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Kuriousity at SDCC: Day One

San Diego Comic Con International

Day one of SDCC wraps up tonight and what a day it was! My 6000km trek across the continent that was full of trials standing between me and Comic Con, from barely connecting flights to lost luggage and no hotel room. But, patience and perserverance wins in the end and I was able to join fellow con-goers in enjoying day one (and writing about it on no sleep. It’s all about the con experience!). On that vague note, please excuse any crazy spelling errors or icky photo placement. My SDCC posts will all recieve a cleaning up once I return home from my trip.

As today was preview night for 4-day badge holders, press and professfionals, there wasn’t anything in the way of panels occuring but that didn’t mean the thousands of people who flocked to San Diego to attend didn’t find exactly what they were looking for. Open to the public after a slightly disorganized, but still very smoothly executed, registration, Comic Con International’s exhibitor area (“San Diego Comic Con”) was officially open to its eager audience.

You can read about my initial manga finds on the floor and see some photos after the jump.

On the exhibition floor of SDCC, there’s more than enough to keep even the most genre-defined member of geekdom in sheer awe. You can’t see one side of the convention floor from the other, and just as well since the sea of people is as difficult to traverse through as it is to see through. The crowds prove the most trying part of the big-convention experience, but with so many different boothes to explore, it’s easy to find something else to entertain you when the occassional mass-grouping, or extensive wait line for free goodies, gets a little too long to manage.
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Most of the big manga publishers hit the floor this year, with Viz leading the pack for most impressive display. They went all out, further showcasing the company’s refreshing confidence amidst the shaky economy. A large Viz Media sign made their booth easy to find and the whole area is adorned with giant posters of their big properties. There’s also a wall dedicated to their new titles for the recently revealed Shonen Sunday. Goodies at the booth include free posters and postcards with enthusiastic staff on hand prompting attendees to try out the UFO-machine, pose with the life-sized Naruto statue or pluck a coin from their treasure chest for the chance to win some prizes.

Nearby, Dark Horse has their booth and purchase area set-up. Many attendees scrambled to get one of their complimentary bags that sport CLAMP’s 20th Anniversary logo. The manga selection at their booth includes nearly their entire catelouge, great for picking up titles both new and old to fill in collections. They won my first purchase of the convention with a buy of MPD Psycho (Vol. 09).

More moderately designed, and unfortunately much harder to find in comparison, Tokyopop and Yen Press both had booths on floor as well. Tokyopop’s had a healthy supply of their most recent titles, with a distinctly shoujo-majority, and were handing out free copies of their Fruits Basket fanbook, along with a DVD of the first two episodes. Also available were some posters including Fruits Basket and Bizenghest. Yen Press’s booth is a duel set-up with their parent company, Hachette, and has a small assortment of their recent titles. The biggest draw for their booth when I was there was undoubtedly the posters that sported the manhwa designs for Edward and Bella, the two leads of Yen Press’s upcoming adaptation of the popular Twilight novel series.

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Del Rey manga had a set-up near the two with a healthy assortment of their titles available for purchase and friendly staff to offer them to you. They were also giving away some free goodies including keychains sporting artwork from their upcoming shoujo X-Men series.

CMX was present at SDCC as well, buddying up with their parent company, DC. Their portion of the booth is easy to spot with big eye-catching posters of some of their currently running manga titles. Employees there were offering nice-sized CMX sampler books that are certainly worth a pick-up.

Alas, boys’ love giant Digital Manga isn’t present at this year’s SDCC, nor is Aurora Publishing or its supporting imprints. Several vendors were present to make sure that all companies had their titles out for purchase however and I left day one of the convention a very manga-satisfied individual. For a fantastic assortment of artbooks and manga titles, I recommend finding the booth for ‘Comic CEllar’ down around the comics section. Great stuff for sale e with no taxesther to worry about!

Of course there’s tons more than just manga to enjoy, including a vast array of video games to demo, tons of fashionable boutiques willing to strike up a bargain and company after company offering up loads of fun swag guaranteed to make you the envy of everyone (prepare to be asked numerous times where you recieved certain freebies). Funimation also has a spiffy sized area with the majority of their recent boxsets for sale, along with a bunch of high-quality posters, postcards and bookmarks that’re free to take. Don’t forget to check out their wall-art too, including the-hard-to-miss giant Super Saiyajin Goku.

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Another section of the exhibition floor you want to make sure you don’t miss is the Small Press and Artist Alley. Tons of studios and individuals are there selling their wares, showcasing their skills and offering tons of beautiful work you may not have the opportunity to find anywhere else. Also nestled within these areas is Aimee Steinberger, artist of the fabulously adorable Japan Ai. She offers copies of her book for sale along with some prints and artbooks, one of which I was quite happy to recieve with a free sketch inside! Thanks again, Aimee :D

Suffice to say, it was a busy day one in San Diego and it only promises to grow expenientially as the 5-day convention continues. I’ll be keeping Kuriousity updated with more SDCC info over the next few days, including converage of my first industry panels. Exciting stuff! A hello to fellow con-goers as well, I certainly hope to have the opportunity to meet you and hope everyone’s having fun thus far. Lots more to come I’m sure :)

For anime and manga specific information on events at SDCC over the weekend, you can check out AnimeNewsNetwork’s handy guide on the matter.

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.



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6 Responses

  1. Dad says:

    Sounds like a terrific conference.

    Have fun.

  2. […] got under way last night, and Tim Sheehy reports on Preview Night at Japanator. Lissa Pattillo checks in as well, and she has photos. Deb Aoki has a manga-lover’s guide to the exhibit hall at […]

  3. […] got under way last night, and Tim Sheehy reports on Preview Night at Japanator. Lissa Pattillo checks in as well, and she has photos. Deb Aoki has a manga-lover’s guide to the exhibit hall at […]

  4. My boyfriend is down there right now, and I've demanded that he find me Sailor Moon goodness while he's there.

    As for the hotel, he and his friend are actually staying on a yacht!

    • Lissa says:

      Sailor Moon stuff is high on my list of to-find purchases as well. I've found a bunch of great figurines but they're so expensive! Still, several T-shirts and posters around, plus cute little keychains :) I'm thrilled I've found as much as I have. Hope you get some shiny stuff brought home for you!

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