Editor’s Note: Due to the rambling, incoherent nature of Dean’s recounting of his trip we have presented it as is, without editing. Quite frankly, we didn’t know where to begin. Enjoy.
The train was delayed because someone got run over in Burbank. So everyone was an hour late getting here. Then I get my girlfriend’s pass and I give to a young filmmaker for him to wander around the preview night. However, for the first time EVER, some security guard says “ you are not the name on the badge are you?” to which he replies honestly and the badge is taken away from him. Now he is wandering with a “temp set up weds only” badge and my girlfriend is pissed that she may not get in. I think that I can fix this… But this does not bode well for the rest of the week for all the filmmakers that I said I could get in on the badges of others. I should not scam so much. less swag than ever.
I am situated across from IDW publishing, through there display I can see DC comics, It is the quiet before the storm. Everyday, including this Wednesday preview is sold out, that means it is about to be crazy. This is the chance to call everyone, and set up some beer drinking. Because if everyday is going to Saturday then it will be nothing but text messages. The other joy is that because no one can register at the booth, it went like clockwork, and they had hundreds of volunteers waving you over to get your badge.
This year they change the lanyard colors, because last year you could use the year before. If you have the exhibitor type badge, you can stay after they kick everyone else out. And then you can see everything without a million people in the place. But I didn’t think that far ahead, and it would have been useless if I did. So once again my chaos filing system has paid off. I have been for all of 2 hours, and so far I have seen 5 old friends, burnt my phone battery down to the last quarter calling another 20, and been invited to the star wars burlesque show Friday night, which conflicted with my friend’s screening of “Dorkness Rising” that I was going to attend if I didn’t get tickets to “Tropic Thunder” You know, i probably just do what happens right in front of me. like I do every year.
DAY 2 Not hung-over… that is a good sign./
Day ? I am in fucking LONDON, UK. How the fuck did I end up here. Since every day was SOLD OUT it was a complete blur. I recall talking to J H Williams and his wife Wendy outside the Hyatt getting drunk and wobbling. That was Thursday night I think, and he has been busy, though all his neighbors are foreclosing on their places, I think that he had a good year.
Then I set up for a while the next day, Friday, with Dave Dorman and the Rolling Thunder gang, they are old friends, a group of fantastic artists and a joy to be around. I don’t remember how Friday night went…. other than being at the pool-side at the westgate hotel for the Gentle Giant, LucasFilms, etc. party. Brian Sunderlin happened to see me at some burger place and said to drop his name, with a plus three. I must say the next morning I found I had the weirdest selection of swag from any grab bag in recent memory. There was the collectors edition Darth Vader “chubby jumbo” – I made just about as many jokes about that as you are now- it is like a Russian doll that has Anakins inside, though I suppose. I didn’t open it to find out. Then the Hellboy coaster set and Dark Horses annual catalog of up coming titles.
Then we all got a old world war 2 ammo box, painted white with a black logo that I think refers to the upcoming clone wars. Well it is huge and military and you think that it is going jammed pack with goodies but you finally figure out the latch and behold – a shoulder patch. Cloth badge I am to sew on to some sleeve? ? For the Clone thingy as well, that frankly, looks dull and I hate the animation style from the trailers. So I guess the IRS squeeze on celebrity gifts has taken its toll. When they hand out painted army surplus, that sort of says we all have to be less greedy and leave the swag bags to the homeless.
Saturday is Day 8 or 4 if you count passing out in the afternoon a full sleep and a new day. This was weird, as i went to sign upstairs and I was beside Jason Mewes, who was either Silent Bob or Jay. He too cut his hair, and the only thing I knew about him is that he overcame his heroin addiction and now selling the photos with the rest of us. Though clearly organizers had no idea who he was, since every had small lines he had 200 people waiting, and they normally give them the tables that can accommodate the bigger crowds. So it made for traffic nightmares, and I was too hung-over to solve it. That night were two party’s – first the SciFi TV party which is celebrity filled but always kind of crappy because it is packed, the food is gone when I get there, and then they are pushing next year’s monster crap, usually some oversized exotic animal that terrorizes a small town in the mountains. God bless local pet stores and After effects by Adobe. We met Gigi Edgerly from Farscape there, and neither of us could get in because they said it was capacity and go stand in line down this dark narrow hallway. Well we weren’t into that, and so I said come tag along as we go to this goth vampire party at a converted church that has free booze and techno music and everyone is dressed up. I was given a couple of cool VIP passes that had built into them a chip that is similar to the one on your credit card. I don’t what functioned it served, but it looked cool and garnered oohs from everyone I flashed it to. Upstairs the free booze line was too long so we went to another line to pay for our drinks.
Talked to Chris Goss of Red Star and of course production artist for King Kong and Lord of the Rings. Great guy and his friend worked motion capture (mocap to those in the field) and we talked about the latest developments.
Then Gigi got trashed, as did I, I can’t remember much other than a few images of dancing in the street, at the W hotel with a bunch of people, including two women kissing, and getting a pear at 7-11. Next morning I am driving back to LA just in time drag my ass in to a plane to London to connect to Scotland for the Fringe Festival, which is even larger than comic con and there, those bastards know how to drink. Please some one send me a new liver. Must sleep and see the view of the Thames another time.
—Dean Haglund, who we hope is sober some time after you read this.