San Deigo Comic Con 1998 Log
This is my first time of recording a log of my trip and then noticing that people can't read it. Hell, after 7 years, I can barely even remember and barely read it!! Hm... So thus, I will type it out for all to read and thus show the method of my vacation to the San Deigo Con. Suggestions and further elborations are welcome.
August 12, 1998 Wednesday
An event filled day of errands is head of me today. I've decided that I will need to run over to the bank to change my money over. Not too much because our exchange really sucks, (1.54:1 yuuck!! Shit!! Gak!). So I decided, $400 in AMEX travellers checks and $50 in cash. I also decided to get some travel insurance as backup. It only costs $6 but there was real pain in the ass woman in line up at that bank front of the insurance line. It took me like 20 minutes for the stupid transaction. What a waste of time. Oh well, no point getting weird over it since I am on vacation now.
Got back home to finish off the Previews order. I decided to get fancy and put in the formulas in to calculate just how much everyone orders. Victor and Vince arrive just as I was laser printing off the order sheet. I printed out 2 copies and that makes it ready to fax at the store.
Enough idol chit chat at the store, I got lots of questions and answers done but we were dawdling. I left them and went on to business.
At the airport, we did a brief mix up in regards to which line to stand in but we were soon on our way. An attendant said I was in the wrong line and should line up on the other side of the food court. So over there I went in without much incident. The guy at customs was kinda funny. His questions went as follows,
"What do you do?"
"I am a sales clerk at Radio Shack."
"Why are you going to San Diego?"
"I am going to the SD Comic Convention."
"Why is a sales clerk interested in comics?" - What a stupid question but decided to entertain the answer.
"I am going to SD to have my X-files comics signed by the creator, Carter." - For some reason, I couldn't think of Gillian Anderson's name. I was about to say, Babylon 5 but judging by the fact this guy has no outside exposure to society or to reality for that matter, I better pick something that has more VANCOUVER appeal.
"Oh, X-files has a comic? I didn't know that." - No DUH!! This guy was a real winner.
"Remember, they moved production down to Los Angeles this year." - So he nows a little bit about X-files, I would be safe enough to follow the facts about the show.
"Ok, have a nice day." : Yay! I got passed the goon.
I know I was definitely early, just a few hours early. The first thing to grab was something to snack on and gum. I popped into a WHSmith. For such a small store, they have a lot of crap. I grabbed some chips, gum drops and gum. I didn't know they even had packs of wrigley's gum for 35 cents. Almost seems too cheap. I killed more time by sitting in front of the TV lounge watching Frasier and Friends. I came to the conclusion Frasier is cool and Friends suck.
The flight itself was uneventful. I did two rather dumb things. A) I fell asleep during take off, which I guess wasn't all that bad since it popped my ears for me due to the altitude change. and B) I couldn't fll asleep because the chair was so uncomfortable. I really wished that I could sleep during landing since my ears ached. I did some yawning and sneezing which helped a bit.
It is 15 minutess to midnight and I am wandering through the San Deigo Airport. It kinda reminds me of our airport now but it seems less accomodating. I was walking in what feels like a circle going for the luggage pickup. However, I decided to go the washroom first before heading downstairs to the baggage check. I got my bag and was heading out to grab a cab, when I bumpped into one of my customers James Strobel. A brief conversation, I found out they came for the con and they were at one of the spill off hotels, the Quality Inn. From memory, it was suppose to be like far far away from the con site but oh well, it should have con bus service.
As per what Lysle told me, I hailed a cab and whized it over to the hotel. I must say, for like 10 minutes down a freeway, it cost me $7.70 US!! If it was me paying for it, geezz!!! I arrived at the hotel, they already had my key card, and meal ticket ready. The locks are electronic and use magnetic strip cards for entry. The meal card has days of the month and an expiry date on it. I guess they have been having too much problems with bums coming in for the free breakfast. As I came into the room, Rick apparently just jumped out of bed. I guess he needs to practice sleeping with other people around. But then again, how does one do that with Lysle snoring!!
I was a bit tired but not too much so I popped open the hid-a-bed from the couch to watch some TV. I noticed that the TV had a playstation controller on it. Neat! I checked the menu selector on the TV and found that you can do a Pay as You Play thing on the unit. That's kinda cool but after looking at the games, they all blow. They are the OLD games that came out when the playstation first came out. So you got Toshinden 1, MK 3, Twisted Metal 1, Extreme Games 1, and Ridge Racer 1. How lame...
