San Diego Comic-Con 2016

I really enjoy meeting fans at shows. Here I am at the Prism Comics booth with Jennifer Burke Haines—who loves Last Kiss zombies gags with a shambling, walking dead passion!

This is the second year in a row that I’ve gone to Comic-Con International without a booth of my own. But 2016 was the year that I really found a home at Prism Comics. (Last year, I was just at Prism briefly each day to do signings.)

Overall, I think it worked out great.

Hoards of fans came to the giant Prism booth. More than I might’ve seen if I’d had a Last Kiss booth on my own. And, I have to say, it was a lot easier (and cheaper!) to display there as just one of many creators at the booth.

Plus, the Prism folks were incredibly nice and fun to hang with!

 

Creators from the Prism Comics booth. I’m the old fart…uh, I mean the incredibly handsome guy in the green Last Kiss shirt.

Because of exhaustion (long story), I was very much under the weather a couple of days during the con—which is a first for me. (If I’m going to get sick, it’s normally after I get home and collapse.) So it was a relief to not be in charge of running a booth this year AND be sick.

I have no idea who the person next to me is or is supposed to be, but the guy on the left is Dustin Freeman—son of long-time Last Kiss colorist and photographer Allen Freeman.

People who’ve never attended Comic-Con International always want to know what the show is like—although most of them think they already know.

They imagine it to be:

—wall-to-wall nerds dressed in costumes more bizarre (and occasionally revealing) than a Halloween party at a Bizarro version of the Playboy Mansion.
—full of celebrities. So many that you’re practically tripping over all the egos.

A convention without at least one Wonder Woman isn’t worth mentioning.

Yes, giants do walk among us—at least at Comic-Con.

The reality is that maybe only one in 10 or 20 attendees wear costumes. And this year—some people think—there may have been even fewer than that.

The speculation is that as Comic-Con has become even more of a pop culture event, it’s being attended by more and more members of the general public (most of whom would never think of wearing a costume.)

And, with the competition so fierce to get admission badges, it’s getting harder and harder for cosplayers (and comic book fans in general) to attend.

Still there are 130,000 attendees. And, if only one in 50 of those 130,000 people wear costumes, that’s still a lot of costumes!

As for TV and movie celebrities…sure, they’re there. But for the big names, you have to wait hours—some people camp out all night—to get into “Hall H” where the most popular panels take place. (If you get in, though, you can stay all day—and many people do.)

For me, one of the other best things about comic cons is the chance to get together with friends and people you work with. Here I am with John Fluke (of Placed4Success) who has placed Last Kiss products on the sets of several TV shows including The Big Bang Theory: Mike and Molly; and Scream.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t a lot of great panels you can easily attend without waiting in line.

This year, the best by far—well, okay, the only panel I actually attended—was Craig Yoe’s “Weird Love Live!”

Craig Yoe (Weird Love), Adriana Yugovich (LA Zine Fest), and Kristen Simon (former editor at Image Comics) discuss romance comics and comics for women during the Weird Love romance comics panel.

Yoe and other panelists discussed romance comics and comics for women, of course. But the real highlight was when actors from Captured Aural Phantasy Theater did a sort of table reading based on scripts from various outrageously goofy romance comics. Hilarious stuff!

Members of the Captured Aural Phantasy Theater company vocalized several romance comic scripts—with corresponding panels from the original romance comics.

By the end of the convention, I was completely exhausted but feeling relatively healthy. Then I flew home, collapsed and (Surprise!) got sick.

Although I don’t normally eat dairy or wheat, I went off my diet on one of the hottest days of Comic-Con. I’m convinced this Butter Pecan and Black Cherry Vanilla ice cream cone saved my life. (And I’m sticking to that story—no matter what!)

Of course, I can’t wait ’til next year!

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2 Comments

  1. Oh John, I wish I’d been there with you. Glad it worked out so well. Take care of yourself! Always, J’net

    Reply
    • I wish you had been too, Jeanette. Hopefully we’ll be able to get together next year—at the Licensing Expo…or Comic-Con!

      Reply

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