And this was the view from the south
balcony. A wonderful view of the marina and Coronado Island.
Comic-con itself is amazing. This
picture below comes from outside the convention center. We were
waiting in line to see Kevin Smith. He was presenting in Hall H,
which seats 6,000. After waiting in line for a couple of hours
(outside in the HEAT!) we finally got into Hall H. They announced
that Kevin Smith had not arrived, and was somewhere stuck in San Diego
traffic. We waited. They showed some movie trailers.
We waited more. They updated us that Mr. Smith was still at least
a couple of hours away. All that waiting for nothing, we headed
out to the dealer's room to see what we could see.
Besides all the things
there are to buy, there are autographs to be had! Lotsa famous
people are either giving out or selling their signatures. It's a
great way of getting the autographs of people you like. Below,
David Prowse (Darth Vader) signs our limited edition Star Wars
poster. It was signed by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, the artists
who originally painted the poster. We would like to get as many
signatures on it as possible.
Right Next to David was Temuera Morrison,
who played Jango Fett in Episodes 2 and 3. Two down, several
hundred to go...
Later, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) was
also signing, so signature number 3! (We got yelled at for taking this
picture. Apparently some celebrities don't want their pictures
taken. Maybe Ms. Fisher doesn't think the years hav been good to
Not all the celebrities are
well-known. Some are very popular in their niches, but the niches
are not that large. These two guys are examples of this.
They are voice actors for a TV show called "Fullmetal Alchemist."
The kid on the left is Aaron Dismuke, who plays Alphonse Elric.
The guy on the right is Vic Mignogna, who plays Big brother Edward
Vic pauses in his signing for a moment to
pose with us. He was a great guy. He informed us that he
had never actually met Aaron (who's character interacts very
extensively with his own on the show) until well after they had
recorded and wrapped the show. That is fascinating and
disturbing. It makes me wonder how much better the conversations
would be if the actors could actually interact with each other.
For those of you unfamiliar with "Fullmetal
Alchemist", here I am with the main characters. The big brother,
Ed, is on the right. The little brother, Al, is on the
left. If you want to know why the younger brother is much larger
and wearing armor, check out the show...
This is Comic-Con. That means that
there are comics and comic artists here. I got Stan Sakai's
autograph in his new book. He is the author of "Usagi Yojimbo",
the story of a Ronin, a masterless samurai who ventures through an
alternate Japan, fighting for the underdog.
Not all the celebrities are there to
present or sign autographs. Some just are there to enjoy the
convention. While waiting in line to get Aaron and Vic's
autographs, Sheila suddenly pointed and said "That's Lewis
Black!" I ducked out of line and asked if I could get his
picture. Mr. Black was very gracious and asked if his minion
could take it, so we could be in the picture together. If you are
not familiar with Lewis Black, watch Comedy Central. He appears
on the "Daily Show With Jon Stewart" He does a feature called
"Back in Black". He also has several specials that appear on the
Back to cartoonists. Keith Knight
(Who calls himself "Keef") is one of my favorite cartoonists. He
has several strips that run in many magazines and newspapers, including
"The K Chronicles", "(Th)ink" and "Life's little victories". Last
year we bought this picture from him.
His inspiration was watching some parents
giving their toddler a drink at Starbucks. Keef thought that
maybe this was not the best idea.
our customary trip to Big Kitchen and home again!
This year, I commissioned Keith to do a "Life's little victories" for
me. It was one of those moments that I wanted to remember, and
Keith caught it perfectly... Thanks, Keef!!!!
It's time again for Comic-con! And
once again, we got a room at the Marriott.
Despite a few minor inconveniences with the
automated reservation system we still managed to get a nice room.
Last year we were on the 18th floor, this year we got a room on the
Here is the view from the pool
level. If you look near the center of the picture, you can see
Sheila looking over the edge of the balcony.
And the view from the other side of the
pool, near the grotto.
