- The Comic-Con Program - I feel bad for whatever sorry bastard has to put this motherfucker together every year. At just under 200 pages, this doorstop overflows with panel listings and times and exhibitors and recipes for vanilla cake and a complete reproduction of the New Testament and predictions for the performances of every Chicago sports team for the next 150 years and much much more. It's epic. And its author probably had a heart attack 2 drafts in.
- The Comic-Con 40th Anniversary Book - Poppin' with articles and photos from the show's last 40 years, this full-color, 240-page love letter to the con is a FUN read. Hopefully I can finish it's sprawling history by the time I head to the show next year.
- Disney Expo Button - Some guy wearing Mickey Mouse ears handed me as I walked the floor, and I figured my girlfriend would want it. She did not. So who out there does?
- Dark Horse Preview Book - LOADS of peeks at upcoming projects from one of my favorite publishers! Who am I kidding? Everybody is "one of my favorite publishers." But for real: A Chris Offutt noir story? Beasts of Burden from Jill Thompson and Evan Dorkin? A new book from Matt Kindt? Shit yeah.
- Cartoon Art Museum flier - Derek Kirk Kim handed me this when he sketched in my Watchmen book. I stayed for the stippled Mighty Mouse.
- For about 10 minutes at the tail-end of Saturday, I caught Jeffrey Brown at the Top Shelf booth and he handed me this button for an upcoming film called Rabbit Fever. He did the art for it and it looks neat, so I took it! Jeff had just come from watching a documentary a guy made about his work as a comic creator. If it's playing near you, go watch it!
- Trick 'r Treat mini-comic - I feel like I've been excitedly waiting for 5 years for this fucking movie to come out. An anthology horror movie starring Brian Cox sounds right up my alley, so I was pumped when the film's writer/director Michael Dougherty signed at the DC booth in support of the upcoming graphic novel based on the film. And even MORE excited when they passed out these mini-comics with a sample chapter written by Marc Andreyko with art by Fiona Staples from the book. (PS: I got to meet Doherty and he was nice to me)
- 20 Years B.C. - Someone left this Andrew Pepoy sketchbook at the booth, so I held on to it and called dibs on it on Sunday when no one else did. The guy's prolly my second favorite thing about Jack of Fables. So...I win.
- The Iliad in Sixteen Pages - Fun fun fun from a creator I'd never heard of by the name of Ilias Kyriazis. I saw him sitting at a shared table with folks like Becky Cloonan, Vasilis Lolos, Fabio Moon, Garbriel Ba and so on, so I grabbed his book cause he was in such solid company. He's got the goods.
- Scott Pilgrim SHIRT!!! - This beaut was only on sale at the show, and I regret not grabbing the shirt available in 2007 (Sean DID get it), so this was one of the only things I meant to buy.
- New Scott Pilgrim buttons!!! - I'm in love with 4 of the 5 buttons in this con-debut set, so I went ahead and snagged this neat-o baggie of fun.
- Tote Bag - If you spent enough money at the Oni booth, they'd give you one of these bags for free! My girlfriend and I started trying to use plastic grocery bags less often, so this will come in handy since it's too thin to be useful to my multiple book-carrying ass during my NYC commute. Did you know Dave Gibbons designed that Kabuki logo?
My Fantagraphics haul!!!
- Comic Strip Masterpieces #1 - At the Fantagraphics table, every purchase was rewarded with a plastic bag (pictured below) and a few freebies. For me, one of those was this newsprint sampler of classic strip collections from Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics. Neat!
- The Comics Journal #169 - Another freebie, this one's a doozy. Gary Groth interviews Neil Gaiman and they talk everything from Spawn to Love & Rockets! A news section that mentions Grant Morrison is returning "to monthly comics with The Invisibles #1..."! A scathing review of Frank Miller's Batman/Spawn! An ENLIGHTENING interview with former DC President Sol Harrison! This is a great issue from 1994.
- The Comics Journal #269 - Another freebie, this one's not so much a personal doozy since it deals heavily with manga and I'm only a passing dabbler. Even still, there's neat stuff like a pretty, full-page color ad for Mome and The Clouds Above. And an essay on the very awesome Chyna Clugston, whose work I've enjoyed since the first Blue Monday and who I just met at SDCC this year since she started working on the WildStorm editorial staff. And there's an ad announcing the new Xeric winners including Jeff Lemire's book Stray Dogs, which I bought at my first MoCCA along with an early version of Essex County vol. 1. And then there's an interesting article about online comics journalism involving Heidi MacDonald and Tom Spurgeon, both of whom I like. So there.
- The 2009 FCBD Drawn and Quarterly issue - Another freebie, I'd missed this Melvin Monster/Nancy flip book this year, so I was psyched to get it for free!
- The 2009 Fantagraphics FCBD issue - Yet another freebie, I'd snagged a copy of this Love & Rockets special when it came out, but I dunno where it went. Bonus!
