Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicago Comic-Con Part Three (Day Two)

Day two of our two day convention trip took us mostly into the depths of Artist’s Alley and the packed vendor section as we collected different things we were searching for and got to meet some of my favorite artists in person. Click below for more :

In preparation for a long day of conventioning, Liz had the brilliant idea to pack peanut butter sandwiches and other snacks to bring with us so we wouldn’t be trapped into paying $8.00 for a hot dog inside.

As predicted I was like a kid on Christmas morning and was clamoring to get there for when the doors opened. Being weekend passholders, we were able to get in at 9:00 instead of the usual 10:00 which was awesome because we got a good quick lay of the land as far as the items I wanted to buy before it got too overcrowded. The lobby mural was progressing nicely as well :

Saturday was definitely the day for costume watching since this is the day of the big costume contest, but my goal today was to meet some of the big names that were in attendance. First up was one I was not even expecting to be there, Freddie Williams II. I’m a big fan of his work on Final Crisis Aftermath : Run!, which if you haven’t read it is completely batshit crazy over the top violence and fun. I got to speak to him a little about his upcoming JSA : All Stars project with writer Matt Sturges that will focus on a smaller team of younger JSA members. He signed a copy of Run! for me, took a picture and seemd like an all around nice guy who was happy to be in comics and pleased to meet fans.

Next, while wandering through Artist’s Alley, I came across J. Scott Campbell’s table and there were only about 10 people in line. I had brought Amazing Spider Man #601 and an older GI Joe that he did the cover art for to have him sign, which he happily did. The guy in line in front of me had a comic board on which he drew a scene of a magazine stand with blank magazine and newspapers, then he has different artists each add a sketch to one of the covers. I thought this was an awesome idea and didn’t mind waiting while I watched a master add his contribution to it.

Finally, in the last aisle of Artist’s Alley, I happened upon J.G. Jones who was signing as well. Once again, there were only a few people in line since he had just started and he was only doing signatures so the line went quickly. Jones was extremely personable and shook both my hand and my wife’s after signing my copy of Final Crisis #1 and posed for a picture. As people were waiting in line he was joking with everyone and thanking them for waiting. He picked up a copy of 52 #25 that a fan had brought for signing (the one with the kids trick or treating on it) and explained to everyone that those are his neighbor's kids and the cat in the picture is actually his cat. I love to see superstar creators in this light because we deify them sometimes but they are just regular people with jobs to do and (most of the time) they are extremely appreciative of the people who put them in the position they are in today.

Something just came to mind that always bothers me. Why is it that no matter how much notice you have when meeting an idol of yours, you can do nothing but stutter when you actually get to meet them? When I got up to Jones, I felt like my mouth wouldn’t work and what seemed to come out is “You….art…good…do!!!” I think what came out of my cake-hole was more intelligent and coherent but I’m not so sure.

After making some final purchases and being disappointed that a figure that I wanted to come back for was gone (Red Son Batman for $8.00 dammit), we made a few more laps and then said goodbye to the convention floor for this year. In the lobby, people were prepping for the costume contest so we did some final mingling with the costume crowd and got some great pictures which will be up in a later post. I definitely had more fun doing the convention in two days rather than one and will more than likely do the same next year. It’s just nice to not feel like you have to see everything in one day and makes it less of a rush to get to everything.

On the way out I was stopped by a Stormtrooper Patrol from the 501st Regiment and subjected to search and seizure, but Liz talked them out of taking me in to the Regional Empire Headquarters for questioning.

When all was said and done, the convention was a lot of fun. We came home with tons of great stuff which will be shown off in a separate post tomorrow and we got to meet so many great people. Thanks to Wizard for putting on a fun show and thanks to Freddie Williams II, JG Jones, J. Scott Campbell and all of the great artists and writers that were selling their books and sketches and made themselves available for the fans.

Check back Monday evening for the return of Looking Forward to Wednesday, a special Comic-Con edition of Show & Tell and coverage of the costumes along with a review or two of indie books that I picked up.

Feel free to share your personal convention stories in the comments section.

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