Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Comic-Con International 2003 on Film

Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft from TOMB RAIDER) was there! Academy Award winner Halle Barry (Jinx from DIE ANOTHER DAY; Storm from X-MEN) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine from X-MEN) were there! Academy Award nominated Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin (Gollum, Frodo, & Sam from LORD OF THE RINGS) were all there! And guess what? I never even got the chance to spot any one of them! Welcome to San Diego Comic-Con International 2003, the gargantuan comic book, sci-fi, and anime convention which makes Anime Expo crowds look like the post office on government holidays.

Hello, this is Jesse again. The truth is: I only attended one day (Saturday) based a spur-of-the-moment decision, and that was my colossal mistake. I ended up waiting 3-4 hours in line for at-the-door registration (despite arriving 2 hours before registration even opened) and by the time I finally got inside, a whole third of the day was already wasted and my planned schedule was shot to pieces. And although I knew where the big-name celebrities could be found, I would be blocked by a throng of literally hundreds of screaming fans (making it impossible for me to even catch a glimpse). So instead I just ended up roaming around looking for anything else that was appealing, since my interest in comics waned years ago. And because I wanted to make up for lost time, I didn't take as many photos as I could have. But here are a few of them for you to check out...

Convention Scrapbook

Waiting hours and hours in the sweltering heat and humidity outside for registration gave me little appreciation for this logo! A convention this big needs to figure out a better solution! Probably the most impressive booth in the entire convention hall was the LORD OF THE RINGS exhibit, which included this towering statue of a Ringwraith. Another imposing figure from LORD OF THE RINGS, a vicious-looking Uruk-Hai half-orc. The masterpiece from the LORD OF THE RINGS exhibit must have been the life-sized Gollum statue and the gallery of figurines behind him.
Despite wasting so much time at registration, I spent another 2 hours waiting at the Urban Vision booth for Yoshimatsu Takahiro (character designer for NINJA SCROLL TV and TRIGUN). During the Yoshimatsu autograph session, I snapped a photo of the Dakuan sketch the artist drew for a fan. I actually ended up helping Urban Vision monitor the line, which gave me the chance to photograph this Jubei sketch by Yoshimatsu. Then finally came my turn for sketch of Jubei Kibagami from NINJA SCROLL!
Yoshimatsu Takahiro poses with the finished product, which he graciously granted for me long after the autograph session was supposed to end.  IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! Finally, some photos of pretty girls!  Again, I really must compliment Pioneer for their spokesmodels this year! Too little (but never too late), ADV finally decides to get into the act and hire some models of their own. There were several models who would charge you fees for autographs and photos. I snuck in this freebie, though.
Web model Cheyenne Silver and a couple of extras were promoting THE VILLIKON CHRONICLES, a popular underground graphic novel being adapated to film by Sony (with possibly Shakira and Salma Hayek involved). A grumpy man cosplaying as a Borg cyborg from STAR TREK ~ THE NEXT GENERATION, who wouldn't even slow down for me to take a photo. This Asian trio was advertising the online manga comic RED SPEARS. The DC Comics area featured an aging Wonder Woman and Batman from the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.
Atari and Infogrames Entertainment probably showcased the second-best exhibit, which included these wax statues of Neo and Trinity from THE MATRIX. The Atari booth even included appearances by this very convincing X-MEN Wolverine cosplayer, who popped up from a hidden stage! And to promote their TERMINATOR ~ RISE OF THE MACHINES video game, Infogrames displayed this life-sized statue of the Terminator himself (or perhaps the next governor of California?). The original INCREDIBLE HULK himself, Lou Ferrigno, was on hand, although he wouldn't pose for photos unless you purchased something from his booth.
Bandai invited two manga artists to Comic-Con, including Aoki Tetsuya, who drew sketches for his mahou-shoujo comic ANGEL'S WING (released by Plex Comics). Aoki-san is holding up the sketch he drew for me (too bad he wouldn't draw TRANSFORMERS, which he originally designed). Demand was so high for sketches by Yazawa Nao, the creator of AI TENSHI DENSETSU WEDDING PEACH, that I had to pre-order a sketch and had it shipped to me days later!  My own sketch is a bit different from the one she's holding here. One of the coolest and friendliest guys to meet on Saturday was pro-wrestling superstar Rob Van Dam, who was promoting the new comic book store he was opening in Long Beach, FIVE-STAR COMICS. An ultra-cute Dark Magician Girl cosplayer from YU-GI-OH on her way to the Comic-Con Masquerade
Perhaps the only ~semi-celebrity~ I was really able to encounter was BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER creator Joss Wheadon, who held a panel with Dark Horse Comics. My only real close-up shot of Joss Wheadon, although I wasn't permitted to get any closer than 15 feet. To be honest, I'm not even a fan of BUFFY! I spent nearly 2 hours polling the pre-reserved line at the Dark Horse autograph session (featuring Joss Wheadon and FIREFLY star Nathan Fillion), searching for anyone who could get my sister's Buffy DVD autoraphed for her birthday.  Near the end (just before the exhibit hall closed), finally the third-to-last person was nice enough to grant the favor.  Hope my sister appreciates it! Sigh, it's the end of the day, the doors are shut, and I probably wasn't able to accomplish 80% of what I originally wanted to do.  Next year, I definitely will be bringing a shotgun to registration!