Sunday, July 21, 2013

San Diego Comic-Con

If the title of this entry had you thinking I would be reporting on this year's convention in San Diego, I'm sorry for your confusion.  No, I wasn't there. In fact, it has been at least fifteen years since I have been to one. During my days as Production Director at DC, I attended pretty much every year from the mid-1980s and well into the '90s, though the memories have all pretty much melted together.

Some of the things I do remember:
* For a number of years, I represented DC at the Costume Parade and chose the winner of the prize for best DC character. I don't recall how I first got involved doing it, though I think marketing department guy Bob Wayne was looking for a volunteer and I agreed. One year, I somehow became Marvel's representative as well, and gave away their prize.
* My pal Bob Greenberger and I were the emcees of the Costume Parade at least twice.
* We used to have regular production meetings at work every Friday. One year, we had those meetings in my hotel room in San Diego; virtually everyone who normally attended the meetings was at the convention!
* When I was hosting a DC Chatroom on AOL, I did live reports from the DC booth. At one point, I was in the booth with two laptop computers side-by-side. I logged onto one using my DC screen name and the other using my personal account, then proceeded to "sing" a duet in the DC Chatroom.
* I missed the 1994 convention because my 25th high school reunion was being held the same weekend.
* In the early years, pretty much all the DC staffers attending would be on the same plane from New York to San Diego. When it occurred to the powers-that-be that, if the plane went down, the company's entire upper echelon would be wiped out, they had people spread out over more than half a dozen different (and some far less direct) flights. I pointed out that they had now greatly increased the odds of having staffers killed in a plane crash because we were on many flights instead of just one.
* I was the moderator of a panel about the Silver Age of Comics one year, with Julie Schwartz as one of the panelists (along with four or five other folks who I do not recall). After introducing themselves, the other panelists never got to say another word. I started by asking Julie, "Tell us how you invented the Silver Age of comics," and he was off and running.  After forty-five minutes, he looked at his watch and said, "I'm having dinner with Gil Kane, so I have to go."
Julie got a standing ovation from the large audience and, as he was standing in the doorway, I said, "But, Julie, you didn't tell them how you came up with Barry Allen's name." (From radio personality Barry Grey and TV star Steve Allen, for those of you wondering.)
Julie did fifteen more minutes from the door of the room, looked at his watch again, and said, "Well, now I'm late. Thanks a lot, Rozakis!" With that, he was gone... and the panel was over.

I'm sure there will be other things I'll remember once I've posted this. Or some of my former compatriots will remind me of some. For now, however, that's my San Diego Comic Con report.

1 comment:

  1. I've been to exactly 1 San Diego convention, in 1995, and it was divided pretty much into 2 parts. The first part dealt with things on a personal level, and that was nearly 100% disaster. The second part, however, dealt with things related to the comic and fan-related world, and that was more wonderful than I could have imagined: I found myself in a conversation with a wonderful man, who only at the end did I learn was Frank Frazetta. I spent 45 min. in a line talking with Rob Paulsen (wonderful voice artist for far too many cartoons) while his son was in a video game tourney. Events were set in place for me to become one of DC's Online Chat Hosts, despite never working for DC Comics.

    And I got to meet Bob Rozakis. It was a joy and an honor.

    Well, it was certainly better than having a young lady grab my lapels and scream out on the convention floor that I was "the most clueless man in all of North America!".

    (Sadly, I don't believe I've yet to give up the title.)

    In any case, I've since had the pleasure of meeting you again, and each time has been tremendous. Whether talking about comics or family or where there's a good place to eat around here, finding someone with a friendlier disposition would be a challenge. And that's the kind of thing that makes for a great convention memory.