Comic-Con 2009 is in the rear-view!

Well, another sun has set on the thunderous foot prints that roamed the San Diego Convention Center for five days in July, 2009.

Comic-Con has come and gone. But with great gusto! What recession? Maybe some things have been scaled back, but not at Comic-Con. It seems like it was bigger and better than ever. If you weren't there and needed to be for business, you blew it, man.

I haven't heard what the numbers were, but the show sold-out two months sooner than it ever had, and the by look of things, next year is already looking to beat that mark. I spoke with one of the Staff in charge of CCI (Comic-Con International) and he said that next year is already off to record numbers for exhibitors.

I heard that there were 125,000 attendees. It seemed like ALL of them were there between the panel and other presentations on Saturday. The hallway in front of the Wireheads' Booth was always crowded, in particular when some panel or class would let out from the rooms above and the bodies would flow down the 2 story escalators and on the the floor of the Exhibition Hall. There would be no room at all to roam for the first 10 minutes, then it would lighten up as half of the people made their way towards the movie booths and the big name comic booths.

The opportunities were everywhere for creative-types -- publishers, artists, producers, distributors were all over the place and easy to talk with. In fact, I would say most were expectant -- they wanted to chat about what they and you were doing. I met Terry Moore, the creative talent behind "Strangers in Paradise" and the new comic "Echo" which was just optioned by Lloyd Levin, producer of the "Watchmen". We chatted about story and where Echo might go with its ending. So far, Echo, is issue 14 into a 30-issue run. I couldn't believe that I got to talk story with Terry Moore - somebody pinch me. Sunday afternoon on day 5, while I was standing in the exhibitor registration line to register Wireheads for 2010, I asked the guy in front of me about the paperwork. We introduced ourselves as fellow webcomic authors and discovered I was face-to-face with the writer/artist of the hilarious "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal's" Zach Weiner! I gave him the Google for Wireheads approach since neither of us had business cards at that moment and hopefully, he'll get to check us out.

Also, I was totally intrigued by the Steam Punk-styled weaponry on exhibit and for sale at the Weta booth, so I asked about them. Turns out, that Weta is FINALLY going to create their own content! It looks absolutely awesome! I chatted with one of the creators, Greg Broadmore, and found out new things. More to come on that at a later date. (Yes, it's a secret).

Next door to Wireheads -- To the West, was the fabulous creator Artist/Writer Randy Reynaldo and his Rob Hanes Action/Adventure comic -- Think a grown-up Johnny Quest working for an international, military Security-for-hire group drawn and presented in a "Terry and the Pirates" style. Yes, really cool stuff. You should check out Rob Hanes. You can see a glimpse of Randy in the Wireheads' booth photo above.

To the East of Wireheads, was Charles, a new neighbor who was publishing some books of fabulous artwork and inking from the 70s, 60s and before. Also, signing in his booth for four days, was none other than Leonard Starr, artist/creator of "Mary Perkins On Stage" and the artist who breathed life back into Lil' Orphan Annie in the 80s. Above and to the left is Leonard and I in a pic next to the Wireheads booth. Leonard's a cool guy, easy to hang with and I hope his back gets all the wonderful care that it needs. Cheers, mate!

Across from us, was 'Pirate Cove', that's the author, Joe D'Angelo, across the way from us. He and I have been neighbors at Comic-Con for two years and last year at Wonder-Con in San Francisco. Great guy and also works in the industry.

I had little time to run around the floor and flitting about from booth-to-booth created as many questions as it revealed information. For example, the blonde in the suit who handed me her Stark Industries business card. Yes, Stark Industries had a booth. Aren't they a made up company that works only in Iron Man stories, or...?

Got to see the new BioShock2 trailer and a little of its gameplay in a walk-through by one of its creators. Looks pretty damn cool. True to BioShock, but with new revealing information on the old story. Good job, guys.

Wireheads did well at the show. We hit our 2008 numbers by Friday and set a new mark for next year over the weekend. Yes, everyone smiled as they read the words "Zombie Bunnies" on our booth, and laughed at the explanation. The Life-Sized Zombie Bunnie, ZB, did his work throughout the show, attracting people from aisles away to find out more about his coolness. Expect to see a LOT more of ZB and his minions in the near future. Stay tuned...

I absolutely LOVED the fans that came by. One woman on the first day asked, "Is this the latest book?" Upon my answer, she grabbed it, opened it, grinned evilly and laughed at her friend. She said in parting, after buying lots of stuff (Bless you!), "No one gets by me at work after I've read Wireheads!" Ooo, I thought, a new slogan! Another had her picture taken with me, bought stuff (Bless you All!) and told me that Wireheads was one of the few comics she bookmarks at the top of her browser. Makes me feel all tingly inside. We is loved. Yeh! Many, many, many more fans came by and laughed and paid respects. This was beyond cool. You guys were great on a scale of awesomeness. Yeah that makes no sense, but it does convey the depth of my feeling.

And to round out the Comic-Con report, nothing would be complete without a smattering of the cosplay-types that came by the booth! Here they are:
Naturally, the Star Wars cosplayers were out in Force! (Ouch, that hurts). They were constantly roaming by. I lost count of how many legonnaires, Padme's, Lukes, Wookies, etc. walked by the booth, but not the Slave Princess Leia's -- I counted seven smoking hot Leias going by. Hopefully, I didn't miss any, that would be such a pity. Here's one representative. Exciting, no? And this year, apparently, there was a 'Steam Punk' side-convention to Comic-Con. I asked these two nice ladies about it because I had seen so many of their ilk among the crowds this year and didn't recall anything in particular, movie or otherwise that warraunted their presence. They told me of the side-convention of punks and that they were a group who revelled in the "Nineteenth Century, Time-Travel, Victorian Adventurers of all types" with movies like 'Steam Boy', 'Time Machine', 'Time After Time' and others influencing their style and predilection.
Naturally, right after they left, a large life-size bunny in full Steam Punk regalia stopped by, looking at my bunnies and wondering aloud about Zombies. Okay, there's a bit of everything there at Comic-Con.
And, to prove that point, here's a few more that stopped by -- Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.
Nuala and Nuada of 'Hellboy 2' fame.
Kiki of Studio Ghibli's 'Kiki's Delivery Service.'
A Marilyn Monroe-type across the hallway, and a 'cheeky' onlooker. This guy had a cool ride-around with this giant Dragon head sculpture on the front of it. When he finally drove by and stopped for the picture, he was so close that I had to back against the back wall of the booth to get it all in. I said."Wow! It's so big!" He exclaimed non-chalantly,"I usually like that when the women say it." Cha! And away he wentA smokin' Julie Newmar-style Catwoman with claws and stuff. She was the best of the many catwoman wandering the hall. Nice.And lastly, a super-heroine yet-to-be-names, but certainly worth a photo. Queen of the Latin District? Mardi Gras Woman? The Cleavage? Ah, I'm sure you guys could do much better.

All-in-all, it was a great Con. I really had fun. Only got grouchy on Saturday night (Yeah, I can be a real grouch sometimes.), but it's in the books now, down the road back to Lala-landand time to follow up with all of those whom I said I would. Enjoy! And see you all at Comic-Con 2010 next year!

- Jimbo