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July 14, 2005


San Diego Update

A Few Brief Observations From the Floor

1. I spent exactly two hours and fifteen minutes in the professional registration line, and I arrived much earlier than most people. By the time I had made it through to the end the line was twice as long. This is baffling to me because I spent exactly 31 seconds doing the business required to pick up my badges. About three quarters of the people, it seemed, were at a booth for seven to 10 minutes. For what, I have no idea.

2. I'm still not sure why these badges aren't sent to people at their homes and then confirmed with an ID like an airline. It would be quicker, it would be simpler, and it would even be more secure. It would probably cost more, though.

3. Funniest quote heard in line: "I've been in the industry for 25 years, and I just walked this line, there's not a single person I recognized. These aren't professionals." -- a slightly peeved well-known cartoonist.

4. People generally seem way more mellow than past stress-fests.

5. Drawn & Quarterly is putting out a LOT of books these days; I'm way behind on them.

6. I received the best explanation ever from a really friendly retailer from Houston named Richard whose name I can't remember but will link to later about the swing in popularlity for lesser known Golden Age comics at shows like these, something I'd noticed in years past. First, the Internet has created a market for such comics by putting them in front of peoples' faces for the first time. Second, the collectibles busieness has consolidated so that fewers dealers have more comics. This makes it possible for entire collections, or at least sizeable ones, to be displayed, which increases their appeal.

7. I spoke to Rory Root of Comic Relief, who loves his new store location.

8. There were a ton of people there for a Wednesday night, or so it seemed.

9. The best-looking book I've seen so far was the fancier, limited edition of some of the Krazy Kats from Fantagraphics.

10. I left the show early.

For those interested in following the avalanche of publishing news coming from San Diego via panels and related announcements, I would recommend the special San Diego Con News Feed from Jeffrey Stevenson.

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