Thursday, June 08, 2006

San Diego is Classy Even When I'm Not There

Please forgive the Ron Burgandy reference, but I will be unable to attend this year's Comic Con International in San Diego and it had become somewhat of an annual tradition. The reasons for it are simple, my wife and I moved to Glendale and our rent more than doubled thus I am unable to afford 4 days in a motel room. Okay, that and the three other people I was going to hang out with can't make it either. Really that has more to do with it, so if you want to go and share a room, I might just change my plans.

Why would you want to go to Comic Con, especially if you aren't a comic book fan?

As I have said many times, it is important to understand that comic book readership has fallen to an abysmal level. We are talking 1/10th of what it was 20 years ago. Not surprisingly Comic Con has adapted with this trend. They have adapted by turning the Comic Con from merely a comic book convention into one of the largest pop culture conventions in the country.

Do you like Tenacious D? They performed last year.

Are you interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy Films? The Con usually has great previews, often exclusive previews.

Are you interested in Scifi television? The cast of Battlestar Gallactica, and the writers/creators, fielded questions at last year's Con.

Fantasy books? Got those covered too. The great independent bookstore Mysterious Galaxy usually hosts four or five must attend panels for the fantasy fan. One of the co-owners is a prolific licensed property author. You would do well to read his recent "Age of Conan" series The Marauders.

Toys and RPGs? Wizards, Hasbro, and Wizkids usually have booths and there are usually tons of PS2 games (usually Comic related) demoing as well. This is the Con I discovered the Heroscape game at, and I have been greatful since. I also won free Axis and Allies minis, good times.

Oh, and did I mention Star Wars? Comic Con is usually the host to several signings and has historically offered an exclusive Star Wars action figure.

Last, but not least, one of the hardest working freelancers in the RPG industry (and a licensed fiction author himself) Matt Forbeck will be there. I am sure he will have a hectic schedule, but he usually tries to make time for fans. But don't go crazy and stalk him.

I remember, either last year or the year before, when Matt was promoting the Knights of the Silver Dragon Young Readers series for Wizards of the Coast. He was humorously self-depricating and praised the other authors on the panel for their wordcraft. Even when his publisher got into an argument about the appropriate term to describe 10-12 year olds, ("Is it 'tweens or something more sophisticated sounding?") he was able to move the conversation away from a sticking point without making either camp. If you want to hear what it is like to live in the trenches of a freelance lifestyle, Matt's your guy. His personal narrative is inspiring.

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