Update Magazine 2005 #1 - (now Comic-Con Magazine)
2005's #1 edition of Update (now Comic-Con Magazine), your source for information on the comics and pop-culture events Comic-Con International: San Diego, WonderCon, and APE, the Alternative Press Expo.
YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2005 SAN DIEGO � JULY 14-17, 2005 Inside: Celebrating a Legend JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM . . . Comic-Con International is the largest convention in North America covering comic books, science fiction, fantasy, animation, movies, television and related pop culture. If you're feeling as clueless as a resident of Bizarro World (or if you don't have any idea what Bizarro World is), here are some fast facts about CCI. Comic-Con International San Diego is a nonprofit four-day event that started with around 300 people back in 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel. Comic-Con has grown considerably since then: the 2004 show saw 87,000 general attendees and 7,900 exhibitors, occupying the entire San Diego Convention Center. This Update is chock full of information about the 2005 show, and here are some helpful definitions to help you better understand what you're reading: �The Exhibit Hall is where companies and retailers exhibit their merchandise and where attendees can find everything from old and new comic books to collectible cards, from action figures to original paintings, from videogames to movie props. It's kind of like a gigantic museum, but you can purchase things on display. If you've ever seen Comic-Con on TV, this is usually where the footage was shot. � Programming is held in meeting rooms where people in the comics and related industries offer presentations and panel discussions, including looks at major new comics projects and upcoming Hollywood studio blockbusters, plus seminars and hands-on workshops. These events are the place to get questions answered and find out juicy tidbits about upcoming projects. �The Masquerade isn't a costume ball, it's a contest (held on Saturday night) in which entrants display their fabulous threads on stage. This Update contains an interview with a Masquerade judge that offers more details on how to compete. �The Eisners is short for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the comic book industry equivalent of the Oscars, held in the Convention Center Ballroom on Friday night. These awards are named after the late Will Eisner, pioneer writer/artist of comics and graphic novels. �Gaming refers to activities in which folks participate in role-playing, trading card, or any other type of other-worldly games. Comic-Con offers several gaming rooms at the Convention Center, plus nighttime gaming at the Hyatt. �Anime is insider's lingo for animation created in Japan. Last year Comic-Con dedicated three rooms to anime screenings all through the day and into the wee hours of the night. �Films seems like an obvious term, but at Comic-Con International you get to see cinema classics late at night, including some of the finest in genre-related movie favorites from way back when to just last year. And the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival continues to grow with some of the finest filmmakers of tomorrow showing their work to audiences, many for the very first time. And when it comes to the film world, Comic-Con has also become a hotbed for studios to present exclusive previews of highly anticipated genre movies. �And speaking of Exclusives, many limited-edition items are sold or given away only to Comic-Con attendees. The next Comic-Con International is July 14-17, with a Preview Night to pre-registered attendees on Wednesday, July 13. Further details on this and many other events are located in the pages that follow. So press on, true believers, your adventure awaits . . . CONTENTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS President John Rogers Secretary Mary Sturhann Treasurer Mark Yturralde Vice Presidents Events Robin Donlan Exhibits Beth Holley Operations William Pittman Directors at Large Frank Alison Ned Cato Jr. Dan Davis Eugene Henderson Eddie Ibrahim Martin Jaquish James Jira Executive Director Fae Desmond Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer HR/Guest Relations Sue Lord VIP Liaison Maija Gates-Johnson Director of Programming Gary Sassaman Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada Exhibits Managers Justin Dutta Professional Registration Maryanne Snell Anna-Marie Villegas Exhibitor Registration Kevin Hatch EVENTS At-Show Newsletter Chris Sturhann Films John Cassels Games Ken Kendall Masquerade Martin Jaquish Japanese Animation John Davenport Josh Ritter Technical Services Tristan Gates EXHIBITS Art Auction/Artists' Alley Clydene Nee Art Show LaFrance Bragg Autograph Area Katherine Forster Morrison Exhibit Floor Manager Andy Manzi Convention Services Taerie Bryant OPERATIONS Archivist Eugene Henderson Disabled Services Saphora Horinek Hospitality Suite Mikee Reynante Logistics Dan Davis Materials Chief/Blood Drive Craig Fellows Registration Frank Alison & John Smith Volunteers Luigi Diaz & Wayne Hyde Information Coordinator Bruce & Betty Frankle UPDATE Richard Andreoli Fae Desmond Jackie Estrada David Glanzer Scott Saavedra Gary Sassaman Dan "The Man" Vado The Hot Sheet ........................................................................... 2 The Masquerade: Undressed ............................................... 4 An Amazing Spirit .................................................................... 6 The Coolest Goon Around ..................................................10 Fantastic Fans .......................................................................... 12 Exhibit Hall Happenings ...................................................... 13 Sneak Preview ......................................................................... 12 What's Happening Now?.....................................................14 It's the Comic-Con Auction.................................................14 Walk of Fame ........................................................................... 15 Celluloid Fantasy ....................................................................16 Under the Sails ........................................................................ 17 Gaming Gallery .......................................................................18 The Envelope Please . . . ......................................................19 Titanic Topics...........................................................................20 Fantastic Fans ..........................................................................21 A Chat with Cartoonist Greg Evans .................................23 The Power Pack ......................................................................25 Ex, X, & Y: Brian K. Vaughan Gets No Zzz's ....................30 2005 Eisner Awards Judges Named ................................32 Register! ....................................................................................34 Multipurpose Form ...............................................................35 "Get a Room!" .........................................................................36 Hotel At-a-Glance Chart ......................................................37 Hotel Reservation Form .......................................................38 Fantastic Fans ..........................................................................40 MISSION STATEMENT: Comic-Con International is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. ABOUT THE COVER: Art by Will Eisner. Coloring by Batton Lash. TM & � 2005 Will Eisner COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2005 UPDATE #1 Published by Comic-Con International. All material, unless otherwise noted, is � 2005 Comic-Con International and may not be reproduced without permission. All other artwork is TM & � 2005 by respective owners. Printed in Canada. Comic-Con International, P.O. Box 128458, San Diego, CA 92112-8458. www.comic-con.org Fax: (619) 414-1022, Comic-Con Hotline (619) 491-2475 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 3 WEB*SLINGERS Most fans can navigate the Information Super Highway, but with all the fandom-related sites out there, you could be missing some super-cool spots if you don't know where to look. With that in mind, here are a dozen sites that might interest you. I GO UGO www.ugo.com UGO stands for Under Ground Online, and the site covers every topic that's entertainment related--films, TV, sports, technology, games, and more. Click their comics link for interviews, news, previews, message boards, and everything to keep you updated on what titles are alive, dead, or being brought back in the near future. "EXTRA! EXTRA!" www.superherotimes.com Toy and action figure enthusiasts should definitely check out Super Hero Times, especially if favorite items come from comic books. On this site you'll find the latest news, photos, and forums about what's happening in the world of toys. USE THE FORCE www.theforce.net/fanfilms TheForce.net is known as a great Star Wars fan site, but if you haven't checked out the fan films page, you've missed out. You'll find teasers, trailers, and other fun stuff. READY FOR A CLOSE-UP www.comics2film.com Fans are always excited to see their favorite characters come to life, and Comics2Film is a hot spot for information on that topic. The site also spotlights some neat fan films that are worth checking out. TATTLE TALE www.tvtattle.com TV Tattle combs the online press for current pop culture television items. From Survivor to Alias, Smallville to ER, TV Tattle offers a summary of the larger article and a links to the originating websites. CALLING ALL HEROES! www.superherohype.com If you're looking for heroes on TV or film, as toys or video games, or if you just like everything in between, Super Hero Hype has all the latest news. The site offers exclusive interviews and reviews, plus links to the various online pop culture channels. You could lose a whole day exploring this site! THE HOT SHEET 4 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO THAT ROCKS! THAT STINKS! www.rottentomatoes.com Don't like your local movie reviewer? Want to see what others have to say about a new film and don't have time to Google it? Rotten Tomatoes collects reviews from across the United States, giving good reviews a "Fresh" ranking and bad reviews a "Rotten" one. A quick glance at the Tomatometer will let you know where the overwhelming opinion stands. Links also allow you to read individual interviews and movie news highlights, making this a great time-saving device. WHO'S WHO www.DCUGuide.com Titled the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe, this Internet encyclopedia covers the entire DCU in a way that only a fan site could possibly manage, because of the amount of anal-retention required to put such a project together. It includes every major character, location, and event as well as issue-by-issue indexes, character chronologies and more. While not officially endorsed by DC or Warner Bros., this site is insane fun if you want to geek out on your DC trivia. MARVELOUSLY GOOD www.comicboards.com/marvelguide Marvel Comics published its guide to the Marvel Universe in the early 1990s, and fans have since started the Unofficial Handbook of the Marvel Universe. This is an easy to navigate, basic site, so if you've ever wondered how Rachel Grey, Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Cable, and The Phoenix all relate--or any other pressing continuity question--you can get your basic facts here. GO FIGURE! www.action-figure.com For news and reviews around the world, Action-Figure.com is a great place to visit. Tons of news, info on toy-related conventions and events, previews of upcoming releases, fan forums, and even links to eBay toy auctions. Go ahead, play around. FUN TIMES www.homestarrunner.com Tune in here for some of the coolest cartoons and games you've ever seen. You can hang out with Homestar Runner, Coach Z, Pom Pom, Strong Mad, Strong Sad, and more of these crazy cats. ONE SCOOP OR TWO? www.aintitcoolnews.com For fans who want the inside scoop on what's cool, few sites deliver better than Ain't It Cool News. This website covers tons of news and gossip, with contributors checking out various scripts in production, sneaking into test screenings, and hearing tasty tidbits from industry insiders. The info isn't always 100% accurate, but it's still a lot of fun.. Got a favorite website? Let us know. Send referrals to email@example.com, please put "Update Suggestions" in the subject line of your e-mail. Keep in mind, all suggestions must be family friendly and relate to comics or pop culture. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 5 UNDRESSED COMIC-CON'S WORKMANSHIP JUDGE OFFERS SECRETS FOR SUCCESS The Comic-Con Masquerade is more than just a fashion show where contestants parade on stage, do a quick twirl, and exit with little or no fanfare. Here the show is as much about the presentation as it is the costume, and with over 5,000 people watching, contestants can either fly high or crash and burn in a matter of seconds if they're not properly prepared. So we asked Jeanne Clason, Comic-Con's Masquerade workmanship judge for over five years, to offer some hints that will help potential contestants. 1. Read the rules: If you go to the Masquerade link on the Comic-Con website (www.comic-con.org) you'll find a full list of rules so you'll understand what's involved and can properly prepare yourself for the night. 2. Know your audience: Comic-Con has a highly opinionated audiences, and they will heckle you in a second if you're not doing well. That's why it's important to really have your whole act down before going on stage. 3. Know your judges: Each judge brings personal expertise to the panel. For example, past judges Dragon Dronet and Wanda Piety are professionals making props and sets for TV shows, so they notice details on a robot or gun that I may not have experience with. Diane Duncan has been a dancer on Broadway and she's able to view the presentation differently because of her history in theater. I have experience in historical costuming, and I'm able to go backstage and actually look at the costumes up close before the presentation. That gives me information which I share with the other judges. So there's definitely a judge covering ever aspect of the contest. 4. Turn around: Look at yourself in the mirror from the back. Sometimes people get everything looking good from the front but don't know that something looks funny or ridiculous from the back. 5. Be confident: A person may have a beautifully made costume but will walk across the back of the stage really fast and leave. Let us see you. The people who come off best have done martial arts competitions, been in drama, or done something where they're learned to be comfortable on stage. I've seen costumes backstage and thought, "Eh, it's about a 5" [points out of a possible 10]. Then I see what they do on stage and their presentation is really funny, well acted, inventive, interesting or different, and that will bring them up to a 7 or 8. 6. Don't cut corners: Whether it's a spandex costume, a dress, or jumpsuit, it's got to be sewn decently. If you have threads hanging off, puckered seams, or it doesn't come near to fitting the per- THE MASQUERADE: 6 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO son--like a spandex suit that in the comic is skin tight and on stage is baggy or made for a person that's 4 inches taller--then that's bad. Also, the Masquerade provides rehearsal space. Take advantage of that, rehearse a lot, and really be prepared. 7. But what if you love sewing and either don't have the body to wear the costume you want to make, or suffer from terrible stage fright? A lot of costumers get someone else to do the presentation; that way they can sew what they want, have it look great, and place it on someone who does well in front of a large audience. While Clason and the other judges select the trophy winners--that is, the best costume for each specific category--cash and merchandise prizes are also awarded by comic book companies and local businesses that make their own decisions. Be aware that new contestants don't always realize they're competing against really obsessive costumers who have sometimes spent years on their entries, so expecting to win on your first time out is risky. That said, you can improve your experience by simply enjoying yourself. Look at what everybody else is wear- ing, meet them, and see who wins and what they created. "That's how people learn and do better in the future," says Clason. The bottom line to competing is just having fun, because this is a wonderful experience that's unique every year, and from the applause of the audience to the praises from judges and fellow costumers, it's worth every minute. For more information on entering the Masquerade, fill out the Multipurpose Form on page 35, fill in the appropriate box and return it to us via fax or mail, or visit www.comic-con.org. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 7 AN AMAZING SPIRIT By Richard Andreoli Will Eisner, one of the most influential comics and graphic novel writers and artists, died on January 3 due to complications from quadruple heart bypass surgery; he was 87. Eisner began working in the comics industry at its inception and left an indelible mark because, from the very beginning, "Will thought comics was a medium and art form unto itself," explains longtime friend and Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada. "The great majority of guys working in comics back then wouldn't even tell people what they did for a living because they were ashamed of it. But Will loved comics, and that infused the work he did." Born in 1917 to Jewish immigrant parents, Eisner started working professionally while still a teenager. He soon partnered with Jerry Iger to form the Eisner-Iger Studio in 1936, which provided completed comics to publishers. The demand for product was so great that the company hired on a staff that included such future greats as Jack Kirby (Captain America, The Fantastic Four) and Bob Kane (BatWill Eisner man) among others and created such lasting characters as Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Dollman, and Blackhawk. But in 1939 Eisner sold his portion of the business to Iger to pursue his own projects. The result was a 16-page supplement syndicated in newspapers nationwide. It was within these pages that Eisner created his most famous character, The Spirit. And it was a character he owned himself. "What separated The Spirit from every other comic was Eisner's incredible storytelling sense," observes Gary Sassaman, director of programming for ComicCon International. In this cross between a superhero and pulp fiction series, The Spirit is Denny Colt, a former detective (whom everyone thinks is dead) who disguises himself with only a mask and gloves--a sharp contrast to the spandex-wearing heroes of the era. Eisner's flawless blend of action, humor, and tragically realistic stories, as well as his willingness to break the traditional comic book grid format in order to best convey a particular story, created an adult sensibility that The Spirit fans loved. As Sassaman says, "It all added up to the definitive movie on paper, and the amazing thing is Eisner did it each and every week for years." The Spirit lasted from 1940 until 1952. After the series' demise Eisner continued using his artistic and sequential storytelling skills to create educational manuals and commercial artwork for the United States Army, schools, and major corporations. He COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY GIANT WILL EISNER, 1917�2005 Will Eisner talks with comics great Gil Kane at Comic-Con in 1975. later became a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he mentored another generation of comic talent. "He didn't teach how to draw," says Estrada, whose husband, comics creator Batton Lash, was one of Eisner's students. "He taught the concept that comics are not just a sequence of illustrations, it's a special form of graphic storytelling." Like all good heroes The Spirit couldn't stay down forever, and with renewed interest in the character, COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 9 Eisner hands Neil Gaiman the Eisner Award for Best Anthology at the 2004 Comic-Con. particularly through reprints from Denis Kitchen's Kitchen Sink Press, Eisner slowly returned to the industry. In 1978 he began a whole new career with the publication of A Contract With God, a graphic novel that contained four slice-of-life morality tales set in a 1930s Bronx tenement. This work was an inspiration for future writers and artists to create their own graphic novels, including Frank Miller with Batman: The Dark Night Returns, and Art Spiegelman, with the Pulitzer Prize�winning graphic novel Maus: A Survivor's Tale. Another Pulitzer Prize winner, Michael Chabon, based many aspects of protagonist Joe Kavalier in his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay on Eisner. Not one to rest on his laurels, Eisner continued producing graphic novels, including To the Heart of the Storm, Family Matter, The Dreamer, The Name of the Game, and Dropsie Avenue. His latest, The Plot, will be published by W. W. Norton in May. Eisner also wrote two "bibles" on creating comics: Graphic Storytelling and Comics and Sequential Art, which he self-published. Further establishing Eisner's role as a comics pioneer was the creation of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards in 1988, which are regarded as the highest honors for comics creators. In 1990 Eisner approached Comic-Con International to host the annual event, and he soon became a regular presence during the ceremony. "Will was thrilled with the awards," says Estrada. "He was like a kid up on the stage, wanting me to hand him each trophy before the winner was announced so he could see the name on it. And if it was someone he knew or a book he liked, he'd nod and smile." Eisner approached Comic-Con in 1992 with a proposal for an award that would specifically acknowledge retailers who supported a wide variety of comics. "Will wanted to honor retailers who were willing to take a chance on a comic because it's good and not just because it was published by one company or another," says Fae Desmond, executive director of Comic-Con. In 1993 the first Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award was handed out at the then-trade show Comic Book Expo. As Desmond points out, "No other creator has reached out to retailers to this extent. Will recognized that retailing is a very important part of the industry, and I think there are still people who haven't caught on to that fact. Will was always at the forefront of whatever he did, throughout his entire life." Until his death, Eisner remained an active participant at Comic-Con. Every year he spoke on several panels and appeared at booths for signings, and each year he would stand throughout the entire 10 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO Eisner Awards ceremony--even when Jeff Smith and Kurt Busiek surprised him by running onto the stage with a beautiful red throne. "He sat down for about 30 seconds," says Estrada, "and then it stayed empty for the rest of the evening!" Professionals who shared the stage with Eisner say that receiving their Eisner trophy was nice, but meeting Eisner and shaking his hand was the real award. Although Eisner's work will remain with us forever, Sassaman sums up many fans' feelings when he says, "I've gotten each and every one of The Spirit Archives and look forward to the rest of the run, but somehow without Will around with the added promise of new stories, they seem a bit less enjoyable." Estrada concurs, saying, "He had a great intellect, was very sharp, and he was just a nice, thoughtful, and funny person. The kind of person we should all strive to