I ended up picking HBO which had a show "Taxi Confessions". It was a show about cabbies with hidden cameras, driving around picking up people and having conversations with people. They had a couple talking about swinging. They had another drugged out woman talking. They had a guy with a stripper doing it in the back. The had another woman talking about lesibans banging and various types of dildos and strap ons she uses. Weird.. Only in the states....
August 13, 1998 Thursday
I guess my morning was an early one. Either that, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep. Yea, that's probably it. I didn't find a pillow last night for the hid-a-bed but as if at 2:00am in the morning I am going to complain.
I went downstairs to find out that they aren't quite ready for breakfast. Then again, it was 5:30am and they don't start it officially until 6:00am. I see that they check the meal card for the expiry date but I was too early for that so they didn't bother.
It was all you eat menu.
Scrambled eggs had the consistancy of jello.
Bacon lots of them.
Hash Browns, they didn't use much salt.
Sauguages for the meat
croissants were kinda small but it is unlimited so what the hell, it is all you eat.
Donuts and cereal for those who are bored
Watermelon and some other stuff (catelope?)
Of course a bunch of fruit, like oranges, grapefruit, apples, banana, kiwi, and yogurt.
I went back three times, just because it is all you eat.
TV was showing the news but it was all concentrated at the CNN coverage of the bombing of the US embassay in Kenya. Gotta love the US propoganda media wagon. I grabbed a yogurt and banana back to the room for future reserves. Lylse and Rick were still asleep when I went back up so I decided to pass out for a while. Around 8:30am, they woke up but the line down stairs was long. I grabbed a seat and had a coffee and crossiants since those were easy to get to.
After the breakfast, I went back to get changed and go shopping at Horton Plaza. It was very close by and has lots of small outdoor speciality shops and theatres and what not.
We walked around, went to the Warner Bros Store, Sun Coast Video, and Future Land. Lylse and Rick decided to head over to the con since it was 10:00am. I decided to hold on since the registration lines will be nuts for me. I walked about upstairs in the food court. Kinda neat, a whole bunch of people were giving out free samples of bangles, prietzels and etcs... I was about to go and do some grocery shopping, then I noticed that the Farmer's Market is gone. However, I then noticed the Ralph's next door. Sounds dinky, but it is setup like a Safeway, even down the red Ralph's Savings card. Quite a nice store but a bit small. Great deli and seating area at the front where it really smells good. So, I started to walk about looking for things to snack on and eat. I couldn't believe some of the prices they got for food! Remember the exchange is $1.00 US is $1.54cdn.
12 pack of coke $3.99us with Ralph card $1.99
1 loaf of sourdough bread $2.09
1 pack of weiners Louis Rich Turkey $1.79
1 pak of 4 assorted turkey meats Fletcher $2.39
What a rip! These prices are the same as the Canadian price WITHOUT the exchange. I must admit, I thought stuff was cheaper down here but not everything. Jeez the exchange sucks...
Well, I decided to head back to the hotel room first to drop all the crud into the fridge first before going for the con again. I also brought back a pak of coke and tried it out. The can now says corn syrup and SUGAR now however, I still fail to taste the sweetness and to add to that, it sure had a weird oily after taste. Oh well, to reinforce my belief that US Coke sucks.
The first thing I see is there are lots of rooms showing anime however, it is all commerical stuff anywayz. The strategy for today was to get in there, do a real fast pass through every table and make mental notes. Then go back and grab those things that suit fit.
- Nikaku had a neat table of posters and books and nick nack stuff. They had the BreastMan's Assistant book $40, a Marmalade boy Style Book $35, huge You're Under Arrest poster $55, and the huge Belldandy $75.
- A walked about some more and ran across two places selling Dojinishis and other assorted smut. I'll hold off for now, most of the cover prices start at $20.
- The hot item this year was Danger Girl, Battle Chasers, Witchblade, and DarkChylde.
- UMSC had Greenwood and Slayers LDs for $15 each, DVDs at $25, but all they had was Gall Force, Toshinden, Harmageddon, Area 88 but those can wait.
