Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It Came From the Back Issue Bin! #19: San Diego Comic Con 2011 - July 20-25/2011

by Jason Shayer

In late April of this year, I received news that my application for professional status for SDCC 2011 had been approved. I had sent in the supporting documentation with little hope of having them approved. After doing a happy dance around the house, I settled down and planned for the upcoming event. It seemed to take an eternity for July 20th to come around, but it finally did...


Flew into San Diego around 6:45pm from Toronto and jumped into a cab and raced to the Convention Center for Preview night. I spent two hours, stunned and with my mouth open, walking around the main hall taking it all in. It was amazing and overwhelming. Even by Sunday, I don’t think I had seen everything.

At the end of preview night, we followed the massive crowds out of the Convention Center and into the Gaslamp Quarter and had a late dinner at Dick’s, which was quite an experience.


Woke up early and excited and scarfed down breakfast at the hotel. After some confusion over the shuttle buses, we ended up taking a cab to the Convention Center. Managed to snag lottery autograph tickets for Jim Butcher and Grant Morrison. Then I rushed down to the Avatar booth and got into the George R.R. Martin line and got a few of his books signed. Then back up to the autograph area and into the Jim Butcher line to get his autograph on a few books. Then over to the Epic Fantasy Writers line to get Patrick Rothfuss’ autograph and then over to the Grant Morrison line. Sigh!

Then got in line at the DC booth to meet up with Scott Snyder and Rafael Albequerque, the creative team behind American Vampire, which won the Eisner for Best New Series! Back up to the autograph area and got an autograph from fantasy writer, Raymond Feist.

Bid farewell to the Con for the day and headed up to Smashburger for dinner.

Back at the con around 8:30am, but was already too late to get in line as it had already been capped for the Captains panel hosted by Kevin Smith with Bill Shatner. Decided to head over to Room 8 and check out the screen of the Locke & Key pilot that Fox had rejected. What a great pilot! Can’t believe that Fox passed on it. Hopefully someone will be smart enough to pick it up at some point.

Went over to Artist’s alley and then the DC booths and got signatures from Ron Lim, Paul Levitz, Jim Lee, and Dave Gibbons.

Met and got autographs from the legendary Alan Davis at the Marvel booth and then raced over to his booth for a lovely sketch of Kitty Pryde and Lockheed.

Roy Thomas had been unavailable for Thursday and Friday, so I had to lug all his Marvel Masterwork around on Saturday. Met him at the TwoMorrows booth and got his autographs. What a gentleman.

Hovered around the Legendary booth until they finally formed the Frank Miller autograph line. Finally got his signature and told him: “Damn you for creating this book [Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1], it made me grow up in 1986!” To which he replied, “Ah, yes. 1986. That was a good year.”

And ran into Zatana Zatara...

Went over to the IDW booth and picked up the SDCC exclusive version of Locke & Key Volume #4 and got it signed by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

Sunday was the quietest day of the con with a lot of people heading back home already. Took the shuttle bus to the Convention Center. Decided against getting into the crazy line-up for Hall H which was hosting the Supernatural panel. Instead, got into the lottery line at the Marvel Booth for a chance to get a Nathan Fillion autograph. No such luck.

Then went over to the DC booth and got into the line for the Fables group autograph panel (Bill Willingham, Steve Leialoha, Mark Buckingham, and Todd Klein).

To cap off the entire con, got autographs from Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible).

Said farewell to the Con and made my way to the airport. Flew to LA and waited four hours for my flight back to Toronto. Seems like I spent the entire trip in line! The landing was delayed by a thunderstorm and aborted landing. When we finally touched the ground, we were further delayed as the ground crew couldn’t operate in the thunderstorm for obvious safety reasons. Finally got home just after 8am and collapsed!

BEST GIVEAWAYS: DC’s Wayne Casino poker chips
BEST AUTOGRAPH EXPERIENCE: Grant Morrison, Frank Miller, Robert Kirkman...
BEST SURPRISE: Meeting 1980s fan favorite artist Art Adams!
BEST BOOTH: DC Comics. Running around on Saturday trying to get autographs, I found out that the Dan Jurgens autograph line had been capped. I approached a DC booth staffer and explained that I only had one item I wanted autographed. He smiled, took the issue, and went over to Jurgens and had him sign the issue!
BEST EYE CANDY: Slave Leias.

Only 47 or so weeks until SDCC 2012!!!

--Jason Shayer
(THE BLACK GLOVE MAGAZINE thanks Jason for his time and effort in reporting his convention visits.)