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  1. My first buy at the con, from Dale Roberts.
  2. SDCC 2018 - Con Report (Wednesday) On Wednesday morning, I flew to SD from SF. I got this very healthy breakfast at one of the SFO fast food places, hummus and tabouli. I prefer savory over sweet when it comes to food so I often eat non-breakfast foods for breakfast. Unfortunately my lunch wasn't nearing as healthy, fried rice with curry chicken and jalapeno fried chicken wings. I got it from that chinese place in Gaslamp that looks like they should get closed for health code violations but is always so good. I'm staying at the Hard Rock hotel, which is extremely convenient as it's right across from the con. The Gaslamp neighborhood is all decked out for the con and Hard Rock is no different. They are decorated with Manifest stuff, which I guess is a new NBC TV show. This is what you see as soon as you walk into the hotel. The Walking Dead also bought promotional space at the Hard Rock. Their elevators are the coolest I have ever seen. I did not get preview night tickets, so today I just walked around the outside of the con and also Gaslamp. I have heard all the critical comments about how SDCC is no longer a comic convention and is instead a pop culture con. I agree with all those comments. But, the comic buzz here is more intense than anywhere else. You feel it everywhere. It's much more than at NY comicon. I think this is due to, number 1, SDCC is the biggest con in the world. (I know some say that NYCC is just a big, but no way that is true. I'm here in San Diego, and I was at the last NYCC, and NYCC is at best a distant second.) Number 2, SDCC is focused in a relatively small area, the Gaslamp neighborhood of San Diego. Pretty much everyone who is in Gaslamp right now is going to the con. So that just intensifies the excitement. I haven't been here since 2014. I have to say the Gaslamp is still the Gaslamp. I like it, it's exciting and fun, but it's artificial. Sort of like Vegas without the casinos or showgirls. There's only so much I can take. I'm enjoying myself but I'll be ready to go home. I was surprised to see one thing in Gaslamp -- they are turning the Greystone steakhouse into a Taco Bell! If you haven't been, Greystone is a higher end steakhouse, comparable to Del Friscos. Greystone still exists, but for the length of the con they are turning it into a Taco Bell. I think this is a brilliant idea and they'll get a ton of business. Here's a picture as they are in the midst of the renovation: One sad note ... I went to see a movie at Horton Plaza (I saw Jurassic Park, as it was the only movie scheduled at the time I wanted to go -- it was better than I thought it would be). I remember when Horton Plaza, the outdoor mall, was the place to be with expensive stores and tons of shoppers. Well, e-commerce has hit Horton like all the other brick and mortar stores. Probably 30% of the stores were closed. Kinda sad and depressing. On a happier note, I mentioned that my daughter is here with me at the con. Here she is taking a selfie with Wonder Woman: After walking around Gaslamp for a while, we got her favorite food for dinner, Ramen noodle soup. In my next posts, I'll talk about actually going to the con on Thursday.
  3. Thanks for the tip. Here in SF at the Metreon, I saw Ant Man last night, and it was a decent way to kill 2 hours on a Sunday away from the family. In SD I'd like to see the Ocean's movie but my daughter says she wants to see Incredibles.
  4. 24 Hours At the SDCC 2018 - Part 4 This is my last pre-con report. At the moment I'm in SF for work, then I fly to SD on Wednesday for my 1 day at SDCC on Thursday. They have a new restaurant in SF, Oren's Hummus, specializing in hummus. I've always liked hummus but since going to Israel earlier this year I've gotten a bit obsessed over it. In the middle east they treat hummus like a main course. We went to a restaurant in Jerusalem and the entirety of the menu was hummus, falafel, and french fries -- and at lunch there was a line out the door to get a table. At Oren's, they make fresh hummus every day. In the last 12 hours I've already been there twice, for dinner last night and this morning for breakfast. Here's my dinner from last night, starting with a Grey Goose martini with blue cheese olives. So back to SDCC. As a good development, my daughter will be coming with me. We thought she wasn't going to be able to come because of her summer job, but things worked out. She's a cosplayer and excited to go to SDCC for the first time. But as the con nears, I'm already having second thoughts about going. I'm working on getting myself psyched up for the crowds, and what I expect will be high prices on comics. But if nothing else, it'll be interesting to go just to get first hand knowledge of where the con is in 2018 versus years past. And the Gaslamp neighborhood is always fun to spend time in. I'll close this post by showing a couple of cool comics I've picked up recently:
  5. n2wdw

    Son of My 50 Year Junk Obsession

    Great report. If this is the future of comic cons, then our future is bright! Much better than the Wizard World type cons. Congrats on Torpedo for putting this together.
