Yup, that’s the crowd waiting in-line for the show to open on Thursday, the first official day of the show (yesterday was Preview Night).
Actually, only the front half of the people in this shot are in the line. In the background are people walking through the main open space of the show (this is the second floor of the convention center). However, you are not seeing the overflow of this line, nor are you seeing the second line which enters at the other side of the hall (and equivalent in length to this line). Remember, all 4 days of the show have sold out in advance, there are NO ticket sales at the door. There’s lots-o’-people, and I’m in my position only because I showed up 90 minutes before the doors opened.
I was much more organized about the show today. I focused on the lower numbered rows which tend to be small publishers, comics retailers, and collectible retailers. There are a mix of other folks, but this is the end that doesn’t get the massive crowds of the movie, TV, and main stream publishers. I took this picture from one end of the show, and you can see the row numbers, with 100 and 200 above my head. Just for perspective, you can see how the numbering is by hundreds, and you can see quite a few rows, but it fades off in the distance. The highest numbered row in the show is 5600. It’s at the other end of this cavernous area. There’s a lot-o’-show.
Sideshow is a manufacturer of high end collectible figures and props from major movies, TV, and other franchises. I included this shot to give a feel for the range of vendors here. Plus that’s a cool Iron Man figure (about 1/2 life size), and a bunch of really cool helmets.
I rarely see anyone I know at the shows. Yesterday I mentioned running into Jed and Wayne, and then today I ran into Jed again. I had just finished taking a picture of someone in a costume, so I decided to give Jed the same treatment. My hope was that others in the crowd would assume he was in costume & take pictures of him. No such luck.
During the show, there’s a fair bit of street theater that goes on as promotion for movies or TV shows. This was my favorite one of the day because it took a second for me to realize what was going on.
On my way back to my room to dump off the load-o’-goodies I had bought that morning, I was approached to sign a petition. It was worded in a vague way, and I was trying to understand it when I was approached by a second fellow telling me the petition was “against vampires”. He asked me to sign his petition which was “for vampires.” These guys were going through the crowd getting folks to sign petitions either for or against vampires. It made me laugh, and of course I signed the petition for vampires. I’m all about the diversity.
There’s a whole conference going on outside of the exhibits and vendors. The presentations range from discussions of breaking into comics, improving your drawing, writing, and production, how to cast resin models, the literary and educational aspects of comics, to panels of actors and producers from the current and upcoming movies and TV shows. Today I attended a discussion of independent comics producers and also the one pictured here: the comics podcast panel. I listen to a lot of comics related podcasts, and pictured here are representatives from Comic Geek Speak, Indie Spinner Rack, and Comic News Insider.
Here’s another promotional event for the latest movie in the Mummy franchise. A park area outside of a hotel was filled with these simulated Xian terra cotta warriors. The movie takes place in China, with an ancient Chinese warlord animated as some sort of mummy. It was an impressive exhibit.
Events go late into the night, and on tonights schedule was the 7th Annual Star Wars Fan Film Awards. Every year, the Lucas Films company in conjunction with Atom Films, reviews the large number of fan produced films and gives out a variety of awards. This year there were 8 categories ranging from best special effects to the George Lucas Selects Award. Lucas is a big supporter of independent film producers, and he provides a lot of support to fan films that are based on the Star Wars franchise. This is the big theater hall before the rest of the crowd arrived. I’d say it ended up being half full.
Most of the award presenters are exec’s and directors at Lucas Films, but there are a couple of celebrities. This is Renee O’Connor, who played Gabriel in the Xena TV series (yeah, I put this in for you, Diane). She gave the visual effects award to the film Ryan vs. Dorkman II (which was a really amazing short film about 2 guys having a laser sword fight).
The rest of you will recognize Kevin Spacey, who was there to promote the movie Fan Boys, which he produced. He spoke very kindly of Comic-Con and I must say the movie looks pretty damn funny – especially to fans of Star Wars movies. He’s no Katee Sackhoff, but the crowd treated him warmly (anyone … actress in Battlestar Galactica … plays Starbuck …. <sigh>).
I’ll end the post with photos of folks in costumes. This is a very small fraction of the total number of costumes. People are there as individual characters, as a costumed couple, and in organized groups. This was a particularly fun costumed pair, and the spider-dog was particularly sweet. He’s in a Wolverine costume (for the geek impaired).