Helloooooooooo, Skkawliens! We are excited to share with you a series here at skkaw.blog called Con Stories. Skkaw and I were scheming for ways to share our daily SDCC experiences with you in a way that would be fast and fun. We shot ideas back and forth over a cup of coffee, debating the drawbacks and upsides of live journaling or filming. After a few shots of espresso and a game of Thanos Rising, we came up with Con Stories, daily stories about one or two big moments from each day of the convention. Without further ado, we present to you our first edition of Con Stories. We hope that you enjoy!
Skkaw’s Con Story
On the last day of SDCC I decided I’d sleep in and take my time before entering the convention center. That did not exactly go as planned since I had already trained my body to wake up around 5:30am every morning. So I did, but instead, I took my time and did not join the mad-early-morning rush to get inside. One thing I had my sights on was getting my exclusive Lego merchandise I had won via the online lottery. What intrigued me more was that a day before I heard that if they had other extra exclusives which had not yet been bought they would allow Sunday-goers to buy the exclusive addition to the exclusive they already had won an opportunity to buy via the portal. I wanted to test that theory and decided to come in just early enough to get my exclusive and find out.
And, yes, it was in fact true! On Sunday, they allow you to get one more LEGO exclusive. I was so excited because not only did I want the Lego Red Sith Storm Trooper exclusive what I really wanted was the coveted Captain Marvel Lego exclusive complete with its own Lego Flurken! Additionally, I was able to get Justin to get his own exclusive as they had let us know that if you had spent $50 or more at the Marvel Merchandise booth you’d get the opportunity to buy one fo the exclusives yourself. Justin took advantage of that, got in line and was able to get his own Captain Marvel exclusive as well. I was glad to have been able to help him as I knew he most especially wanted that one as too.
With that out of the way, I took the opportunity to just walk around the con and just experience the convention around me. At a certain point, I found myself at the Hasbro booth appreciating all the Star Wars Figures they put on display. They even had a giant Jabba’s Sail Barge on display which was sponsored via Kickstarter. I had to hand it to the Hasbro staff for the attention to detail on these displays. If you look closely you can see Chewie pulling Hand pulling Lando out of the Sarlacc Pit.
Additionally, they had a display which depicted each of the movies from the Skywalker Saga. I spoke to one of the staff and he told me they put a lot of work into the displays and it was a rush to get everything done on time but that they were happy we appreciated all their work.
After that I found myself gravitating toward the cosplayers around me at the con. Since I really enjoy and appreciate cosplay, I couldn’t help put take photos and strike a conversation with the SDCC cosplayers. Here are a few fun photos of the amazing cosplayers I met as @Skkawlord, SKKAW.BLOG’s official representative to the cosplay community:
With that said, I was exhausted and about ready to just drop down and sleep for the rest of the weekend. Overall, I had an amazing SDCC, had so many fun, interesting experiences and met so a lot of amazing people. With all that said, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!
I hope you enjoyed our Con Stories! Be sure to keep following us as we have more in store from you for our SDCC 2019 adventures. Excelsior!
Justin’s Con Story
Have you ever been so tired that you are kind of beyond the point of feeling tired? That’s how I felt on Sunday after a late night out with friends and deep conversations that went into the wee morning hours.
My buddy Greg and I got a bit of a late start but like Saturday, I was completely okay with that. While I had things I wanted to do, none of them really started until 11 am. After I was in the convention center for a bit I wandered back to the Warner Brothers booth to see if they were giving out any of the cool freebies they advertised on their Instagram. Sorry, Kassie – no luck getting those Friends themed mugs. As I was walking around the booth, I noticed that there was a rather short line for what looked like some kind of signing. The line was short, so I asked the security guard holding the end of the line sign what it was for. He told me it was for a free sketch with an artist. Apparently the booth had a signing schedule that I hadn’t noticed.
I responded, “Oh! Cool! Is the line still open?” He looked hesitant, “Well . . . Okay, you can be the last person, but heads up, this could take an hour since it’s a sketch line.”
