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
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
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
(click on image for larger view)
I'll be back with another report in 24 hours!
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
of next weeks comics from
Marvel, DC, CrossGen & Image
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
Upper Deck Gaming Booth
Stan Winston Creatues