Baltimore Comic-Con 2008: News From the Front

I’m taking a break during Day One of the Baltimore Comic-Con to, well, take a break.

The show has been amazing so far. As their Press Liaison, I started the day working the registration table for Press and Artists Alley from 8-1 or so. Which meant, in addition to helping many wonderful people get checked in, I had to deal with a few bad apples.

If you buy a table, that comes with two chairs and thus two passes. You can buy extra passes, because maybe you need a friend or three to help spell you and rotate in and out at your table. But if you buy a table and you want to buy 12 extra passes so you can get your friends in cheap, I’m going to tell you no, because that’s ridiculous. There is no way 14 people are going to fit behind a table, and you’re going to annoy the people near you as well as me.

I also got to be security. One very nice woman checked in a little after opening. We sent her to her table, only to see her come back in 20 minutes or so. “How many chairs am I supposed to have?” she asked. “Two. Why?” Because she didn’t have any. I walked back with her to round up her chairs, which had been taken by other tables. I made them give them back with the power of a Staff badge… and a big guy friend backing me up.

It’s this kind of behavior that makes conventions set up restrictive rules. It’s a shame that just one abuse makes things worse for everyone. Especially when someone from one of these groups then turns around and starts lecturing a hard-working staffer (not me) on how she should be answering questions to give better customer service.

Anyway, sorry for griping at you, dear readers. The show had a much bigger crowd than anyone expected. At 3:00, there were still people lined up to buy tickets. On the one hand, it’s great for the show and everyone exhibiting that so many people are interested in getting in. On the other, I felt really bad that some people didn’t have the chance to enjoy more of the show. I wish more of them had bought tickets in advance, but I don’t think anyone expected this many people to show up. At a pure guess, some of the artists appearing, especially those who don’t often come to this area of the country (or this country), attracted a lot of fans.

Jim Lee Baseball

Oh, I also went to the baseball game last night, my first in five years or so, to see Jim Lee throw out the first pitch. (It bounced.) Here’s a picture, taken from my seat WAY up in the stands. That’s Jim Lee on the mound. The screen in the background under “The Sun” showed a nifty Superman and other DC heroes graphic.

I didn’t realize that these nosebleed seats had a huge advantage until it started raining, and we were some of the few people under cover. The game was unfortunately rained out, when the Toronto Blue Jays were ahead of the Baltimore Orioles 3-0, which made Stuart Immonen, Canadian, happy. I admit I found myself forgetting about the game occasionally, because Thom Zahler and I were having a great conversation about 80s TV shows we loved.

Speaking of Thom, here he is with my old friend Paul Storrie.

Thom and Paul

As you see, Thom is the author of Love and Capes, one of my very most favorite series, and he also drew himself on the cover of the upcoming issue #8. That’s due out next month, with the collection following in November. Paul is working on a remastered collection of Robyn of Sherwood, a nifty comic about Robin Hood’s teenage daughter. I’m excited to see it, since the book is being redrawn!

Let’s see… other interesting things… I barely had time to see much of the floor, since the show is so busy, with long lines for Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, and Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). But I did get chances to chat briefly with Kevin McShane about the future of Toupydoops and why people were talking about Kramer’s Ergot; Joanna Estep about a fascinating-sounding series she’s going to be doing for ComicMix; and Rich Koslowski, who had a new issue of The 3 Geeks! I also had a very pleasant conversation with Kris Straub and Brad Guigar about the reactions to my review of their webcomic book. They’re great guys, and I hope to get a chance to talk to Scott Kurtz as well tomorrow, since he wasn’t at their table today when I went by.

Whew! Now it’s time to get changed for the Harvey Awards. It’s been a terrific show so far, with much more good times to come!

6 Responses to “Baltimore Comic-Con 2008: News From the Front”

  1. odessa steps magazine Says:

    glad it’s been a good show.

    I woke up sick in the middle of the night and didn’t really want to make the drive down 95 at 8 in the morning on so little sleep and not being 100%.

    Since I had nothing to sell, I don’t feel extremely terrible about missing the show. Just pretty terrible about it.

    Maybe tomorrow.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I knew I knew Thom’s name!! Dang I still have got to see about getting those issues of Love & Capes I need. Two hurricanes AND a new job can keep you busy for a while though.:)

    Good thing you were sitting so far back then if you were that into conversation though. It says on your ticket to be watchful for foul balls into the stands you know.

    Yeah rude/inconsiderate people are my #1 pet peeve in life. Glad to hear the show’s doing so well though, wow!

    I remember liking the little of Robyn of Sherwood too, so that’s good news for Paul. Keep us updated on the show please!

  3. Bill D. Says:

    Even a nosebleed seat at Camden Yards is a great place to watch a game there. Easily the best park I’ve visited thus far.

  4. Jamie Fickes Says:

    There are people being buttheads all over. Knowing full well they overbooked artist alley, they were trying to shove two more tables in our row, therefore blocking off all access to exit. When we approached the people putting the table in as to “how we were to get out, climb over the table” the response was “Well, that’s your choice” and walked away.

    Our designated exit point had an individual with an overlarge stand and a guy with an extended family reunion or something going on behind their booth. I felt bad for everyone who needed to get out to use the bathroom.

    Eventually, the decided to put a little crack in the middle of the aisle, of which you had to crawl over everyone’s stock in order to get out.

    Overall it was a good convention (especially Saturday), but I would have liked to have gotten out from behind the booth a little bit more.

  5. Dave Rose Says:

    Love and Capes is a terrific series. I’ve been buying it from the start and thoroughly enjoy every issue!

    The premise is similar to the British TV show, “My Hero”, but the stories and art are totally original.

    Anyone who isn’t buying it is missing one of the best comics out there!

  6. Baltimore Comic-Con 2008: Bigger and Better Than Ever » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] already become a blur, but I had a terrific time at the Baltimore Comic-Con this past weekend. Between catching up with friends and staff duties, aside from the Harvey Awards […]




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