For the past 5 visits to San Diego Comic-Con, I’ve focused on leaving San Diego with not only memorable experiences but also something physical that I can be proud of. SDCC exclusives fall into this category but if you’re like me, my wallet isn’t as deep as some peoples. So another thing that I enjoy hunting is autographs.
Autographs have always been a fun memorabilia item that is synonymous with conventions and the like. But I’ve had the lucky opportunity to have left San Diego in recent years with several autographs from people I consider geek celebrities. One of my favorite moments was at Nerd HQ’s inaugural year that allowed me to get Alison Haislip, Olivia Munn, Danny Pudi, Jorge Garcia, Alessandra Torresani, Joshua Gomez, and Zachary Levi‘s autographs after a super awesome panel. You can imagine that I was giddy with happiness when I met these actors and snapped a picture with Alison Haislip and Olivia Munn was the icing on the cake!
We continue our countdown to San Diego Comic-Con 2015 by talking about a big part of the show, in my opinion, the artists! Comics wouldn’t be what they are without the talented visual artistry of these individuals who bring countless stories to life. They create these elaborate worlds where we can live in, interact with the characters, and see how the stories play out, albeit in the pages of the comics we read. And, San Diego Comic-Con bolsters tables after tables of these skilled artisans, creating sketches, signing autographs, and selling art fit for framing.
I tend to spend a lot of time at Artist Alley, just walking up and down the tables, seeing if anything catches my eye. I’ve fallen in love with a few artists along the way as a result of this, and as a comic fan first, if the art grabs my attention as I pass by, I’m more or less going to grab it for my Batcave wall. Since this is a guide, I’m going to try to give a few suggestions on getting the most out of Artist Alley. In the ever-capable words of Benedict Cumberbatch,
1. Get familiar with the artists
The key is to know who is going to have a table at Artist Alley. Some big names like Francis Manapul, previous writer/artist on The Flash, Joe Benitez, known for his latest creation, Lady Mechanika, and Stanley Lau aka Artgerm, known for being an awesome digital artist, have had tables in Artist Alley in years past. Artists like Stanley Lau typically will cap the number of prints he sells per customer and you can bet your bottom dollar that certain characters will sell out each day (he allocates a certain number of character prints per day in order to give patrons a chance to purchase the character they want). So if you really want to get certain prints from a certain artist, you may want to dedicate visiting them first thing! I typically follow my favorites artists via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and they typically will have a nifty advertisement of what they are selling at SDCC. I know that helps me decide on hitting up Artgerm before others if there’s a character print or art book that I want to pick up. You can check out the list of artist who will be at Artist Alley here.
San Diego Comic-Con is not only one of the most coveted conventions to attend but it also has spawned several worthy off-sites that an attendee can check out with or without a badge. One of them has been making waves for the past 4 years called Nerd HQ. This heavyweight off-site is organized by geek favorite and dare I day, heartthrob, Zachary Levi of NBC’s Chuck, Disney’s Tangled, and the upcoming television revival of Heroes called Heroes: Reborn. What makes this off-site a heavy hitter is that money raised at this event, specifically for the special guest panel tickets, are donated to a worthy cause, Operation Smile. And this year is estimated to be the largest it has ever been, so why not check it out when you’re at the Big Show?
Let’s go through the rundown before we chat about some tips and tricks that I can offer. This year’s 4-day event is being held during SDCC and located at a much bigger venue than in year’s past at The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego. And the event is entirely free to attend.
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Los Angeles Comic Con remains the premiere comic con for mid-sized conventions on the west coast. Reporting a record 91,000 fans in attendance, it’s come a long way since it’s inception in 2011.
Silicon Valley Comic Con is on March 18th – 20th at the San Jose Convention Center, around the same time last year when Big Wow Comicfest was held and that’s no coincidence. In true Valley fashion, the Silicon Valley Comic Con acquired Big Wow Comicfest, partly for their history of running and planning comic conventions and because they needed to secure a date and venue for the 3 day event. Even though Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack is only lightly involved in the planning, you can bet that his sphere of influence will resonate throughout the entire event. From special guests to technology themed panels, SVCC wants to differentiate itself from every other comic con in the world. The big question is whether or not con-goers will buy into it.
The sheer amount of comic conventions in California is mind boggling. There’s almost a show every month of the year if you’re willing to travel. But what sets Comikaze from the rest is that it’s STAN LEE’s Comikaze. The man, the myth, the legend that is Stan Lee owns and operates the show along with Elvira Mistress of the Dark. This is one of our favorite shows of the year.
Trailers on trailers on trailers. We read all the other trailer reviews, and you know, they’re fine. But we feel like people are so focused on easter eggs and the like that they miss out on things. It’s time to delve deep into another Top 5 Takeaways, this time we look at the Suicide Squad Trailer!