become." � Eisner/Miller: One on One (Dark Horse Comics, April 2005). Heavily illustrated and featuring rare photos, Eisner/Miller prints a fascinating dialogue between Eisner and Sin City creator Frank Miller. � The Will Eisner Library (W.W. Norton & Company, November 2005). A re-issuing of 14 graphic novels, beginning with The Contract With God Trilogy, featuring new art and commentary by Eisner. � Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman (Dark Horse Comics, Summer 2005). The authorized biography of Will Eisner. � The Will Eisner Retrospective. This careerspanning art exhibit opens at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York City this May and will be followed by gallery shows at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and possibly more. Even at age 87, Will Eisner was one of the most prolific talents in the comics industry. Upcoming projects and retrospectives include: � The Will Eisner Companion by Christopher Couch and Steven Weiner (DC Comics). This comprehensive, critical overview of Eisner's work was just released in November 2004. � The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Will Eisner (W.W. Norton & Company, May 2005). Eisner's last completed work, THE PLOT exposes the real-life twisted history behind a 100-year-old anti-Semitic document. Eisner agent Denis Kitchen explains, "By setting the record straight, Eisner hoped he could raise public consciousness of anti-Semitism throughout the world and draw attention to the nefarious ways in which governments use propaganda to influence public opinion." ^� The Spirit Archives (DC Comics). These highquality, hardbound editions reprint stories published in 1940 through 1952. the series is currently up to volume 15 (out of 24). SITES TO CONSULT The Official Will Eisner Website www.willeisner.com Denis Kitchen Art Agency www.deniskitchenartagency.com Eisner's representatives, with all the latest news on Eisner-related books and merchandise. Condolences http://willeisner.tripod.com/condolences/ Fans and colleagues from around the world share their thoughts and feelings. The Comics Reporter www.comicsreporter.com The "Commentary" section of Tom Spurgeon's website includes links to numerous articles, features, and blogs about Eisner's impact on the comics community. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 11 GOON ARO N U D THE COOLEST � 2005 Eric Powell 12 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO For Eric Powell, life as a comics creator wasn't evolving as he'd envisioned. Sure, he'd had some gigs with various independent publishers and a couple of jobs at Marvel, and he'd put in a stint on Dark Horse's Buff y The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Star Wars Tales adaptations, but his workload had slowly begun to fizzle out. "It wasn't very good," Powell admits without any sense of self-pity. "It came down to the point where I knew I should try and do my own thing or I should just quit and find another career." Fortunately, Powell not only pursued this last venture, he found a vehicle that really allowed his talent to shine: The Goon. The Goon is a darkly comedic, laugh-out-loud, action-packed romp through the streets of a town infested with zombies, where an insane priest is building an army of the undead, and only one man can put them in their place: the Goon. This is not your traditional superhero comic, and Powell himself doesn't know what genre it exactly fits into, which contributed to some of his difficulty in selling the book. "I'd shopped it around pretty much everywhere and nobody wanted it," Powell laughs. "I don't think anyone quite understood it, because it's very hard to explain. It's not a concept book. So I took out a loan, put The Goon out there, and it just took off, luckily for me." With Powell's idea finally brought to light, audiences immediately gravitated toward The Goon's retro storylines because they were executed in an innovatively quirky fashion, and editors who'd once rejected the series finally understood what Powell was trying to convey; indeed, Powell's former editor at Dark Horse called him one day to say that everyone on staff was buying The Goon and really enjoying his work. Online and print articles began talking about the series as well, and The Goon was soon picked up by Dark Horse as a bimonthly series. Since then, The Goon has taken off, with even Entertainment Weekly placing it on their Must-Have list. And while all this attention has been a welcome change, Powell says, "Like an actor wants to win an Academy Award, I really wanted to win an Eisner because Will Eisner was such a big influence on me. There are other awards out there, but to me, Eisner was a big thing because I'd followed his work so much." Powell's dream did come true, because The Goon was nominated in not one, but four categories in the 2004 Eisner Awards. And at the Awards ceremony Powell took home the Eisner for Best Single Issue. Powell has more to say about his award-winning series, but he's saving it for this year's Comic-Con. Meanwhile, in April fans will be treated to Powell's latest comic, Billy The Kid's Old Timey Oddities. Drawn by Kyle Hotz, "It's a quirky pulp adventure where we find out that Billy the Kid was not killed by Pat Garrett, he was actually in hiding," Powell explains. And just as he had trouble describing The Goon, he says that in this comic, "Billy hooks up with this traveling freak show and they go on a treasure hunt." He sighs at his own description and then simply adds, "It's going to be a lot of fun." And of that, we have no doubt. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 13 FANTASTIC FANS ATTENDEES FROM THE 2004 COMIC-CON SPEAK OUT! HEY CATS, GIVE US THE WHO, WHERE AND WHY YOU'RE HERE. REAGAN LODGE (Pala, CA): I'm just scouring the place for concept art books and to talk to as many pros as possible and find out how to get into the comics industry. RACHEL UPTON (Baton Rouge, LA): I'm here to meet people, hang out with my best friends, buy comic books, and talk to pros. Basically the same reason. I'm interested in comic books and possibly breaking into the business if I can. As a writer. My art sucks. AYSHA SHEHIM (Los Angeles, CA): I'm here to buy markers. WHAT? (The group laughs.) Yeah, I want some Japanese art markers that are really hard to find but they're amazing. We're [also] here to meet a lot of people we know from online, and we're all gathering now to meet for the first time. MATT RHODES: We're all friends from way back, and this was our one chance to get together and meet each other in person. That was my big thing. I'm all the way up from Alberta, Canada. Wolverine land. I just came here to meet my peers, the people I've grown up with artistically. But now I've been meeting some pros that I didn't think I'd get a chance to, so that's been good. Mike Mignola actually drew a sketch in my sketchbook and I've been screaming like a little girl! I was so excited. That's been the biggest thing for me so far. WHO: Andy Acosta, his mom Cathy, and Andy's silent sister on right. FROM: La Mirada, CA SO, HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR FIRST SHOW? ANDY: It's cool because you can get autographs of people, like Stan Lee, and they've got most of the stuff that we like here. CATHY: Actually, I came to my first Comic-Con a while ago and a friend brought me. I had no idea that it was anything like this. The toys, the artwork, it's overwhelming. And meeting the artists is great. But one of the first reasons we came here was to meet Kevin Smith because we're big Kevin Smith fans. AND AFTER THAT YOU WERE HOOKED! CATHY: That's right! WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE SUPER HERO? ANDY: Silver Surfer. FAVORITE TV SHOW? CATHY: Adult Swim. I like the animation, any kind of animation, including the anime. ANDY: Tru Calling on FOX. That's why I'm here because Eliza Dushku is signing. BEST PURCHASE OF THE WEEKEND? ANDY: These wooden practice samurai swords. WITH YOUR MOM'S PERMISSION, RIGHT? CATHY: Of course. 14 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO EXHIBIT HALL HAPPENINGS The Exhibit Hall at Comic-Con is huge--in 2004 it was expanded to 460,000 square feet of exhibitor space. This year the show is going to be just as impressive, with well over 1,000 individual exhibitors including such comic industry heavyweights as DC, Dark Horse, and Image, as well as top independent and self-published comics companies and the largest Small Press Area and Artists' Alley of any convention. That means fans have an exclusive opportunity to meet more of their favorite creators in just one amazing location. As for you shoppers out there, exhibitors offer everything from comics and graphic novels to Japanese manga and anime, movie posters and memorabilia, clothing and jewelry, toys, action figures, statues, trading cards, video games, DVDs, and more. If you're searching for something special in the realm of pop culture, chances are good that you'll get a lead on it here. SNEAK PREVIEW Once again, Comic-Con's much anticipated Preview Night will be open only to pre-registered 4-day members and industry professionals on Wednesday July 13th. This sneak peek allows you to explore the entire Exhibit Hall, gives you first dibs on those hard-to-find items before the rest of the public, and scores you a 2005 Events Guide early so you can plan your whole weekend in advance. Remember, there will be no onsite registration available during Preview Night, so if you want to ensure being there, turn to page 35 for more info. PRE-REG PRIORITY! Fans score deals on classic comic books during Wednesday's Preview Night. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 15 COMIC-CON'S PROGRAMMING PACKS A P U N C H IN 2 0 0 5 WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW? IT'S A SHOW! IT'S AN EXHIBIT! IT'S A GREAT CAUSE! IT'S THE COMIC-CON ART AUCTION Comic-Con's annual Art Auction features works by some of the leading comic and sf/fantasy artists working in the industry today. Throughout the weekend, attendees can watch their favorite artists drawing or painting magnificent creations right before their eyes in the Exhibit Hall. Most of these stunning pieces are then auctioned to the public on Sunday, with the proceeds benefiting numerous programs for attendees with special needs, such as wheelchairs for navigating the show or sign language interpreters for the hearing impaired. From the artists giving their time to the fans purchasing artwork, these generous donations allow Comic-Con to offer programs and events to many attendees who would otherwise be unable to fully participate in the weekend. Not only is the Art Auction a good time, it's a good cause, and your participation is greatly appreciated. Comic-Con International is a nonstop party. From exploring the awesome Exhibit Hall to discovering the newest, hottest, most exciting news from the comics industry and Hollywood elite, ComicCon attendees always have something to do during this four-day extravaganza. In 2005 the programming slate will be even more vast than in years past, with close to 300 special events filling up the San Diego Convention Center and encompassing almost every aspect of pop culture. THE COMICS CRAZE Comic-Con is all about creating an awareness of and appreciation for comic books, so programming focuses heavily on those topics, beginning with spotlights on all of the 2005 special guests. Participation from major companies such as DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Image are a must, and you can be sure that editors and creative types will be back dishing out the inside news on current and upcoming projects. Viz, TOKYOPOP, and other manga publishers will also be on hand, and numerous panels on alternative, small press, and self-published comics are also in the works. Diving into the scholarly side is the Comic Arts Conference, which in its 13th big year is the leading academic conference focused on the comics medium; the presentations and panels are sure to stimulate and educate. And speaking of education, the success of last year's "How To" seminars has inspired Comic-Con's programming staff to devote space to panels on writing for comics, novels, TV shows, and movies; on illustrating and coloring comics; on self-publishing your own work; and on business-related topics, such as legal issues and marketing your own product. Finally, Comic-Con's comics programming wouldn't be complete without saluting the Golden and Silver Ages, so plenty of classic creators will be on hand to talk about their history in the business, including Murphy Anderson, Gene Colan, Bob Bolling, Dexter Taylor, and more. And if comics aren't the only reason you attend the show, turn the page, because there's more in store for 2005. 