Comic-Con Adventures

Yesterday was the official opening date of Wizard World's Chicago Comic-Con 2009. It's a 3-day comic book convention in the city where you could meet some of your favorite big name in comics -writers and artists- and have them sign your books. It's also the event where you could get some collectible exclusives and discounted items. In addition, you'd also see a bunch of poorly dressed geeks, crazy cosplayers, washed-out wrestlers, C-list actors, and even pornstars. So, as a comic-book enthusiast, I always make sure that I don't miss out on this event.

Cover of the Chicago Comic-Con 2009 program guide, done in sidewalk chalk art. (click image to enlarge)

I went to yesterday's show (Friday) because, since it's the first day, I assume the exhibitors are still well stocked. It was my second comic-con experience, and last year was my first. I'm not quite the veteran yet but I'm not a newbie anymore. I already knew the "ins" and "outs" of the convention and was able to prepare myself better this year. I came in with a wallet with some cash (money that I've been saving after last year's comic-con), a big empty bag, 2 comic-book issues, 2 graphic novels, a bottle of water and 4 granola bars.

The convention grounds opened around 9 am for advance ticket holders. Since I was amongst the first in line, I was able to get in right away. Once inside the grounds, I immediately hurried to the booths that were selling exclusive items and bought what I wanted. I went to Full Metal Toys and grabbed a box of Mez-Itz Hellboy, which is a pretty cool vinyl figure by Mezco Toyz. Then I moved on to the booth of Fantastic Realm, one of my favorite distributors of rare and exclusive comics, and got myself copies of comic books -Witchblade, Return to Wonderland and Escape from Wonderland- with the sexy limited edition covers.

All of my purchases from yesterday's show. An exclusive Hellboy vinyl figure, limited edition comics, and some cheap hardcovers. (click image to enlarge)

By 9:30, I was done getting all my exclusive swags. So I just wandered around the floor and took note of which booth has the cheapest books, the largest inventory, and the ones who carry cool items. Soon after, I decided to scout the autograph area to look for Mark Millar's signing booth and to catch a glimpse of some C-list celebrities. I was hoping to see former Baywatch actresses and Playboy Playmates, Erika Eleniak and Donna D'errico. But most of the booths were still empty since it was too early. Although Candice Michelle, WWE Diva and Playboy Cyber Girl, was already there setting up store. Man, she's hot!.

It was already 10:30 when I got around Mark Millar's booth. The line around the booth was already forming even though the signing starts at 12 PM. Since he's one of the most popular comic book writers, I decided to jump in line before it gets any longer. I knew I was going to wait there for an hour and a half. But I had to do it. I don't want to be the last man standing in line or, even worse, the guy who got cut off because the line is too long. So I employed patience, ate all 4 of my granola bars and prepared all the things that I wanted to get signed.

When the signing began, one of the volunteers told us that Mr. Millar will only sign five items. That was a big relief to me since most of the people ahead in line were carrying boxes of comic books. The line was moving slowly, which was understandable. So I took that chance and left the line -after asking the guy behind me if he could spot my position- to go to the restroom. I also made a pitstop at the nearest booth, Discount Comic Book Service, and got The Ultimates omnibus, which capped my items to a total of five.

Mark Millar and the other Mark -who is also known as me. (click image to enlarge)

An hour after the signing began, I was finally in front of Mark Millar. He shook my hand and greeted me in a Scottish accent -which was expected. He's a really nice guy, very chatty too. He was so ecstatic when he saw my copy of The Ultimates omnibus. Apparently, he didn't know about it. He examined it and told me that it was five years of his work that had accumulated into one thick book that can be used as a weapon. He also told me about his friend who didn't have any kids when they started the project and now he has four. After Mark Millar, I went back to Fantastic Realm's booth to have my Wonderland titles signed. Luckily, no one was in line when I got there. So I was able to get Billly Tucci's autograph immediately.

After I was done with the signings, I went around and visited all the noteworthy booths that I marked on my map earlier. I wanted to scour every comic-book retailers for some back issues. But I soon decided against it because it would take too long. So I just went back to Discount Comic Book Service's booth, spent my remaining cash on 4 hardcover graphic novels (Essex County, Powers: The Definitive Collection, Y: The Last Man - Deluxe Editions 1 & 2) for 40 to 25% less the cover price. Then, I went home.

Avatar Press' booth. I never went there, actually. This was just a random picture shot. (click image to enlarge)

All in all, while I only stayed for a couple of hours, I think Chicago Comic-Con 2009 was a better experience compared to last year's. I got my Wolverine #66, Kick-Ass #1, Wanted and Civil War graphic novels, and The Utlimates omnibus signed by Mark Millar. I also got the limited edition covers of Escape from Wonderland #0 and Return to Wonderland #6, and have them signed by Billy Tucci. Plus, I left the convention with an empty wallet and a bag full of exclusive swag, limited edition comics, and cheap hardcovers. So I really couldn't complain.

Similar Posts:
The 'Plan B' Event
Wizard World Experience: Toys, Animation and the Loot
Wizard World Experience: Books and Signings
Wizard World Chicago


gillboard said...

the nerd in me is just dying of jealousy... wish i could experience a comiccon at least once in my life...

Skron said...

Chicago Comic-Con is acutally a bad comic-con. It's nothing compared to New York CC or San Diego CC. Those two are much more fun and are star studded. But I'm mostly interested in comics so Chicago CC is fine by me.