  6. 24 Hours At the SDCC 2018 - Part 4 My prep for SD is about done. I've got my want lists on my iPad with backup paper copies. My schedule next week is hectic. I fly to SF on Sunday, and then have work meetings Monday and Tuesday. I'll fly from SF to SD on Wed, then spend the day in Gaslamp. My main goal on Wednesday is to pick up my pre-orders (t-shirt and baseball cap). I'll be at the con all day Thursday (930am - 7pm). Then I'll head to the airport for the flight back to the east coast. So what to do at the con? On Wednesday I plan to see a movie at the Horton Plaza. It's what I always do when I go to the SDCC. I haven't decided on the movie. Maybe Antman or Ocean's 8. I might see a second movie too, maybe Jurassic Park. On Thursday at the con, I plan to hit the comic dealers first. The golden/silver pavilion, and the small press area. Then artist avenue. Then everything else. I WILL hit all the dealers on the floor. I'd like to see a panel or two (comic related, rather than media), but we'll see if I can get into anything. Ideally it'll be around lunch time, so I can eat a hot dog or something while I'm at the panel (which is a great use of time). I'm not willing to wait in a long line since I have to get through the entire exhibit floor. What do I hope to buy? Well, I have limited space to bring stuff home (just a suit case). So that means no action figures, no statues, a limited number of books. I can buy comics though, and I hope to pick up 1 grail. That's my goal, one grail. But we'll see. I'm sure dealers have to up their prices to offset the higher costs of SDCC, so if I can get the book cheaper on eBay then I'll pass at the con. I'll close with a picture from my comic room. This is the new shelf I built, that I talked about above. The idea of this shelf was to showcase comics I intend to keep as raw, rather than graded. You'll see I have some Torchys, Sherrys and GI Janes, high grade Harveys, the first Katy Keene, and what I hope will be Millie the Model 1-10. Maybe I'll pickup something for the shelf in SDCC.
  7. I just checked and I'm pleased to see that Phil and Champions is setting up again this year (in the same spot if I remember right). He'll definitely be one of the first places I go.
  8. 24 Hours At the SDCC 2018 - Part 3 San Diego comicon is only a week and a half away, so I need to get serious with my preparations. Even though I'm only going to attend for 1 day (on Thursday), I want to get my want lists up to date. The last time I went in 2014, it was incredibly crowded and even the line to get a t-shirt was long. So I wasn't able to get a t-shirt. This time though, you can pre-order a t-shirt (and other SDCC merchandise) and then pick your stuff up at the Marriott. I think this is a big upgrade, and I ordered myself a t-shirt and baseball cap. (The only t-shirt with the year was the Catwoman version, so I ordered that one.) Lately I've managed to pick up a few nice comics. Like this one, the first appearance of Torchy. I've also been playing around in my comic room. I added more ways of displaying CGC books. Here's one of them. Right now it only has Diary Secrets 19 (one of my favorite Matt Baker covers), but you can see there's a lot of space for more comics. I'll end with my latest food obsession, Middle Eastern Tah Dig. This is the macaroni version. It's incredibly easy to make, and the combination of crispy and soft noodles is really something.
