The attendance this year was over the top. I’ve been going out to this show since 1992, when I shared a table in Artist’s Alley with Charles Vess. The attendance that year was probably 25, maybe 30,000. This year people are saying 125,000! This is a picture of 125,000 people crossing the street. I spent most of Saturday with the Flight Crew, although I had a very good meeting with the DC team (many exciting things were proposed for SHAZAM! MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL now that it is getting closer to completion), and bumped into many old friends like Terry and Robin Moore, Lee Hester, Jenny Robb, David Silverman, Mike Carlin, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Rachel Lovinger, Joe & Dottie Ferrera, Charles Vess, Rory Root, Sergio Aragones, Jimmy Palmioti & Amanda Conners, Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada and more besides!
The Flight Panel was standing room only. That’s Kazu Kibuishi, Flight’s editor at the podium. A very interesting discussion about the future of graphic novels and the sustainability of the long form comic. I think Kazu and the rest of the relatively young, but accomplished artists are coming to grips with the huge commitment in time, money and emotional energy that the field requires. Despite that, I only sensed optimism and fearlessness from every single member. Don’t worry, guys, it’s nothing Alan Moore, Art Spiegleman, Ernest Hemmingway or Mark Twain didn’t deal with.
Kazu, Jen Wang, and Scott McCloud laughing with Reagan Lodge.
Amy Kim Ganter and Bill Plympton.
Kean Soo, me, and Steve Hamaker.
Kean Soo and Derek Kirk Kim.
After lunch we returned to the Flight booth for a signing and found a mob that we could barely get through. It was a monster signing and I want to publicly thank the Flight Crew and especially Johanne Matte for inviting me to appear at their booth and making the whole experience fun for me and more importantly, the fans.
I did get the names of the Fone Bone and Thorn that visited me on Friday: Thorn was Tiana Krohn-Ching, and Fone’s puppeteer was Christopher Maslanka.My flight back to Columbus is at 8pm. For someone who normally spends a week at this show, two days seems short. Still it was one of the richest San Diegos I can remember. What did I learn? I learned that Terry Moore won’t tell me the secret ending of Strangers in Paradise, and that Scott McCloud – - about everything – - was right after all. And when I spotted Jonesy from Reno 911, I also learned that it’s still fun to see a celebrity.
Before heading out to the airport, I met John J. Muth and David Saylor, my editor at Scholastic, for a cool-down drink at the Omni bar. While we were chatting, a squadron of Storm Troopers came in from the heat, and lined up their helmets on the bar, resulting in my single favorite image of San Diego Comic-Con International 2006:
And with that, I think I’ll sleep for a day or so!