San Diego Comic-Con 2013: Thursday – Panels and Plan-X
The 2013 San Diego Comic-Con started building up steam on Thursday, the first full-day of activities for this year’s enormous pop culture event, and it foreshadowed the inevitable long lines to come this weekend. Attendees were honing their programing and panel juggling skills in order to get the most out of the big show, but it is so difficult to get into the popular panels that second, third and even fourth-choice back-up plans might be necessary for when you miss your highly-anticipated event.
I started off the day by getting in line early for the advance souvenir t-shirt pick-up, but even with giving myself a full two hours before opening, I still had approximately 100 people in front of me; but when the doors opened (late) I had untold hundreds (maybe thousands) behind me, and I was glad I made the move to get there early.
So with souvenir “Steampunk Toucan” t-shirts in hand, I set off to the main show floor and browsed the extensive gaming sections, which were already packed with players trying out the new demo games and systems. Once again The Walking Dead exhibit was the most fun gaming area, complete with a zombie-killer car on display.
I continued moving through the isles of toy collectibles and comic collections until I came across the Heritage Auction section where I did some serious window shopping and admired the rare classic books (like an Action Comics #1 and a Captain America #1) and art they had on display for an upcoming auction. When I win the lottery this will be the section I’m shopping in.
I eventually made it into the artist areas where I ran into the prolific and eccentric Michael Bennett with his suitcases full of incredible originals. Mike has hundreds of original pieces marked for only $20.00, which has to be about the best deal at the Con, especially for the fun and crazy quality of the work. I picked up two new pieces for my Bennett collection: One is of Sarah Palin presiding over a jury that consists of old school monsters like Dracula, the Wolf-man and Frankenstein, with the jury box labeled as “Death Panels;” and a second piece of the Sub-Mariner flying in the sky, with angel wings on his back, while being attacked by gun-wielding men riding flying Great White Sharks. (I told you they were awesome!) If you are at the Con, be sure to visit Mike at booth #G1.
I spent the remainder of the day taking in a few panels, starting with “The Pitching Hour,” where a distinguished panel of entertainment industry leaders and legal experts toss out advice to wannabe artists, writers, actors and filmmakers. In a nutshell, their best advice was to focus on networking and know that despite what you think, “your idea is not very original” – so find a way to present your concept in a new and interesting way.
Next up was a panel of comic-book veterans (Gerry Conway, Martin Pasko, Marv Wolfman, Elliot S. Maggin and Mark Evanier) celebrating Superman’s 75th anniversary by recanting tales about the former DC comics editor, Julie Schwartz and their work on Superman comics. Before the talk started, Conway, Pasko and Maggin were each awarded the Comic-Con International Inkpot Award, which is “given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services.” This was a fun and informative panel for comic history buffs, and the most interesting tidbit revealed was that in the seventies “all the DC creators wanted to be working at Marvel Comics.”
I had planned to attend the X-files 20th anniversary panel, and I “wanted to believe” that if I showed up 90 minutes early for it that I would still be able to get in. Alas, it was not to be as there was already thousands of people waiting in vain to get into the already packed venue. Missing this one was a big disappointment.
Finally I made it into the Creepy and Eerie comic magazine panel and learned some history about the original publications, which went bankrupt in 1983. Dark Horse Comics has now taken over the titles and in addition to reprinting premium format books from the Creepy and Eerie archives, they, together with the publication’s new owners, Dan and Josh Braun, are also creating new content and have big plans for films based on the horror material. Of special note is an upcoming collection of Steve Ditko’s work on the macabre magazine.
Friday’s plans include an ultra-early morning attempt to get into the Con’s Hall-H, where the programming consists of sneak peeks of upcoming genre films. If this doesn’t pan out I’ll be going to Plan-B, or C, or D…
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Nerdvana’s San Diego Comic-Con 2013 – Thursday Photo Gallery
(Click to see larger image.)