  9. n2wdw

    Love Will Find A Way

  10. 24 Hours At the SDCC 2018 - Part 2 I just re-read my trip report from my last trip to SDCC in 2014. I had forgotten, but that time I only went for 2 days (Thur and Fri). So perhaps just the single day this time (Thur) will be enough. I was kind of jaded during that last visit too. For anyone who's interested, here's my con report for Thursday of SDCC 2014 (this is from my old format journal): San Diego 2014 Thursday Took the boat from Coronado to a dock behind the Marriott Marina (where I wish I was staying!). In past years I've waited in the long lines to get in, but this year I've decided to hang out and then try to walk in when the con opens at 930am. That's worked before, which makes you wonder the point of waiting in line unless you're at the front and planning to race for an exclusive. So I wonder why I'm here. The sidewalks are incredibly crowded, I can only imagine what it will be like inside the con in 35 minutes. I think back to last year and the relative calm and laid back atmosphere of WW Chicigo. But you can't beat SDCC for the total immersion in comic and popular culture. There are huge building size banners everywhere, there are more each year. Here's one on the hilton right across the street from the con, that I snapped while walking to get breakfast at Rockin' Baja for breakfast. I had to text this one to two of my kids who are into Walking Dead with me. The breakfast at RB was good, Huevos Rancheros: Update at 940, the crowd 10 minutes after the con opening: San Diego 2014 Thursday #2 I'll post more observations later, for now here are some cosplay pictures I took: The last was of the young girl helping Joe Benitez at his booth. A CGC witness helped me out with signatures at Joe's booth. It took some time though. I apologized to the witness and he said "Yeah, you forced me to look at the pretty girl longer." Ah, youth ... This isn't cosplay but still very cool, RASL from Jeff Smith's booth: San Diego 2014 Thursday #3 The crowds were not nearly as bad in the comics area. Here's a picture around 945am on Thursday. I've been to SDCC about 10 times and each year there are less comic dealers. There seem to be a good number of the big national silver/gold dealers here. But the smaller comic dealers from years past -- the ones with inexpensive low and mid grade silver and tables and tables of dollar comics sorted in alphanumeric order -- and the ones where you might be able to get a good deal on high grade silver and SA/GA keys -- those dealers are not here. I assume it's because of the high cost of attending SDCC. I go to one big con in the summer (I'd love to go to more but too many family commitments), and I bounce back between SDCC and WW Chicago. Last year I went to WW, and comparing the 2 cons for comic shopping, WW is the clear winner. That's not to say the con isn't alot of fun. I've just changed focused and decided not to focus on too much comic buying. The key to any con is learning how it works. For example, WW Chicago has a back door into the con. They'd be long lines at the front door, while you could walk right in at the back door. Unfortunately the con shifted space last year so that door didn't work. At SDCC there are a couple things I've figured out. One, you don't have to wait in line to get in, unless you want to. And it can be fun to wait in the long line because there's alot of excitement and energy there. But you don't have to. Yesterday the con opened at 930 and I (along with alot of other people) walked right in at 930. So I probably got in before alot of people who'd waited for hours in the long lines. Another key to SDCC happiness is bag check. Each year they have 2 or 3 bag checks. It costs $2 for each bag and it is really a savior. I bought a few statutes and a number of books, and rather than having to lug them around or waste time going to the hotel, I checked them into bag check. The problem is the bag checks get full pretty early. But the staff does a good job of rearranging things to open up new space. Today I ended up checking 4 bags and it really made the con alot more fun not having to carry around all that weight. Now walking around the con ... The Lego booth had a bunch of these message boards. I texted it to my kids and my 17 year old immediately noticed the "yaoi." One of the art dealers had this original Vargas. The price? $85,000. San Diego 2014 Thursday #4 More walking around the con: This is a cool Game of Thrones original painting. It wasn't for sale, the display said it was on loan from George R. R. Martin's collection: They have the Walking Dead Terminus you can walk through. I'm hoping to do that Friday. Big banner for the next Hunger Games movie: Here are a few things I picked up. I got the new Campbell MJ and Gwen statutes: I got these Schomberg covers. The dealer (the fooz ball guy, although he didn't have his table this year) gave me a nice discount off the sticker prices.