“Hmmmn, let me check my schedule.” I looked at my schedule quickly on my phone and thought this is gonna be tight but why not! “I’ll do it!”
Once in line, I looked up the artist, Chrissie Zullo, to see what kind of art she makes. I did the basic Google search and looked at what kind of sketch commissions she typically gets at conventions. I was super into the way she draws Wonder Woman but I also really liked her Catwoman sketches and thought that might fit better to display with some of the other Batman artwork I bought.
The line moved much faster than I and the security guard expected and before I knew it I was standing in front of Chrissie talking about our favorite Catwoman and how we were introduced to comics. She told me that her first real comic love was Batman: The Long Halloween written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale. She was drawn to Tim Sale’s art and then got into several Vertigo comics like Fables, for which she eventually became an artist. Keep in mind that during our entire conversation she was steadily sketching away at this gorgeous Catwoman!
I really enjoyed getting to know Chrissie a little bit and watching her sketch. I feel so lucky to have met her and to be taking home such a beautiful piece of art. If you ever read this Chrissie, thank you again so much! You made my day!
In case you’re interested in following Chrissie’s work, you can find her on social media here:
And buy her art prints here:
Justin’s Con Story
By the time Saturday rolled around I was delirious. I was a real husk of a human but a blissful husk, nonetheless. So, I decided to “sleep in” on Saturday and wake up at 7:30 instead of the 5 am time I had been getting up at the previous two mornings. My attitude changed from laser focused determination to relaxed exploration and it was a really nice change of pace. I took my time in the morning walking around Artist Alley and taking photos of lots of random things. But there was one artist who I was particularly excited to see on the list of artists present in Artist Alley: David Mack.
David Mack is a writer and artist extraordinaire known for titles Kabuki, his orginal graphic novel series for which he is the writer and artist, in addition to several other series like Daredevil/Echo: Parts of a Hole, Alias ( the first Jessica Jones), Fight Club, and American Gods. He does cover art for several of these and is also the creator of the art for the opening titles for the Jessica Jones television show. He’s known for having a very unique art style that combines, painting, watercolor, and collage, and has won several prestigious awards for his work. I probably didn’t do justice to how critically acclaimed David is so definitely check out his website davidmackarts.com for more information.
Okay, now that you know a little bit more about David Mack and his work, I can get into the actual story. Last year, I went to my first comic book convention: San Francisco Comic Con. I was doe eyed and happened to walk by David’s booth not knowing at all who he was or anything about his work even though I had seen it before. He was super kind in telling me about his work and at the time it was really one of the first interactions I had with an critically acclaimed artist. I bought Daredevil/Echo: Parts of a Hole from him and was really impressed when I finally got around to reading it.
Coming back to the future, I knew I wanted to stop by and say hello to him at SDCC. I told him about my experience meeting him last year and how it really got me pumped to meet more artists and support them at conventions. We talked for a while and I bought a print he did of Morpheus from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
Unexpectedly, David gave me and another guy that was chatting with him a signed poster of an upcoming cover of an American Gods comic he made. He explained that it was the Goddess of Easter and mentioned that another con-goer had recently purchased the original artwork for his fiancé who is a botanist. What a lucky fiancé!
It’s these kinds of real moments when you can just talk to an artist and hear about how they do their work that are a big part of what makes a comic book convention special for me. He’s certainly made me a lifelong fan and I am excited to go out and read even more of his work.
Skkaw’s Con Stories
I woke up extra early to get into SDCC on Saturday. The lines are known to be notoriously long on Saturday an I wanted to try my luck at getting a Marvel Avengers Endgame poster signed by the cast or at least to get another chance the Marvel Merchandise line! I lost a few exclusive pins from my Friday con experience and I was hoping to see if I could get some back.
