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WAITING FOR TOMMY
By Richard Johnston

Kyle Baker interview coming up, but first.

RICH JOHNSTON'S GUIDE TO MAKING THE MOST OF SAN DIEGO - AND STAYING SANE.

It surprises me how many people go to the San Diego Comic Convention every year, indeed any major comic book convention, yet don't take advantage of some of the many options available to you in terms of both entertainment and self improvement. Well, here's my Top Ten list of making it a better convention all round.

1. MAKE FUN OF KLINGONS. Or people in Sailor Moon costumes. Or that bloke who dresses up as Too Much Coffee Man. No, seriously, they're the entertainment. The court jesters as it were. They expect you to trip them up as they walk past, ruining their prosthetic foreheads as they fall onto the ground. Also make sure you ask anyone in a Star Trek uniform what the medical requirements to join Starfleet are. Like height, fitness and not having a belly that needs a wheel. Also, men, refrain from checking if the Klingon standing next to you in the urninals has a ridged penis. It's never going to go down well.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BRITS. It's San Diego, it's the West Coast, it's eight hours time difference to the UK. Which means when it's 10pm for you, it's 6am for these guys. They're wasted. When it gets round to 1am, they will agree to anything. They'll tell you what Bill Jemas is really like. They'll give you all the money in their pockets. And their passports. And they'll happily sign a work for hire contract for an ongoing series. A Brit in San Diego is an accident waiting to happen and an opportunity for some old fashioned American grifting.

Apart from Grant Morrison. He is a special case with his very own time zone. You try to f**k with him and he will leave you penniless, naked and gibbering about wildebeest.

3. PORN STARS ARE HUMAN BEINGS TOO. You'll find a number of 'glamour models' dressed up as comic boom characters in costumes that need special shaving. Take time out to talk to a few. Make eye contact, not breast/crotch contact, it'll be a pleasant change. You'll often find a highly intelligent, irony conscious, witty human being under the (very little amount of) red PVC. And the odds are, you're going to be the most intelligent, witty person they've talked to all day. And what's more, you're not going on about a) comics or b) breasts.

And, you know, you can check them out when they look in a different direction. Just be quick.

4. HAVE SEX. It's remarkable just how easy it is to pull at a comic convention. There are a few useful things to remember. Firstly, this is away from home. Anything people do here "doesn't count" in the real world, and people try on new personalities - often the kind of personality that doesn't mind letting it all loose. Then there's the personal appearance issue. If you comb your hair, shower (twice a day), dress in something other than a Buffy t-shirt, and have mastered the art of not having halitosis, then you're streets ahead of the game.

I'm married now though. I'm a good boy.

5. LOSE WEIGHT Eat a big breakfast. Hell, you've already paid for it if you're at a hotel, stuff yourself. Then walk the con. San Diego is big, Really big. You'll never find everything, but that doesn't mean you can't try. Take water, you won't need lunch, and if the breakfast is big enough, it should last you until you start drinking at the bar. The walking and the comics/books/small plastic doll carrying beats any gym.

A good weekend convention can lose you over a kilo.

6. TEASE THE OLD TV/FILM STAR. There will be booths where someone you don't recognise, is selling signed photos of themselves as a child actor or as a Star Wars character in full prosthetic make-up. This will be all they ever achieved and they believe you'll find it worthwhile to spend $10 for a photo with them.

No clearly sane-minded individual would do such a thing. But it can be fun to see just how low they degrade themselves in a photo, just to get that $10. May I recommend you bring along vegetables, tape and novelty teeth.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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