At some point in the next couple of days, my good friend Tripwire editor Joel Meadows will be wending his weary way back to Blighty after attending the San Diego Comic Con. He goes every year and always seems to have a total blast. Of course I'm horribly jealous and would love to go myself, even if it's just once to see if it lives up to the hype.
The thing is though if I'm going to spend 1500 quid on a hotel, flight and other fripperies I might as well go the whole hog and get an exhibitor's table there too. I realise I wouldn't have a prayer of making my money back but it might be worth it for the increased exposure such a huge event could bring me and my work (SDCC attracts tens of thousands of punters rather than the 2,000-3,000 I'm used to at Bristol).
Recently I was talking to Daley Osiyemi (one of the creators behind the excellent Brodie's Law comic series). Daley exhibited at San Diego in 2005 and it was there that he and David Bircham were approached about making a Brodie's Law movie. Two years later, Reny Harlin's firmly ensconced in the director's chair and the likes of Jason Statham and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are being touted for the role of Jack Brodie.
I wouldn't be so naive as to suggest the same is likely to happen for Blood Psi or Septic Isle, but if San Diego is anything it's the biggest shop window a comic writer can ever hope to have in which to display his work. Things have taken off a bit in the last 12 months or so for me and Moonface Press so maybe it's time to stop pissing about and head over to the big boys' playground and see for myself how rough and tough it is there.
I was hoping to do a US convention next year anyway but had considered New York in April to be my most likely destination. Thing is, a lot of my new stuff (Septic Isle, Brothers, Tim Skinner) probably won't be ready until just after that so San Diego makes sense on that score too. To attend SDCC armed with copies of Hero Killers and Blood Psi would be cool, but to go armed with six or seven titles would, I suspect, be a hell of a lot more impressive.
As Warren Ellis wrote in his Bad Signal yesterday, "This is so clearly a record-breaking year for the San Diego con. And, interestingly, they seem to have stood the traffic increase without anything breaking." All in all, I don't think it's any longer a question of can I afford to go to San Diego, but can I afford not to?