- Frank Frazetta table had a chick wearing a fur loined bikini which sure brought on a lot of on lookers. But since sex sells, that wasn't the only scantly clad women around.
Pantra is just one of the many models that was used to show off the butt and flash the breasts to sell their wares...
|Alley Baggett joins that list.|
- I went to an artist table for Gen 13 Bootleg 13?. I remember picking it up in one of the $0.50 bins mostly for the cover artwork. I told him, "I like the cover."
"Thank you. What did you think of the story?"
"I haven't read the comic." Which is true, short of a few issues here and there, I haven't the faintest what it is about.
"What? You haven't read it? In this issue, there is candid appearance of Shaggy from Scoobie Doo."
"Oh, that is neat. I bought the comic but I haven't opened it."
"How about this one?" He pulls out the next issue. I recognize that one too. Another one of those $0.50 ones.
"I remember that cover. Yea I like that cover too."
"Yea, but what about the story?"
"I haven't read it."
"ahhh, you're killing me."
"I just bought it, bagged it, and shelved it." Well, I think I just totally pissed him off. Later I found out that he is only one of the story and storyboard writers. He has nothing to do with the standard Image covers. Oh well, the story probably did suck anyway.
I bumped into big Paul (as opposed to Chibi Paul). Tells me he arranged with Mixx to have a business talk with them and Nako for licensing stuff. Then later on at their meeting time, the security stiffed him by not letting him pass. You figure, sounds like a Viz thing to do. They are all stuck up snots, just interested in helping themselves not their customers.
I took a picture of me with Shi. I had Rick do the same but as it later turns out, only Rick's worked. Ahhh, what a digital camera would have fixed there.
I ran into a a real cool booth called Guildcorp selling a whole bunch of mangas and stuff for yen to US price. Unfortunately, thier art books looked pretty picked through, but I still managed to pick up a Clamp book. I think these are the guys setting up Madarake USA which would be cool if their prices were the same.
Some guy was selling Transformers the Movie on video cassette for $34.95 US. I swear it was only $19.95 Cdn (ie. 12 US) at Virgin Megastore. I told him that, I don't think he was impressed. Especially when another guy beside me heard it.
I headed back upstairs to go through the free stuff line again. To my surprise, Fred Patton of Streamline Pictures was in front of me. I didn't say anything, just watched and observed what he was picking up. It was then I noticed they put out all the Tenchi Muyo comics again.
This is the free stuff tables. It is located in under the open sails of the convention centre outside. It is usually a big free for all of advertisements, samples and sign up sheets. If you are here at the right time, they hand out some really cool stuff like bags (paper, cloth and even leather), T-shirts, and pins.
Now totally loaded with junk, I headed back to the hotel room to crash. And to sort out the stuff that I got and get ready for Friday.
August 14, 1998 Friday
Ok, another early day today as I wake up today and it is 5:00am in the morning. Couldn't really sleep so I decided I may as well go downstairs and get something to eat. Of course, I was too early for the real food so I decided to sit down in front of the TV with a box of Fruit Loops. I waited till the hot stuff arrived and then munched on that. Rick and Lysle were still asleep when I got back to the room. I was still too early for anything to be open so, I went back to sleep. I woke up again around 10:00am. I started downstairs thinking I was going to the Office Depot, but the convention bus was sitting parked at the stop. Oh heck, I go to the con while it is convenient. As they say, the bus stops here.
Today's strategy is much like yesterdays but I wanted to write down things like booth numbers and things to get and things to do.
- Go to the Viz booth and return that defective Ranma 3 TP.
- Bring my hand bag with me today with all the US change.
- Look for Battle Chasers and Danger Girl.
well, that ended up a big surprise.
BC #1 - $15 to $20
BC #1 butt shot - $10 to $18
BC #2 - $3 to $5 (current issue)
BC #3 - $3 to $5 (current issue)
DG #1 - $6 to $10
DG #1 tour - $6 to $10
DG #1 silver - $90 to $120
DG #2 - $3 to $5
DG #3 - $3 to $5
WOW! So after I realized just how much those #1's were worth, I decided that Geoff can go buy his own after all, he gave me no money.
More girls and breasts to sell their wares today.
|Ginger Hill at the Boneyard Press booth.||Here is the Apollo Smile booth. Cute but snotty.|
I discovered that the condiments are in the open and unguarded so I made several passes for the hot dog stuff. It is good to have those handy for the sandwiches and stuff we are making back at the hotel room.
