Ah yes, this weekend was the first con of the season for me - Wizard World Philly. My friends and I pack up the car and head to the city of Brotherly Love to eat, game and read comics. This year was a little different but I'll get to all that soon enough. I'm going to try and break things down a bit and go by days this time. Yes, I've got that much to say so grab a coffee or other beverage of your choosing, maybe find a snack and get comfortable. Uncle Prophet's 'bout to tell some stories. = P
First day of the con was interesting. We woke up kinda' late because we got in kinda' late. Oddly enough, the one known for keeping almost vampiric hours (Me) was the first one up. After a very long and confusing trip around downtown Philly looking for a place to park on the cheap, we headed toward Reading Terminal Market for some grub. The place was nice though I'm still tempted to bring extra cash and a decent cooler and go food shopping there next year. Many places to both buy food and supplies. We dropped in on 12th Street Cantina for some Mexican food (which was awesome). From there, we headed to the convention center.
We got inside, rolled up to the registration booths and paid for a three day pass. Unlike year's past, we didn't get badges. Instead we got these little bracelet thingies like what you get if you went to a carnival or some such event. Being the guy I am and used to stuff like this, I made mine just wide enough to slide off when I needed to. I've never been one to try and shower with something that could fall off/be ruined on my wrist. The place itself was oddly quiet but I didn't think anything of it. We went up to the second floor expecting the usual first day commotion over the Big Three comic publishers and folks up front... yeah. No. They didn't show this year. Apparently, they were over in North Carolina at Heroes-Con. I was bummed but thankful that I wouldn't be fishing around for headache medicine after each day.
I decided Friday was my day to save cash and make a plan of attack for Saturday. It was hard to walk over to folks in Artist Ally saying "I've got cash but I'm holding off until tomorrow. I'll be back then, I swear!" Anyone who has been on the other side of the table knows that's usually the last time you'll ever see them again. From there, my friends and I took in a couple of panels: How to Self Publish and Writing for Comics. The self publishing was essentially saying don't be afraid to do a web version of your comic and dropping enough helpful links for various printing and distro places to choke a horse! The writing panel was similar in that they were basically saying "If you want to write, you must write!" They were great and it was funny seeing folks just hanging out dropping knowledge about what they do and how they do it.
I did stop to talk with Brad Guigar of Evil Inc./Phables/Courting Disaster/Webcomics Weekly fame (Titles galore!). If you ever get the chance to talk with him for a bit without eating up his table time, do it. The guy is nice and funny and really made my day.
After the con, we all headed out for cheesestakes and gelato with my friend's cousin. Even got a chance to talk comics on the way there - Batman vs. Superman and why Bats always wins out against the Big Blue Boy Scout.
It started off like Friday - the Vamp woke up first again. After finding the parking place from before, we went back to Reading for some pre-con grub. I didn't think such a large place could be packed so tightly with people but it was. Wall to wall folks while my friends and I winded our way through the crowd RPG style. I almost bumped into Edward James Olmos while trying to make my my through the throng of hungry shoppers. We finally found the place we wanted to eat at - DiNic's Roast Pork and Beef. I grabbed myself a roast beef sandwich, swung around to Old City Coffee for a double mint hot chocolate and tried to find a place to sit. After a great sandwich and some good hot chocolate, it was time to make good on my promise and hit up Artist Alley!
Here's a quick tip for folks who go to a con: Bring a pencil and paper with you, make a plan and by Kirby's Ghost don't make a liar out of yourself! I hit up just about every table I said I would Friday because I wrote them down and kept track of everything. Nothing makes an artist feel better than someone actually coming back when they say they will. I've never been thanked by folks at a con so much before in my life!
I got most of my shopping done on Saturday. I picked up the latest issues of Lazerman and the Underburbs, grabbed a nice little horror anthology called Nightmares and Demons, snagged myself a copy of Evil Inc. Annual Report Vol. 4 and Lackadaisy Vol. 1 (Both with insanely cool sketches inside) and a small poster/sketch from the guys of Bunnies on Fire. Also scooped was a new Lantern shirt - a black t-shirt with the half of the Blue and Green Lantern Corp symbols on it. = )
After the con, we stopped in at a pizza shop to relax, eat and get some work done for ConnectiCon. My friend and I started talking about who we would like to see at CtCon and Franchesco's name came up. No sooner had we been speaking about him he walked through the door with some friends. It made for a quick and interesting conversation before we headed to the hotel to pack up a bit and get some sleep.
Reading Terminal was really quiet, we were late again and I was running on a coffee and another double mint hot chocolate.
I got back to the last person on my list of tables to hit up and had a very interesting conversation about old 50's scifi, ink washes and other such artist-type ramblings. I also grabbed myself a sticker from the very talented Jay Brant. After saying our goodbyes to folks, we headed out of Philly and back home.
Normally, the story stops there. This one has an interesting side note to it. My friend Christian was sporting his Blue Lantern shirt while I wore my new Blue/Green split one. We stopped to grab a little something at a Wawa's n Jersey. A trooper entered the store along with us. This trooper had a bead on us, more so on my friend. As we entered he place he asks my friend why he sporting a Blue Lantern shirt 'cause, as anyone following DC's "Blackest Night" story knows, Blue Lanterns can't do anything without a GL close by. That's right... random comic conversation with a NJ State Trooper on the way back. Hands down the oddest yet funniest thing to happen while coming back from a convention. = )
Days Spent: 4
Cash Spent: $264
Sandwiches Eaten: 3
Area Used to Describe Distance Walked: "All of Christendom"
Professional Artists/Actors/Writers Chatted Up: Numerous
Professional Wrestlers Chatted Up: Just 1 (I'm lookin' at you Virgil)
Needless to say, WWPhilly rocked. Now to prep for Connecticon! = D
'Till next time!