July 26, 2004

A very comic book weekend Part 2

Well, I survived SDCC, and in far better shape than last year. We arrived early, went straight to the pre-registered line, and were inside the convention within 30 minutes. Pre-reg is the only way to go. Since we arrived early, the con only seemed very crowded, instead of frighteningly so. The crowding increased quickly though, reaching claustrophobia levels just after noon. We didn’t see as many costumes, but that was more likely due to the time of day. Costumed folk are usually late arrivals on Saturday, since the masquerade doesn’t begin until 7:00, and really, who wants to spend that long in a costume? We did see an excellent Aragorn, a fine John Stewart Green Lantern, innumerable Jedi, and dozens of contestants in our favorite game: Costume or Bad Fashion Choice? Since neither of us know much about manga, who knows if we got any right.

If you read the Mrs. F’s Blog, (and if you aren’t, why the heck not?) you’d know she and I have somewhat different tastes when it comes to comics. She always heads for the indie-ghetto and picks up all sorts of mini-comics and self-published stuff. I’m a pretty straightforward superhero guy. I check out the mammoth (and poorly designed) DC booth, and the miniscule Marvel presence, and then wander with her. I did pick up five mini-comics featuring Teen Boat (The angst of being a teen, the thrill of being a boat), a series from the guys who do the excellent Quicken Forbidden, now published by AIT/Planet Lar. Oddly enough, the best series I found was at the convention, but I never saw it. I was checking on one of the Mrs. Frinklin’s finds, the cute and funny Martin’s Misdirection. Navigating through his site, I came across TotallyClips. These are clip-art based comics, very funny and often disturbed, such as this Mother Penguin’s reaction to her baby. Apparently, I missed this guy’s booth at the convention, because he was supposedly there. It is worth checking out. Heck, I even permalinked it.

Other random convention thoughts:

* I hate how DC designs their booth. I cannot ever get anywhere inside it, unless in line for a signing. The wall hangings, many Jim Lee-illustrated, were very cool though.
- It was in the DC booth where I found my first purchase I could have made then instantly regretted: the Green Lantern ring collection. Retailing for $100.00, it would have made a very cool collectors item and paperweight.

*Marvel was actually at San Diego, a nice change from the last few years. There were not there in force though, just a small section of the larger Activision booth. They did make some interesting announcements though including:
-Chuck Austen is off X-Men, replaced by Peter Milligan. As much as I dislike Austen, this strikes me as a lateral move. Milligan is terrific when allowed to be totally oddball, like on Shade the Changing Man and X-Statix, less so when reined in and asked to do stuff that is more traditional. I would have much rather seen Brian K. Vaughn or Robert Kirkman take over.
-The new post-Disassembled Avengers title is Young Avengers, written by some guy from The OC. Supposedly inspired by Geoff John’s recent Teen Titans run. Ummmm... Okay
-Warren Ellis and Robert Kirkman are now Marvel exclusive, but that won’t affect Planetary or Invincible. Speaking of which, I picked up an autographed copy of the first Invincible trade, and I’m kicking myself I didn’t get the second one too. Terrific book.
-Activision showed of the new X-Men: Legends game that I’ve been looking forward too, but I wasn’t very impressed. It seemed to have weaker graphics than both KotOR 2 and Lord of the Rings: The Third Age.

* As I mentioned in my breathless bit on playing the KotOR 2 demo, the Lucas exhibit was massive, easily the biggest on the floor. Everything you could possibly think of from Star Wars was there, including a life-size X-Wing fighter for pictures.
-The second possible regrettable purchase was at the Lucas booth. Master Replicas was there selling these spiffy lightsabers for only $100.00. I briefly lusted after one for a few minutes, but never pulled the trigger. Not that the Mrs. Frinklin would have let me buy it anyway.
-LucasArts brought playable demos of KotOR 2, Battlefront, and Republic Commando. I didn’t get the opportunity to play either Battlefront or RC, but both looked sweet. My rapture over The Sith Lords is available here.
-As if to underscore what an event this has become, Lucasfilms used the con to announce the official name of Episode III. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has a nice ring too it, certainly better than either Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones.

*Mild celebrity sightings: at the LOTR booth, David Wenham (Faramir), Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan were signing autographs. The Mrs. and I nearly were caught up in the wake of the line. In a nice use of space, the LOTR line wrapped around the display featuring costumes from the films. We also saw Marlon and Shawn Wayans signing autographs with no waiting whatsoever. That is what White Chicks will do to you. Not much else on the celebrity front, just a smattering of ex-Playboy Playmates, one with preposterous fake boobs. And Catherine (Daisy Duke) Bach, still looking good. Of course, there was the Annual Leonardo DiCaprio rumor, this year from a vendor who told us that Leo had been over looking at his copy of Marvel Comics #1.

*Speaking of Lord of the Rings, there was a much less of a presence this year. Understandably, other than the ROTK special edition, the series is done. We did see the ROTK Special Edition packaging, with your choice of incredibly cool miniatures of either Minas Morgul or the White City. EA brought both the Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth PC Game and the multi-console Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. Both looked good, Battle for Middle-Earth is a very complex strategy game, and Third Age is an RPG. It is hard not to think of Final Fantasy when looking at Third Age. It features the same delayed combat system, where after choosing an action, the player looses control until the action is complete. The graphics are stunning though.

Great time had by all. Can’t wait until next year.

Posted by Frinklin at July 26, 2004 06:41 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?