I was also wondering around and came across a booth that belonged to Steven Lin one of my old translators. He was helping running a store Anime Pavillion. He had a real good selection of SM and Ever Anime CDs. Heck, I managed to find two of my really hard to find game cds. While I was looking there, a woman came up behind me and told me that Claudia Christian from Babylon 5 was signing autographs in isle 700. She noticed the B5 T-shirt I was wearing. Of course, when I got there she was gone. Later on, there was a page over the con speaker that she was now in the autograph section. I took my time to get over there and got into the line. It took about a half an hour. I had to pay $5 donation to the John Wayne Foundation and got the people behind me to take a picture but it screwed up anyway. She was friendly enough of a person considering she had be doing that for the last 3 hours. Close up, she has a lot of face freckles and obviusly doing a bit of tanning recently. Beside her was the guy who did Byron (Robin Atkin Downes) but he ain't worth the $5.00.
I will also include a picture of Walter Koenig here because he was at the con but I didn't see him at this booth doing autographs. I did however almost run into him when I was walking up and down the booths not looking where I was going. His security guard stopped me before I bumped him. I stopped for a moment to apologize. He was looking at the Magic The Gathering booth and was amazed at the whole collectable aspect of the game, the whole baseball card/Pokemon/Magic thing... Then he walked away. I must say he looks much more older and more fragile than the harden Bester as we see him on the screen.
Robin Atkin Downes
I looked over to the next booth, I saw Boomer and Sheba (Herb Jefferson Jr. & Anne Lockhart). Anne wore a white dress, and considering how old she is now, she still looks nice, she wears her age well.
I also ran into Peter Payne. He was at the JAST table selling smut CDroms. Ah yes, one of the early suppliers of that great smut. I can safety say I bought a couple grand worth from him over the years.
Del Rey Books were giving away free novels for signing up on to their mailing list.
I was at the Anti-Ballistic Table, ie. Lysle's Animal stuff, and saw a rather nice manga cover for Gremlin Trouble #13. Now, normally the comic sucks and the covers usually suck too but this one was a manga style one drawn by a Japanese fan of the story. That made it worth buying. The content was quite different than the norm which made it even better.
I tried to wrap things up by 5:00pm so I could get back to the hotel for happy hour. Ah yes, all you can drink, and all you can eat popcorn, chips and pretzels.
At around 6:00pm, I went back to the room and plopped on the couch and slepted. I woke up again around 9:30pm and flipped on the TV. Ah.. another Jean Claude movie. Missed the beginning of the movie so I don't know what the title was. Kinda looked like the Glitterman but was about some country guys dumping toxic wastes in a mine or something.
Saturday, August 15, 1998
Well, this morning started again before breakfast started. I started by sorting out all the change I had left. I am out of cash. I could hit the ATM machine outside and pull $60. I suppose I could grab more but why do an overkill.
Again, I think about what stuff there still is to consider.
Erotic comics has a CDrom comic with some sort of elf smut.
I started with breakfast which really hit the spot. I came back to the room and slept again until 10:00am. Lysle was just leaving to go to the ATM at this time so I left as well. We decided to walk down to seaport village. I grabbed $100US. It worked! However, Lysle's didn't, booop!!
We walked down to the con aftwerwards. It was busier than yesterday. Today was masquerade day so lots of people were dressed up, well, there are always lots of people dressed up. Anyway, I saw a group of Klingons posing with a group of Sailor Moon cosplayers. It reminded me that Paul was going to have some kinda meeting with Nako through Viz. But I am quite aware that the staff at Viz are total assholes, as they totally botched the Rumiko Takahashi thing a few years back. They were no different with Nako. I fortunately was not caught up in that mess. If you want to read more of Viz's crap ass customer/fan service, you can read other people's horrible experiences on the S.O.S. (Save Our Scouts) web page.
