2003 Preview Night:
Smithers, Release The Hounds
laws of time and space, the Fanboy Planet team made it to the
San Diego Convention Center with plenty of time to spare. Actually,
one of us did not, but we shall not say who forgot that today
was the day he was due in San Diego.
But eventually Mish'al did join us, and it was just as well
that he was late. Despite advertising that "Preview Night"
would begin at 5:30, the exhibit hall remained closed until
6, taunting us with half-glimpsed images on video screens
and the promise of The Baroness returning to the G.I. Joe
booth. (She did not, guys; sorry.)
shortened time for preview night really did a disservice to
the exhibitors. As the night still ended at the promised 8:30,
we feared that the hounds would be released upon attendees still
trying to absorb it all. Without even venturing into the dealers'
section, we still didn't catch a lot of what was offered.
Fanboy Planet readers -- you had the power to build
this sort of set for your HeroClix all along...
Here's what we do know:
sheer swarming capacity, the WizKids people need are going
to need a bigger booth. It's not enough that they have Crimson
Skies, Shadowrun Duels and Creepy Freaks being the big summer
pushes. MechWarrior and MageKnight both show no signs of losing
popularity, and with the apparent shortage of Cosmic Justice
for HeroClix, this booth is your best bet for picking up booster
shouldn't have told you that.
we have time tomorrow, we're also going to have somebody actually
explain the rules of Creepy Freaks; it looks to be a little
more in the style of a traditional boardgame, as opposed to
Shadowrun Duels, which is pretty much action figure war. Please,
no firecrackers, gentlemen.
DC and CrossGen dominate the center of the hall with their
respective booths. As perhaps a cost-cutting measure, Marvel
is represented through Wizard Magazine's set-up, so we're
going to have to just ignore them for now.
their superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis is already here,
it's as part of the M(ack)-O(eming)-B(endis) consortium that
promises something big this weekend. They're in the loose archipelago
of booths that represents Image. (And Bendis did confirm that
yes, he still loves us.)
DC -- acting like they have the #1 book...oh, wait...
CrossGen definitely has the best carpeting out of all the
booths. It's soft and spongy but still supportive. An odd
detail to pick out, but already our feet hurt, and we were
grateful. Of course, Alessi's house has more, but I'm not
sure what we're allowed to say. Already on display are trade
DVDs, six issue collections of titles in a read-along video
format, all part of the publisher's aggressive push to do
whatever it takes to get kids reading, and reading CrossGen
We're promised that on Friday CrossGen will have a technical
announcement that will blow everybody away; we don't know
anything, but Second To Some Studios' Myatt Murphy seems to.
He's not telling, but we're still going to mention that he
and Scott Dalrymple have a trade paperback of Fade From
Blue coming out in just a couple of weeks.
DC has a lot of video screens peddling their wares and announcing
their signings, in a format similar to years past. As always,
it's impressive, and the DC Direct toy section always makes
me drool. Of note: according to a sign in the booth, the Kingdom
Come first wave of action figures has been delayed a month.
On the bright side, they look exactly as cool as you might
imagine, and their packaging is pretty nifty, too. But then,
they're Alex Ross designs.
Ross dominates the con this year; the official t-shirt is a
beautiful Justice League painting. As Michael Goodson commented,
"if I were to wear a t-shirt, it would be that one."
Mish'al -- smiling when he only has two days to live...
Instead of a t-shirt, Goodson wears his pride. And after promising
to kick the ass of Fanboy Radio, instead he was taken in by
a shy hello (it may have been his own) and we ended up having
a good time talking to these people we swore would be our
mortal enemies. Meeting face to face has a way of doing that.
So now we like Scott Samuel Hinze, and feel obligated to actually
We volunteered Mish'al, however, for a death match with them
on Saturday. Watch this space, and don't tell Meesh.
are probably a few people we haven't yet had a chance to say
hello to, but we did manage to catch the good people at Hurricane
Entertainment, looking just a little run ragged as they had
to put issue #2 of John Carpenter's Snake Plissken Chronicles
to bed before getting down here from L.A.
Cammuso also promised to sit down for an interview; the second
issue of Max Hamm: Fairy Tale Detective is available, and
I'll be reading my copy before I go to sleep tonight.
should be shortly...see you tomorrow night...