16 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO WALK OF FAME HOLLY WOOD RE T URNS TO SA N DIEGO IN 2005 LOST IS FOUND: Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, and Matthew Fox wowed fans with a preview of their ABC hit series, Lost. Comic-Con has long been considered the must-attend event for Hollywood studios looking to preview new movies and television shows. The 2004 event stunned attendees with powerhouse panels on such movies as Batman Begins, Constantine, Elektra, The Incredibles, The Grudge, Sin City, and more. This programming brought to America's Finest City such actors as Keanu Reeves, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Jessica Alba, Jude Law, Bai Ling, Michael Chiklis, and Giovanni Ribisi, along with multiple directors and producers who have been wowing fans for years. Star Wars was also huge, with Carrie Fisher and Hayden Christensen making an appearance and Lucasfilm officially announcing the title for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Needless to say, the gigantic Hall H was always filled with eager fans, and 2005 will be no exception, as numerous top-secret presentations are already in the works. TV fans experienced many treats at the 2004 Comic-Con. Lost made a splash with fans as stars Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, and Dominic Monaghan discussed the show that would go on to become one of ABC's hottest hits for this season. Meanwhile, SCI FI Channel had a huge presence with the casts and crews for Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. From the WB, Smallville producers Miles Millar, Al Gough, and Jeph Loeb and actors John Glover, Allison Mack, and Erica Durance (the new Lois Lane) met fans and signed autographs. U.S. animation was super hot at Comic-Con 2004, with Disney bringing in creator Gary Baseman for Teacher's Pet, while ABC Family Channel previewed its new series Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Cartoon Network introduced Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee and discussed Megas XLR. Cartoon Network representatives also devoted two panels to the popular Adult Swim series, COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 17 including how to pitch your own story ideas to Adult Swim. Warner Bros. Animation offered sneak peeks at their upcoming seasons of Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, and the new Batman animated series. Nickelodeon previewed Avatar and offered a panel with Butch Hartman, creator of Danny Phantom and Fairly Oddparents. Finally, Comedy Central introduced its animated "reality" series Drawn Together, which also became a huge hit in 2005. Appearing at Comic-Con allows studios and networks to connect with thousands of fans, which is why Hollywood is already vying for space in 2005. So sit back and strap yourselves in, because 2005 is going to be one heck of a ride! CELLULOID FANTASY Angling for anime? Movie marathons a must? Comic-Con International has your ticket for all the fun away from the sun. AMAZING ANIME From classics like Urusei Yatsura and Dirty Pair to more recent hits like Gundam, Inu Yasha, and ADV Films' Lady Death: The Motion Picture, Comic-Con's anime schedule is always huge. The 2005 show is slated to be just as vibrant, with three full-time rooms--open from the beginning of the day until late into the evening--devoted to screenings of all your favorites from Japan. FANTASTIC FILMS Over the years, Comic-Con has been noted among film buffs for its fantastic film rooms, where likeminded souls gather in the dark to enjoy such cult favorites as Pink Floyd The Wall and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life or to celebrate with screenings of recent big-screen releases such as Kill Bill, Finding Nemo, and The Last Samurai. And while the films schedule at Comic-Con changed to nights-only in 2004, attendance was as fantastic as ever. In 2005 evening and nighttime screenings will be held in both the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Convention Center. The films department is already working on another amazing schedule for 2005, and pre-registered 4-day membership holders will be able to get a sneak peek at the complete films schedule a couple weeks before the show. Everyone else will have to wait until they receive their Events Guide onsite. So you have another great reason to pre-register for the 2005 Comic-Con! Mobile Suit GUNDAM SEED TM & � 2002-2005 SOTSU AGENCY/SUNRISE/MBS All Rights Reserved 18 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO UNDER THE SAILS AT C O M I C - C O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L newcomers to show off their skills to an eager public. The Art Show is located next to onsite registration, where the natural lighting provided by being in the Sails Pavilion offers a wonderfully vibrant way for the 2D and 3D artwork to be displayed. Many of these pieces are also for sale, and attendees who are 18-years or older can bid. If you're interested in participating in the 2005 event, please check the appropriate box on the Multipurpose Form on page 35 or visit www.comic-con.org. PORTFOLIO POTENTIAL Since its inception, Comic-Con has become known as a major hot spot for companies seeking new talent and for aspiring professionals to make contacts. These days, the chief location for such happenings is at the Portfolio Review Area. Here, artists of all skill levels have their work examined by professionals and are given critiques or, in those truly wonderful instances, contact numbers for potential employment. Although some companies perform reviews at their exhibitor booths, during the 2004 show over 20 companies were stationed at Comic-Con's own Portfolio Review. These included comics companies such as Dark Horse, Committed Comics, Devil's Due, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Tokyopop and Top Cow Productions, as well as gaming and entertainment companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Sammy Studios, JMP Creative, and CinemaGraphics Entertainment, just to name a few. With such a stellar response, Comic-Con has again dedicated a large section of the Sails Pavilion for Portfolio Reviews in 2005. Sign-up sheets for these sessions quickly reached their limit,so Interested attendees should start working on their samples now. Just think, if 2005 bodes well, you just might become an attending professional by 2006. Beastmaster star, Marc Singer ART SHOW STOPPERS The annual Comic-Con Art Show is a wonderful opportunity for both professionals and talented Fans love meeting their favorite creators and celebrities at Comic-Con, and while signings happen all across the show, the Autograph Area always has the biggest names and the largest lines. From creators like Matt Groening (The Simpsons) and Brad Bird (The Incredibles), or actors from currents hits like Smallville and classic stars like Erin Grey (Buck Rogers) and Marc Singer (Beastmaster), over 75 professionals took time to meet their fans at the Comic-Con Autograph Area in 2004. Be sure to check the onsite Comic-Con Events Guide for the schedule of signings at the 2005 show. AMAZING AUTOGRAPHS AREA COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 19 GAMING GALLERY U P P E R D E C K' S VS . SYST E M C R E AT E S AC T I O N - PAC K E D C O M I C - C O N E V E N T SCHOOL'S IN: Gamers learn how to play Vs. System at Upper Deck's booth inside the Exhibit Hall. The Incredible Hulk just knocked Superman into orbit, but Wonder Woman is still holding her own against The Mighty Thor. No, this isn't the latest Marvel/DC crossover--it was a heated battle in the gaming room at last year's Comic-Con. And the company with the upper hand on this action was Upper Deck. Upper Deck is a premier sports and entertainment publishing company that brought you such trading card games (TCG) as Yu-Gi-Oh, Marvel TCG, and DC Comics Origins. Originally, these latter two games only allowed one to play within those respective comic book universes; that is, the X-Men could fight Dr. Doom while the Justice League took on Lex Luthor, but the two could never mix it up. Then last year Upper Deck introduced the Vs. System through a huge push at Comic-Con, and fans were finally able to create their own cosmic clashes between these two titanic universes. "Initially I collected the decks because of the artwork, which is done by a lot of great comic artists," explains Larry Lawrence, a lawyer from Los Angeles. "Then some friends taught me the game and I really got into it." Creating his own teams was cool enough, but when the Vs. System was introduced, Lawrence and his friends played more often. "You can throw Batman in line with Cyclops and kick Dr. Octopus' butt," he says. "What comics fan doesn't like being able to do that?" The basic rules involve each player starting with 50 endurance points, which represent the staying power of that player's team. The object is to reduce your opponent's endurance through a series of attacks, and numbers printed on the cards in your deck determine the power of those attacks. Completing a successful strike reduces your competition's endurance points, and whoever hits zero first, loses. While it sounds like all you need 20 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO in order to win are Superman-style powerhouses, strategy is also key. "There are like 20 different Superman cards, but only one of them is really powerful, plus you're only allowed four cards of one type in your deck," explains Ted Viaselli, a development exec in Hollywood who plays in Lawrence's group. "Because of the way the game works, you cycle through cards very quickly, so if you only have four cards of one type--say, four Supermans--once you run through them you're screwed." It's important for players to build a balanced deck, because the recruitment of other heroes, villains, and equipment will assist in fighting your opponent. During a round, a player may draw a certain number of cards; when those are placed with other cards already in play, "they're called `combos' and give you a superior attack, says Lawrence. Couple those combos with some "plot twist" and "location" cards that can hinder your opponent's ability to fight back, and even Howard The Duck could win. (Well, maybe not, but you get the idea.) The popularity of TCG gaming is astounding, with numerous high-stakes competitions held every year. At the 2004 Comic-Con alone, over $10,000 in cash and prizes were awarded to gamers from various companies, including Upper Deck, Decipher Inc., Score Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast. The 2005 Comic-Con promises similar prizes, including a $10,000 Vs. System tournament from Upper Deck, where the winner will be awarded $2,500 in cash, and the top 20 finishers will earn cash prizes ranging from $200 to $1,500. The top 10 players will also win invitations to the next $1 Million Pro Circuit Tournament for later this year, an exclusive Vs. System product. "We just play for fun," says Viaselli. "But we've seen those tournaments at conventions and they can be intense." Of course, not everyone starts at pro levels, and the beauty of Comic-Con is that anyone attending the show can learn how to play. Whether you're a parent wanting to spend time with your kids or a