As like the days prior I made a few friends in line, even met someone from my previous line from Friday. When I finally got in the line was already getting crazy busy, the fire marshal (who has authority to shut down the line if things get too rowdy) was already there and asking people not to converge on the Marvel booth. Seeing as my chances were a bit slim on getting the poster I opted for the Marvel Merchandise line. I was lucky enough to get the last timed ticket for the line! Marvel used this timed ticketing system where you were only able to buy merchandise unless you got a timed ticket from them. These tickets are only dispursed early in the morning.
Although I did not get the Marvel Avengers Endgame cast signing I was still very invested in getting photos of the cast. So a couple of hours later I camped out at the Marvel booth to prior to the scheduled poster signing. While waiting I made another bunch of friends with people around me. It was getting very crowded and getting a bit friendlier with the people around us helped ease the tension of the closed quarter-ness a tight crowd can make.
Line Buddies (via instagram): @colinc.photography @spragway @andrewsantos2430 @skkaw
Before the big signing, the Marvel team put up a contest called ACRONYMONOMICON. Basically, the Marvel team would give you a few clues to guess one of the Marvel universe acronyms, e.g., S.H.I.E.L.D. If you got it right you’d get points, additionally, if they’d ask you to say what each letter represented for more points. Now, if didn’t know what the letter represented you’d get an opportunity to switch it out with another word. If the audience or hosts approved, you’d get the points. What made this interesting was that our buddy Colin (@colinc.photography) was one of the contests. And get this, he won the overall prize! We were so proud of our line/crowd buddy colin! He certainly worked very hard to win it and we were glad the winner came from our group.
All our waiting finally paid off when they announced the guests would be arriving for the Marvel Endgame Poster signing. We were all speculating, who would they bring up? Would we see Chris Hemsworth (Thor) or Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)? Maybe Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)? The anticipation was unbearable but finally, the Endgame guests arrived: The Russo Brothers (Endgame directors), Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Endgame writers) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky/Winter Soldier).
So yeah, it was anti-climactic. Although we were happy to see the Russo Brothers, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and Sebastian Stan, we were all hoping for at least one or two more Avenger actors to show. Later that day I heard at the Marvel panel Scarlet Johansson was there, along with Benedict Cumberbatch and other Avenger actors. Perhaps it was more a logistical decision but after hours of waiting, it was definitely a letdown. Although I did really want that Avengers Endgame poster, I feel better that I prioritized the merchandise line over the poster signing line.
After all the Endgame shenanigans I decided to get my Marvel merch! But wait, to be honest, this wasn’t my first time in the Marvel Merchandise this week. On Thursday I was able to get in because of the kindness of a random stranger who offered to let me be here plus one. It turned out, which wasn’t known or announced, you could, in fact, enter the Marvel Merchandise line even without a timed ticket so long as you were with someone who has one. As I said earlier, the main reason for my going back was to replace a few pins I lost on the previous day. This time though, at the suggestion of Justin, I decided to pay it forward and get someone else to join me in the merchandise line. Just before walking into the line I asked if anyone wanted to get in because I have a plus one. One guy slowly raised his hand and I said, ok you’re coming with me and we proceeded to line up together. Here we are with another lucky dude lined up with us. I was so glad to have paid it forward this time. So, I guess it’s kinda true what they say when one door closes another opens.
Unfortunately, the pin I wanted to replace was sold out, the exclusive Deadpool pin. Interesting enough, when I checked my purchase bag later I was surprised to find a pin I did not buy! It was an exclusive, not on for sale, Spider-man Noir pin. I’m a really big Into the Spider-verse fan and was super happy to have received this pin, which I would not have gotten if I hadn’t lost my Deadpool pin.
Even with its ups and downs, all-in-all, my 3rd day at SDCC made for a good con-adventure!
Skkaw’s Con Stories
Thursday was a whirlwind for me so I was really excited about my Friday. This time I wanted to try my hand at the limited autograph lottery line for the cast of The Expanse. Being a big Expanse fan I wanted to at least try for it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t win a ticket and the line took up most of my morning. Also, you’re only allowed to get one lottery try. You can always line up again to try and get another ticket but the line was already snaking outside of the convention center. I decided the convention gods had not voted in my favor and moved on. I ended up setting up the rest of my exclusive signings for my Batman comics. Although I was bummed about missing the Expanse signing, I still had a great time getting my comics signed with some to the great Batman comic creators like Greg Capullo, Scott Synder, and Jock.
