his great work. I hear he sold out completely, which is great news.

The last chunk of the day was spent at the Adult Swim panel. Last year Ron and I tried to go, but they stuck it in a tiny room without enough seats. It was hot and miserable, and Ron and I didn’t stay too long. This year, we got there a bit early, and the room was gigantic, and it was still full. Behold the power of DVD sales. In the last year, I’ve become a raging fan of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021, so I was looking forward to it. Basically, there were a bunch of creators, some voices, and the head of Adult Swim, Keith Crofford. It was a really entertaining time, and we saw some great footage of upcoming shows. It got a little weird at one point, when someone asked why they replaced Captain Murphy on Sealab 2021. The crowd started booing, and the panel gently let him know that the voice of Murphy, Harry Goz had died last September. A couple of bad Meatwad impressions from the questioners made us all feel a bit awkward, and they ended by handing out Adult Swim playing cards, and sample Sealab DVDs. And on one final note, don’t hold your breath for new Space Ghost. They’re looking to do about one per year from now on.

And on the walk home, I realized how damned heavy the Bone book was. You could maim with it. Easy.

We had dinner at La Strada. It was an Italian place in the Gaslamp, and unlike the steak place from Friday, it comes highly non-recommended. But that disappointment was soon quelled by the stalwart tradition of at least one Comic-Con evening a year, the Ghirardelli sundae.

Sunday’s events coming soon.


  1. wow, i clicked on the link about the teeth…
    thats F’ed up, looks like a horror movie prop tooth. unghhh
    then someone is going to buy the tooth and his hair and what build their own cory haim doll at home. guh

    Adult Swim panel sounded like fun. what was on the sealab dvd they gave you? have you been over to the adult swim website to help out hockey chicken?

    did you guys get any sketchs or just did some shoping?

  2. I didn’t do much sketch hunting. There were too many people, and I left my sketchbooks at home. I did get some sketches in books I bought. Tom Beland (True Story:Swear to God) did an amazing sketch in the book I bought from him. Eric Shanower did a short sketch in the Age of Bronze book I bought from him as well. And the Caveman Robot scribbled all over the front of that book.

    The adult swim panel was a lot of fun. MC Chris was hilarious, and did the whole “I Want Candy” rap. Matt Thompson of Sealab was exceptionally funny as well. The ATHF guys weren’t as funny as I’d hoped, but who cares, as long as the episodes are good. They showed a clip from the ATHF that airs on this upcoming sunday, and it’s really funny. Watch it. There were clips from upcoming shows and the one for Venture Brothers was pretty funny. I’d recommend it on what I saw. Some of the crowd was pretty harsh, sorta insinuating that they’d sold out, where it’s more like they’ve branched out. The integrity of the creators up there was very obvious. Even though they do silly comedy, they’re very serious about it, and making sure they’re breaking ground rather than retreading it.

    I’m not sure what’s on the DVD. It’s got Debbie from Sealab from that ad in comics lately, so I assume it’s a preview of that stuff. I already bought ATHF vol 2 and I plan on getting Sealab soon.

    The best handout was a really nice batman pin from Batman Begins with the new logo. They also gave out little bottles of holy water in velvet bags for the new Exorcist.

  3. Too bad Kiefer wasn’t at the LOST BOYS panel.

  4. Actually, Feldman (who didn’t cry once), was asked by someone what it was like to work with Kiefer, and he said he’d done 2 movies with him, and he’s probably had a longer conversation with the questioner than he ever has with Keifer. He’s very very serious about his work apparently. And a bit reclusive.

  5. Interesting thoughts about the Con from Steven Grant:

  6. i just saw the pictures with lindsay from the con, and the slave leia one cracks me up. thats definitly my favorite.
    i’m gonna go back and look at them again
    good job guys!

  7. I saw Aqua Teen Hunger Force for the first time last night…

    Boy, that was weird.

    And hilarious.

  8. Which one was it? Those are the best DVD’s I’ve bought in a long time. I really feel like the Adult Swim stuff is akin to what Monty Python was like in the late sixties (or early 70’s in the states). It’s a comedy milestone in a way, and only a small amount of people are aware of them.

  9. It was the one where Meatwad can see the future.

    And the one with the alien who speaks Japanese.

  10. And those aren’t really even the best ones. I am pleased. The one where Shake doesn’t pay the bills and Carl shoots himself in the foot is my favorite, in a tie with the one where shake kills himself and the witch doctor tries to raise him from the dead.

  11. Just a note on the Marvel table – it was there 2 years ago, last year, they didn’t have any space and squatted at Wizard’s booth

    They spend their time on tripe like Auga Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021, which the ignornant masses eat up and they can’t even do a 6 episode run of the greatest, wittiest animation show ever?


    May the power of Ponch compel you

  13. Sealab and ATHF are done by the same peope as Sealab. It’s Joy Division to New Order to put it into new wave terms. I don’t see how 2 really clever and entirely original series get classified as tripe which ignorant masses eat up. And how you can say that, and be the biggest fan on the planet of the fucking OC, is just wrong. You’re just cranky because you want the good times to go on forever, and can’t see when something has to come to a natural end. Hence your pride at owning and wearing the same t-shirt for nearly a decade.

    You know Carson would take that shit away from you.

  14. Marvel was the same deal this year. My point was that they didn’t have a real booth. Last year they just had a table. This year they also had a table, with a wall, and it was on Activision land. The last time they had a real booth was 2002. And it was pretty lame then?

  15. …and we’re friends….

  16. I dunno… the Adult Swim stuff is very funny.

    I never really watched much Space Ghost, but when I did I thought it was funny too, but for some reason I was never compelled to seek it out. There’s only so long you can sustain comedy at that high a level, maybe they feel that they have to scale back as far as they are to keep the quality high.

  17. Sometimes friends can be the harshest. You come in and talk shit, then shit will be talked back.

    What Conor says is exactly true. I mean, Seinfeld pulled the plug exactly at the right time. Perhaps a bit late. The Office, same thing. The Simpsons should have done it years ago.

    And again, the main test, the big thing, is it funny? ATHF is really funny. Sealab is really funny. They’re the same guys who did Space Ghost, why not give them some credit?


  19. That is so great.

    What is also now clear is that Caveman Robot is a better speller than most internet message board posters.

  20. Am I the only one who dreams of having a kinky affair with debbie from Sealab????