Sunday, July 27, 2008

how to survive hell

Today on my second 145th post I'm continuing with my adventures at the comic convention from hell otherwise known as SALON DEL COMIC DE BARCELONA 2008. This way I can use the pictures I took at the convention myself.

While I'm writing this my house is invaded by dozens of flies that are fornicating uncontrolably on my new laptop and everywhere else.

I have already told you that Adam Hughes canceled his visit and that I had a lot of trouble finding the fanzines. Like I wrote in my post about RANTIFUSO number 5 ( sounds like a song from Lou Bega ) I bougth issue number 5. I got a sketch in my brandnew, bigger, better sketchbook from a guy who already had done a sketch in the small book the year before. He told me that it was his first sketch of the convention but I think it turned out pretty well.

On the first day there are almost no artists signing so when I found out that Peter Bagge was doing a session I jumped at the chance. This way I could take him from my list and concentrate on the remaining artist for the remaining three days.The line was really long but when it was finally my turn the curse of the little sketchbook struck again and I got a really ugly sketch that didn't even take two minutes.

Now I don't want to sound ungrateful and I always cherish the chance to thank my favorite artists in person but I bought APOCALYPSE NERD ( the spanish version ) just like anybody else and I stood in line as long as anybody else. Why I was the person who got the ugliest sketch of them all.....I can't say. Most of the time I wandered aimlessly through the convention halls. At 17.00 hours I was so tired ( mostly from standing in line for Peter Bagge )that I went home. I was just so disappointed after the Peter Bagge sketch. All in all not a good first convention day and not a good omen for the remaining convention.

This time I was on a strict budget and I tried to keep within. Because that's another thing you have to do : set yourself a limit for each day. If you don't do that you might blow all your money on the first day. Especially when you come from Germany where comics are expensive and they don't always publish the best ones. Especially when you are on a convention in Spain which compared to Germany is a comic wonderland. So you have to watch your money.

Unless you're filthy rich.

Then just blow as much money on comics as you can. If you have endless funds you have come to the right place. Because if I have to describe buying comics in Spain to someone in Germany these are the main differences :

More comics. There are much more comics published in Spain especially in the superhero genre. While there is only one publisher for DC and Marvel in Germany ( PANINI ) in Spain there are two : PANINI for the Marvel comics and PLANETA for the DC stuff. So there is more competition and more high quality series are put on the market.

More comics. Because of the competition the prices are not so high in Spain. Which also has to do with the fact that in Germany they always try to sell you a package deal. You know these offers where you buy a softdrink but you also have to buy a cell phone and a volleyball ? No ? Well, in Germany that's how they sell you comics. You want to buy the first three issues of MIGHTY AVENGERS ?

Well, you also have to buy the first issue of AVENGERS CLASSIC. And all of them together are really cheap. Or if you want to buy the first six issues of NEW WARRIORS you also have to buy the new OMEGA FLIGHT mini series. Which leads us from the lower price point to the next plus for buying comics in Spain.

Less comics. Sounds strange but in Spain you have to buy less comics if you want to read a certain comic. If you want to buy NEW WARRIORS you can do that without having to buy OMEGA FLIGHT. If you want to buy THE INITIATIVE you don't have to buy THE ORDER. And if you want to buy MIGHTY AVENGERS in Spain you can buy the translated single issues which have a price point of 1.95 bucks ( except the bigger first issue ) which is one buck cheaper than the original issues.

More comics. If you are at a convention there are a lot of comics for half - price which is like 25 percent of what you pay in Germany. So you have to remind yourself to buy the comics you really need.

More comics - avalable. In Spain you can not only buy comics at comic shops you can also find them at the newsstands ( although they are slowly disappearing from there ) and in super markets. Big super markets like FNAC have whole comic book sections that have as much inventory as a small shop. So you have more outlets for comics.

So, after speaking so much about comics let's see what comics I got on my first convention day.

