Sunday, March 1, 2009

WonderCon 2009 SF Trip Report

Yes it's that time again. It was WonderCon 2009 this weekend in San Francisco. I walked through the floor on Saturday and partial day on Sunday.

First off, I would have to say that the show looked very healthy, very large crowds as it was packed even till 5pm when I left. Talking to the folks working and selling original art, toys, comics, etc from the booths, everyone said that sales were very good and people were definitely buying! The line to get in on Saturday could have wrapped around the large Moscone Center block if they hadn't started to let us in. I was in line watching the end of my line wrap around my line and block the sidewalks completely. The lack of rain on Saturday also helped. If this is any sign, I think Comic-Con in San Diego later this year will be big as well.

I started the show by hitting the booths that were related to original comic book art --Albert Moy, 100 Auctions (Bechara Maalouf), Anthony Snyder Collectibles, The Donnelly's, Heroes Comics Book (Alan Bahr), Schanes Animation Art (awesome stuff!!), Scott Eder Gallery, etc. I didn't find Romitaman but I heard he was there as well. As always, there were plenty of original comic book artwork gems lining their booth walls. Impressive pieces I saw included a Giant Size X-Men 1 page, various Neal Adams' Green Lantern covers, some Dave Gibbons Watchmen pieces, Kirby splashes, Jim Lee covers, early Amazing Spiderman covers, etc etc really just too many beautiful pieces to list here. There were also some bargains to be had as well, and I couldn't resist. :)

Cutting through Artist Alley on Saturday, the commission lists were full for the top artists it seemed. If Jeff Scott Campbell wasn't sketching commissions, he would be selling those great looking prints from his table. Same for the Jim Lee table manned by Eddy Choi with a sign that read "I'm not Jim Lee". Lots of great looking high quality color prints for sale there and it was tempting to buy. I wandered to Travis Charest's table to find Travis there sketching (no fans surrounding him) and selling a couple stacks of Space Girl Vol 1 books still available at $20.00/each. I bought another! Great book if you haven't bought it yet!! I also spent some time at Mike Royer's table --the long time Jack Kirby inker, and had a chance to talk to him and show him some of the pieces I picked up that day. He also signed my Kirby page (Thanks again Mike!). I appreciated his insight and great stories about how it used to be when he first started. If you don't know who Mike Royer is, I recommend you stop and talk to him, and buy something from him at the next show you see him at which will be San Diego Comic Con. He's done some great work on Winnie The Pooh, various work at Disney, etc.

Best costume prob goes to either the Batman and Catwoman duo, or the woman in the Planet of the Apes with FX makeup, hair and costume. I did a double-take when I saw her. She looked so unassuming walking the show. If I didn't know better I'd say she walked off a tv/movie set.

I guess with the New York Comic Con couple weeks ago and WonderCon this weekend, it is officially the opening of comic book convention season in 2009. Get your pocketbooks out and enjoy the shows. :)


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