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Creating some space.

Week of July 17, 2006
I used to leave work at 6PM, but lately I have been working some long hours. You can imagine I was greatly relieved to leave town on Tuesday evening to drive down to San Diego for Comic-Con.

Comic-Con is so named because it was originally a comic book convention. Now it’s a gathering for comic book, fantasy, Sci-Fi, movie and television enthusiasts. I attended panels for Marvel Comics, DC Comics and The Simpsons. I also saw a ten-minute preview of the upcoming Samuel Jackson movie, Snakes on a Plane. It looked good.

Comic-Con is certainly not a restful vacation, but it is a lot of fun. The crowds are terrible. We were at the Convention Center parking lot before 7AM every morning to be able to park even though many local fans took advantage of the San Diego light rail system. Panels did not start until 9:30AM or 10AM.

The dealer room is located in a space that is one mile long. Comic-Con is the only convention that takes up the entire floor. The dealer room has to be seen to be believed. You have a great selection of all kinds of products to buy; publishers and manufacturers also bring huge amounts of promotional material that they give away for free. Some of the movie trailers were appearing for the first time in any venue. You can obtain autographs here that cannot be had at any other convention in the world.

My only complaint is the sheer number of people. The dealer floor was difficult to navigate because there were so many people milling around. News reports said that all hotels within 50 miles were sold out on Saturday evening.

It used to be that Saturdays were uncomfortably packed with people, but other days would be OK. Even the Preview Night this year had crowds so thick that it made traversing the broadest aisles an onerous chore. I went shopping on the dealer floor on Sunday; it took me hours to walk up and down the aisles. This was due, in part, to the fact I had to bob and weave between people every step of the way.

My digital camera is on the fritz so there are no photos to share. This is too bad because there were some great costumes. There was a Hello Kitty Darth Vader, a great Anakin Skywalker, and a team of little kids dressed up as the Justice League. My favorite costume was a Supergirl in clear, plastic platform shoes that appeared to add 12-inches to her height.

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