Once we were settled into our room, it was
off to the convention! We spent a bit of time perusing part of
the vendor's room (it's so huge it would take hours just to walk all of
the aisles) then it was up to the Sails Pavilion to the autograph
area. Why? Because Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax fame was going to make an
appearance and sign! We got to the pavilion early, because we
anticipated a line. We were not disappointed. The minions
who came in to set up the booth were amazed at the line.
Apparently, they were anticipating setting up the booth and then having
somebody show up every once in a while. By the time Mike showed
up, at least a hundred people were waiting...
...And we were at the front of it
all. Behind Mike, the minions are busy discussing whether they
have enough DVD's to cover all the folks who might want to buy
them. While we bought one of each, we had Mike sign a
scrapbook page Sheila made about the MST3K convention in 1994.
Later, Mike joined Kevin Murphy and Bill
Corbett at the "The Film Crew" booth downstairs. They signed more
DVD covers, and Kevin and Bill admired the scrapbook pages before
signing them. Kevin's first comment was "Who are these young
Rogue Pictures was at the convention, as
well. They were promoting The film "Hot Fuzz", the Ultimate Cop
really cool thing was the fact that both Edgar Wright, the
Writer/director, and Nick Frost, the co-star would be appearing to sign
autographs. The really uncool thing was the fact that about a
folks would be in line to get their autographs. So, how were they
going to deal with this? Well, it turns out they were going to do
what they did last year for Kazuo Koike, hold a lottery. You had
to line up draw a ticket. If you were lucky enough to draw a
ticket with a lightbulb stamped on it. The line just to draw a
ticket took a couple of hours. Those few lucky enough to get one
of the magic tickets would have to get in line again later on to
actually get the autographs...
But first, we had to win a golden ticket. And only about 10% of
the people were going to win that ticket. Last year I failed to
win a ticket to Kazuo Koike. This year, would I be luckier???
Here, Nick Frost, the co-star of "Hot
Fuzz", "Shaun of the Dead" and "Spaced" smiles for his adoring fans.
Here, Nick signs the Comic-con special DVD
cover for the not-yet-released "Hot Fuzz". (We already had a
copy, because the DVD was released in England two months ago, and we
ordered our own copy from there...
By this time, Nick had
been signing for a good 2-3 hours. We were close to the back of
the line. In this picture, Nick is pretending to listen
appreciatively as I explain that I really liked the pretend gunfight
scene in the TV show "Spaced", and that I thought it explained a lot
about the male psyche. I'm quite sure that Nick, through no fault
of his own, was already thinking about a cold pint somewhere. I
can't imagine what it would be like to sign a bunch of stuff for
several hours, all the time making nice to a bunch of strangers and
listening politely as they tell you things...
Anyway, thanks Nick, we appreciate the fact you were there!
Not all celebrities are people.
Witness the awesomeness that is George Barris' Batmobile!
Funimation was doing
their usual thing of promoting their animation and having some of their
voice talent signing autographs. Here, Sonny Strait and
Caitlin Glass sign autographs. They were the voices of Maes
Hughes and Winry Rockbell in "Fullmetal Alchemist".
Some Star Trek actors show up at Comic-Con,
too! This time we got LeVar Burton and John DeLancie's
autographs. Sheila wanted LeVar's signature for her kids, because
they watch "Reading Rainbow" a lot in kindergarten.
Not all the celebrities are... well...
real, I guess. This guy is Shin Chan. He is the
kindergartner nobody would ever want in their class. Wise beyond
his years, and devoted to sarcasm and potty humor. For some
reason, we really like this show.
One of Shin's favorite games is called "The
Ass Dance". Exactly why he drops trou is beyond me.
Sometimes Anime is just weird. But we still like it...
Jabba the Hutt was there! I was
forced to be a slave girl for the duration of the photo.
In recent years, G4 TV
has set up a booth and conducted both live shows and pre-recorded
segments from Comic-con. They happened to set up right next to
Sheila while I was checking up on a line elswhere. She managed to
grab a few blurry shots through the jostling crowd as they were
shooting a toss for one of the shows.