I wasn’t able to do reports from the Con this year because my laptop wasn’t working right, so I put a lot of photos on Facebook with brief notes. I’ll be using many of those here with more words as I recap my time at the Con. I was up at 3:30 AM Thursday morning, and on the road to the Philadelphia airport by 4:30. I got to my gate in plenty of time to have an egg sandwich for breakfast. I was in the new Terminal B, which has very different waiting rooms for flights. In the center are high counters with stools, and each seat faces an iPad-like information and entertainment device. I didn’t try one.Continue reading
Having been nominated for an Eisner Award for best lettering again this year, I am heading to that massive crowd scene and amazing exhibition called Comic-Con International in San Diego, California once again. I head out early Thursday and will be there Thursday afternoon through Sunday, if air travel goes as planned. While there’s plenty to see, for me it’s most importantly a time to see friends and work-mates from over the last 40-plus years, and to enjoy the company of kindred souls in the comics business. Yes, there’s plenty of non-comics stuff there, too, but we can pass by much of that. It’s such a wide-ranging event that you can find the con you’re looking for, it just may take some extra walking.
I hope to blog from the con as I usually do. Above is a photo from my last visit in 2017. I will only have my phone camera this time, as I’m planning on traveling light, but that’s good enough to capture my own con. I will probably be posting on Facebook too, so if you’re following me either on my personal page or my “Todd Klein, artist” page, I should have some images there.
If you’re going, and you see me, do say hello! I know there will be people I’d like to see that I’ll miss (125 thousand attendees per day after all), and some I wasn’t expecting to see that I will. At least I hope so. I know I’ll be exhausted by each afternoon and evening, but I’m sure I’ll have a great time. I always do.
I’m not a hoarder, really I’m not, but I do save things that I like. Looking for something else, this morning I came upon a small cache of convention badges and buttons. The ones above are all comics related. At upper right are badges from the first two comics conventions I attended, organized by Phil Seuling and taking place in mid-town Manhattan in 1975 and 1976. The ’75 con was at the Hotel Commodore, July 3-7. I just went in for one day, Saturday July 5th. The Barry Smith button is not dated, but I got it at one of those. The Berni Wrightson Howard the Duck badge came from the ’76 con, as did the Frank Thorne Red Sonja badge. Both are © Marvel Comics Group. I don’t know when I got the Bat-symbol one, it could be from later. The Spirit Jam badge is from 1981, and not from a con, it was sent to me by Dennis Kitchen for lettering several pages of the many-hands homage story that first appeared in THE SPIRIT #30 dated July 1981. It was later collected in a separate book in 1998.
In the same place were these science fiction convention badges and button. I think my first such con was the one at upper left, MidAmeriCon in Kansas City, Missouri, Sept. 2-6 1976, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention. A Kansas City friend got my badge for me, hence the incorrect town and state. It was the one time I got to see my favorite science fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein in person, a great thrill. Disclave 1977 was in Washington DC on Memorial Day Weekend. I had fun there, but did not actually have a hotel room, I had to sleep on someone else’s floor. IguanaCon, the 36th World Science Fiction Convention, was held Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 in Phoenix, AZ in 1978. I got cute on the badge. Noreascon Two, the 38th World Science Fiction Convention, was held in Boston Aug. 29-Sept. 1 1980. I had lots of fun at all of these cons, and met many of the science fiction and fantasy writers and artists I admired, but after 1980 I was too busy with my DC Comics staff job and freelance work to attend others. “The White Dragon” by Anne McCaffrey, subject of the button, came out in June 1978, so I must have picked that up at Iguanacon. Last is the original art badge by William Rotsler I bought from him at one of these cons for $2. He would sell them in the dealer’s room to cover his con expenses. They were meant to be con badges you would write your name in, but I never did that. Rotsler was a well-liked fan artist and writer.
Now that I have these out of the box they were in, I may offer them on eBay in the coming weeks. More file stuff when I have time.
Another great Baltimore Con has come and gone, and here’s my report. Baltimore is about a three hour drive from my home in southern New Jersey. I left the house at 8:30, and was at the hotel about 11:30. My room wasn’t ready, so I checked my suitcase and walked over to the convention center with my stuff to set up. Last year I had a cart to wheel it in, this year I brought less, so I decided I could carry it all without the cart. I could, but it sure got heavy by the time I reached my table! If I do this next year, I’m going back to the cart. Continue reading
The Exhibit Hall map has just been put up on the Con’s website, and I will be at booth #1223. It’s the same general area I was in last year, straight back from the Exhibit Hall entrance and a little toward the left, but facing the other direction. John and Cathy Workman will again be in the booth behind me, so we have merely a curtain between us. On either side of me are legendary inkers Tom Palmer and Bob Wiacek, which should make for some interesting conversations! Jerry Ordway will be next to John Workman on one side, I can’t identify who will be on the other side.
I will be on one panel at the Con, The Ahoy Comics panel from 4 to 5 PM in Room 343-344, and I will be at the ‘Ringo Awards Saturday evening. I plan to be at my table most of the time otherwise, hope to see you there if you’re going!