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Comic-Con International 2004

If Miss T and I seem to be on a whirlwind tour of West Coast anime conventions this year it’s because we are. Though not an anime convention, per se, Comic-Con International in San Diego has a large portion of its programming devoted to anime. And, being the largest sci-fi/fantasy/comic/you-name-it convention around, anime producers and retailers expend the time and money to have a presence at Comic-Con. “Is it worth it for the anime vendors?” is what Miss T and I wanted to find out, so off to San Diego we went.

Going down to Comic-Con was a spur-of-the-moment thing partly prompted by Miss T thinking about going, the possibility that her brother-in-law (E of the K&E&k! Show) was going, and Kamen Rider needing transport down to Santa Monica for a top secret construction job—something about ‘bathroom’ and ‘tiling’—we still haven’t figured out what that’s all about. In the end, we rented an el cheapo (after coupon) car from the fine folks at Alamo and zipped down to San Diego on Friday (slowing down along the way just enough to eject Kamen Rider in Santa Monica), went to the Con on Saturday, and trudged back up to NoCal on Sunday (sans Kamen Rider; he’s still working blindfolded and incommunicado on his top secret tiling construction project).

So what did we do at Comic-Con International 2004?

> Learned about Bandai Entertainment’s new manga division
> Met Bob Burden, the creator of Flaming Carrot comics and Mystery Men of comic book and movie fame
> Spoke with anime/manga/toy producers/vendors from AnimEigo, Yamato USA, Broccoli Books, Go Hero
> Found that press badges >will not get you everywhere
> Regarding press badge failure: did not attend the Sin City movie announcement (based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and featuring Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Clive Owen, Micky Rourke, Bruce Willis and, more importantly, Jessica Alba)
> Saw a life-size Star Wars X-wing fighter
> Regarding press badge failure: did not get anywhere near Jessica Alba during her autograph session
> Saw lots and lots and lots of cosplayin’ Star Wars fans
> Decided that no amount of air-conditioning could deal with the humidity of 75,000+ sci-fi/fantasy/comic/you-name-it fans

Anyway, that’s what we did over the weekend. This was, of course, all in pursuit of the anime documentary project… which we couldn’t film any interviews for… because we decided at the last minute to go… and though we secured press badges… it was too late to gain permission to tape… and I’m not sure why I’m using all these… ellipses.

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