San Diego Comic-Con International 2003 Report #4


In about 30 minutes we're going to begin to shut down our massive exhibition booth at the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con International. This time of the convention is always a bittersweet moment for me, as I am relieved that the convention is almost over, but I am also dreading the end of the fun. I already know that I missed seeing hundreds of my friends in the comics world who are here at the show, but who's paths I just wasn't able to cross during my five days in this massive facility. What it comes down to, however, is that there are just so many hours in the day, and over 400,000 square feet of booths to visit. No matter how hard you try, you can't see them all...

While I didn't get to see everyone, I sure have been burning the candle at both ends in trying. I'm running on less than three hours sleep right now, as I spent until 7 PM yesterday greeting fans at the Mile High booth, and then worked as the auctioneer at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auction until 11 PM. I'm very pleased to report that we were able to raise $18,499 for the fund during the auction! After the auction I got a quick bit to eat, and then participated in the invitation-only single elimination poker tournament that began at midnight. Aside from the $100 entrance fee, sponsor Jim Lee required everyone to contribute a minimum of $25 for the CBLDF. We raised another $700+ from this event, including a special contribution of $100 each from the two big winners. I am particularly proud to report that our head buyer and database manager, Will Moulton, finished second in the tournament, only slightly behind a gentleman who works as a professional poker dealer in a very prominent Las Vegas casino! The fact that he was then willing to voluntarily contribute $100 from his winnings to the CBLDF makes me very, very proud of him.

In point of fact, I want to take a special moment to applaud the efforts of the entire Mile High team at this year's convention. Because we were trying to safeguard over $1 million in Dallas Stephens books at this year's show, our people were not able to spend nearly as much time enjoying themselves as they have been able at past conventions. Thanks to their diligent efforts, however, many, many fans were able to enjoy viewing these great books, and were given prompt assistance in looking up items on our 5 computers. I could not be happier with how our display was run at this year's show.

I now need to take a moment to get political. All all of you should realize by now, I am fervently in favor of free speech rights within the comics industry. I am also totally opposed to the elements of the new "Patriot Act" law which requires booksellers and librarians to provide personal reading data about their patrons to agents of the government. Here at the show I met Jeffrey Weaver, the Chief of Staff for Vermont Representative Bernard Sanders. Representative Sanders has an amendment pending in Congress next week that would act to blunt some of the particularly onerous elements of the new law. Here is what Mr. Weaver had to say:

    In the wake of the September 11th attacks, Congress hastily passed a law called the USA Patriot Act which included roll backs of civil liberties protections in a number of areas. One of the most important for comic fans were changes made by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. With the new powers granted by Section 215, federal agents can go to a secret court and get a warrant to seize library circulation and bookseller sales records even where the federal agents have no proof of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the subjects of the search. Worse yet, Section 215 makes it a crime for the library or bookseller to alert their patrons that records about them have been seized. To remedy this problem, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the American Library Association, the book sellers, and other civil libertarians are supporting a bill in Congress called the Freedom to Read Protection Act, which is sponsored by Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The bill number is H.R. 1157. This week in Congress, Rep. Sanders and a coalition of other members of the U.S. House are expected to try to add an amendment to one of the Congressional spending bills that would restore protections for libraries, booksellers, and their patrons. Comic fans need to let their voices be heard. Even a few emails to your member of Congress could make a big difference. To send your Congressperson an email, go to and click on the Write Your Representative in the left hand column. The program will ask your zip code and direct your email to the right member. In your email let your member know that you want them to support the amendment by Rep. Sanders to the Commerce, Justice, State appropriations bill to restore civil liberties protections for libraries, booksellers, and their patrons. For more information on Rep. Sanders' legislation, you can visit

At this point the decision is up to you as to whether or not to take the effort to call or write your congressman on this issue. I certainly don't feel that I have any kind of right to do anything but provide you with the opportunity to act if you feel so inclined. I will say, however, that I personally don't believe (as some would have you think...) that it is in any way disloyal to our government to dissent when laws are passed that have the effect of diminishing our personal rights and freedoms. Many of our forbearers fought and died to originally establish these freedoms for us, and I think that it is completely patriotic to object to any dimishment of those rights. During these times of increasing repression we may not win this one battle, but at least some of us will know that we took one small step in the right direction. 'nuff said.

Well, that's it for another San Diego Convention. I'm now off now to pay for my booth in 2004. With luck, the tremendously happy memories that were generated by this year's convention will sustain us until the evening of July 21st, 2004, when the next convention begins. If there is any way for you to join us in 2004, please try! I will guarantee you that you'll never, ever, forget the wonderful experience of participating in this ultimate gathering of the clans.

Happy collecting!
Chuck Rozanski,
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
Advance Previews
of next weeks comics from
Marvel, DC, CrossGen & Image

Sunday Pictures

Mattel Booth

Graphitti/View Askew Booth

Sony Playstation Booth

Batman Utility Belt from DC Comics

Dragonball Z

Chicks love hooks!


Cthulhu on vacation?

Juggernaut statue

Cartoon Books Booth

Wolverine (Sam Kieth style) Bust

Black Cat statue

Tim Burton's PVC set

An Anime Classic Kimba statues


Punisher The Movie booth

DreamWorks Booth

Wizards of the Coast



Sumo Wrestling at Viz

Bud Plant Comic Art Booth

Get yourself airbrushed

Shi Booth

Drawn & Quarterly

Kabuki's David Mack

Penny Farthing Press

IDW Publishing

Games Workshop

Cartoon Network

DC Vertigo


Haunted Mansion

Moore Creations

[San Diego Comic Con 2003 Report #1] - [San Diego Comic Con 2003 Report #2]
[San Diego Comic Con 2003 Report #3]

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