Douglas's tips for Comic-Con '08

For the next few days, I'll be strapped into my carriage of the log-flume that is Comic-Con. When I'm not moderating panels (see below), I'll be wandering all over the show floor. But if you asked me to show you "the good stuff," here's what I would probably take you to first, and what I would probably advise you to flip through. (And by "here" I mean under the cut.)

1335 - Dumbrella: Scott McCloud is signing the excellent Zot! anthology there Friday at 3--at the same time as the Lynda Barry spotlight panel. Aaugh. Dumbrella's also got Zot! T-shirts; if I didn't already own, like, 800 T-shirts, I'd buy one, and I might anyway.

1514/1515 - Comic Relief: I guarantee that they will have something great you've never heard of, which is both why I want to support them right now and why I'm sure I'll end up supporting them, if you see what I mean.

1528 - NBM: I really want to read Dirk Schweiger's Moresukine, a Westerner-in-Japan diary comic that I got a peek at a few months ago. Looks like he'll be signing at their booth, too.

1529 - Drawn & Quarterly/The Beguiling: Lynda Barry signing! Original art by Jason and Farel Dalrymple! Remember to go to the ATM before you get to the convention center! OK!

1716 - Fantagraphics: They've got Love & Rockets: New Stories #1, which I suspect is going to be the first thing I read back in my hotel room on Wednesday night, plus Jim Woodring's The Portable Frank, which I suspect is going to be a present for a bunch of my friends later this year. And, at long last, Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle #4. And... the debut comic book by Natalia Hernandez, which I'm totally looking forward to seeing.

1732 - Buenaventura Press. Charles Burns' Permagel looks like it's going to be the luxury item of the show. 40 bucks for 32 pages, but you get bragging rights too.

1831 - CBLDF: They'll have Liberty Comics #1, a $4 book with new "Criminal" and "The Boys" stories, Darwyn Cooke, etc. They'll probably also have some of those gorgeous little original Larry Marder drawings of Beanworld characters.

1834 - Oni Press: Four words: SCOTT PILGRIM COLO(U)R SPECIAL.

2207 - Cooke, Stewart, Bullock - Cameron Stewart, David Bullock and Darwyn Cooke at the same table! All selling 48-page hardcover "pin-up illustration" books! They'll also have some (free) pins with Colleen Coover images of the Sentry. Colleen Coover pins of pretty much any kind are my idea of a good time.

2229 - Virgin Comics. Grant Morrison's MBX Sketchbook is the object of desire here. It's limited to 1000 copies; wonder how much they're asking for it?

5537 - Titan Publishing: Last year, they were selling their recent phone-book-size collections of old 2000 A.D. strips at substantially reduced prices. If they're doing that again, I'll be picking up a few volumes of Strontium Dog, and hoping for vol. 10 of Judge Dredd - The Complete Case Files. John Wagner's 30-years-and-counting run on "Dredd" is one of the most consistently interesting suites of superhero work I've read, and the later stuff is almost always better than the earlier stuff.

L7 - Octopus Pie: Meredith Gran will be selling the second collection of her fine web-comic about Brooklynites being Brooklynites.

S12 - Comic Foundry: Issue 3 is out. Hooray for Tim Leong and Laura Hudson.

somewhere in the IP Pavilion: Lightspeed Press--I always try to point people toward Carla Speed McNeil's Finder, one of my very favorite comics: a science fiction series that's really not much like anything else, and often tough to find outside of conventions where she's appearing. Start with the fourth volume, "Talisman."

AA-05 - Jim Woodring: Whatever he's selling, I'm buying.

AA-14 - Todd Klein: I imagine he'll be selling copies of his Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman collaborations.

BB-06 - Bill Sienkiewicz: I don't think I've seen him in an Artists' Alley situation before. If he's selling original art, it's certainly worth looking at.

CC-02 - Zander Cannon: I bought his "Master of Feng Shui" mini-comic at MoCCA and enjoyed it enormously.

GG-14 and thereabouts - Periscope Studio's Artists' Alley area, which always has some stuff worth picking up, and some exceptionally nice people.

I'll also probably be checking out a couple of the big new-comic dealer booths over in the low-numbered end of the hall, particularly for comics that don't tend to turn up in normal channels. In the last couple of years I've found a few of the special Marvel/AAFES co-published New Avengers comics, which are distributed more or less exclusively through military outlets but tend to turn up at San Diego. The latest one, Fireline, is apparently by Stuart Moore and Cliff Richards, and teams up Spider-Man and Iron Man with the National Guard's forest-fire fighting unit. And I'm wondering if anyone will have copies of glamourpuss #2.

Also: those 50-percent-off trade-paperback-remainder blowout people invariably have some stuff that's more than worthwhile for half the usual price. (I get all my Ultimate Marvel trade paperbacks there, and will be scouting out that Gerber/Mooney Omega the Unknown trade.)

While we're at it, I should plug my panels, since I'm moderating six of them and giving a lecture:

Thursday, 1-2 PM: The Future of the Pamphlet. With Carr D'Angelo, Joe Keatinge and Eric Shanower. Room 32AB.

Thursday, 6-7 PM: The Comics Blogosphere. With our very own Jeff Lester, David Brothers from 4thletter!, Laura Hudson from Myriad Issues, and Tim Robins from Mindless Ones. Room 32AB.

Friday, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM: I'm giving a short, polemical talk called "Against a Canon of Comics," as part of the Comics Arts Conference. Room 30A.

Friday, 5-6 PM: Teaching Comics. With Phil Jimenez, Matt Silady, James Sturm and Steve Lieber. Room 4.

Saturday, 11:30-12:30 PM: Image Comics/Tori Amos. With Tori herself, Rantz Hoseley, David Mack, Elizabeth Genco, Ted McKeever and Kelly Sue DeConnick. Room 6B.

Saturday, 2-3 PM: Lettering Roundtable. With Todd Klein, John Roshell, Tom Orzechowski and Jared K. Fletcher. Room 8.

Saturday, 4:30-5:30 PM: The Story of an Image. Kim Deitch, Jim Woodring, Jim Ottaviani and Kyle Baker will each discuss a single image from their work. Room 4.

Come say hi!