Monday, November 15, 2004

Seattle Comicard Show Round up

My husband Jim and I arrived at the Seattle Con around 8:30 a.m. expecting to get in line to see the Aspen Comics crew. To our surprise, we were first in line. We were sure there was going to be a crush of people that had gotten there early to see comic artist demi-god Michael Turner in the flesh. No such deal. Even luckier, one of our friends was there as a retailer, so we were allowed to go in early and hang out with them. We kept an eye out for a line, and it really didn't start to build until around 9:30. It really wasn't a much bigger line then we have seen in the past.

As people started filtering in, the Aspen creators, accompanied by their business manager/VP Frank set up shop. By the time Turner and company started signing it was approximately 9:20. The line was long, and full of signing whores (definition: people with more then 40 books). Much to Jim and my disgust, we waited a good 45 minutes and we were pretty far up in the line! I couldn't believe the amount of comic books these people wanted signed. I told Jim if we looked on ebay Monday, there would probably be a glut. A specific guy had around 50 copies of Darkchylde comics that he had Jason Gorder sign. To top it off, he had another 50 for Turner and Peter Steigerwald. He bragged to anyone who would listen that he would have to make at least another two to three trips in line to get all the books he had brought signed. I really loathe people like that!

As we swallowed our irritation, we were given the opportunity to look at signed prints and original art. The prints were $40 for one, $60 for two, and four for $100. Yikes! Lest that be distressing, the original art started at $100, and that was for a Wally West Flash head shot. One customer bought a sketch of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman for $9500. It was a sketch mind you, nothing special. All I could think was that I could pay my mortgage for more then a year with that kind of dough! No wonder the Aspen guys could afford to stay at the Edgewater Inn and bring their business guy.

At any rate, we got our three books apiece signed and moved on quickly since the line was so long. I asked Turner what he had coming down the pipeline and he said he plans to focus on Soulfire for the time being, but is in negotiations with both Marvel and DC for future possible projects. Sounds like Turner, Gorder and Steigerwald won't be looking for work any time soon, as the opportunites are plenty. They were all nice and very polite, with Steigerwald giving his standard brag about his drinking ability. I believe you Peter!

Meanwhile, the line for Turner stayed incredibly long until about 2 p.m. when things just kind of died. Since we left before the end of the show, I don't know if things picked up or not. It was definitely a good crowd for book signing, but not a great buying crowd.

After the thrill of getting books signed, it was time for some serious shopping. I picked up Justice League of America issues. I got the following from the first series: 11, 30, 37, 49, and 56. This filled several holes for me, and I was especially pleased with their condition. Jim and I spent most of our money at Richard and John's booth again. They are easily the most intelligent business guys in the place, starting with fair prices and a good attitude. Most of the other dealers there started at double guide, which is really condescending.

Otherwise, I bought all the Strangers In Paradise issues that weren't in the trade paperbacks, and got a few Liberty Meadows back issues. Jim bought me a Superman Family and an Adventure Comics book featuring Supergirl. I can hardly wait to sit down and read them all!

Here is the scoop of the day. We were able to talk to Jim Demonakos, who runs the Emerald City Con, and he didn't deny the rumors that Wizard World is in talks to buy out the con. In fact, in my opinion, next year, it will be Wizard World Northwest. Good for Jim for bringing such a spotlight on the fantastic show he created! I know that my hubby and I fully intend to be at the 2005 Emerald City Con in full force on February 5 & 6, 2005.

It was a nice day, other then parts of the drive back over the mountains being a bit treacherous. We really enjoy being able to go over the night before and relax. We were able to go to our favorite comic book shop The Dreaming over on University Way. I got a couple of Wildcats trades and some Alan Moore Swamp Things. Very cool.

I don't know yet when the next Seattle Comicard show will be, but chances are that I will be there with bells on. Steve Miner puts on a great show for fans and collectors. I was able to get a picture of him and the Aspen Comics crew. If I can ever take time to figure out how to insert pictures I will be sure to put it up here.

I would give the show itself a 7 out of 10, the creators a 6 1/2 out of 10, and the comics we picked up an 8 out of 10. Being able to spend the day with my handsome husband didn't hurt either.


Carl said...