- Fantagraphics Spring/Summer 2009 book trade catalog - I use these like checklists, so I love getting updated copies at shows like SDCC.
- Prison Pit!!! - The only book I bought and kept for myself from the Fanta booth, this Johnny Ryan special featuring a massive, bloody brawl surprised me at the show cause I didn't know it'd be there. The company had a lot of cool-looking new stuff, but I picked this over everything else with plans to read it on the plane back. But because of the decapitation on the cover, I decided to wait until I got home so a sky marshal wouldn't arrest me...and so I could read it on a train to work, preferably next to a little kid. IT'S BADASS NOW GO BUY IT!
- My Fantagraphics bag - neat, yeah? I carry shit in it!
- True Blood Door Hanger - I don't watch this show about Southern vampires, but I chuckled at the door hanger the staff at the Omni Hotel left for me when I stumbled back from the show one day.
- Batman Arkham Asylum Video Game Door Hanger - Another one! And this one features Killer Croc! Eat me, Marriot! Omni Hotel 4 EVA!!!
- A District 9 Promo Poster - I grabbed one for my girlfriend!
- This is WildStorm Universe #0 - A promo comic I helped write!
- Blackest Night #0 - It's a new printing of the FCBD version of this book, but without all the FCBD logo mumbo-jumbo! I lost mine, so this helps.
- Titan Books Sampler - They have a few comic book books coming out, so I stopped by to check it out.
- Titan Books Bookmarks - One features the Kick-Ass movie! The other features Tank Girl art! BOOOOM!
- Boys Club #3 - That's right, suckers! I got a copy at the show and I didn't even know it was gonna be there! When you get one (AND YOU NEED TO), pay attention to the neat barcode sticker!
- I Want You #1 - As long as Lisa Hanawalt keeps making HILARIOUS, subversive comics, I'll keep buying them sight-unseen. Do we have a deal, Lisa?
- Injury #3 - A new Ted May issue at the show, too? Buenaventura Press rocked my San Diego. Thank you. Really.
- Stun Nuts #5 - Chris Cilla handed me this preview of an upcoming book he has set to hit from Sparkplug Books while I waited for Sammy Harkham to finish up his Watchmen sketch for me. The sketchbook Chris was working on at the Buenaventura table was SOOO stunning, so I'm glad he handed me this! Look forward to seeing more of his stuff. Hopefully he's at SPX this year.
- Drawn and Quarterly Freebies - A literary Acme Novelty Date Book postcard! A smooth Summer Blonde bookmark! A stylin Seth postcard! A classy D&Q note card! A colorful Ron Rege postcard! D&Q's invaluable signing and panel schedule for the show! A double-sided Crickets and Big Question note card! A Christmas Doug Wright postcard signed by random staffers! Yaaaay!
- Blammo #3 and #4 - At the Sparkplug booth I found these issues of Noah Van Sciver's one-man anthology series. I've been trying to pick these up at a show for a little over a year, so i was happy to finally find them!
- Washing Machine Summer 2007 - Sparkplug also had this fun mini that reads like an indie romantic comedy film but features a frozen, distinct art style that slapped me in the face and made me buy it.
- Ten Thousand Things To Do #4 - Can I get real for a second? This diary comic from Jesse Reklaw has done more to help me cope with some of my own bullshit hang-ups over the last few weeks since I bought issues #1-3 at Hanley's than any other Diary comic I've ever read. And for that distinct personal favor, I place it up in a pantheon alongside Snake Pit and Clutch, my other two favorite (for entirely different reasons) diary comics. I randomly found this final issue at the Sparkplug booth, so I had to have it. I've been meaning to blind-email Reklaw and tell him how much I enjoy the series. Really, make it through one of these and you'll drudge up some new personal ideas in your mind.
- Two Eyes of the Beautiful - Sparkplug had this fun "grotesque horror manga by Ryan Cecil Smith" and since it was based on a story by Kazuo Umezo, I snatched it up! And the cover's exciting metallic ink cover makes it that much more fun!
- I Cut My Hair #1 and #2 - When I first opened Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg's diary comic, with its packed panels and precise fine-line art style, I felt like my eyes were going to shred themselves because of how busy each page appeared to be. But then I zoomed in on each panel and this shit is BANANAS in its DETAILED simplicity. And that she maintains the high level of implied motion that she does all while using absolutely no shading is madness. This is really well-crafted comics and that's without me gushing over the free-spirited, slice-of-life writing. I like these. :)
- Top Shelf 2009 Catalog - I meant to grab one of these at MoCCA this year, but forgot. New Jefrrey Brown cover! Preview of AX vol. 1! Yippee!
- iGoogle Top Shelf postcard - DC had some of these with Batman and stuff, but I grabbed this one cause I'm a sucker for anything with Owly and Jeffrey Brown art.
The end! Now stay tuned for a special post I'm prepping on a very serious issue I discovered in San Diego: THE BOSS CEREAL THEY HAVE AT THE LOCAL GROCERY STORE!!!