Today, I decided to get down to business and get the stuff I set my eyes on. I quickly found a place that had Battle Chaser #1 and grabbed it. I also was at Anime Wink looking at some donjinshis. Saw one called Symphony $30 drawn by the Macross 7 smut guy. I also saw several by Breast Man's assistant. I wrote it down, and went to check out the Card Campus Sakura book. Oh well, they sold out of that one, apparently today too. I went back to get Chrono trigger from Steven Lin's table. I decided to go back for that donjinshi Symphony but guess what, he sold it! I ended up buying a Dokyusei book also done by the same guy. It was $25 but he gave it to me for $20.
I went back to get the Tomb Raider + Witchblade but the asshole jacked it up from $6 to $10. Oh well, screw that.
Ok, the next stop was to get that Genma card for Animemayhem. That was a painless transaction.
After that, I was complete my list of shopping. I suppose now was to time to walk around and kill the film in the camera. Today was costume day after all. It was best that I got it done and zip down to the 1hr photoshop at Horton Plaza or else it might get zapped at the airport.
I bumped into Paul. But it was too late already, the guys at Mixxine snubbed him. Figures.
Well, 5:00pm started to roll around so I prepared to leave. I still had shots left, 9 of them. Oh well, I wasn't much of one to take pictures.
Today at happy hour, they had really salty popcorn and Nachos. After they ran out of the stuff, I grabbed some of the Nacho chips left over and a drink to finish it off. I fell asleep on the couch watching some TV. There was some Steven Segal movie on (yet again) called Above the Law
Sunday August 16, 1998
I wake up at 6:30pm and off to breakfast I go. They are almost ready well, kinda ready. The tables were all set and the condiments for the coffee was ready. The coffee was just brewing. One of the attendants was preparing the cart full of cereals so I popped in there and grabbed a fruit loops. One of the cook guys was also bringing out two trays of warmed croissants. I took a seat and started writing this entry into the log. As I finished these few notes, the coffee was ready to and my breakfast started.
Today is the last day of the con. The events at the con are quite simple. I want to hit the Kia Aysamia signing and maybe just one quick round about and then get out. My flight out is at 3:30pm so I gotta get back to the hotel around noon. Check out time is 1:00pm so everything should be set. I have a whole $27 left and $2.50 is all change, mostly pennies. I still need to drop by the Office Depot to just have a look around and see if they got any poster holders. After breakfast, it was 9:30am, I decided to do Office depot first. Of course, it was my luck that they don't open till 10:00am. I waited then went in to find that they don't sell single poster tubes and only bundles of six. Stupid. Oh well.
I better go and do the Kia thing. I didn't have anything specific in my mind to get him to sign but I figure I will just have a quick look. I quickly confirmed at the Viz booth what time he will be there. I started with a possibly a manga. Then I tried to work up something bigger like an artbook but nobody had anything that I didn't already have. Then I just remembered, Nikaku has a booth and they sell posters. I went over there and sure enough, they got their poster catalog and all the various posters. I picked a nice Silent Mobius vs Compiler one to have him sign that one. The line was rather short when I got there. I see that most the people were just getting Steam Detectives and Silent Mobius stuff signed. He was doing 2 signatures so I also pulled out a 2 card picture of Nadeshico.
After that booth, I had a quick runabout the various booths to see if there was anything else that I missed. I headed back to the hotel just a little after noon to do a quick pack up of all the crap that I got. My bags were notably stuffed. I will just have to leave all the snack food behind. We checked out in time and got downstairs to wait for an airport shuttle. We got to the airport with lots of time to spare. The line up was almost non-existant when we got to the airport so we got to our gate quickly. We met up with James Strobel and Paul Lau at this time. We sat around waiting for our flight time. I must say, it is much nicer in the Vancouver Airport waiting. At least there is stuff to do, stuff to watch, and stuff to eat.
We launched off on time. I got a seat by the door wing. I didn't get a seat next to Lysle or Paul or James due to the almost first come first serve basis of the seats but oh well. I sat by this rather attractive blonde chick named Cheryl. She was in SD taking her avition license test. She was now finished and returning to Canada. She was studying a rather complicated map of California, mostly LA. The map had lots of extra markings for trianglation. It reminded me of the map that you get with the old Flight Simulator Game for the Apple II. We landed with not much of a hitch. Lysle's sister and brother were at the airport ready to drive them back. Me, I had to walk over to the transit bus stop and hitch it back. I don't really like the airport system since anyway I pick, I will need to transfer twice before I get home ie. #100, #21, #9 to get home.
And so ends this years trip to San Deigo.