Comics I payed for :

I bought the MONOGRAFICOS DOLMEN - TERRY DODSON which is like the spanish version of MODERN MASTERS. Which means that instead of 15 bucks it costs 7 bucks, it has more pictures which includes a color section and it's printed on nice glossy paper instead of the cheap 80 gramm paper. So it's like MODERN MASTERS DELUXE. I had just finished reading the Wonder Woman issues by Terry Dodson so the time was just right for DOLMEN to release the book.

I also bought issue 149 / 150 of the regular DOLMEN comic magazine which was a double issue that was more expensive than the normal issues. But it had all the information about the Salon del Comic and the comics that are nominated as well as a sketchbook section guessed it : Terry Dodson. And to top it all off I bought the DOLMEN Almanaque 2007 which was a special issue that had been done for the last salon and which included the best of DOLMEN since it's inception. I'm going to write more about this when i'm doing the single reviews but let me say one quick thing about the DOLMEN magazine. It's like what the WIZARD could be if it hadn't gone wrong. DOLMEN is 95 percent comics and nothing but comics.

I bought ( of course ) RANTIFUSO 5, Pafman 2 and 3 in the hopes of getting it signed, Hole and Virgin also hoping to get it signed, APOCALYPSE NERD which I DID get signed, Classicos DC KAMANDI 3 which was the only one I was missing and the SUPERMAN / BATMAN issues 13 to 15 as well hoping to get it signed.

The list for the artists who were signing on the second day was already out so as soon as I saw Carlos Pacheco's name on that list I went looking for something to buy that he could sign. I didn't want to buy JLA / JSA VIRTUE AND VICE a fourth time - they had reprinted the comic but with an additional comic that was not done by Carlos Pacheco. It was printed on better paper and on one side I would have liked to have a version with good paper that is not broken like the original I bought. On the other hand the comic that was not done by Carlos Pacheco really ruined the overall look of the book so I got the SUPERMAN / BATMAN issues. I had wisely brought his SUPERMAN issues but you never know what he's allowed to sign. And another reason was that they printed the spanish SUPERMAN / BATMAN issues in the bigger magazine format and Carlos' artwork just looks so good in the bigger format. I thought that if I couldn't get a Power Girl sketch by Adam Hughes at least I could try to get one by Carlos Pacheco.

Comics and stuff I did not pay for :

No, I didn't steal any comics. At the convention in Barcelona there is a table of FICOMIC - one of the main organizers of the convention - and they change your ticket for comics. Pretty old comics but nevertheless comics. The only rule is : you get what you get. You can't say which comics you like and you can only swap them with other convention goers. Which means that if you are a hot chick you get lots of comics and if you are me you get a lot of comics you already know like NARUTO while everybody else gets new issues of BLEACH.

So my swag on the first day was that I got BATMAN BEGINS the movie comic, Spider - Man 52 and NARUTO 9 for my ticket. At a stand I got the free MY NAME IS SUNDAY and ESTHER Y SU MUNDO, a paperfan from JONU MEDIA that really came in handy once it got hot inside, 2 stickers of METABARONS and SIDOH, 2 postcards of ESTHER, postcards of LA DANZA DE LA CONQUISTA, LOST GIRLS, FEELINGS, LOS INFIERNOS, MOUSE GUARD, INDIANA JONES, VALENTINA, AZPIRI, SARAH, ARTEMIS FOWL, LA MORADA, DINO KID, EL MUERTO ZABALETTA, EL REGRESO AL LABERINTO and PERCAVAN. From Sci Fi channel I got a flyer and a cell phone etui. I got 2 ANIMANIACO stickers, a CD ROM game of MORTADELLO AND FILEMON, a s well as a beach ball and a mini basketball game - both from MORTADELLO AND FILEMON. And a reading sign from RANTIFUSO.

So that was all for the first day and the worst was still to come. Now I have to prepare the video cassette for the first episode of JECKYLL.

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