Thursday we (my roommate Kate and I) were trying to arrive at the con around four when it opened to those of us crazy enough to buy the three day pass. Unfortunately, due to work, me forgetting to do laundry the previous day, and just the fact that I take too long to get ready for trips. Well, the third was traffic, finding the hotel, and finding the convention center. We got in about six and registered quickly, then went in. We looked around the main area first, grabbing swag at the DC booth, the "exclusive" cover for New Avengers #31 from Marvel, and a little Cylon mini-mate from Diamond. Mostly, people were still setting up, so we didn't really do much past the exhibitor section. We ran into a few people I work with at the company booth, which was right across from Diamond Select and next to Dark Horse.
We wandered around, hoping for more cool swag and just looking at the booths and such. Neither of us had much of a plan for that night and it was just fun for me wandering around a convention floor without the massive amount of people that are usually there. It was nice to start slow since I'd never been to a con before. I found out pretty quickly some of the exhibitors and retailers could be kind of annoying in their quest to get your attention. I understand their reasons, but their methods are annoying. Still, I felt bad enough for some of them to at least briefly talk to them as opposed to just ignoring them. All too soon, the con floor closed and we left for the night.
Since we'd ordered our tickets early, we were able to enter the floor about an hour earlier than anyone who hadn't. Which gave us a chance to look at the big exhibitors again for the chance for more swag. No such luck, but it wasn't much of a surprise. We toured the retailer area looking at some comics and figures. I was looking more at the figures than the comics since I have a love for them. My desk is cluttered with action figures, plushies of all kinds, little figures, and even a My Little Pony from childhood. Seriously. So I love expanding the collection and there were tons of retailers with the items. Unfortunately, I was totally out of money for all but a few "special" things, so I passed on most. On top of that, I'd hoped they would drop in price on Sunday. When I have lots more money, I won't wait. ;)
I went to the DC/Mattel panel a little later to see some of their new line of toys. I like their toys a lot more than some others (Say, Marvel Legends :P ), but I still prefer the DC Direct lines. It was something to see and Kate had left to go to an artist panel for submitting, so killing time wasn't a problem. The panel was interesting, and fairly small for such a large room. There really was only one person from Mattel talking, so it was more of a presentation than a panel. What really disappointed me is that they still don't get the fact that female characters are actually popular with fans and with the general public, but most of the figures they showed were male. There was a Harley Quinn for the 7 inch line and maybe one or two more. For the most part, their new lines contained no female characters and often repaints of the male characters.
I still don't understand why, even though most female figures sell out so quickly in popular lines. Surely they see the numbers, why do they still insist that "boys don't want girl figures" and "girls don't like figures?" The Mattel guy didn't say that, in fact, when someone asked about the small amount of female characters, he said he wished there were more himself. It seems to be something decided far above him.
The next panel I went to was the X-men one, which had it not been for Skottie Young (artist on New X-Men), it would have felt like a waste of time. Well, no...it was nice to see Quesada squirm when people kept asking him why he wanted MJ out of the picture so much. Skottie was actually hilarious, talking to the small crowd in the room before most of the panelists arrived. He was hilarious and had fantastic comedic timing. It felt like we were at an impromptu standup comic performance.
The panel itself gave very little information on anything new. We got a few small bits of information that were new, but nothing much. It was interesting to see that even though it was an X-Men panel, it segwayed into Spidey for about ten minutes of the panel. When Quesada mentioned he didn't think the marriage should have happened, the small audience booed under their breath. It was pretty funny, but he didn't really accept it as "Maybe this isn't so good to do if fans are seeing it this way". :P
After lunch, we toured the artists alley some, and I got a signature from Jim Calafiore, former artist on Exiles for my Exiles #34 issue (which is my favorite). I also was able to get a signature on my Devil's Panties (not satanic porn) deck of cards from Jennie Breedon. It was kind of funny that when we first approached her, she went into her sales pitch, handing us a card about the web comic and swearing it wasn't Satanic Porn. I grinned and said "Oh, I know" and flipped my hand over, reveiling the deck of cards. Apparently, it was the first run and she didn't have anymore of it. She signed it and we talked a little (Kate moreso than me) and moved on. It was pretty cool to see some of the artists, though some people there I truly wonder why they showed. Some had the artistic skills of a twelve year old (and that's being generous) and were trying to get people to buy their art. I totally support people pursuing their goals, but they really should have waited to, you know, have talent. I wouldn't have minded much if it weren't for the fact that they were often the most obnoxious in getting our attention. We were able to talk to Dean Trippe, who is such a cool artist and very laid back. He had such a cool picture of Stephanie Brown (for GW.O) and a Batgirl among many other things. I totally would have had him draw something for me if I had moneys.
I also ran into Jason Millet, the colorist for Athena Voltaire, which I flatted most of the upcoming issues (so far anyway). Kind of similar to the Jennie Breedon thing, Jason started asking me if I'd heard of Athena Voltaire, and showing me some of the art from the upcoming issues. I said "Uh...yeah, actually" grinning pretty hard. "I actually flatted some of these pages."
He looked kind of stunned for a second while he processed it in his head and I said "I'm Megan, it's nice to finally meet you." He laughed at the whole thing and shook my hand. We talked about some of the flats and the upcoming issues (which has stalled for a few reasons that I won't go into). It's kind of funny to run into someone that you've worked with but never met. Strange thing. It's also strange for people who recognize you to come up and talk, which I had a few people do. One recognized me from ComicSpace (somehow...). Such a strange feeling...
We headed to the Mondo Marvel Panel, which was slightly larger, but almost as equally pointless. This time there wasn't Skottie to entertain us. It was fun to see Quesada squirm again when the Peter/MJ marriage came up yet again. He actually got visibly angry at some of the questions, none of which were disrespectful, just not many of us get why he wants to do it! There were a few things that were new, such as announcing "Aftersmash" for the follow up for the WWH stuffs.
After the panel, we finished up on Artist's alley, talked with David Mack (briefly) and met up with friends (who were also in Artists alley.) and headed out to dinner once the floor closed.
Next: Saturday and Sunday, including being lucky enough to be at the Dark Knight Panel on Saturday night, as well as my evening with Richard Hatch (and a small group of other fans too, of course... :P )