Comic-Con 2010 — Preview Night

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Okay, so this will be posted in the correct chronological order, but let’s face it — Comic-Con is FAR too busy and excited to be able to blog in any reasonable way from there. So I will now, almost two weeks later, with the help of images and my ever-faltering memory reconstruct and post my thoughts on Comic-Con 2010 based on my personal experiences.

Comic-Con! Awwwwwwww Yeah!

The best thing for me about Comic-Con 2010 was that I got to experience it with fresh eyes.  Two very important people in my life, my friend, Landall Goolsby and my partner, Kevin Fabian, were attending Comic-Con for the first time ever.  Both huge comic geeks, it was a little shocking that this was their first year to make the trek down to San Diego for the annual event, but sometimes you just have to wait for the fates to get you in the right place with the right people at the right time.

The first thing I noticed about Comic-Con this year was that San Diego is CLEARLY trying to hold on to this convention with as much will as it can muster.  From setting up shuttles to and from the very-distant hotels in Mission Valley (which made being stuck staying that far from the convention a little more bearable) to converting all of the Trolley signs into Klingon, the city came out for the Geeks with a hearty “PLEASE KEEP SPENDING YOUR MONEY HERE.”   A recent survey reported that Comic-Con generates over $163 million for the San Diego economy, so of course the city is going to go out of its way to keep the convention for as long as it can.

Preview night with newbies is a blast.  No matter how long and hard I tried to initiate them into and warn them about the madness that is Comic-Con, they still disregard me and shrug me off . . . until they actually get here.  And they were lucky: with the limitation on tickets for preview night this year, the exhibition floor was not nearly as packed or insane as it has been in other years.

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night . . .

We stayed mostly on the “comics” side of the floor, eschewing the southern end of the hall where the TV, movie and game booths tend to be set up.  It always amazes me how much quieter it is at the north end, where the focus is primarily print media and collectibles.  Kevin and I did head for the Mattel booth because we wanted to snag the convention exclusive (and brilliantly funny) Wonder Woman Hot Wheels Invisible Jet. Arriving at the booth, I WAS able to recite the Green Lantern oath at a power battery, but I was using my Legion Flight Ring, so I didn’t get much of a charge.  Also, the Mattel shop line was characteristically and excruciatingly long, so we were told to come back tomorrow morning (and given special passes to do so at 11:00 a.m.)  Our plans to stand in line for Hall H to see Tron might be in jeopardy . . .

Giving up on Mattel, Landall wanted to (and I could not disagree with him) to hang out at the DC Comics booth, which we tend to regard as some sort of holy land.  Landall and I are staunch DCs, whereas Kevin is much more bi, preferring the company of Marvel as well as DC.  I forgive him for those transgressions.  We moved on from the DC booth to explore the lay of the land, as is appropriate for preview night.  Many sales were going on in a lot of booths; I’m not sure if the vendors thought that they wouldn’t make may sales this year or not because of the economy, but with fanboys saving up all year for this event, the money didn’t seem to be too much of an issue.  Landall picked up some items, I bought a few action figures (mostly to get a rare Wonder Woman for Kev, but I also picked up a female Dr. Light and a Psycho Pirate.  Awesome.) and Kevin bought himself a very sweet Green Lantern jacket to replace the brown and tan one seen in these pictures.

9:00 p.m. cam quickly and it was back to the car to drive out to Hotel Circle to get to bed.  Thursday is Tron day and therefore is a day requiring lots of rest.

Comic-Con is coming! Comic-Con is coming!

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Next week, I’ll be traveling to San Diego to attend San Diego Comic-Con (for the third-year in a row!)   Not only will I be tweeting as much as I can from the Convention, I’ll also try to update this Blog as well (blogging from the iPhone can be a chore or a godsend.  Discuss.)

E3 2010-Some first impressions . . .

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This was my first E3, so I didn’t quite know what to expect.  In many ways, it was like Comic-Con with less cosplay and more suits.  I’ll post more on my impressions soon, but here’s a start (since we began at the Sony booth).

Actually played with the Sony Move.  The exhibitor had a lousy “you’re doing it all wrong!” attitude and actually snatched it out of my hand (twice) to show me how to play golf as Tiger Woods with it. Well, of course we (myself and two classmates I was with) were “doing it wrong”.  It’s a new interface and we were exploring what it could do.  If it was as truly intuitive as Sony was hoping, there wouldn’t be this sense of “right or wrong”.  There was a very bad latency issue with the Move, something I’ve never gotten with the Wii (and let’s face it, the Move looks and acts just like a Wii-mote. I’ve yet to see any reason to expect anything else from it).

Another Exhibitor showcasing a Toy Story shooting gallery game told me that there was going to be Move-specific downloadable content (in the form of little gamelets that branch from a major release), but it seems that this was not fully thought through.  There didn’t seem to a be a Move-Specific gamelet for DC Universe Online or Assassin’s Creed or even Little Big Planet 2.  All in all, it seems that the Sony Move is not a fully thought out concept on Sony’s part and just an attempt to grab at the “cool interface” mojo of games.

Blogging from my iPhone

Proving just how much of a late adapter I can be, I’m writing this from my iPhone as I walk to lunch. And yes, that WAS a building column that I almost just walked into.

The obsessive’s compulsion

Okay, I will admit that I have been keeping track of my comic books since I was a kid.  Initially,  I kept a log of the purchases in a loose-leaf binder-one page per title and I would note the issue number, month and year of publication (and, yes, I still have this notebook).  The initial idea behind this was to have a record of all comic purchases for insurance coverage (back in the day when there was an actual potential resale market for comic back issues – pre-1990s).  Despite the decline of that market, it still helps to have a record of a collection. Nowadays, however, I’ve upgraded to logging my comics in a database (which has quite a few more data fields than my old notebook).  There are databases on the market for book collecting, record collecting, and even game collecting, but oddly enough, the comic-specific database selection is slight.  I have found one that I particularly like and so I’m sharing it here.

The database is called, appropriately enough, Comic Collector.  The company behind it started in the late ’90s with a fun little database for CDs called “Keep It Compact” which I had used then to keep track of my then-growing CD collection.  I stayed with the company through various version upgrades and eventually they expanded their line.  I jumped at Comic Collector.  The one drawback of this software, for me, is that a Mac-compatible version has never been released (and there are no plans for a release).  It has been great for Windows users, though, and Collectorz is working on a browser-based, platform independent version.

And here we go . . .

Yes, I’ve finally set up a  WordPress.com blog because I liked the interface and the flexibility.  Give me time, I’ll be revving up to blog more often on here.