Naturally enough, it was ordered like any creator-owned serial from DC, which is to say unenthusiastically. I mean, I'm often prepared to admit that perhaps the quality of my invention wasn't there -- I have bad days just like any other bastard -- but at the DC-sponsored comics retailers meeting in late 2002 I had store owners say to my face that they didn't want "any of this new crap." While I'm sitting there in a focus group with them with GF posters in my hand. It is the mark of a sizeable proportion of the comics shop network that they want the old characters they know and are comfortable with, only done better. The Direct Market right now really seems to me to have split into two sub-markets -- one part supporting the major superhero comics lines and media properties, and one part supporting everything else -- and I imagine that's going to hold true for some time to come.
I'm very happy that my area comic shops, from my regular Comic Gallery in Mira Mesa, to my backstops Adventure Games & Comics in Poway, and the Comics N Stuff shops in UTC and Escondido, carry a wide variety of stuff. The superheros and the independent and creator-owned stuff. One time when Wednesday struck while I was home visiting the family, I stopped by North Shore Comics in Northbrook, walking distance from my house. They had damned near nothing. The superheros, the Archies, the kiddie stuff. The rest of the store was all cards and sports memorabilia and collectibles. Feh. That former category of shops are entitled to exist, but I'll take all my business elsewhere. I won't even buy from them what they have off my list and fill in elsewhere. I guess I should be amazed that the four shops in San Diego I use, plus the one I found in Williamsport, and the one in Morton Grove, and the two in Las Vegas (all found with Yahoo! Yellow Pages) are right and proper shops.
First off, when Comedy Central's "Drawn Together" airs in October, fucking WATCH IT. An animated spoof of the "reality show" genre, it's offensive and over the top beyond what I thought was conceivable. The subject matter is something I couldn't have imagined on basic cable. Hot girl-on-girl action in a hot tub. With visible tongue action. And an audience. And a pig that marks his territory like a dog. Oh, did I mention the hot girl-on-girl action is between a white bigot and her black housemate. And they sing about it. The gathered crowd at the ComCentral booth was falling over laughing.
I got downtown in time for the "Freaks and Geeks" panel. They showed "Discos and Dragons" and then brought in creator Paul Feig, writer/actor Steve Banos, the three geek actors, John Daley, Martin Starr, and Samm Levine, and the object of unrequited geek love, Natasha Melnick. Paul's got a follow-up to his book "Kick Me" coming out soon, as well as a movie, I Am David. John shot a pilot that ABC did not pick up for this fall. I don't recall what projects Martin and Samm have in the pipe, but Natasha is getting into music management and is trying to start a record label. I got my yearbook signed afterwards, and while waiting in line picked up a "Haverchuck For President" button. Paul says an "Undeclared" DVD set is in the works, thanks to the success of the F&G release.
I picked up the third DVD collection of "Happy Tree Friends". I'm amazed Con management doesn't get complaints that they're openly showing it on the dealer floor.
There was a guy dressed up as Elvis as a stormtrooper. All the armor but no helmet; hairdo, sunglasses, and white cape with rhinestones forming the Imperial logo. I have pictures.
Master Replicas is selling a Darth Vader lightsaber, LED-lit polycarbonate blade, sound effects, the blade lights up in sequence (as if it's actually growing out of the handle,) and at a discounted price of $100. I'm not buying it. Next month, they're coming out with a purple Mace Windu model. If I'm going to spend a bill and change ($120,) I want the one that says "Bad Mother Fucker".
Jake Lloyd was signing autographs in the Star Wars complex today. There appeared to be chicks all over him. Ditto Daniel Logan (Boba Fett.) Carrie Fisher is signing all day Saturday. I can't imagine what the line will be like. I don't know if Sarah Michelle Gellar's appearance will have any effect at all. (Sarah is not signing. The Sails Pavilion isn't big enough, and there would probably be a riot of disappointed fans when her hand would fall off at the wrist a third of the way through.)
JMS had to skip this year's show, a rare situation due to an exceptionally high (even for Joe) workload. This is my ninth consecutive Comic Con, and the first where he's not here. Kevin Smith also isn't appearing this year. I don't know whether it's because he's busy writing the "Green Hornet" screenplay, or still recovering from "Jersey Girl"'s box office performance.
I have some pictures, but I need to finish fixing Gallery before I can post them.