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Friday July 30, 2010 3:22 pm

Comic Con International 2010: I Was There

Walking Dead GN So it’s over and it’s been over for a while and everyone and his overweight uncle with the tattered, too-small t-shirt has written about it to death.

And now it’s my turn.

Loved it. Had a great time. Saw a lot of old friends. Made a few new ones. Found a place that makes great nachos.

Yes, the emphasis on back issues has diminished and there’s a decreased emphasis on the newer stuff and Bud Plant’s booth is smaller, but none of that diminished my overall positive experience.

I picked up a couple of hard numbers while shopping. I finally snagged a softcover copy of the first collection at the Image booth and it turned out to be the last one in stock for the con. I asked the guy at the booth about it and he said that they’d sold over 300 hardcovers of the first collection and sold out of all 700 copies of the softcover version since Preview Night. This was by Friday afternoon, with 2 1/2 more days to go. That’s what happens when good comic meets impending TV show.

I talked to the representative at the Hill & Wang booth because I was interested in how well my buddy Tim Hamilton’s adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was selling. He said they’d sold approximately 40,000 copies of the graphic novel since its release and they had two more Bradbury adaptations to come, including Something Wicked This Way Comes. Neither would be by Tim, though; he’s going onto something else.

I found some great bargains, picked up a few new comics that I can only categorize as “finds” (and I’ll be talking about those individually next week), got a complete run of Howard Chaykin’s 4-issue Shadow mini-series for $2.00, kept pencils away from my eyes, and because the con was out of lanyards only managed to stick myself with my badge three times and only drew blood once.

I also saw some good panels, including a well-done, informative, and well-attended one by Andy Schmidt about breaking into comics. The corporate presence continues to increase and all the major players from entertainment were there: Mattel, Hasbro, Nickelodeon, and so on. But I had fun at Boom! Studios, IDW, Titan, Avatar, and a dozen more. And the small press section was packed with goodies. I was also glad to see the webcomics people set up and got to see my old pal Zach Weiner (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal), the guys from Cyanide and Happiness and others. They drew a nice crowd and had people gathering around them to watch them draw that crowd.

I also ran into Dean Mullaney – and congratulated him on his Eisner win - who mentioned that his forthcoming Library of American Comics book on Alex Toth is being delayed because the Toth family discovered a huge trove of previously unknown stuff that needs to be included. The phrase “worth the wait” immediately comes to mind.

And despite the presence of comics, I still bumped into a couple of celebrities, including the great actor-director Bill Duke who was hanging around the DC booth. Within an hour of that brief conversation, I was being introduced by a mutual friend (I’m looking at you Jeff) to Ming Na from SGU Stargate Universe and ER. She was traveling incognito to soak up the experience.

And what about next year? Well, of course, I’ll be back.

[Artwork: Cover to Walking Dead]

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