  11. For years I did exactly that, sit on the floor for hours waiting for the con to open. I watched movies on my phone or tablet and worked on my computer. The last time I went 4 years ago, I relaxed and ate breakfast at a Mexican place and then walked directly into the con about 15 minutes after it opened. I wonder if that still works. Does anyone know? If not, then I will wait the hours to get in, since I only have the 1 day for the show.
  12. I plan to get through the entire show floor. I'm not sure how much comic buying I'll do. Most of what I do buy will probably be in artist avenue. I'm going mostly to soak everything in, and get a feel of what SDCC is like after not going for 4 years.
  13. Thanks! Part of the fun of my comic room is organizing and reorganizing things, and always looking for how to store and display more stuff. I remember a comic store I used to go to, Barbarian Books and Comics in Wheaton MD. The store was packed with bookshelves that went up to the ceiling and were bursting with stuff. There were piles of comics and magazines everywhere. Soundtracks of musicals were always playing in the background. At the front of the store was a long counter and it was also packed with shelves in the back and stuff on the counter. There was barely any space behind the counter, for the owner Carl to ring people up at the cash register. I loved the feel of the old Barbarian Comics. I say "old" because the last time I was there (years ago), the store had been converted to be more like a typical comic store, and Carl told me he had sold the store and was now working as an employer. But the old Barbarian is one of the inspirations of the organized chaos of my comic book room, along with the hideouts of my childhood like the one in the Three Investigator books.
  14. It's 4 weeks to the San Diego Comic Con. I'm going for 1 day, as I only managed to get a Thursday ticket. (Well, I actually got a Sunday ticket too, but I'm not planning to hang around SD Fri and Sat just to go to the con on Sunday.) I'll be posting my report of the con in my journal. Here's my first report, of receiving the SDCC tickets. Thanks for reading. https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/topic/419401-tales-of-the-comic-book-room-24-hours-at-the-sdcc-2018-part-1/?page=39
  15. 24 Hours At the SDCC 2018 - Part 1 This is my journal of the San Diego comic-con. In the lottery, I only won Thursday and Sunday tickets. I thought about trying to get Friday and Saturday tickets through various means (of which I will not discuss in public, if you know what I mean), and then I thought about just being a tourist in SD on Fri and Sat between my Thur and Sun forays at the con. Finally I decided to just go Thursday. I'll fly into San Diego on Wednesday, spend all day Thursday at the con, and then Thursday night I'll take the red-eye home to the east coast. Whew! Just writing that makes me exhausted! But I've already done this West Coast-One Day con madness with Terry's con in Anaheim this year. So what the heck, I decided to go for it. Since this is my first SDCC since 2014, I'll post this journal of pre-con and post-con thoughts, as well as providing a report of my Thursday at the con. Today I got my Thursday and Sunday tickets. They came in a cool collectible box: This is what you see when you open the box; The tickets come in 2 parts. First, a badge. I'm happy to get the Walking Dead badge, but I wonder what the other variations are. Second, the actual tickets with your name (in my case, Thursday and Sunday). Then underneath the badge and tickets, they give you a very cool pin. Under the pin is an information booklet: Finally, here's what the inside of the box looks like once you take everything out of it: My immediate thought was, now that they give people their badges and tickets ahead of time (rather than making you prove your ID via the in-person registration of the past), how can they prevent people from selling their tickets? There's at least one website that's selling SDCC tickets (https://www.viagogo.com/Theater-Tickets/Exhibitions/Comic-Con-Tickets/E-2325452). But, let me just say I have no idea if this website is legit or if the tickets will work. Also, I have no plans to sell my Sunday ticket, even though I won't be using it. Because, I want to keep the badge as a souvenir.