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.