Crash! At The San Diego Comic Con Part 1

Well, he 2010 San Diego Comic Con has come and gone but the experience should linger on for quite a while (for me anyway). I have to say I had a great time for the most part, with the only negatives occurring on Friday. Before I go any further I have to thank my friend who I’ll just call Mr. Assertive, without whom I would have never made it to the Con. A couple of months ago I was checking into it and found that it had sold out, so ‘that was that’ I thought.

I think at the beginning of July I followed a Twitter link to the SDCC site and found that there were hotel package deals that had become available. I asked a few people (including Mr. Assertive) if they wanted to go and they all turned me down. So again, ‘that was that’. I wasn’t going. I’ve never flown before and alone I would have been completely lost I think trying to get to all of the different locations. And it would just suck to go alone, right?

But a few days later  I got a call from Mr. Assertive to see if I was still inclined to go… Hell, yeah…. So, his wife was interested in taking their youngest out there to see the sites of San Diego and they were trying to make arrangements. We’d get 2 rooms (one for them and one for me), they’d see the town and I’d see my fellow nerds/go to portfolio reviews. A few days later I find out it’s just he and I. Oh. Okay… that’s fine. But I figured he’d be REALLY bored since he’s not into comics and not so into movies or TV. Maybe he’s into TV a little. In any case I thought he’d be bored. But tickets were bought and off we went.

So thanks again Mr. Assertive. I wouldn’t have made it out there without you and would’ve been completely lost, still in Pensacola’s airport… Thanks, and the 4X4 purchasing plan is in the works….

All I can say is 'wow'... New eyes....

Just to talk briefly about the flights again. I may have already pointed this out in my previous posts, but the first flight started off with Mr. Assertive recognizing Boston Rob from the Survivor series who flew to Houston on the same flight.

I don't think he went to the SDCC, though.

He acknowledged Mr. Assertive at the end of the flight which pleased him to no end. We met people along the way like Josh and Robin from Baltimore (who were very nice and interesting folks). Norm from San Diego kept me from having to watch TV on the 2nd flight (from Houston to San Diego). He even offered us a ride since he was getting picked up by his wife. We didn’t want to hold him up, though. Alex from Orlando was also a cool guy that was on the flight back to Houston. He and another couple of other con goers talked about our experiences with the various panels and viewings. Who I met on the way back (at the Houston airport), I’ll have to save for later. It was a doozy and even had an ironic tie to a past con that I attended.

So we get to San Diego… I think we arrived  around 2 PM (I could be wrong) and after a quick stop at the hotel we took the shuttle to the Convention Center (I want get into ‘The Gardener’, the bus driver… I think I already covered that in one of my other posts). Aaaaaannnnnddddd: SENSORY OVERLOAD.

There were plenty of things to see inside and outside of the Convention Center.

Actors.

Artists (like the Adams Family… Duh duh duh duhn…  Snap-snap… Duh Duh duh duhn… Snap-Snap). Writers.

People in Costume. Art.

Cool Props at Company displays.

Toys. Comics.

Zombies on cell phones.

HOWEVER… The main reason that I attended the 2010 SDCC was to get my work reviewed by ‘pros’ and to hopefully get work out of it. I kept referring to it as ‘hoping someone would throw me a bone’. And they did! Sort of…

The Sign Up Area for Portfolio Reviews...

I didn’t like how they did Portfolio Reviews, anyway, but I also only had about 2 hours of sleep and a growing migraine on Friday. I was fairly non-talkative to anyone for the most part because of that. I don’t think I was in the right state of being for ‘job interviews’. A lot of other artists didn’t like the setup this year, either,  though. There was even a petition going around to change the ‘new lottery method’. The reviews didn’t go on all day so, one had to be there at the right time. Several volunteers were handing out little paper slips (in a rainbow of colors) with a different company name printed on each (shown below). You had to write your name on each (or at least the ones you would like to talk to). I think I filled out 12.

