Tuesday, July 27, 2010

San Diego Comic Con 2010

See? Na'Vi!
Last week was the San Diego Comic Con. I was there Thursday to Sunday morning, and had what was probably my best Comic Con experience ever. The con seemed more relaxed than previous, and less crowded (which might have been more to do with better crowd management than in previous years.) There did seem to be less costumes on the floor, and what there was seemed to emphasize classic characters over the latest films (Iron Man excepted, but a surprising lack of Na'vi). Generally, I just had an impression of less chaos. Which is interesting given that my schedule was packed.

I got in Thursday morning, and raced from the airport to hotel to registration to be on the io9 panel, "Sci-Fi that will change your life." (Discover reviews the panel here.) Reading very little outside my own slush pile, I mostly plugged Ian McDonald, then sat back and listened to the wealth of information from the other panelists. 

Really impressive Captain.
Then it was off to lunch with old friend John Picacio and new friend Jamil Moledina (of Electronic Arts). Really great conversation with them both, and Jamil is someone I hope to talk to a lot more in future. (Ironically, I hadn't recognized him when he stood up to ask a question at the io9 panel, but had marked the savvy guy in the audience as someone to speak to later. When I approached him, he informed me were were having lunch shortly. Doh!)

Then John and I were off to the Eos party, at the Se San Diego Hotel, to see my editor Diana Gill (for my co-edited anthology, Swords & Dark Magic). This was my one and only time to talk with Ann Vandermeer, there as a guest of the convention no less, and it was great to sit with her while drinking dark beer and eating chocolate truffles. Guillermo del Toro apparently made an appearance, but brief enough I missed it.

Three Bald Guys
That evening was an "artists' dinner" with Dave Seeley (and family), Lucas Graciano, EM Gist, John Picacio, Jeremy Cranford (art director for Blizzard) and others. After which I met up with China Mieville and Lev Grossman for a late night conversation (livened in the middle when Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders of io9 joined us for a bit). 

Then it was off to the Bayfront to hook up with Chris Roberson and his friends at DC Comics. Where I ran into Sean Williams, there to promote his next Star Wars hardcover.

Obligatory Slave Leia
Friday morning was a quick breakfast with longtime friend Paul Cornell and his wife Caroline Symcox. I was actually rooming with Paul, Caroline, and Picacio, but as Paul is a Doctor Who script writer and new writer on DC's Action Comics, his schedule was jam packed, and the only time I saw either of them was very late at night or early mornings.

Next was the panel "With Great Powers Come Great Stories," a panel about comic books in prose with contributors from my just-released Masked anthology, as well as Wildcards and other books. The panelists were myself, Chris Roberson, Matt Sturges, Jackie Kessler, Caitlin Kitteredge, Gini Koch, Caroline Spector, Kevin Andrew Murphy. Also from Masked, Paul Cornell, Daryl Gregory, and Bill Willingham all came, sat on the front row, and took turns joining in on the panel (much appreciated, guys). There is a brief summation of the panel here on Superhero Novels.

Obligatory Bat Pic
This was followed by a signing, a snack with Paizo's Pierce Waters, and then a lunch with John Picacio and Matt Gagnon, editor-in-chief of Boom! Studios. Lunch was mostly spent with Matt and I realizing we do the exact same job in sister industries, with some of the exact same people even. Loved meeting him and we could easily have talked all day if our schedules permitted.

But it was off to drinks and Bat-conversation with Jim Killen, and then another trip to the Bayfront, where I met more folks from Boom! and DC and hung out with old friends Michael Cobert and JF Lewis.

Masked signing at Mysterious Galaxy
Up early Saturday morning for an interview with Shaun Farrell of Adventures in SciFi Publishing fame, then a lunch with friend Morgan Burns, then a signing with Bill Willingham in support of both Swords & Dark Magic and Masked at the Mysterious Galaxy booth.  Touched that Alan Dean Foster came by to say hi, and that Patrick Rothfuss bought three copies of Masked (one for himself, two for charity). Great guys both.

Damn good people.
Then drinks with Matt Wilson (of Privateer Press) and videogame designer Miles Holmes (of Ubisoft). Fantastic conversation, punctuated by watching the restaurant host's reaction to two people at the bar who really should have gotten a room. 

Then it was dinner with Stephan Martiniere, his daughter, John Picacio, Dave Seeley, Jim Minz (Baen Books), David Weber, Jeremy Lassen (Night Shade) and Amelia Beamer. And back to the Bayfront.

An early morning breakfast with John Picacio and Annalee Newitz, and that was my con. I could easily have stayed another day and still not see everyone I wanted to, but I had a tremendous time with the people I did. You all rock.

You can't beat the classics.


Tim Akers said...

Paizo and Privateer and Blizzard. I'm coming to Comic Con next year just to follow you around.

Lou Anders said...

you so should be there next year

Tim Akers said...

I have no idea what my schedule is next year, but I'd like to. Friend of mine is going to NY comic con this year. Pyr going to be there?

Lou Anders said...

Not this year. Considering it for future. Never been to NYCC.