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Thursday, August 4, 2016

DC in the 80s visits the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con

In July 2016, DC in the 80s was granted the privilege and honor of media access to the San Diego International Comic-Con. Mark Belkin, webzine co-editor, jumped on the first available flight to get down to San Diego to report on this 5-day week-end long (July 19th to July 23th) celebration of comic book pop culture. Mark took a lot of photos of cosplayers and exhibits, attended a few panels, and had the opportunity to do a bit of star gazing of his own.

San Diego is the King of Kings when it comes to Cons, and this one was packed with Con goodness. Before I begin I'd like to mention lines. I’ve waited on lines before, but 3 hour lines, and to not even get into an event? That happened twice, both for DC related panels. But those were DC TV/Movie panels, and I learned quickly to stick to comics stuff. If you want to see something TV or movie related at San Diego Comic-Con, show up EARLY. I saw people lining up the night before, just to get into some events the NEXT day. That’s what happens when you’re super popular and attract the biggest audiences in the world.

The city is taken over the Convention. Everywhere you go, you see people dressed up, promoting something, walking with bags, and/or waiting on lines. It’s such an exciting atmosphere and the weather was just perfect. I can see why San Diego started the Convention "craze" and why it continues to be such a popular destination. If you ever have a chance to go to San Diego Comic Con, DO IT. I hope I am blessed enough to go again in the future.

When you enter the actual floor, it can be very overwhelming and intimidating. I am experienced and know how to snake my way around a Convention, but if this is your first time, San Diego Comic-Con will blow your mind. It’s like a city made up of companies, sellers, creators, and stars. Have you ever gone to a Convention and stood in the lobby? It’s a juried Halloween. The work and care that went into the cosplay was evident:

Killer Croc and the Riddler

Some of the best I’ve seen in the world.

Here are some more DC cosplay highlights of the weekend:

Teen Titan's Raven & Supergirl. Wonder Girl & Wonder Woman

Static and the Huntress 

Aquaman and DC Animated Universe's Poison Ivy and Scarecrow

Bizarro and Hawkman

Two more Titans: Starfire and Cyborg

DC Animated Universe's Phantasm and Harley Quinn. 

Modern Harley. Batman and Wonder Woman.

Two different eras of Supergirl

Vertigo's Death

(By the way, Starfire and Raven were the second most popular costumes after Harley Quinn. DC should really look to feature them more often in the books and merchandising.)

The DC booth was packed with amazing costumes and previews. Here are some Wonder Woman props and costumes from the new feature film that is scheduled to be released in 2017:

Here are some costumes from the new Suicide Squad film set to be released in 2 weeks:

And here are some classic designs from Wonder Woman over the last 75 years:

Here are some previews of upcoming toys and sculptures from DC:

Here's a few character pics from the new upcoming Justice League cartoon:

After watching the trailer for it, I can say that I am excited. Especially to see this classic Solomon Grundy:

I went to the Warner Brothers booth and checked out their Flash statue:

One of the great things about Conventions is meeting the artists and writers that have influenced your life so much. We met the AMAZING Bill Sienkiewicz (whose name is in MS Word spellchecker). Sienkiewicz is the epitome of a legend, but he’s a genuinely nice guy. He wanted to talk to DC In the 80s, but as you can imagine, he was so busy the entire weekend, he said he would have to be at another show. Next time, Bill.

We also got to say hello to Gail Simone, who is always very nice...

Paul Levitz, who I fanboy out to and embarrass myself in front of every time I meet:

Len Wein, who is a legend in the field:

Tom King, who is very humble, even though he is one of the top writers today. Check out his newest Batman and recent run on Omega Men.

William Gibson who wrote Neuromancer. Not DC, but it’s cool to see him just sitting there and willing to talk:

Dan Parent, famous for his Archie work, and who has recently done 4 covers for the Hanna Barbara DC titles:

Shea Fontana, who is currently writing DC Super Hero Girls:

Thomas Yeates, who was happy to do a longer interview with us:

The great Peter David. What hasn’t he written? Side note, Peter was very nice and informative to an eleven year-old me many years ago about becoming a comic book writer. I didn’t listen to his advice, but it was nice of him to give it.

Scott Shaw! Of Captain Carrot fame. He did a fantastic "What if Solomon Grundy were in the Zoo Crew world?" commission for me. Did you know Shaw was part of the first group of people to put together the San Diego Convention back in the day? Now you know.

We also chatted a bit with the legendary Mike Mignola. Mignola stated he wasn’t too content with working at DC during the 1980s. He was stretched thin early, working on World of Krypton and Phantom Stranger, and his best work did not come out. He was grateful to get the opportunity from Mike Carlin, but Mignola really wanted to do more monsters and put in the time to create quality books. They gave him Cosmic Odyssey, which he did enjoy, and it was a great time in his life. He had just moved back to New York, was doing covers for Marvel and DC, having dinners with friends, and decided he wanted to do his own creator-owned work. Which eventually led to Hellboy at Dark Horse Comics, and the rest is history...

We also got to sit in on some informative panels. The iZombie panel was a lot of fun. I really loved the Vertigo series, and enjoy the CW television series a lot. It doesn’t get a ton of press, but it should.

Jim Lee and Dan DiDio talking future DC projects:

Dan DiDio again with Geoff Johns discussing the secrets of DC's Rebirth. You can find out more about that panel in my Top 10 "Most 80s Things" About DC Rebirth article.

All in all a once in a lifetime experience. It was hard to go back to my regular life afterwards. I wish I was still there, walking the floor, looking for places to charge my phone. San Diego Comic-Con certainly deserves all the kudos it gets, and I hope to attend again next year!


DC in the 80s would like to thank San Diego Comic-Con for their media passes.

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