Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austin Comic Con Wrap-Up (Year 1)

So, this was the first year Wizard World had brought a Con to Austin.  There were certainly highs and lows, but its a great start and something this part of the state can use and obviously support.

My day today was very different from Day 1 as I actually spent time with people I knew.

Okay, technically, I don't "know" Captain Marvel
Jamie decided to bail on me to spend an afternoon with PalNicole, so Jason took me up on the ticket.

At the Con I met up with Corpsman MattA.  MattA and I go way, way, waaaaaaaay back.  He informed me I was responsible for his first purchase of a comic circa 5th grade when we were both reading West Coast Avengers (I know, I know).  Anyway, I hadn't seen Matt since 1990 when I moved from Austin to the Houston area.  This was all pre-email and whatnot, so, younger readers, it used to be possible to lose track of people.

...Seriously, had not seen the dude in 20 years.  Comics, bringing geeks together.

Anyhow, Matt had brought his daughter, who was terribly sweet, and we all sought out R2-D2 together.  (There was a full-sized R2-D2 replica driven by remote control.  It had all sorts of moving parts and was may as well have been the one used in the movies.  Just great detail.).

a semi-anonymous child, R2D2, MattA's loud shirt and Jason's leg and sandal
 I also met up with JackBart and his friend (whose name I can just never remember).  I also ran into a high school pal, Phil, who I hadn't seen in...  man, I don't know.

The floor was busier today, and it seemed like the dealers had gotten a little more serious with their inventory since Friday as some (not even most) of the booths looked like they had new and more stuff out.  I spent far less time today around the autograph tables just gawking, mainly because I'd already fulfilled my primary objective of obtaining Ms. Gray's autograph.

It definitely seemed like there were more people in costume and far more kids, something I hope the vendors alter the show for next year.  If kids are going show up, it seems like vendors could better cater to the little miscreants.

And then, suddenly... Phil!

I picked up 3 prints from an artist named Terry Huddleston.  He has something of a cartoony, almost Jeff Smith-ish style that I really dug.  So I now have pics of Superman, Wonder Woman and The Atom that I'm going to have to figure out where to hang.

In addition to the Jimmy Olsen and Superman back issues I found on Friday, today I found a copy of The Great Superman Book.  Its not exactly the holy grail of Superman collecting, but I'd never seen a copy of the book before (its basically a big Superman reference book from back in the day).

Cosmic Boy must have used his Legion Time Bubble to bring 80's black-suit Spidey to 2010
Artist's Alley was full of people working on independent stuff, name artists (Greg Horn, Mike McKone, etc...), and just a lot of folks who just want to be in the game one way or another.  I came very, very close to getting a Dean Trippe sketch, but he looked very swamped.  Next time.  I want to see what he does for Krypto.

And...  local Austin artist Tim Doyle was in attendance with his own work and the guys working with Intergalactic Nemesis, a sort of comics/ live-action/ multi-media project.  I really want to get some of Doyle's work, but I can never figure out where it could go...

I was stunned to learn that JackBart knows nothing about Jack Kirby's New Gods series, and so he was a bit baffled when this happened.

Despite what Jason and Jack believed, this guy is actually not just a crazy hobo
It sounds like Wizard World was happy enough that they've already rented the space for the same weekend next year.  That's good news.  I can only hope this thing continues to grow.  Austin can fully support an event like the Comic Con.

If I had one beef, its that the stars of the show, Burt Ward and Adam West, were mostly available yesterday in what was officially dubbed "Batman and Robin Day" by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.  Its not the fault of anyone but myself for not paying attention to the signing schedule, and, of course, I chose not to attend yesterday.

I'd lie if I said that the Con isn't good people watching.  It is, indeed, generally a good time seeing people in a good mood doing their thing, whether its looking for comics, meeting celebrities or dressing up in a convincing Catwoman suit.  And, sincerely, whether you're into comics or not, there are worse ways to kill a few hours on a Sunday.

The local CBS affiliate did some stories and interviews on Comic Con.


Matt A. said...

Good times. Meeting up with The League really brought back memories. There was a copy of Elfquest I found there that brought it back even more.

My favorite celebrity moment there was talking to Lindsay Wagner - the Bionic Woman. My biggest disappointment was not getting a photo of her.

The League said...

Yeah, they really, really wanted people to pay for photos with the celebs.

I am not sure if I am ashamed of my 5th & 6th grade reading of Elfquest or not. I think I was, and now I'm kind of impressed we were on that bandwagon at such a young age. That said, I haven't cracked a book by the Pini's in 20 years.

Matt A. said...

You can find their work online now:

I read through those a year ago or so. Quite a different experience now that I can actually understand most of the storyline.

The League said...

Yeah, of course at some point when you're neckdeep in "The Invisibles" and whatnot, you don't want to fess up to having been a huge Elfquest fan at one point, and then it had been so long, I really didn't think about the series too much. Looking back, what I read of it had good characterization and a great mythology. Weird this never made it to TV, etc...

J.S. said...

Wait. I went to a Comic Con? I don't remember that. Did you slip me a mickey?