novice looking for a new hobby, company booths in the Exhibit Hall offer space to teach the basics. And of course gamers of all levels set up shop in the gaming rooms on the Mezzanine at the Convention Center and in the Manchester Grand Hyatt, making Comic-Con a hot spot for gamers every year. For more information on gaming at Comic-Con, check out future issues of the Update or visit www. comic-con.org. The onsite Comic-Con Events Guide will provide information on tournaments, including times and locations. THE CCI-INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL BECOMES A JURIED EVENT! The Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival is one of the fastest growing program tracks at the convention. Last year over 125 films were entered, and in 2005 we're upping the ante with the CCI-IFF becoming a juried event. That means individual prizes will be awarded in each of these categories: � Action/Adventure � Animation � Comics-oriented � Documentary (limited to genre and pop culture topics) � Horror/Suspense � Humor/Parody � Science Fiction/Fantasy Along with the change to a juried event there are also new rules, so visit www.comic-con.org/cci/ cci_iff.shtml for information and an official entry ballot. The submission deadline is May 1, 2005. Good luck--er, shooting--um, break a leg! (Ugh, you get the idea...) THE ENVELOPE PLEASE . . . COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 21 TITANIC TOPICS COMIC-CON ANNOUNCES SPECIAL THEMES FOR 2005 Every year Comic-Con highlights major events and anniversaries from the comic book and pop culture universes as special themes for programming and the Souvenir Book. This year we've chosen a wide variety of topics to excite enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. � Will Eisner: A Tribute A comics legend and close friend of Comic-Con has left us, but his amazing spirit remains. Join fans and pros alike in a celebration of Will Eisner's work as a creator, visionary, mentor, and champion of the comics medium. � Little Archie's 50th Anniversary Archie's younger self may not look a day over 12, but he's been taking off on amazing adventures for five decades. This year Little Archie's signature creators, Bob Bolling and Dexter Taylor, will appear at Comic-Con for the first time to celebrate this popular character. � Martian Manhunter's 50th Anniversary Question: Comics historians often credit J'onn J'onzz's arrival on Earth as the beginning of the Silver Age, but with his morphing abilities how can one tell a Martian's real age? Discuss. � Krypto is 50! (or 350 in dog-years) Yip, Yip! Believe it or not, the super-dog from Krypton has been a part of the Superman legend on and off for 50 years! Now where's that pooper scooper? � 25th Anniversary of the New Teen Titans Those teenage superheroes are as popular as ever with the success of the Geoff Johns�scripted comic book and a smash-hit Cartoon Network animated series. Special guests Marv Wolfman and George P�rez, who transformed the "Junior JLA" into a lasting phenomenon, join Comic-Con in celebration of the New Teen Titans turning 25. � 10th Anniversary of Stray Bullets With deeply layered characters and an unconventional, nonlinear style of storytelling, Stray Bullets has become known as one of the best crime comics ever created. David Lapham's quirky noir series continues to amaze and astound audiences in its tenth big year, maintaining a strong presence in a market dominated by superheroes in tights. � 10th Anniversary of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac Alhough Jhonen Vasquez created the popular Invader Zim cartoon for Nickelodeon, it was Johnny the Homicidal Maniac that made Vasquez a household name, and that's certainly reason to celebrate! MAKING MEMORIES Being a part of Comic-Con history is easier than you think with the 2005 Souvenir Book. Comic-Con welcomes articles and artwork based on our special themes to fill the book's pages. So if anything on this list strikes your fancy, visit www.comic-con.org for complete details on how you can contribute. 22 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO FANTASTIC FANS ATTENDEES FROM THE 2004 COMIC-CON SPEAK OUT! LOVELY LADIES Meet Becky Yanuck from Los Angeles, CA, Vicky Rudolph from Ventura, CA, and Brittney Hovsepian from far off San Diego, CA. They don't know each other, but they started chatting while waiting in line for Eliza Dushku's autograph under the Sails Pavilion. WHAT GOT YOU INTO COMIC-CON? BECKY: My sister got me into this. She's home in Connecticut and very sad. She just found out Keanu Reeves was here and called. I said, "I'm sorry, Sam, I got his autograph this morning." VICKY: My daughter is the comic fanatic and she dragged me to Comic-Con. Then I started getting interested and enjoying it. I go down to Top Cow a lot, I like their stuff, and Star Wars. BRITNEY: Buff y the Vampire Slayer! My boyfriend introduced me to the Con and that's when I saw they had Buff y [panels and merchandise] so that's when I started coming. WHAT'S THE BEST COSTUME YOU'VE SEEN? BRITTNEY: I saw this little kid dressed as Darth Maul and he pretty much looked exactly like the charac- ter. He was tiny but he had the complete face paint, horns and everything. VICKY: My favorite was Jack Sparrow. BECKY: I also liked Jack Sparrow but I also liked Sirius Black the Harry Potter Wizard. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 23 Left to right, actor Ron Rifkin, Alias creator J.J. Abrams and actor Greg Grunberg at Comic-Con 2004. WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING? VICKY: I came to see Eliza, and I'm getting sketches from some of the Top Cow artists. BRITTNEY: I came to see Eliza and I wanted to see the preview for the next Star Wars movie and then I wanted to check out the [Exhibitors]. BECKY: (Suddenly bursting with excitement.) This morning, the highlight of my day was meeting [the actor who plays] Weiss from Alias. HE WAS HERE? BECKY: Oh my God he was here! Oh wait! I've got to show you pictures. (There's much scrambling for Becky's digital camera.) Oh my God, he was the sweetest guy! He was fabulous. The guy who plays [Arvin] Sloane and [Alias creator] J.J. Abrams were down in Inkworks Trading Cards promoting the third season. I can die happy, now! WHO: Dave Lowery and his son, Charley. Dave is a storyboard artist for movies and worked on the first Shrek film for Dreamworks, among other projects FROM: Los Angeles, CA WHAT'S HE HOLDING? That's the Comic-Con Souvenir Book, and he's showing off the artwork he sent in which was selected for publication. HOW MANY YEARS COMING TO CON? 10 IS THIS BOYS' WEEKEND OUT? No, his wife and daughter were on the Exhibit Hall floor shopping. He's converted the entire family into Comic-Con attendees. WHOSE WORK DOES HE LOVE? Don Martin of Mad Magazine, Gustav Klimt and Alfons Mucha WHAT STUNNING ITEM HAS HE SEEN FOR SALE IN PAST YEARS? A Frank Frazetta painting that was selling for around $750,000. SO IS HE HERE FOR COMICS, OR ART? "Both. I'm a big fan of art in general, art history and the modern painters, illustrators old and new. Being an illustrator/commercial artist, a storyboard artist, I can admire that facility and that grace and beauty that all those old guys and new guys have." 24 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO GREG EVANS Adolescence can be the most difficult and amusing period in one's life, and no one is more aware of that fact than San Diego cartoonist Greg Evans. Since 1985 he's been entertaining millions of readers through the adventures of Luann, the comic strip about an awkward teenage girl who's learning how to grow up in a confusing world. From sibling rivalry to first-time crushes, Luann's story is as touching as it is hilarious, and Evans' consistent quality earned him the 2003 National Cartoonists Society's (NCS) Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year. This March marks the syndicated strip's 20th year in print, so it's only fitting that Evans be an invited guest at the 2005 Comic-Con. He took a moment to chat with us about his life with Luann. Comic-Con International: Was Luann your first major success? GREG EVANS: Yes. I submitted other strips over many years, but they were rotten. (he laughs) You know how it is when you're young and think, Wow, this is great stuff. Then you look back on it and think, Oh my God, how did I have the guts to send this off? I'm a firm believer that you reach a certain maturity level where everything clicks, and if you find the right expression of your talent then you're ready to go. But before that time you're sort of floundering, and you should really be in a gathering mode more than a production mode. I try to explain this to young cartoonists who want to get syndicated when they're 18. You tend to have a very small worldview when you're younger, so A CHAT WITH CARTOONIST COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 25 you end up doing comic strips that are about your little microscopic world and they tend to lack larger appeal. CCI: So how did Luann come about? GE: It was when my daughter came along. When she was a preteen, the family dynamics started having an effect on me, and that's where I started to draw inspiration for Luann. So it was coming from a real place and a heart, and I think that's the secret to a successful comic strip. CCI: How old is Luann, the character, now? GE: I aged her to 16 about 5 years ago because I felt like I'd run through everything I could do with her at 13. I wanted her to drive, and she seemed older to me, so overnight she grew up, turned 16, and she's been that age ever since. I imagine she'll stay that way, because if I keep aging her, pretty soon I'll be doing Cathy, and someone else is already doing that. CCI: The strip has definitely evolved, too. Now it's as much about her family as it is about Luann. GE: Right. All the characters have developed over the years into more complex personalities, and so I try to tell different stories. Early on it was just a gag-a-day strip, but fairly quickly I fell into writing storylines because it's more interesting for me and it turns out that it's more interesting for the readers as well. Now I do these never-ending epic storylines that seem to go on and on. (he laughs) CCI: Who were some of your early inspirations? GE: Well, here's a surprise answer: Charles Schulz. I grew up in Burbank, not too far from the Disney Studios, and like all little kids in the `50s, I loved the Disney characters. I wanted to work at Disney and bring Mickey Mouse to life, but I didn't know how to follow that career course. Then I discovered Mad magazine when I was a teen and wanted to be a part of that wacky crew, but I didn't know how to do that, either. Then I discovered the comics page in the newspaper and thought doing a comic strip exactly suited my temperament. I discovered Peanuts and fell in love with that. What [Schulz] did seemed so simple and yet so complex. That was my major inspiration. CCI: Did you ever meet him? Yes, I met Sparky the first year Luann came out. He was always very open to the new guys, and I went to a Newspaper Feature Council meeting and he invited me to sit with him at lunch. It was like sitting next to God. He was in Northern California and I'm in Southern California so we were able to visit from time to time, and over the years just built up a real nice relationship. I was very happy about that. You can find out more about Greg Evans at this year's Comic-Con, or visit his website at www.luannsroom.com. 26 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO PACK Just when you thought Comic-Con couldn't top itself, this year's show has added more A-list talent for fans of every genre. Check out this current list of confirmed guests; any names with asterisks (*) have been added since the last Update. Forrest J Ackerman Known for his love of all things fantastic and HORROR-endous puns, Forrest J Ackerman is one of fandom's most beloved figures. He was an early literary agent for science fiction writers such