Friday morning I had breakfast with Scott Hampton and friends, always good to talk to them. They’re at my hotel, so I’ll probably see them other mornings. When I was ready to go to the con, I just missed the shuttle bus, so decided to walk down, and took the route along the north side of the railroad tracks. Here’s the oldest part of the Convention Center from there.
Promotions continue to spill out of the con into the surrounding area, and part of the Tin Fish bar was taken over by this movie promo. There were other similar ones, leaving fewer places to eat around the end of the gaslamp district.
Here’s another for “Total Recall” with a life-size flying police car and heavily made-up models.
Instead of crossing the tracks there I went further down to the new pedestrian bridge connecting the ballpark and the Bayview Hilton, as I hadn’t walked across it yet.
It was impossible to resist taking a picture of this giant balloon Smurf next to the bridge, even though I’m not a Smurf fan.
You can really see how massive the Con Center is from the bridge, looking west. Way down at the end, barely visible, is the part in my first photo above. And in the small grassy park tents were up to shade people waiting in line for the big movie cast events in Ballroom H.
I guess if you have to wait hours in line, this isn’t a bad option, enjoying the nice weather, but I still don’t understand the line thing. I was walking behind one girl who complained she’d waited over four hours to get into one of these programs, and just missed the cutoff, so it was all for nothing.
Inside at Artist’s Alley I talked to favorite author Peter Beagle and got his autograph on his latest book.
I also ran into Alex Wald, who I’ve talked to on the phone about his past DC logo designs, but never met in person, and we had a good chat about logos and working the design and production side of comics. Alex is doing that for the newly relaunched First Comics.
In a similar vein I talked to Jim Steranko, and was finally able to ask him about his famous X-Men logo and how it came about. Jim said he hated the then current logo, and when designing covers for his brief run on the book, couldn’t work with it, so complained to Marvel production head Sol Brosdky. Brodsky told him, “Do whatever you want. If you can do a better one, go ahead.” Steranko did that, and created the most famous and most used X-Men logo to date. You can read more about that in my X-Men logo study (see the Logo Links page in the top tabs here). And Steranko was quick to add that he’d never been paid a cent for the logo.
Speaking of old comics, this copy of ACTION #1 was on display at the Heritage Auctions booth, giving me a chance to study the cover…
…and I noticed some details on Superman I’d never seen before. Look at that chest emblem: it’s mostly a large yellow shield with a small and thin red S, very different from what it later became. And those two circles on either side of the S can only be nipples! Who knew the famous Batman and Robin costumes with nipples so ridiculed by many fans had their precedent here!
I attended parts of two panels around noon: the Locke and Key panel first, where I was hoping to hear about the comics, but all the talk was of the TV pilot. I did enjoy hearing writer/creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez talk, though. Then I caught the second half of Patrick McDonnell’s spotlight panel, where he had lots of funny things to say and show about his great comic strip “Mutts,” and also revealed for the first time he just signed a deal for an animated “Mutts” film with Fox Animation! Very good news, and he says he’ll be closely involved, so let’s hope it works out well.
Back in the Exhibit Hall I said hi to artist Bill Sienkiewicz (whose name I learned to spell correctly long ago) and watched him sketch a bit. Interesting technique, using almost the side of a marker point.
I also talked with Gabriel Ba, on the right here with his booth-mate Rafael Albuquerque, and wished them well at the Eisners tonight.
At the Vertigo/DC booth, Rebecca Guay was signing, and I finally got to meet her. I’ve recently lettered a great painted graphic novel she did the art for, “A Flight of Angels,” coming from Vertigo.
There were chats with other friends like Gary Gianni and Dave Gibbons, and I caught one more panel, the best of the day, Mark Evanier’s “That 70s Panel,” with great stories from Walter and Louise Simonson, Roy Thomas, Mike Royer, Len Wein and Joe Staton, each talking about their first work in comics, among other things.
Back in my hotel room now for a rest before the Eisners. I’ll report on that tomorrow.