Then you waited. And waited.

The hopefuls...

And waited… And then they had a lottery of names for each company.  Then you waited. And waited. And waited… Finally, the names of the lucky few were posted. I was on 4 of them, but for one company I was #43 out of 44. They only had the reviews for a limited amount of time , and after about 3 hours they were only on #20 for that particular company, so I really only made 3.

The girl above was another hopeful artist that got reviewed pretty early on by Nickelodeon. She was one of the only artists that I spoke to (maybe 4 or 5 others). I thought it was great that she was going to her reviews in costume. Where else can you do that? She said the costume wasn’t any character in particular BTW and that she put it together herself FYI.

Anyway… After the names were posted came the REAL waiting. On one company I was #3, so that was great (and the first person wasn’t there for some reason poor girl),  but for the others it was a pretty good wait.

Some poor bastard being told he doesn't measure up.

I watched  people getting their stuff reviewed. Some were short and some seemed like they would go on for 10-20 minutes. All of mine were really short. The first 2 especially.

I was right. Everyone else thinks my art is complete crap, too.

I was nervous because I inked my own work and didn’t really refine my portfolio to any particular discipline (pencilling, inking, coloring, lettering, etc). But they looked and the first couple went somewhat badly for me. Actually, I got a total of 7 reviews over the 3 days (including the drop-offs for Marvel and DC). 4 of  the 5 that I actually spoke to someone went something like “This isn’t something we can use” or “I don’t like how you colored this” or “Why did you draw sideways like this ” (darn you Zuda 4:3 aspect ratio!!!)… There were some positive comments, but for the most part I was told I’m not good enough for prime time. I did get one mostly  positive review. I think I said all of the right things, too, despite being half asleep with the jackhammer-like migraine. And I was given an email address and a request to send 5 more pages of a story from that company. So… AWESOME!!! It’s not a job, but there’s small white dot at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe there’s something in my eye….

One of the worst ‘review’ moments for me was at the MANDANTORY DC Comics Talent Search Orientation (with Mark Chiarello). I was late because Mr. Assertive was going to be nonfunctional until he found a Mythbusters bag for his daughter (who enjoys the show). I located one as soon as we got off the shuttle, but had to run half a football field to get to the 2 guys who had it. I think they were homeless people. I’m not kidding, but they agreed to the exchange. Then I left Mr. Assertive behind because he told me it was 10:30  (the time of the DC orientation), so I went sprinting away. I did stop to take this picture, though… Priorities.

Then I ran past 2 girls who literally had about 900 of those yellow Mythbusters bags. I later learned Mr. Assertive got several, as I knew he would. Luckily, San Diego is not nearly as humid as Pensacola or my shirt would have been drenched by the time I got to Room 4 (where I had to be). I think I got there 20 minutes late and when I sat down, Mr. A had timed the phone call perfectly. I managed to get it out of my pocket after it had stopped ringing. When  put it back in again, the  voicemail message alarm went off. That’s when everyone turned to see who the idiot was. And it didn’t stopped there. While I was TRYING to turn my phone off, he calls again, so I bounced over 2 rows of chairs and ran back out there, leaving all of my stuff and Mr. A’s camera. Once I got my phone off I went back in, but had already missed most of the presentation. That’s okay, though. I still got to meet Mark who was a very nice guy who stayed afterwards and answered more questions from several ‘aspiring artists’.

When I walked out of the room (on the wrong side), I ended up in one of those corridors where only the ‘pros’ are supposed to be. All of the ‘fans’ were entering from a hall over. I turned my phone back on and was calling Mr. Assertive when I noticed Brian Bendis walking towards me. I think he kind of gave me a ‘you’re not supposed to be back here’ glance before entering the room where he was about to appear. So that was cool. Always fun just to spot some of the pros just walking around. I wasn’t ready with camera in hand, though.

Ah. Pictures. I’ll start posting some of the many costumed denizens and panels and props and everything else at the SDCC in Part 2…

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