as Ray Bradbury and was editor of the fondly remembered Famous Monsters of Filmland, which was a source of inspiration to many filmmakers, including Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas. *Lee Ames After working in animation in the 1930s, artist Lee Ames joined the Eisner-Iger Studio, where he Murphy Anderson Murphy Anderson's skills as a penciller and inker made him one of the Silver Age's most recognizable and favorite artists. He drew the Buck Rogers comic strip for newspapers, he pencilled and inked such books as The Spectre and Hawkman at DC, and his crisp inking added a lush veneer to the pencils on such series as Adam Strange, Flash, The Atom, Superman, and many others. POWER THE SPECIAL GUESTS KEEP ROLLING IN FOR THE 2005 COMIC-CON worked alongside Johnny Cassone (Lightning), Andre LeBlanc (The Phantom), Mort Leav, and numerous other comic book legends. In the 1940s his hand could be seen on Firebrand stories in Police Comics, as well as on Kid Patrol, Stuart Taylor, and Dusty Rhodes for Fiction House's Flight Comics. He also worked for Stan Lee at Timely (Marvel) Comics on Homer the Brave, Marvel Science Fiction, and other titles; on The Chessmen with Burt Frohman and War Against Crime for EC Comics; and on The Kewpies comic strip for Will Eisner. He left comics in the mid1950s and eventually created the hugely successful Draw 50 series, beginning with Draw 50 Animals (1974) for Doubleday. There are now 26 titles in the Draw 50 series that primarily use visual instructions, rather than text, to teach. *David B. French cartoonist David B. has been hailed by The Comics Journal as one of Europe's most important and innovative comics artists. His internationally acclaimed graphic novel Epileptic is a stunning and emotionally resonant autobiography about growing up with an epileptic brother; with its recent U.S. release from Pantheon (a division of Random House), David B.'s following in the States is skyrocketing. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 27 Bob Bolling Making his first appearance at Comic-Con, Bob Bolling is one of two writer/artists behind the classic Little Archie series, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2005. Little Archie focuses on the highly imaginative childhood adventures of everyone's favorite teens, and has built a huge cult following that continues thriving to this day. *Ray Bradbury The dean of American science fiction writers returns to Comic-Con as one of the show's most beloved guests. Bradbury is the author of such classics as The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Fahrenheit 451 (currently in its 50th anniversary year), many of which are continually adapted into comic book and cinematic form. In 2004, Avon Books published a collection of his short stories titled The Cat's Pajamas, as well as an immense volume of his best-remembered stories. He was given The National Book Award in 2001 for his contribution to American Literature, and President Bush awarded him The National Medal of Arts in 2004. *Gene Colan Artist Gene Colan began his comics career in 1944 drawing Wings Comics at Fiction House. He was soon hired by Stan Lee to illustrate for Timely (Marvel) Comics and has worked in the industry ever since. His art has graced the pages of such classic titles as Journey into Mystery at Marvel, Sea Devils and Hopalong Cassidy at DC, as well as on such popular characters as Batman, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Howard the Duck, Wonder Woman, and Sub-Mariner to name just a few. He is perhaps best known for his runs on Daredevil, Iron Man, and Tomb of Dracula. Greg Evans Winner of the National Cartoonists Society (NCS) Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year in 2003, local San Diego cartoonist Greg Evans created the Luann syndicated comic strip, which has run in newspapers since 1987. Evans recently sat down for chat with Comic-Con Update. You can find his interview on page 23. Mr. Bradbury, what are you currently reading? Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay introductions (introductions to his plays) by George Bernard Shaw Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion *Juanjo Guarnido Spanish-born Juanjo Guarnido is the artist and colorist behind Blacksad, a series of graphic novels featuring feline private detective John Blacksad. The 28 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO first volume of the U.S. edition of Blacksad earned three nominations in the 2004 Eisner Awards, including Best Painter. Before Blacksad, Guarnido worked on Spanish editions of Marvel comic books and as a layout artist for the Walt Disney studios in Paris. (Courtesy of iBooks) Pia Guerra After 10 years of struggling to break into the comics industry, penciller Pia Guerra became an "overnight" success with the critically acclaimed VERTIGO series, Y, The Last Man. She's appearing at the 2005 show with Y co-creator and fellow Comic-Con special guest, Brian K. Vaughan. Maria launched El Capitan Books to publish his award-winning self-published crime series Stray Bullets, which is celebrating its 10th year in 2005. While continuing to write and draw Stray Bullets, he is also writing a 12-issue Batman story arc for Detective Comics. Mr. Lapham, what comics are you currently reading? First, I'd just like to say, I don't read. From a very young age, comics rotted my brain and now all I do is eat Ho-Hos and watch reruns of Xena: Warrior Princess. But if I did read, my list might look like this: 1. E.C. Segar's Popeye. Way ahead of its (or even our) time. If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only have one comic... 2. Love and Rockets, Luba, Venus--Anything Gilbert Hernandez puts out, I'm first in line. 3. Recently, I pulled out all my old Frank Miller and Alan Moore comics. I was thirteen again. They reminded me of why I wanted to do this in the first place. *Ray Harryhausen The primary influence for a whole generation of filmmakers, Ray Harryhausen is the undisputed king of stop-motion animation. His memorable film works include Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, 20,000,000 Miles to Earth, Sinbad's Golden Voyage, and many more. David Lapham Eisner award�winning writer/artist David Lapham began working in the comics industry at Valiant Comics, where he helped illustrate and create titles such as Shadowman and Harbinger. In 1995 he and his wife *Jim Lee Jim Lee exploded onto the comics scene in the mid 1980s with his eye-catching, innovative artwork in X-Men and Uncanny X-Men at Marvel. He was COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 29 considered one of the industry's Young Turks when he helped form Image Comics in 1992, and his WildStorm Productions Image imprint launched numerous successful titles, including Wild C.A.T.S., Stormwatch, and GEN13, among others. He later worked with Marvel during the revamp of Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Avengers and Captain America, and then moved WildStorm to DC Comics. He is currently completing a run on Superman, and this summer he's illustrating a new Batman series for the DC All-Stars line. Scott McCloud Scott McCloud first came onto the comics scene as the writer/artist of the 1980s series Zot! for Eclipse Comics. He went on to gain attention both within and outside the comics field with his groundbreaking Understanding Comics, a book in comics format in which he explored and explained comics as a valid art form. McCloud followed this book with Reinventing Comics, and his new book, Making Comics, is being published in 2006. For the last several years he has been conducting seminars and has been a leading proponent of web-based comics. Gary Panter Illustrator, painter, and designer Gary Panter is probably best known for his work as head set designer on the Pee Wee's Playhouse TV series, a job which earned him three Emmy Awards. His distinct artwork on album covers, most notably for Frank Zappa, earned him the title "King of Punk Art." He's also a well-known underground cartoonist, best known for his Jimbo character, most recently seen in the deluxe hardcover collection Jimbo in Purgatory, published by Fantagraphics. George P�rez One of comics' most beloved artists, George P�rez co-created The New Teen Titans, which is celebrating its 25th year in 2005. Most recently, he was the artist for 2004's wildly popular JLA/Avengers miniseries, the epic company crossover from DC and Marvel that fans had long dreamed of seeing. Currently, P�rez is working on a New Teen Titans graphic novel with writer Marv Wolfman, a project the two began in the 1980s. Eric Powell Writer and illustrator Eric Powell, is the creative mind behind The Goon, published by Dark Horse Comics. To learn more about Eric and The Goon, turn to page 10 for an interview.. *J.J. Sedelmaier Making his first appearance at a comics convention, J.J. Sedelmaier is co-founder of the cutting-edge animation studio that produced the pilot for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, which helped initiate Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block of cartoons. He has produced numerous TV show and commercials, and through a partnership with Robert Smigel created Saturday TV Funhouse for NBC's Saturday Night Live, thus establishing such pop culture icons as "The X-Presidents," and "The Ambiguously Gay Duo." *Kevin Smith Filmmaker, author, and comic book retailer Kevin Smith is no stranger to comics fans all over the world. From his success with such films as Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Dogma to his award-winning work on Daredevil and Spider-Man at Marvel and Green Arrow: Quiver at DC, Smith has shown a keen ability to meld current fan sensibilities with solid storytelling techniques. 30 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO nated VERTIGO series Y, The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn took some time with Comic-Con Update to discuss his career. You can read about it on page 30. *Jim Warren Starting off as the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland in the late 1950s, Jim Warren jumped *J. Michael Straczynski Best known as the creator/writer/executive producer for Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski currently writes The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Supreme Power, and The Book of Lost Souls for Marvel Comics, as well as the maxiseries Silver Surfer: Requiem and Dream Police. His new radio drama series, The Adventures of Apocalypse Al, debuts on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation this summer. *Dave Stevens Fan-favorite artist and creator of The Rocketeer Dave Stevens is known for his incredible attention to detail and design, as well as his wonderful renderings of women (particularly Bettie Page). His work, including portfolios and limited-edition prints, is highly sought after by collectors around the world. Dexter Taylor Besides Bob Bolling, Dexter Taylor is the other artist associated most with the Little Archie series. This year marks both Little Archie's 50th anniversary and Taylor's first appearance at Comic-Con. Michael Turner One of the most popular writer/artists working in comics today, Michael Turner helped create and launch the Witchblade series for Top Cow in 1995. In 2002 he started his own publishing company, Aspen, which featured his hit creations Fathom and Soulfire. He most recently completed his critically and commercially acclaimed run on DC's Superman/ Batman series, which featured the return of the one true Supergirl. Brian K. Vaughan Currently writing Ultimate X-Men, the new WildStorm hit Ex Machina, and the Eisner Award�nomi- headfirst into the comics world in 1964 with the publication of Creepy. He began utilizing a stable of outstanding artists, essentially resurrecting the horror comics genre, and eventually went on to add Eerie and Vampirella to his line, as well as bringing Will Eisner's The Spirit back into active publication. Marv Wolfman This year marks the 25th anniversary of the beloved New Teen Titans comics series and the 20th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the groundbreaking maxiseries that revamped the entire DC Universe. What do they have in common? Both were written by fan-turnedpro Marv Wolfman. Wolfman has had a long and glorious career writing for both Marvel and DC; his credits include co-creating the character of Blade for Marvel while writing/ editing the Tomb of Dracula series. Mr. Wolfman, what are you currently reading? I just finished reading The Big Bad Wolf: A Novel by James Patterson My Anecdotal Life by Carl Reiner Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones A History of Israel by Howard M. Sachar as well as a dozen other history books on Israel for a graphic album I'm writing. