Wizard World Chicago 2010: On the Floor

Friday, August 20, 2010

The exhibit hall opened at 5 p.m. Thursday, and I ambled into the hall in the mode of "whatever happens, happens" - which is an excellent way to attend shows. It's true that you'll ordinarily want to check in advance for program items you care about and people you want to see - but you can sometimes choose the alternative: Wander the floor and see what happens.

Larry Snodie
Victor Layne
So I bumped into Larry Snodie and Victor Layne (with whom I'd actually chatted before entering the exhibit hall), and we laughed again about my "Press" credentials. Seems they, too, had been coming to the show for some time (18 years, if my memory serves) and had also been covering it. I'm not quite sure what you'll find when you explore their website, but they do cable shows and films, and we exchanged cards. (Just to give you an idea: There was another participant in the conversation, and I didn't catch his name. And so it goes when you're in "whatever happens, happens" mode. Should I begin to abbreviate it as WHH? I'm kinda liking it: You can even exclaim it at appropriate moments: "Whh?" Yes. Acronyms Are Us.)

People at the show were speculating at the size, and I must say that occasional unoccupied views of the hall floor were a bit aback-taking. There seemed to be fewer publisher booths - but there were fewer retailer booths, too. On the other hand, I must figure that, for the comics-collecting devotee, this is going to be a wonderful, wonderful show. Cases in point: I'd figured I wouldn't need much cash at the show - and ended up having to go back to the hotel room to replenish funds pretty quickly. (And I'll be buying more during Day Two, let me tell you.) I found (Thanks, Steve Thompson, no relation, for providing the completion to my collection.) the Jonas/Winter Pogo hardcover Deck Us All with Boston Charlie, the hardest-to-find of a 10-book set. I filled (Thanks, George Hagenauer.) some holes in my E.C. collection with the probably never-to-be-reprinted Dandy Comics #4, Animated Comics # - well, who knows? but it's a non-E.C. E.C., Animal Fables #1, and Crime Patrol #8. Now, these were all far cheaper than price guides would have them, but they weren't my usual outlay - which is to say: what I'd spend for a new comic book today.

That delight came at yet another booth - to which Michelle Nolan had steered me last year. This is my favorite type of convention purchase - but I swear this dealer had lowered his prices from last year. For $2 @, I bought the following Dell Four-Color issues: #216 (Andy Panda "Police Pup"), #218 (3 Little Pigs "and the wonderful MAGIC LAMP"), #264 (Woody Woodpecker "The Magic Lantern"), #284 (Porky Pig "The Kingdom of Nowhere"), #451 (Rusty Riley - ooo, Frank Godwin art!), #507 (Oswald), #621 (Francis), #972 (Tom Thumb - "The great BIG story about a daring LITTLE MAN!" what the heck? Jesse Marsh art with someone else occasionally pitching in on faces?), #1074 (Chilly Willy), and #1144 (The Story of Ruth - "She defied the pagan idol that demanded human sacrifice!"). The #216-#284 are issues I'm sure I bought off the newsstand Back in the Day. I'm in for some nostalgic reading sessions.

Nor could I let things go that easily. For more $2@: The Night of the Grizzly, Dark Shadows #11, Around the World under the Sea, Ensign Pulver, Big Red, Run, Buddy, Run!, The Castilian, T.H.E. Cat #1, and The Lion. Those were movie and TV Dell and Gold Key issues. And then there was the much misc. category (which, admittedly, had movie components): Looney Tunes #82, Mr. Magoo #6, Wacky Races #2, Love Experiences #6, Marmaduke Mouse #26, True 3-D #1 (no glasses), Tex Granger #20, Warfront #8, and New Funnies  #164. And of things I actually look for actively? Well, Tubby #29 and #36, Thirteen #26 and #29, and Pink Panther #18 and The Inspector #18 (and I must remember to ask John Jackson Miller what it is I'm looking for in those last two, because I'll bet these aren't the issues he recommended).

But then, hey! There were two boxes under the table of really beat-up $1@, 6 for $5 comics. Now, how could I ignore those? Talk about much misc.! Dunc and Loo #8, Joe Palooka #56 (title off), Dennis the Menace #132, Atomic Mouse #22, Fun with Basky and Robin, Walt Disney Showcase #39 and #47, Tubby #38, New Funnies #180, Tom and Jerry #87, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #456, and Pink Panther  #1.

Wonder what I'll be reading tonight ... In any case, the point is I dropped more than $250 - and I hadn't planned to spend anything. This is a great show for attendees is what I'm saying.



Anonymous,  August 20, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

See you in Chicago Saturday Maggie!

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