Well, another Comic-Con is in the books. The weekend only elevated the already rampant insanity that is inherant when you gather 125,000-plus fanboys/girls and the objects of their obsessions in one area. After spending most of the day Friday making the rounds of the convention floor and seeing the sights, I decided to take it easy and spend Saturday going to panels.
First up was the always entertaining “Black Panel.” Most of the programming at the con has a fun and humorous tone, but every year panel moderator Michael Davis goes above and beyond to make sure attendees have a good time. This year, some of the guests included, rappers Ludacris and Prodigal Sunn, comic writer and BET president Reginald Hudlin, artist Denys Cowan and original Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols.
After a quick walk around the floor, I took a deep breath and settled in for my longest wait of the convention. I spent the next three hours in line for the “Fables” and then “Venture Brothers” panels. Fortunately, they were in the same room, so I was able to attend two panels for the wait of one.
“Fables” is one of my favorite comics out there and the panel charted the direction for the next year’s worth of story. The audience also received a free one-page comic done exclusively for the con. According to writer Bill Willingham (who won an Eisner Award for best writer this year) the comic will dictate the next 100 issues of the book, so fans were quite intrigued at the clues offered therein.
As much fun as the other panels were, the “Venture Brothers” panel topped them. It was one of the funniest and flat-out crazy discussions I’ve ever been to. After showing a teaser reel for the upcoming fourth season of the show, it was thrown out for an open Q&A session. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, the brains behind the show, were in fine form and kept the audience in stitches with a constant stream of jokes, stories and offers to do inappropriate things to fans in the crowd. It was a great way to finish off the day and a reminder of why San Diego is the king of cons.
Sunday was much more sedate. The final day is the very defination of “bittersweet.” It’s hard to really enjoy the con knowing that it is almost over for a whole year. There are bright spots though. Many of the vendors on the floor aren’t willing to pack up their wares again, so they offer discounts of 50% or even higher on some items. So I was able to drown my sorrows in a flood of discounted comic books and stickers. I also got to meet, get an autograph on my shirt and chat with nerdcore rapper extra-ordinare MC Frontalot. With that and a few more sketches, another week of pop culture paradise in San Diego came to a close.