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 31 EX,X,& Y STATS WHAT: current writer, Y, The Last Man (Vertigo), Ex Machina (WildStorm), Ultimate X-Men (Marvel) WRITING COMICS: since 1996 FIRST FULL WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Kazar Annual, 1997 (Marvel) FIRST SERIES WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Swamp Thing (Vertigo) CURRENTLY READING: Michael Chabon's The Final Solution: A Story of Detection, Jonathan Lethem's Men and Cartoons: Stories, and anything by Alan Moore, Brian Michael Bendis, Garth Ennis, and Warren Ellis. BRIAN K. VAUGHAN GETS NO ZZZ'S Comic-Con International: How did you get into writing comics? Brian K. Vaughan: Marvel had started something called the Stanhattan Project-- like the Manhattan Project but named after Stan Lee-- [so they could find and develop new talent.] I was a film student at NYU, and two Marvel editors from the Stanhattan Project taught workshops on writing comics. They liked my stuff and initially threw me some real small projects, like an issue of Wolverine where the writer who did the plot disappeared and they needed someone to write the dialogue over the art. But eventually I moved up. CCI: What comics did you read as a child? BKV: Spider-Man, Hulk, Batman, Superman--the big icons from both companies. I then moved over to Watchmen and started devouring whatever Alan Moore comics I could find. Karen Berger, the editor-in-chief of Vertigo, hates when I say this but I was sort of weaned on Vertigo. Vertigo started when I was still in high school, so my formative years were spent reading early Vertigo, and I always wanted to do a Vertigo book. CCI: And now here you are with Y, The Last Man. How did that come about? BKV: I'd been working on Swamp Thing for two years, and the series was about to get cancelled. Basically I'd just run one of the Vertigo franchises into the ground and I [thought], Well, that's it for me. To their credit 32 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO they were really nice and said, "We like your voice and perhaps you're better suited for something that's entirely yours, so pitch us." I'd wanted to do something that would raise the level of dialogue in comics about gender, so I picked a classic sci-fi high-concept [What if all the male mammals on Earth were wiped out by a plague to which females were immune and only one man remained?] as a way to explore gender issues, and that's where Y came from. CCI: Can you tell us about the projects you're working on and give a small teaser of what's going to happen between now and this summer's Comic-Con? BKV: Ex Machina over at WildStorm, which I co-created with Tony Harris who used to draw Starman, is a political thriller/superhero book. It's about politics in the real world post 9-11, and people's need for heroes as politicians, and is there even such a thing as a hero. Well, recently I got jury duty, so as I was sitting there thinking, I can't not write a jury duty storyline for Ex Machina. So as profoundly boring as jury duty sounds, I promise there's an Ex Machina storyline coming up with the mayor getting picked for jury duty that's going to be endlessly exciting. Big things are going to happen. Y, The Last Man was always intended to end at about issue #60, so we've passed the halfway point in the series. By March, Yorick, the protagonist, and his friends will finally have left the United States to travel around the globe. Swashbuckling action and romance on the high seas, which will be a very different book than Y has been for the last few America-bound adventures. At Marvel, I'm on Ultimate X-Men for at least the next year with artist Stuart Immonen. By the time this [Update] comes out, Wolverine will have been missing from Ultimate X-Men for almost six months, which is the longest he's ever been gone from the book. So it will be the big return of Ultimate Wolverine, and he's going to find out more about his past, and maybe a romantic relationship is going to blossom with Storm. It's great to do an X-Men book that's not burdened with 30 years of continuity. If I have friends who like Y and Ex Machina but they haven't read any other comics, Ultimate X-Men is the one book that's the most accessible. If all you've seen is an X-Men cartoon or the X-Men movies and just have a vague awareness of the characters, then you can jump right into our book and enjoy it. For more insights into Brian K. Vaughan and his upcoming projects, don't miss him at the 2005 Comic-Con International. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 33 EISNER AWARDS JUDGES NAMED Entries are now being accepted for the 17th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, to be given to the finest publications and creators of 2004. Publishers may submit any comic, graphic novel, or comics-related periodical or book that was shipped to retailers between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2004. The deadline for submissions is March 7. The submitted items will be considered by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, who will select the final items to appear on the Eisner Awards ballot. This year's judges, who have been chosen by Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada, are: Gib Bickel, co-owner of the The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio. Bickel started reading comics with Amazing Spider-Man #148 and enjoys the comics medium more every year. He's a regular participant in The CBIA (Comic Book Industry Alliance) website and is on the Free Comic Book Day committee. He and his partners opened The Laughing Ogre in 1994; the store has won Best Comic Store in Columbus more than once in its ten years of operation. 2005 34 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO Steve Conley, cartoonist, self-publisher, and online pioneer. He has written and illustrated his online and printed comics series Astounding Space Thrills since 1998 and has run the award-winning design studio Conley Interactive since 1996. In addition to his co-creation comicon.com, Conley owns and manages such comics-related websites as iCOMICS, BLOOP.tv, and The Pulse, a popular daily comics news site. He also serves as executive director of SPX, the Small Press Expo. Katharine Kan, librarian/consultant. Kan has been a comics reader all her life. As a librarian working with teens, she saw the new graphic novels being published in the mid-1980s as perfect for them. She started writing the first column devoted to graphic novels in library literature, "Graphically Speaking," in 1994 (published in Voice of Youth Advocates). She has also been writing graphic novel reviews for Diamond Previews (posted at their Bookshelf website). Kat was a librarian in public libraries in Hawaii and Indiana from 1984 through 2002 and is now working as a freelance consultant, doing book selection for Brodart's book distribution division, specializing in graphic novels and young adult literature. She is also chair of the Graphic Novel Task Force for Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. Tom McLean, associate editor in special reports at Variety. He oversees his share of the more than 180 specials published each year on topics as diverse as the Oscars, videogames, and film festivals. Tom has edited both of Variety's Comic-Con specials. Since joining Variety in 1999 he has written dozens of articles and also writes "Bags and Boards," Variety's daily weblog on the business of comics. A comics and sci-fi fan since his childhood in Edmonton, Canada, Tom has followed the comics industry since the mid-1980s. After earning a degree in journalism from the University of Arizona, he wrote his first professional article about comics--on the death of Superman in 1992--while on staff at a small Arizona newspaper. Tom Russo, freelance writer/reviewer. He regularly covers comic book movies and related genres as a contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly and Premiere magazine. In recent years, he's written production features on both Spider-Man movies and on Van Helsing; upcoming projects he's covering include Sin City and Batman Begins. Tom reviews comics for EW and has also written for Wizard and, back in the day, Marvel Age. "The judges are chosen for their knowledge about comics, their wide-ranging tastes, and their impartiality," says Estrada. Because publishers and creators have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration, the judges are able to look at the full spectrum of material published in the previous year. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 35 REGISTER! COMIC-CON MEMBERS GAIN IMMORTALITY BY PRE-REGISTERING Seriously, folks, you can choose from a number of ways to purchase a membership to attend Comic-Con. The most basic method is to wait until the convention, stand in line, and register onsite. Your other option is to register in advance, gain early entrance into the Exhibit Hall during Wednesday's Preview Night, and best of all, save some cash. Here's how it works: On page the next page you'll find a Multipurpose Form with prices, discount cutoff deadlines, and other important information. Just fill it out, add your payment, and fax or mail it in. That's it. Keep in mind that no memberships will be sold on Preview Night (Wednesday, July 13), so only those attendees who have pre-registered for a full 4-day membership can gain admittance for that special night. When picking up your badge and badge holder be sure to bring your confirmation receipt and picture ID; you'll also get your Souvenir Book and Events Guide, which will help you plan the rest of your weekend. The registration hours for Comic-Con 2005 are: Wednesday: 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday�Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. And as always, pre-registration memberships are transferable or refundable until June 20. Pre-registering might not get you immortality, but when you gain entrance into the convention ahead of those other attendees it will certainly feel like a little slice of heaven. Sir, we all appreciate that you came in costume, but you still have to buy a Comic-Con membership. 36 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO SAN DIEGO JULY 14-17, 2005 Full Membership At-the -Door Prices Adults Juniors (7-16) & Seniors (60+) $65.00 $30.00 Only 4-day pre-registered members can attend Preview Night. No onsite registration will be available for Preview Night--only badge pickup for pre-registered full members. Need Info? (check as needed) Please send me information on exhibiting in the Art Show. Please have your Disabled Services Department contact me about my special needs. Please send me a volunteer application and information. Please send me information about participating in the Masquerade. BADGES WILL NOT BE MAILED OUT IN ADVANCE. All pre-registered badges will be available for pickup at Attendee Pre-Registration in the Convention Center's Sails Pavilion (Upper Level), beginning Wednesday, July 13 at 4:00 p.m. Pre-Registration Prices (check one) Must be postmarked by APRIL 20, 2005 Adults Juniors (7-16) & Seniors (60+) Must be postmarked by JUNE 8, 2005 Adults Juniors (7-16) & Seniors (60+) Must be postmarked by JUNE 20, 2005 Adults Juniors (7-16) & Seniors (60+) $50.00 $25.00* $55.00 $27.00* $65.00 $30.00* Active Military with ID can pay the Jr/Senior price. This deal does not extend to dependants. Note: All prices subject to change. *Children under 12 free with PAID adult membership. Forms postmarked or faxed after June 20, 2005 will NOT BE PROCESSED. No e-mail registration will be accepted. Sorry, NO REFUNDS after June 20, 2005. First Name ONLY ONE MEMBERSHIP PER FORM PLEASE. THIS FORM MAY BE COPIED. 