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Friday, August 7, 2009

San Diego Comic Con 2009

Just last month, the rest of the world watched as 150,000 people descended upon the sunny harbor city of San Diego for one purpose: to feast their eyes on everything that the comic book, publishing, film, television, and video game worlds have to offer. Yes, I’m talking about Comic Con International, the largest comic book convention and pop culture phenomenon in the world. Over the past five summers, I’ve had the pleasure of attending this event, and I’ve seen a lot of great product and met a lot of great people. This year was no different, as Stone Arch Books sent me to San Diego in hopes of signing a few more great illustrators to add to our already amazing talent pool. Over two days, I reviewed over 100 portfolios and collected lots and lots of free posters, catalogs, and whatever else I could get my hands on, also known as SWAG (“Stuff We All Get”). Not only that, Comic Con is a great way to get our name out to those who may not yet know us. It’s no coincidence that we now have a working relationship with DC Comics – they found us at Comic Con!

Below are a few snapshots I took while traversing the vast landscape of booths and exhibits (not to mention negotiating the massive throng of people). Until next year...

Bob Lentz
Art Director
Stone Arch BooksThe San Diego Convention Center, home of Comic Con International for 4 1/2 days each July. It’s interesting to note that a vast majority of this convention center was added to house the ever-expanding Comic Con, which in the last 10 years has grown exponentially thanks to big budget superhero films and hyper-realistic video games.

DC Comics consistently has one of the best (and largest) booths at Comic Con, and they offer many great freebies and promotional items. I waited in line for one half hour just to get some posters and buttons. Well worth it.

A quick shot of the “Big Three” banner at the DC booth: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Did we mention that we offer beautiful chapter books featuring the crown jewels of DC Comics and the superhero world?? Pretty awesome to walk into the DC booth knowing that you get to make books with their characters in them.

Just a small sampling of the many costumed Con-goers who masquerade through the halls of the San Diego Convention Center each year. Seen here are a few alien creatures from the “Star Wars” films.

Captain Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series. Is it really Johnny Depp, or a wax figure? You decide. (Actually, it’s another costumed attendee who just happened to look strikingly like the real Mr. Depp...!)

Myself (right) and C.S. Jennings (left), the soon-to-be legendary illustrator on our “Incredible Rockhead” series from Graphic Sparks. C.S. had a booth this year in the small press area, where many freelance illustrators and self-employed comic book artists go to peddle their wares and drum up business. It’s worth mentioning that that is exactly how we came to work with C.S. in the first place – finding him at Comic Con several years ago!

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