Then I took a chance and walked by the Warner Brothers booth and was engulfed by a giant crowd of Game of Thrones fans! The cast was signing posters and I had to brave it to get some photos.
Unfortunately, I had to bleed for it as I lost a few Marvel exclusive pins within the crowd. Word to the wise: if you have any pins make sure they’re secure well as some of mine came off easily in the big GoT crowd!
Since I wasn’t able to get the Expanse signing I decided to go for the Magic the Gathering Aleksi Briclot exclusive signing at the Hasbro booth (which was scheduled at the same time). I got there late and when I got to the booth for tickets there were two staff, one person said, “Hey were not giving out any more tickets,” and my heart sank. Then, as I was walking away, another staff member called me back and said, “here’s an extra one.”
I was so grateful! It really made my day, especially after missing the Expanse signing and losing some of my exclusive pins. Since I’m a big MTG fan, it was fun to meet Aleksi and get my cards signed!
Although my day was full of ups and downs, it was still an amazing day at the con!
Justin’s Con Stories
Friday @SDCC was a day that I will never forget. I arrived just before 6am and promptly headed to the general line. I knew exactly what I was going for today because they switched the event from the day before. Right when I got on the showroom floor I fast walked directly to the IDW booth for a wristband to see Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, the writer and artist for Locke and Key. (Side note: I didn’t realize how taxing fast walking long distance can be. It really works out weird muscles you don’t use as often!)
I made it to the booth with no problem and got a wristband. I was so pumped! But after what happened yesterday, I also had a few backup plans so I hit those one after the other. At the Image booth I was able to snag a ticket to see Scott Snyder and Charles Soule talk about a new comic they just announced called Undiscovered Country. But the true kicker was that after those two things I went to the Dark Horse booth kind of randomly. They had a long line for a lottery for a signing with Frank Miller. When I finally made it to the front of the line there were only two wristbands left. I put my hand into a large bag of beads, felt around for what seemed like an hour and pulled a blue bead out. The woman working in the booth announced, “You’re a winner!” I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I was going to meet the dark knight.
So, I met Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez and told them how much I loved their story and the mythology they created. They thanked me for supporting them and someone took a kind of blurry photo of us. It was all kind of a haze honestly. I also sat in their panel where they announced a new comic book the Joe is working on called Dying Is Easy about a shit talking detective. I’m pretty excited for that. They also announced that the writer and executive producer of the popular Bent Neck Lady episode from The Haunting of Hill House produced their show coming to Netflix. They couldn’t give us a date on when it will drop but did say that all episodes have been shot. I’m hoping it’ll get a nicely timed October release for Halloween.
Well, it’s almost time for another crazy entrance into SDCC this morning so I’m going to end this here. I didn’t get to talk about my Frank Miller if Snyder and Soule signing but I’ll update you all with that a bit later. Cheers to another legendary day!
Justin’s Con Story
Thursday at comic con was AMAZING! It wasn’t super crowded and I was able to meet some really cool people. The people are what made the day because there were a few mishaps that could have ruined the day for me. There were ants all over my donuts, IDW canceled the signing I wanted most for the day (Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez – Locke & Key), and I dropped a pretty expensive comic book just before it was going to get professionally graded.
Despite these mishaps, I had a fun day and it all started in line with a couple Skkaw and I started talking to, Abbey and Ricky. It started with asking them if they would hold our spot while we took a picture and we offered to do the same for them.
They were super nice and we chatted about our con experience and shared what we were most excited about. It was their second year but they told us the lessons they learned from last year like bringing small portable chairs and hugging the wall for the entrance line. We also arranged to do some dividing and conquering as we exchanged info and asked each other to buy things for each other at booths we were headed to first. For instance, Ricky really wanted Spawn stuff and Image was Skkaw’s first stop. They won a hasbro exclusive and Skkaw really wanted the magic card set exclusive, so we arranged to trade later in the day. This was super important as some of this stuff was gone on the first 30 minutes to an hour.
