Best day ever at the San Diego Comic-Con

Books, Comics, Gaming, Movies, Nintendo, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Television

San Diego Comic Con, Battlestar Galactica, Cylon
AN OLD-SCHOOL BATTLESTAR GALACTICA CYLON WITH A FULLY-FUNCTIONAL HELMET. SWEET!

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did.

Saturday was my last day at Comic-Con, and probably the most memorable. What started out as a normal day — seeing fans in costume, getting autographs from famous artists and processing an insane amount of fanboy mania — ended with a bang, otherwise known as The Comic-Con International Masquerade.

San Diego Comic Convention 2008, WATCHMEN, NITE OWL, Owl-shaped flying vehicle nicknamed the “Owlship” or “Archie”
NITE OWL’S SWEET RIDE FROM THE UPCOMING WATCHMEN MOVIE.

I heard artist James Jean was going to be signing at the Chronicle Books booth at 2 p.m. and advance copies of his new book XOXO would be on sale at noon. Since yesterday’s signing was very busy, I knew I had to get in line early. (I’m a really big fan of James Jean, in case you didn’t see my earlier post.)

San Diego Comic Con, Ghostbusters and Skully from X-Files
GHOSTBUSTERS AND SCULLY FROM THE X-FILES.

Nobody was lining up yet, so I decided to hang out in the video game section of the exhibit hall. It was cool to see a lot of playable demos for upcoming games like Little Big Planet, DC Universe Online and Ghostbusters: The Video Game. The lines to play were long though, especially for Street Fighter IV. Everyone was giving out free stuff too. I got a free Ghostbusters: The Video Game t-shirt at their booth. Score!

San Diego Comic Con 2008, SUMMER GLAU FROM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS.
SUMMER GLAU FROM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS. SHE’S PRETTY.

The James Jean signing was a lot of fun. Having met him and embarrassed myself on Friday, I was much more relaxed this time. I got his autograph and chatted with him a bit about the new book. It’s a thing of beauty, as is all of his work.

And for the fifth year in a row, James Jean won the Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist. He also won another Eisner Award for Best Publication Design for his book Process Recess 2. Here’s a list of all the 2008 Eisner Award winners.

San Diego Comic Convention 2008, JAMES JEAN, FABLES, PROCESS RECESS, ARTIST JAMES JEAN SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS AND SKETCHES FOR FANS AT THE CHRONICLE BOOKS BOOTH.
ARTIST JAMES JEAN SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS AND SKETCHES FOR FANS AT THE CHRONICLE BOOKS BOOTH.

Then I went to the Vertigo Voices Fables Forum and heard Fables creator Bill Willingham, artist Mark Buckingham and others talk about some of my favorite comics. Fables cover artist James Jean also showed up half-way through the session. (I swear I’m not stalking him.)

The panel discussed the past, present and future of Fables and some new spin-off books coming soon. Then they had a very entertaining Q&A and passed out a convention-exclusive, one-sheet comic created by Willingham and Buckingham. Later I went down to the DC Comics booth and got both of them to sign it. Yet another big geek-out moment!

Up next was the Marvel: Secret Invasion panel. Joe Quesada and a bunch of Marvel writers and editors talked about everything but Secret Invasion, Marvel’s current blockbuster event where the Skrulls invade the Marvel Universe. They did pimp the next big series, War of Kings, starting this winter and answer questions from fans. It was a strange panel with too many fans ripping on the current state of Spider-Man, but entertaining for a con-newb like me.

San Diego Comic Con 2008, LEGO BATMAN DISPLAY MADE OUT OF LEGOS
LEGO STATUE PROMOTING THE NEW LEGO BATMAN VIDEO GAME.

The end of the evening was the most memorable moment of my Comic-Con experience. Some friends and I went to The Comic-Con International Masquerade and witnessed an event like no other.

Imagine, if you can, a massive convention center room full of energetic Con-goers watching people with original and re-created costumes perform on stage. By performing I mean dancing, singing, role-playing, and sometimes just standing there while the crowd cheered and/or booed. It was a mind-blowing sight to see.

San Diego Comic-Con 2008, The Comic-Con International Masquerade
WORDS CAN’T DESCRIBE THE COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL MASQUERADE.

Some of the costumes and performances were really great. The folks who dressed up as a Nintendo video-game characters were really cool. And the act “All Rise in the Presence of Emperor Ming” was super-impressive as dozens of well-dressed characters recreated the wedding scene from the 1980 Flash Gordon movie.

San Diego Comic-Con 2008, The Comic-Con International Masquerade
“ALL RISE IN THE PRESENCE OF EMPEROR MING.”

Other acts, like the infamous “Vikings,” were so bad that the audience was screaming for them to get off the stage. I haven’t heard an audience that mad in a long time. Hell, I was even mad. It was one of those rare situations where I wish I had tomatoes to throw.

All in all it was a fantastic experience that I will never forget. Masquerade winners received trophies and cash prizes, but the members of the audience were the real winners that night. By the way, I do have mass respect for some of those performers. To make those cool costumes and get up on stage in front of all those people is not an easy feat.

San Diego Comic-Con 2008, The Comic-Con International Masquerade
ROBOT CHICKEN, FROM ADULT SWIM’S ROBOT CHICKEN, RECEIVED MUCH APPLAUSE.

Later we walked by the The Comic-Con International Masquerade Party where we got to see the wild side of cosplay (short for “costume play”). Stormtroopers, fairies, anime characters, and anything else you can imagine were all rave-dancing while techno music shook the convention center walls. Only at Comic-Con.


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