Daily Illuminator

July 23, 2003: San Diego Report

This was my first San Diego Comic-Con. Wow. I was extremely impressed.

First, it was very professionally managed in most ways. They contacted me well in advance, assigned me a very competent at-con liaison, and generally made sure that avoidable problems were avoided.

Second, it was BIG. Really, as Douglas Adams would have said, somethingorother mind-bogglingly big. From one end of the exhibit hall, I could not SEE the other end, and I think it had to do with the curvature of the Earth.

Third, it was well attended by people I wanted to meet! After much correspondence, I finally got to shake hands (and talk about Evil Plans) with Wil Wheaton. Ditto for Howard Tayler, creator of the really excellent Schlock Mercenary, which I commend to all of you. I also met Maritza Campos, who writes and draws College Roomies from Hell. (I've been reading her strip for a long time, but never sent fan mail. I just meant to stop by her table, spend money, and make fan noises, but we ended up talking for a while. She impressed me! She really thinks about what she does, and she pays attention to other webcomics.)

And I renewed acquaintance, albeit briefly, with Jon and Phillip of Goats . . . and showed Jon the printout of his "Fowl Fiend" card from Munchkin 3 - Clerical Errors, and enjoyed his burbling. And speaking of Munchkin, John Kovalic and I DID talk about further projects . . .

And many more. No doubt five minutes after this posts I'll be going "Right! How could I leave XXXXX out!"

Fourth (we were numbering things, remember?): I got to do a couple of talks to large audiences who asked interesting questions. And at one of those talks, I was presented with the con's "Inkpot Award," for service to comics and related fields . . . in this case, gaming. THAT goes up on the wall, you bet.

Fifth: our line was being represented at the con by Adventure Retail, which is one of the truly primo con-retailing outfits. They set up booths at Origins and GenCon and so on, so WE don't have to. We get to pay attention to the con and the fans, instead. And bossman Jerry Corrick himself was there, showing the world how this convention-booth stuff ought to be done. A bravura performance.

And sixth: the con had a game demo area set up right in the dealer room, right next to Jerry's booth! So I got to spend a lot of time with some of our best Men In Black, and with a whole lot of fans. We demonstrated Frag with the neat 3-D board that Phil Reed built; we showed off B&W proof copies of Strange Synergy and people really loved it. I was delighted. And, of course, a whole lot of evil Munchkining. This was the first outing for Munchkin Fu, and Jerry's booth sold out halfway through the third day of the four-day con. Woooooo!
-- Steve Jackson

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