San Diego Comic-Con International 2003 Report #1


I just took a walk into the future, and I am almost too stunned to think. I've been exhibiting at the San Diego Comics convention for 32 years. During the past three years the convention has been transitioning from being a very large comics convention, into becoming a media showcase of totally unique proportions. In many regards, that transition is now complete. Walking from one end of this convention hall to the other now takes over 15 minutes. Within that time span you are bombarded with such an incredible cacophony of sight and sound as to make a typical rock concert seem tame. It's not the actual volume that gets to you, but rather the unbelievably constant levels of sensory input that quickly numb your brain.

From what I've just said you might get the impression that I don't like what's happening here. Quite the opposite is true. I find the convention this year to be the single most impressive experience that I've ever had in my entire career in serving fandom. If you have even the slightest interest in comics, gaming, movies, or fantasy toys, this building on this particular wonderful weekend, is as close to heaven as you're ever going to be able reach while on this mortal plane. If that enthusiastic observation sounds over the top, just take some time to check out the pictures that Pam took of just a tiny number of the displays in this room. They are beyond mind-boggling...

One fantastic improvement to the convention this year is a significant broadening of the walking aisles. In particular, there are now very broad north-south avenues, which allow you to easily traverse the room. It is absolutely critical that they added these aisles, as rumors had it that last year's show came very close to being shut down due to the intense crowding on Saturday afternoon. I will guarantee you that crowding will be an even greater problem this year, as the attendance is clearly waaay up. Two years ago the show drew about 67,000 attendees, while last year it surged to over 80,000. A well-informed friend of mine just told me that this year's show has a reported 65,000 (!) 4-day pre-registered attendees. If the typical 20,000-50,000 one-day visitors swell these already immense ranks, this place is going to be totally insane. (click on image for larger view)

What I am especially looking forward to is Saturday afternoon. That day may very well be the largest gathering of the clans that has ever transpired in the history of fandom. The energy flowing through the room that day may very well exceed that of even the most evocative concert or intense sporting event. If you live anywhere near the San Diego area, I highly recommend that you try and attend the show. It will be insanely crowded, noisy, expensive, and sometimes even frightening, but the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con International may well also be one of the most memorable experiences you will ever have in you life.

If you do decide to come to the show, here are a couple of tips:

1) Come very early in the morning. The parking lots are totally full by 8:30 AM, and registering may take as long as two hours.

2) If you don't already have a hotel room or rental car, be prepared for a big hassle. The entire city is reportedly sold out for the weekend.

3) Bring every cent you can possibly raise, and then more. You will see so much stuff that you want at this show that it will make you want to cry. It happens to me every time I walk the room, and I'm as jaded (and as flush...) as anyone I know.

4) Bring your own food and drink, and comfortable shoes. If you're not paying $6 for a hot dog, you'll have more to spend on comics!

That's it for today. I already have a line of people waiting to speak with me, so I need to get off of the computer. I do want to mention, however, that we've already seen more people through our booth this year than what we saw during all of last year's show. Sales on the Dallas Stephens comics have been quite brisk, with several hundred books already having sold. That's a drop in the bucket, however, as compared to the entire collection, so there is still an excellent selection of Dallas Stephens comics available for you on the website. (click on image for larger view)

I'll be back with another report in 24 hours!

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

Thursday Pictures

Dallas Stephens

Thursday (day 1) morning line outside

Setting up our booth

Setting up more of our booth

Dorthy Crouch and Rowan with the Crypt Keeper

Looking down at the crowd

Michael Turner's Aspen

Camp Crystal Lake, Freddy vs Jason


DC Booth

Upper Deck Gaming Booth

Gundam Wing

Poineer Booth

Sci-Fi Booth

Storm Troopers

Games Workshop

Stan Winston Creatues


[San Diego Comic Con 2003 Report #2] - [San Diego Comic Con 2003 Report #3]
[San Diego Comic Con 2003 Report #4]

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