SAN DIEGO – DAY 0

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[Photo by Christopher]
Okay can we just say, we now officially hate the Hyatt? WE HATES IT WE HATES IT FOREVER. We have various reasons for this but catch us in person and we’ll go down our bitching and whining list.

Anyway, an early flight and lack of REM sleep made yesterday kind of shiny and blurry. We walked around the floor with our DiVX Crew, Bruce and Michelle and got interviews with folks like Bob Burden and Kyle Baker. We’ll see how all that goes, but we should have video tomorrow. Walking around Comic-Con video blogging is surprisingly tiring!

Anyway, we saw a few things. Top Shelf brought tons of LOST GIRLS. The parody book KRAMER’S EGO (available at Global Hobo) is hilarious. Sci-Fi Channel brought their big shiny object again. DC’s booth was huge. Wow, these are not very revealing anecdotes are they?

One of the things we’ve been tracking is the uneasy relationship between the city and the con. Now we’re no strangers ourselves to being a grumpy local — ask us about St. Patrick’s Day in our neighborhood: yuck — and it’s understand that seeing battalions of Darth Vaders roaming around Ralphs can be annoying. However, city planners’ ambivalence towards the show is becoming more and more inappropriate. When we got off the plane yesterday morning the airport was PACKED, and it was obvious that everyone was coming in for Comic-Con — and it wasn’t just geeks and freaks, it was execs, and dignified looking Japanese folks, and Euros and everyone else. It’s all well and good to bemoan the lost days of San Diego the city, but to say that this weekend doesn’t have a MAJOR economic impact on the city is ridiculous.

DAY 0 PEOPLE AND PLACES: The 8:30 JetBlue flight from JFK to SD was a little bit less that Comic-Con express than in year’s past when everyone seemed to be on it. We did spot B&N’[s Jim Killen, Kyle Baker, Charlie Kochman and others. We sat in the terminal — which was, tragically really only a trailer, and not the luxurious WiFi enabled JetBlue terminal we were counting on — with Lauren Weinstein and Bongo Inker Phyllis Novin, and listened to these two incredibly talented curly haired ladies talk about their dual careers as cartoonists/musicians. Good stuff.

Once at the show we ran into EVERYONE. So…Saw rapidly shrinking Mark Evanier, who is looking fantastic after his GBP surgery…saw the traveling, blogging McCloud clan for a second or two. Chatted with Melinda Gebbie briefly as well as Dancing Shane McCarthy…there sure are a lot of Pirate-y things at the show.

A lot of artists hadn’t shown up yet for Artist’s Alley.

DO NOT EAT AT THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT IN THE EMBASSY SUITES, because it has no food. We went there for some chow with Len Wein, Christine Valada, Maggie Thompson and our ever-suffering CBG editor Brent Frankenhoff, and the restaurant seems to somehow have become surprised by the fact that the hotel is completely booked solid, and people want to eat food there. Mark Evanier was supposed to join us, but he didn’t which, was sad, because he isn’t really eating now, and this restaurant would have been perfect for him. The Beat had a big tummy ache and just wanted a bit of soup, which took 90 minutes to bring and was served with a TEASPOON. We asked two separate waitstaffers if they had soup spoons and both got a funny look on their face and said “No, we don’t have any soup spoons.”

So there you have it — A RESTAURANT THAT SERVES CHOWDER THAT DOES NOT HAVE SOUP SPOONS. The chowder was way too salty, as well. So ixnay on that.

Comments

  1. “Top Shelf brought tons of LOST GIRLS.”

    Wow. Offering “tons” of copies to consumers before the retailers get ‘em seems to be a very poor reward for the financial and possible legal risks retailers took by ordering an expensive and potentially controversial volume. I’m not surprised, but I am considerably disappointed.

  2. Soup spoons are overrated. Is there really any benefit to using a soup spoon over a normal one?

    One of these days, I’ve got to go to the San Diego con, but in the meantime, this blog is almost like being there. ;)

  3. Gary Dunaier says:

    Actually, I prefer using teaspoons myself when it comes to cereal, soup, &c.

    Funny thing is, as much as I’d LIKE to, I’ve never been able to get into Al Yeganeh’s soups (Yeganeh is the man who inspired Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” character)… they’re too salty for my taste. I prefer “Hale and Hearty Soups.”

  4. I think part of the problem for the airport was the fact that wednesday the airports in LA were shut down due to power outtages. Air traffic was diverted to outlying airports…

    That’s not to say that the airport and the city doesn’t need to step up and know what side of the bread the butter is on.

  5. Sphinx Magoo says:

    Maybe next time you could ask for a straw for your soup. Make sure you have your camera ready to take the surprised waitstaff’s picture!

  6. Janet Tait says:

    As a long-time con-goer, I think the city of San Diego’s attitude towards Comic-Con can be characterized as negligent rather than ambivalent or uneasy. It was easy for the city to pretend the convention wasn’t important when there were only 50,000 or so attendees – with 100,000 or so it is much harder. But because it is difficult to measure the economic impact of a public show where so many of the attendees book around the bloc (which is sold out the first day), as opposed to the typical trade show, the city doesn’t quite know what to make of Comic-Con. You might have missed the Mayor of San Diego giving a welcome speech today (Thurs) at the DC Stamp First Day Issue presentation – that’s an interesting sign that things are perhaps changing.

  7. Tom Galloway says:

    Why head for the Embassy Suites for seafood? The McCormick’s and Schmidt’s over at the Omni is both closer and is a good mid-level seafood place (hey, it sure sounds like I was a lot happier with my dinner there Wed. than y’all). The Tin Fish in that same direction, but even closer to the convention center, is quite good for lunch (not open in the evenings, unless they’ve made a Padres like exception for us).

  8. Mike Swanson says:

    The Hyatt sounds unappetizing altogether. As for munchies, ya gotta do the short hop by rickshaw bike/taxi a few blocks away from SanPandemoniumCentral (the con) and sample the Mexican cafe that’s got cool ambiance to go with their lava-hot salsa…or that restaurant in the vintage Deco bldg. a few more blocks away that’s run by Jim Croce’s widow. Don’t be afraid to be a tourist…explore the options beyond the mega-overpriced meager offerings of the bigname hotel buffets and whatnot. Wander a bit… you just may find yerself, like I did last year, kicking back on a barstool in that outa-the-way watering hole 2 blocks away where Seth Green expounds on the virtues of Robot Chicken vs. Pee Wee, while quaffing a brewski or three. For outa-towners without a car (aka: “warehouse on wheels” ) baking in a nearby parking lot, the only real advantage to paying big bux for a close-to-site hotel room is that it’s a short hop to stash the 200 lbs. of free comics, promo buttons, stickers, flyers, posters, Saw and other movie sampler dvds plus mucho more FREE con swag that one can amass every 15 minutes while strolling the aisles and trolling the booths ! Essential services and overall diplomacy eats dickweed in any city overstuffed by eclectic beings such as we comic/sci-fi freaks, regardless if you are wearing a Rolex or Sponge Bob SquarePants underwear, frankly! Last year, I paid a “bargain” price of $125. per night for a YMCA-ish hole-in-the-wall room in a decrepit old hotel 3 blocks away. It was no bigger than a walk-in closet, wherein my scenic view out the cracked window was of the hotel’s beer bottle-strewn alley and a graffiti-graced brick wall 6 feet across the way. Woo Hooo! Atlanta’s DragonCon is the best, hotel-wise. See ya there? ~~MikeyInWanderland

  9. Dr. Triffid says:

    Day O!

    Daaaa-a-ay O!

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