The best part was experiencing the euphoric entrance together. People were whistling, clapping, and woo-hooing. It was like being in a theater after a really good movie or at a concert. It was collective excitement and happiness.
Even though the day had a few mishaps, I got to enjoy the company of really great people.
At the end of the day, I was able to get the one and only exclusive I wanted, the Batman with Comic Con Bag Funko Pop, but that’s a different story for another time. Thanks for reading!
Skkaw’s Spawntastic Con Story
I’ve been a fan of Spawn since I was young. Even then it’s dark and gritty undertones fascinated me! So naturally, the one thing I wanted to do on my first day of SDCC was meet the creator Todd McFarlane. The road to the exclusive access for authors limited signing can be challenging as Justin discussed above but it can be worth it if you get what you want.
So when the halls opened and I was equally excited and equally terrified I wasn’t going to get there in time. But I got it!
As Justin discuss led above, I proceeded to line-up at the Image Booth Merchandise to buy a few things for Ricky (who I met in line and we had arranged for a trade later). While I waited in line someone bumped passed me and I was surprised to find out it was the Todd McFarlane himself! Hi was so nice meeting fans and taking selfies. Of course, I summed up the courage and went up to him:
You can see the happiness on my face. He was as so nice and personable. Answering fan questions and taking in photos. I was so happy to get my photo, the people in the merchandise line were very kind to let me go up to him and super happy for me.
Fast forward to the actual signing in the afternoon and I got in line about 45 minutes early. From my experience it’s worth waiting in line earlier because if you get in you’re assured your spot and you get out do the signing earlier than most too. If you’re on time I can say with confidence you’re going to run the risk of being late or wait longer to wait for your turn.
For this signing they capped it to two items per person. I had at least three. I got pretty close to my the people in front of me and one of them was kind enough to get my third comic signed for me since she only had one item for Todd to sign. I have to say, there’s something to be said about con line friendship. You’ll almost wats get some help one way or another if you make friends and be a good person.
At the signing Todd McFarlane was again super nice and accommodating. I told him some for eh comics I brought for him to sign fake all the way from the Philippines (comics I brought back from the motherland) and he was pleasantly surprised! He chatted me up and thank me for my support and I equally thanked him for inspiring myself and many others to go into our one creative work (e.g., like this blog).
Overall I’m so grateful to have met Todd McFarlane twice! And get all my comics signed, Thursday turned out to me a most epic day!
Justin’s Con Story
I arrived at SDCC right around 6pm on Preview Night expecting to be immediately stuck in a line to get in. To my surprise, there was no line. I was able to walk right into Hall B. But once I entered it was like a whole different world. Almost like it’s own city. A mini Times Square bright with neon lights and screens with moving pictures and so so many people each walking briskly to buy some exclusive they had on their list or to meet some person they’ve admired for years.
I had a list of things I wanted to buy, and I heard that Preview Night was a good time to get your shopping out of the way, but I didn’t know where to start. So I just went with the flow of the crowd for a bit, stopping to look at several cool sculptures and exhibits.
I was lost in the crowd in the best way possible. When I surfaced I found myself in the middle of a Guillermo del Toro exhibit right next to a LEGO Star Wars exhibit. I stopped snapped a few photos and as I was about to move on a young boy looked up at his mom and said, “There’s just so much!” His mom responded, ” I know, huh? Let’s go explore!” And with that I set off to do just that.
Skkaw’s Pre-Con Story
How do you best prepare for SDCC? You get superhero ice-cream that’s how! We were lucky enough to sample some of Ample Hills Marvel Themed ice-cream just before SDCC, and the timing was perfect! Also, the clear winner for us is the Black Panther Black Raspberry mixed with chunks of rich, homemade single-origin Wakandan chocolate fudge. Should we say more?