Tampa Comic Con Report

Sheesh, I feel a bit guilty. All I have to do is drive down to the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa which is about 15 miles away. Anyway, I am one of the helpers for my local comic shop, Read More Comics, so I get in free and work in the booth (off and on since I am volunteer and get store credit).
Welp, the word came down that there was a Hindu Convention on Saturday (I believe there was a religious holiday in India) and we can't go set up like we usually do Sat night. I mean, that saves so much time, we have had some serious snafus and have literally been setting up the booth when the doors open at 10am. So, it was load up the truck, take it over there and leave it and hope we can get in early on Sun. I missed all that part this time amazingly enough, usually since I am the biggest guy there I get a lot of the grunt work.
And even more amazing Scott (the owner) and Bryan (Comics Minion #1) got there by 5:30am and had it almost totally set up by 8am when I got there!
Welp, the guests were Noel Neill, the original Lois Lane from the TV Superman series, Ethan Van Sciver, Jim Fern (DC, Marvel, Crossgen Artist), Rob Granito (DC Graphics artist), Mart Nodell (Creator of the Green Lantern), Shawn Nagle (scuplture, statue artist), Joe Flauvel (Assassins Guild) and the Bubba The Redneck Werewolf team.
Welp, I helped finish set up, got my prop weapons for Scott's girlfriend Penny (she dressed for the con as Lara Croft) and we were selling items like crazy. I think we must have sold 5 or 6 boxes of just action figures alone. Unreal!
And after a bit, I decided to get my few items signed and talked to Mr. Van Sciver and Mr. Nodell and got my GL: Rebirth signed by both. Van Sciver told me some of the stuff coming, Sinestro would be full back, very evil and we would hate him even more, he was not behind Hal becoming Parallax and he showed the guys and me some of the art for issue #2 and the cover to the finale, issue #6. Truthfully I tried to blank it out, since I hate to ruin the endings but it looks pretty damned good. I am cautious to say it, but it looks like and he hinted that they were going to clean up the "mess" left behind after the Parallax story-line. And I said hi to Mr. Nodell and his son. I was very happy to see them, Mrs. Nodell passed a few months ago and I was afraid they would quit the shows. And she was missed big time, she promoted the legacy of GL 100 percent was a really sweet lady.
I didn't get anything signed by Ms. Neill, I should have, but I had about $70 bucks total and the autographs were $10 (your item) and $20 for a still or the book (the author was there too, Larry Thomas Ward, grrrrrrr, I should have got one!!!). And I am used to going to cons with at least $100 bucks and credit card back-up. But, with the bride's medical trip up north, well, times are tight. The bits of your report when people spend so much blows my mind Heidi. I think the most I have paid for anything period at a con that I can think of offhand was an exclusive Crow statue that I bought directly from James O'Barr for $75.
What else? Oh yeah, I got my costume on, I went this con as The Shadow. I got a lot of good comments though, man, this damn younger crowd, they need a good spanking and education. Zorro wears *all black* carries a sword and at best a flintlock pistol. And except for a couple of versions, *he wears a mask over his eyes*, like a domino mask. And oh yes, someone who didn't even see the movie thought I was Van Helsing. My eyes rolled so much I thought they might pop out. But we had a good time, Penny as Lara, Bryan as Jessie Custer from Preacher and a few other costumed folks but no costume contest this time. I kind of think they might have made some folks mad since they did an "American Idol" style contest and the "judges" were either into how hot the guys looked (the gal channeling Paula Abdul), picky about the badges, patches of uniforms or props (the Randy guy) or out and out insulting (the Simon buttmonkey). I really gritted my teeth last year since I was a pretty good Punisher and the judges came over and apologizied and said it was the MC's idea. But I digress...
Okay, the score: Signed copies of GL: Rebirth and Batman: Trail of the Gun. The complete Battlestar Galactica Marvel Comics series #1-#23 in great shape for $12. Two signed Pocket Heroes (got for $4 apiece) of the Green Lanterns and archfoe, the ashcan edition of "Grim Jack: Killer Instinct" for 50 cents (it's a prequel to the new IDW series and damned good!), Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (originally $16.95) also for 50 cents, Aliens: Apocalypse: The Avenging Angel (10.95 original retail) 50 cents and Hellblazer #99, #100, #102 and #153 all in the 50 cents boxes. And I found a JLA special I never remember even seeing: JLA: Superpower for $3, a "What If The Vision Destroyed the Avengers" (I had to have it after it pretty much came true) and a weird team-up, "Super-Team Family Presents..." Flash (Barry Allen) and The New Gods, of course the 50 cents boxes again. Oh yeah, almost forgot, got a Lobo, Catwoman (gave it to Bryan) and Batgirl plushy figures. And I got my bride a Spike (from Buffy and Angel) necklace, my eldest daughter a Wonder Woman one, a lighter (I don't smoke but I love the show) with the Mystie logo on it and a Baby Jack-Jack (thank you Penny) toy for my younger daughter.
Like I said I great day, had a good time, wore a costume, got pictures with kids and then Scott took us all to Golden Corral and I got $30 bucks in store credit for helping out. Can't wait for Megacon 2005!

Heidi Meeley said...

Wow Carl, you had a really busy day! It sounds like fun- I wish we had more local fans and could have a con like that! I am glad that you were able to see Mr. Nodell. I am sure he is very sad about his wife, and it is good to see he is keeping busy.

The costume contest sounds crazy- the American Idol part especially sounds insane. I agree that sometimes the younger types don't recognize old school outfits like the rest of us.

I am jealous of your haul at the con- you did well! I like the Superteam book especially!

It sounds like you had an absolutely great day- that is wonderful! We had a great day too, even if we were a little rough around the edges on Monday from the long weekend! It was still worth it.

I hope to get some pictures up next week. I just went and picked them up and they turned out great!

Have a great day!