Saturday, May 31, 2008

The comic convention from hell

Somehow I didn't realize that my last post was the 150th post in this blog. Because I would have put up something better - believe me.

Well, maybe I will get the chance to make another post to celebrate it further ahead ( yeah, sure ) . Now, like promised we come to my further adventures during the Salon del Comic de Barcelona 2008 which this year celebrated it's 26th edition.

Like you might have guessed by the title of this post this year my experience was not as pleasant as the last time I attended. Maybe it's right that you can't come home again. Maybe it's the fact that you can't re - live an experience no matter how hard you might try. Maybe it's just the fact that we only focus on the good parts and forget the bad parts. It could be that I just don't remember all the bad things that happened last time ( like when I went to the presentation of the PAINKILLER JANE tv show and we couldn't watch the trailer because Jimmy Palmiotti somehow ruined the presentation disc ) and only remember the fun I had. Could be it has something to do with the fact that last time I got a beautiful WONDER WOMAN sketch from Carlos Pacheco. Be as it may this time it was like the comic convention survivor edition.

All is bad that begins bad

You know those days where you get up on the wrong side of the bed and it's all downhill from there ? My comic convention experience was something like that. Only you have to picture that instead of getting up you fall out of the bed, you forgot that you moved your bed closer to the window so that you fall out of the window - someone destroyed the fire escape so you fall directly into the dumpster ten stories below which of course is burning because someone threw toxic waste and radioactive isotopes in it. Which means that you burn to a crisp after having all your bones broken and your innards liquified. Or in the words of the immortal Subzero : Toasty.

A fact that only a few people know is that, yes, it also rains in Spain. And when it rains it pours....meaning it rains in buckets. Mostly when I'm in Spain. At the first day of the convention it was raining so that when I went out to buy some bread I fell flat on my ass....hard. I almost broke my neck and I was sore all over when I finally got up. When I arrived at the convention center it was raining even more so that you could forget to use the benches that were outside.

If you are at a comic convention for long hours ( like me ) you have to take a break from time to time to sit down and relax. That's not a problem when I'm at a comic convention in Germany because there are my Heimis ( german for homeys ) where I can sit at the table or leave my stuff. But when I'm in Spain I don't know that many people. This was only the second time so I had to look for a place to sit and relax between my comic hunting sessions.

Normally people use the benches outside for that. Since you couldn't use them this time I had to manage and use one of the few benches that were inside and are always overcrowded. Or just sit on the floor like most of the convention goers do. Anyway, the other shoe didn't take long to drop : Adam Hughes canceled his visit. I had bought a new bigger sketchbook especially to get a sketch by Adam Hughes ( one of Power Girl, please ! ) because my old sketchbook is slowly running out of pages. And you can't get up to one of your favorite artists with such a small sketchbook.

Another reason was that I was finally sick and tired. I don't know how long I'm collecting sketches in my sketchbook but if I have learned one thing it's that people with bigger sketchbooks get better sketches. Hear me now and believe me later.

If you have a small sketchbook some artists don't even try. Sad but true. And I'm just sick of waiting in line after someone who puts a giantsize sketchbook on the table and gets a painting that takes half an hour of almost cover quality only to get a quick one minute sketch before the next one gets another masterpiece. Or even worse, the artist takes so much time that the guy before you is the last one to receive a sketch. Is it just me or does the line always end right before you ? You wait for two hours and just before it's the guy's turn who's just before you the line ends. Man, I'm standing in line the same amount of time like the person before me and like the person behind me. What am I ? Chopped liver ? Dammit, I want nice sketches like everyone else.

So this time I had two sketchbooks - even if the artist for which I had bought the new one didn't come. And I even had my Adam Hughes VAMPIRELLA t shirt in my trolley.

Now this is an indispensable part of your equipment on a comic convention - especially if you are as lazy as I am. I have heard that there are some comic conventions where they don't allow trolleys but I couldn't go to any comic convention without it. Not only because I'm lazy - and it's not that I carry THAT many comic to sign. But I just can't carry all the comics I buy with me all day. I just put them in the trolley and that's that. But that's not the only thing you need the trolley for. I have everything I need during a comic convention there : a shirt to change it, a pullover if it's could, an umbrella if it's raining ( of course you don't put a wet umbrella INSIDE the trolley ), the discman, some discs, batteries, food, water and the camera.

Last year I didn't bring the camera so I couldn't take pictures of the persons dressed like comic characters - there was one especially yummy Catwoman - rowr ! I'm talking about the Halle Berry costume here. So this year I brought the camera but of course there was no Catwoman this year. There was someone dressed as Supergirl and I took quite a few pictures but I don't know how to put them on my blog. Maybe I can do a convention photo special later. Right now I have to use the pictures that were on the FICOMIC website. It's really a shame because I took a few pics of the long lines for signing which in some cases - like for Tim Sale - were enourmous. And I took one photo of the floor at the exit of the convention center just before closing time.

Because if you look at the pics here it all looks nice and clean but at the end of the convention day the floor is filled with paper waste because - like last year - they give you free comics for your entrance ticket and this year they were giving away free copies of NARUTO, BLEACH and other mangas which were all wrapped up. So of course they couldn't wait to unpack it and instead of putting the waste in the trash cans they just throw it on the floor. I don't want to talk bad about the spanish comic fans but no german comic fan would even dare to throw waste on the floor of a german convention center.

So anyway, besides of the trolley ( and the BIG sketchbook ) you also have to carry a camera. It doesn't matter if you want to take some pictures or not. The fact alone that you are visibly carrying a camera elevates you from simple convention goer to semi - professional status. I don't know if the people at the convention automatically think you belong to the press or they think you will give them a positive review in your online blog - but people sure are nicer to you. Especially if you are writing for a foreign blog that's written in english. So always carry a camera. Of course there was also a downside to that which in my case was that the camera spent the batteries really fast so I had to take them out every time I was finished with taking pictures and put them in every time I wanted to take a few quick shots. Forget about the quick part. I missed a few good pics because of that.

So that's all for today. Next time more comic convention madness from Spain.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN :

  • top ten posts

  • more posts of interest


    Anonymous said...

    from what i remember, palmiotti noticed a hairline fracture in the painkiller jane disc, thats why it didnt play and he was very upset for letting everyone down.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes, something like that. He had a working disc the next day but I couldn't go to the presentation that time.