Sunday, July 31, 2011

San Diego Comic Con 2011, Pt 2

Comic-Con offers more than just celebrity sighting and standing in lines. The show floor is huge and full of interesting things to see:

  • Artist's Alley - where you can see artists drawing and selling artwork.
  • Independent Publishers - Not all comics are created by the big boys. There were a lot of smaller publishers or independents that were hocking their wares.
  • T-Shirts - The selection wasn't quite as grand as I'd hoped but there were a lot of geeky t-shirts and sweat-shirts to be found, reasonably priced. I think there were only a couple vendors, if that though. It would have been nice to see more variety.
  • High quality collectibles - These aren't cheaply made novelties, these are often movie quality replicas. There were masks, busts, jackets, from famous movies/TV like Star Wars and Star Trek. Many high quality sculptures as well. These aren't toys but premium collectibles for the super-fan.
  • Toys - The toy companies came out in force. LEGO and Hasbro were definitely in the fore-front.  If you were interested in comic book based action figures, this was the place to be.
  • Comics - Well of course there are going to be comics for sale at a comic book convention (though it could be argued that it's really not a comic book convention any more). The comic book vendors were all at one end of the show floor. It really seemed like a lesser part of the conference though. Not sure if that is due to the evolution of Comic-Con to more of a Pop Culture-Con or if it's indicative of the changes in comics in general. Most of the comics available for sale were pre-90's or the graphic novel/collections. I have to wonder if the digital comic is dooming the printed comic.
  • Misc. Vendors - There were vendors of all types scattered here and there selling a little bit of everything. Some were very specific, others not so much.  Deals can be made, but don't expect a steal.
Sunday is a good day to buy comics.  Most of the comic-book sellers would prefer not to haul all their comics back home.  I also suspect that many of these vendors bring down their excess inventory to dump it. There were quite a few vendors offering to sell multiple comics from specific boxes for a small dollar amount. I ended up picking up 20 comics for $5. Not a bad deal. Most were probably only worth the 25 cents I paid but I was looking for things I had not read before or holes in my collection. At this point in my comic collecting life I'm more interested in filling voids in my collection, rather than trying to collect 'valuable' comics.

I did pay a bit more to buy some older Uncanny X-Men though. That is one title I'd like to one day have complete, at least up to the mid-nineties when I stopped buying them. But with X-Men #1 running around $1500 that might be awhile. I'll just have to settle with my reprints for now.

We also picked up a few t-shirts. Melody had more luck here than me. She found some great Doctor Who shirts. We also picked up the 'exclusive' t-shirt for 2011 Comic-Con. It's actually pretty cool with Godzilla and Mothera destroying the convention center.

We also picked up:
  • A Star Wars cook book - it's made for kids, but still pretty awesome
  • The Doctor Who Christmas Adventure set - includes a Matt Smith (11th) Doctor and Amy Pond action figure as well as a light-up Tardis with opening doors.
  • An exclusive LEGO item (for a friend)
  • And various swag, including
    • Yoda face fans/masks
    • Hellboy mask
    • American Dad/Family Guy pins

We really didn't buy a lot of stuff. For me it was mostly because, with the exception of the exclusives and swag, you could buy pretty much all of this stuff online. Why carry and ship a bunch of stuff around that you could buy any time?  That's probably why the lines for the exclusives are so long.

Some booths were also showing off proto-types or not yet released items, so this was your first opportunity to see them and await their arrival at stores.

More images:
Marvel Action Figures
Lara Croft collectible

Captain Jack Sparrow - life size made of LEGO

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