2005 Badge # Check # Total Amount $ Check One Last Name Adult Junior (7-16) Senior (60+) Company Name Address City State Zip Phone Fax Payment Type Please make checks and money orders payable to COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL. Country Code (if not USA) Country (if not USA) Check or Money Order Visa MasterCard American Express Credit Card Number Expiration Date (mm/yyyy) Signature Do not write below this line - Office use only "GET A ROOM!" SEARCHING FOR A PLACE TO HANG YOUR HAT AND STASH YOUR SWAG? WE'VE GOT SOME HOT PICKS FOR YOU. Due to the overwhelming popularity of Comic-Con 2005, the Travel Desk is currently securing more hotel rooms for the weekend. Meanwhile, here are some awesome locations that had availability as of press time and that offer some amenities you may not have known about. 500 WEST This quaint boutique hotel has just undergone a major renovation and offers a fitness center, caf�, and lounge. It's European in style--that is, rooms have single or full beds and shared private bathrooms that lock. 550 West is part of a national registered historic landmark building, steps from the train and trolley stations, and right in the heart of downtown San Diego. Had a long day at the convention? The Comic-Con shuttle hits 500 West. It's close enough to be in the action, and unique enough to give you some peace at night. HOLIDAY INN SELECT MISSION VALLEY Located in the heart of San Diego, The Holiday Inn Select Mission Valley features the reasonable prices one expects from Holiday Inn. The newly refurbished rooms are complimented by a complete fitness center with pool and spa, so you can soak your feet after a long day in the Exhibit Hall. A nearby trolley stop offers quick, inexpensive access to Comic-Con. This is an ideal location for people interested in exploring San Diego as well as seeing Comic-Con. LA QUINTA INN OLD TOWN Another newly renovated property, La Quinta Inn Old Town offers complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, pool and spa. Rooms feature free wireless high-speed Internet, microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, cable TV, and more, which is an ideal setup for someone hoping to save some cash. There's free parking and it's close to trolley stops for access to Comic-Con. Old Town offers a wide variety of award-winning restaurants and has lots of interesting shops and historical sites. SAN DIEGO MARRIOTT MISSION VALLEY A beautiful outdoor pool and fitness center, spacious rooms with cable, VCR, and complimentary coffee, and fantastic service make the Marriott in Mission Valley a wonderful alternative hotel. Business-minded travelers or guests who won't be spending every waking hour at Comic-Con will appreciate the high-speed Internet access and other amenities. This location is also steps from a trolley stop, and in a central location for easy exploration in San Diego. SHERATON SAN DIEGO HOTEL AND MARINA Need a vacation on your vacation? The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina is nestled at the water's edge on spectacular San Diego Bay and offers panoramic views of the bay and the downtown city skyline. You're a 10-minute drive from the Convention Center or free parking at local trolley stops, as well as close to the beach. Finally, as a member of the Starwood collection of hotels, the Sheraton offers outstanding service and rooms that are beautifully appointed and extremely comfortable. We understand that you might want a location closer to Comic-Con itself, so check back regularly at the CCI website (www.comic-con.org) to see if your hotel of choice has added accommodations. In the meantime, if you wish to be waitlisted for a particular hotel mentioned on page 37, please contact a Comic-Con travel specialists at 1-877-55-COMIC. 38 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO HOTEL AT-A-GLANCE CHART Hotel 500 West Bristol Hotel Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Embassy Suites Hacienda Hotel Old Town San Diego* Hilton Gaslamp Holiday Inn on the Bay Holiday Inn Select San Diego* Horton Grand La Quinta Inn Old Town* Manchester Grand Hyatt Marriott Gas Lamp Quarter Omni San Diego Radisson Harbor View San Diego Marriott Mission Valley* Sheraton SD Hotel & Marina* Sheraton Suites Staybridge Suites Riviera US Grant W San Diego Westgate Westin Horton Plaza Wyndham Emerald Plaza Distance to Convention Center 7 blocks 7 blocks 9 blocks 5 blocks 4 miles Across street 13 blocks 4 miles 3 blocks 4 miles 2 blocks 2 blocks Across street 13 blocks 4 miles 1/2 mile 10 blocks 10 blocks 8 blocks 6 blocks 7 blocks 6 blocks 8 blocks YES YES YES YES Trolley YES YES Trolley YES Trolley YES YES YES YES Trolley NO YES YES YES YES YES YES YES Shuttle 1 Bed/1 person 1 bed/2 people sgl rate $74.00 $140.00 $169.00 $175.00 $133.00 $192.00 $152.00 $119.00 $169/$229 $129.00 $175.00 $189.00 $189.00 $140.00 $132.00 $184.00 $140.00 $159/$179 $149.00 $269.00 $169.00 $154/$169 $149.00 dbl rate $84.00 $140.00 $169.00 $175.00 $133.00 $192.00 $152.00 $119.00 $169/$229 $129.00 $175.00 $189.00 $189.00 $140.00 $132.00 $184.00 $140.00 $159/$179 $159.00 $269.00 $169.00 $154/$169 $159.00 2 Beds twin rate $84.00 $150.00 $169.00 $185.00 $133.00 $192.00 $152.00 $119.00 $169/$229 $129.00 $175.00 $209.00 $199.00 $140.00 $132.00 $184.00 $150.00 n/a $159.00 $279.00 $189.00 $164/$179 $159.00 3 people tpl rate n/a $170.00 $179.00 $205.00 $133.00 $212.00 $167.00 $119.00 $189/$249 $129.00 $200.00 $219.00 $219.00 $150.00 $142.00 $194.00 $170.00 $159/$179 $169.00 $299.00 $209.00 $184/$199 $169.00 4 people quad rate n/a $190.00 $189.00 $225.00 $133.00 $232.00 $182.00 $119.00 $209/$269 $129.00 $225.00 $239.00 $239.00 $160.00 $152.00 $204.00 $190.00 $159/$179 $179.00 $319.00 $229.00 $204/$219 $179.00 Parking Per Day (Subject to Change) $20 self $18 self $22 valet $20 valet $18 self $21 valet $18 self/$22 valet $5 self $20 valet Free $20 self/$28 valet $22 valet $22 valet $12 self $10 self/$17 valet $15 self/$20 valet $20 valet $15 self $22 self and valet $29 valet $15 self and valet $19 self/$25 valet $24 valet Note: * Hotels not serviced by shuttle routes do not charge shuttle fees. While most hotels on the list are on shuttle routes hotels added in the future may not be. Please check with the Travel Desk. Hotel rates for hotels with shuttle routes include a $5 per night reimbursement to Comic-Con to help defray shuttle costs. San Diego city blocks are small compared to other cities and take 2-3 minutes to walk. Important Information (Please read carefully) All reservations require an advanced deposit equal to one night's room and tax. Deposits can be made by credit card, check, or money order. The hotels will process advance credit card deposits on June 2, 2005. *Deposits are non-refundable beginning July 3, 2005. Reservations made after July 3, 2005 will require the deposit at the time of booking. The deposit is non-refundable. To Make Reservations Make reservations online at www.comic-con.org or complete the form on the next page and mail it to the Travel Desk. By phone: Call 1-877-555-COMIC (1-877-552-6642) or 212-532-1660, M-F 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. EST. By fax: 212-779-6128. All fax reservations must be received by June 2, 2005. To make changes/cancellations: Call the Comic-Con Travel Desk at 1-800-221-3531. Changes must be received 14 days prior to arrival, changes are on a request basis and are subject to availability/discretion of the hotel. Responsibility and liability: Comic-Con International and/or its agents act only in the capacity as agents for customers in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations and transportation whether by railroad, motor car, airplane or any other means, and as such are not responsible for any damage, expense, or inconvenience caused by train or plane arrivals or departures, or by any change of schedule or condition from any loss, injury, or damage to any person or property from any cause whatsoever. Baggage handling throughout the program is entirely at the owner's risk. The customer agrees that show management and/or its agents shall not be held responsible in the event of any error or omission in any promotional material. COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 39 SAN DIEGO JULY 14-17, 2005 E-mail address First Name Company Name Address City Phone Fax State Zip Last Name Reservation Guarantee: All Comic-Con reservations will require an advance deposit equal to one room night and tax. Deposits can be made by credit card, check, or money order. The hotels will process the advance credit card deposits on June 2, 2005. The deposit is nonrefundable beginning on July 3, 2005. Reservations made after July 3, 2005 will require the deposit at the time of booking and are nonrefundable at that point. If paying by check, please call the Travel Desk for reservations and deposit instructions. (Palookaville) (The Golem's Mighty Swing) (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac) (Inside Vineyland) The largest gathering of alternative, independent and self-published comics in the country! FANTASTIC FANS ATTENDEES FROM THE 2004 COMIC-CON SPEAK OUT! WHO: Bill Moss WHY'D YOU COME? I work Small Press so I have to come, but even if I didn't I'd come anyway to see the new comics and toys. ANYTHING THAT'S GOT YOU GOING? I just got here and everything just looks awesome. It's huge. ANYTHING YOU'RE LOOKING TO SCORE? I usually come here looking for imported Japanese statues and comics that you don't usually find in [regular] stores. WHAT'S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE SHOW? David Mack. He's the artist of Kabuki and he was really nice. He signed a couple books for me and [did] a sketch. That was something I was meaning to do for a few years and it finally happened. WHO: Wendy and Todd Wells from San Diego, CA HOW LONG TOGETHER: 13 years HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO CON: 4 years WHAT FOR? Japanese Animation TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR LIFE WITH ANIME. WENDY: We've collected for about 9 or 10 years TODD: [I got into it watching] Battle of the Planets and Speed Racer. WENDY: One of the series we really got into anime was Magic Knight Rayearth and occasionally we come across bits of that [at Comic-Con], get very excited and load up our bags. TODD: Currently we like The Twelve Kingdoms series. ANY CON HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR? WENDY: We missed the [Wednesday] preview night, then saw some antiques downstairs through Century Guild. They had some amazing stuff [but] it all sold. We're really disappointed. But it was so fun to see some on display that people hadn't taken home or hauled off to their hotel rooms yet. Fun stuff. 42 COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO Featuring new black & white AND color interior art! On Sale March 2005 � 24 pages � $2.95 booth at both the APE and Jhonen Vasquez will be at the SLG l: San Diego! Comic-Con Internationa Characters and images TM & � 1989, 2003 Creative Licensing Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The first of two volumes collecting the original comic book series. 168 Digest-sized pages * $14.95 On Sale Now. To Miss it would be most heinous indeed. Comic-Con International PO Box 128458 San Diego, CA 92112-8458 www.comic-con.org NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION US POSTAGE PAID COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL Comic-Con International Update #1 � 2005 Inside: Latest Special Guests, New Hotel Information, & More!