I have to say that between what I was expecting (or hoping) to get out of Saturday, and what I actually got out of Saturday, that was one heck of a nice balance. Starting the morning, my friend, my girlfriend, and myself all ended up getting to the floor much later than we were hoping to, forcing us to miss the Green Lantern animated series premiere. While I was a little annoyed I couldn't make it in time, I don't regret it too much, knowing it'll be on TV soon enough and I can form my thoughts on it then.
What we ended up doing then instead was walking around as many booths and artist alley locations as we could. For some reason, this ended up being more of an exploration day than Sunday, which is very different from previous years for me. Saturday is supposed to be the day of all the important shows and panels, and yet, the few I was really interested in this year, I did not actually get to go to. Trying to get in line for the Avengers movie panel 2 hours before still got us sent back, only to be told that the IGN Theater was already packed and that since they don't empty out the room per panel, that we pretty much had no chance in hell since there was a panel for the Walking Dead (TV series) right before it.
So what the heck did we actually do on Saturday? Thankfully still quite a bit, as I'll get to. At the Midtown Comics booth (who's store I absolutely love by the way), I was thrilled to see they still had a few signed copies of Craig Thompson's "Blankets" in hardcover, as well as his newest project, "Habibi." I saw that "Blankets" was sold out on the Midtown website, as well as going on Ebay for over $200 in hardcover already, which was absolutely nuts. For those who haven't experienced the awesome and the emotion that is Craig Thompson, know that you're missing out on one hell of a set of experiences, both realistic and enlightening.
While standing on line to pay, I saw that Kevin Levine (one of the creators of Irrational Games, and the game "Bioshock") was going to be signing posters for his newest title, "Bioshock: Infinite." While I would have loved to get one, being diabetic and forced to eat around the same time as this signing kind of made that impossible. We ate at Subway however, and I did happen to get a winning code for Uncharted 3, but it was not for the game, rather a journal and wrist cuff. I happen to find that very interesting in itself though, as it sounds like both of those (especially the journal) will make for awesome collectibles.
Looking at the Bandai booth was absolutely awesome, with figures from series like Gundam, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Kamen Rider, Saint Seiya, Gojira, and more! I'm a sucker for action figures, and these were absolutely perfect-looking. I don't even want to think about what they would cost, but I can still imagine. From this booth, I also bought part 1 of Zeta Gundam, the only Gundam series I would actually admit that I enjoyed more than the original Mobile Suit Gundam.
It was around this booth that I happened to actually meet up with an online pal I knew from an internet forum called The Haisho. Darren was an awesome guy and I wish we could have talked more. I also felt bad that he kept following me and Kelsey around without really having anything he particularly wanted to do himself. I hope he had more fun as he went on, and if you're reading this Darren, it was great meeting you!
Due to being unable to visit the Avengers movie panel, I thought it would be a good idea to show Kelsey more involving female writers and heroine characters as she began to get into more comics herself. There was a panel just for that, called "Girls Kick Butt: Strong Female Heroines in Young Adult Fantasy." First off, I want to give kudos to the moderator of the panel, who started off changing the title to "Girls Kick Ass" right away. I very much agreed with her sentiment. In this panel, we got to hear from some surprisingly big names in fantasy, such as Esther Friesner and Caitlin Kittredge amongst others. They were all an absolute joy to listen to, and I wouldn't mind getting into some of their works myself.
Another part of getting Kelsey into more comics was to let her try out different titles and see what she liked. Spider-Man was the first one she wanted, so I had no problem lending her trades of the earliest issues, as well as JM Stracynski's stories for the character. Here at the con, we found her some issues of Wonder Woman, and even the first issue of Black Panther, which she told me she used to be a huge fan of when she was younger, to my surprise.
We met some very nice artists in the Artist Alley and Comic Artist Alley. One that I have to give the biggest shout out to for Saturday was Nick Nix, inker for Black Panther, Aspen Comics, G.I. Joe, and others. He seemed so appreciative that we were even talking with him, that he drew some rough sketches of us for free. For quick drafts, they were actually very well done, and I came out impressed. He's a very nice man and I hope he continues to succeed in the field he's working towards.
One last guest I got to see before the end of the day, which I haven't seen since about 3 years ago at my first NY Comic Con was Irwin Hasen, original Green Lantern artist, as well as Justice Society, Wildcat, and Wonder Woman. He didn't remember me from the panel years back of course, but he was just as polite as I recall and it was nice seeing such a classic here. I hope he got the appreciation he deserved and it was good to actually get to shake his hand this time, as he left very quickly the previous year.
I think that just about wraps up Saturday. And now for the next and final day of the con!
With our legs still wanting to murder us (and still do even as I type this), Nasser, Kelsey, and I proceeded to venture out for the last day of the con. We weren't expecting as much from this day, but I think that's what made it so great in the first place.
The objective for today was to continue where we left off and see as many things as we possibly could. I would say that we did just that and really got a lot out of it. Outside of seeing some more amazing figures, statues, and other collectibles, we got to meet a few nice artists along the way once more.
For those who don't know, Darkwing Duck was all but my favorite cartoon of all time when I was little. I decided to try some of the recent issues of the comic just to see how they were, and sure enough, I had liked them quite a bit. I was even more excited to see the artist of the reboot, James Silvani, at his own table. He was only charging about $5 for each print, so I ended up paying for two and they gave me a third free, all signed by the man himself. He was really nice, and we talked about how much fun that they were having by making spoof covers of classic DC issues like "The Dark Knight Returns" and "Crisis of Infinite Earths," only using Darkwing instead.
Just before this, when we were all proceeding to find a decent (and working) ATM machine, Kelsey noticed a line by the Cartoon Network stand near the entrance of the con. They were giving away an exclusive figurine of Finn from "Adventure Time" to promote the show, the recent DVD release, and Toys R' Us, who provided all of the figurines we received. It was a nice little surprise that we didn't see coming until the last second.
One final booth I'll mention was for the company Fierce Comics. The title I was interested in was known as "The Maniacal Smile," a character that ended up being referenced in the game "Captain Smiley," as there was some huge debate over what came first, who could sue who, etc. They were just premiering an omnibus edition for Comic Con this weekend, and so I decided to pick it up and get it signed by the creator. They were another very nice group and I hope they keep going strong for years to come!
So there you have it more or less. This was some of the best and most important descriptions I can recall. I had a great time this year, as did Kelsey and Nasser. I hope that we can all do this again next year and have just as much fun as we did this weekend. Later everyone!