San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Day Four

July 15th, 2012 by Max Allan Collins

We spent the day away from the con — our annual “family day,” which included a trip to Old Town and a meal at a fabulous Mexican restaurant, Casa Guadalaljara. Then Nate and Abby went off to Coronado Island for bike-riding and a visit to the famous hotel there, and Barb and I shared a quiet dinner (and a lively business meeting) with Titan publisher Nick Landau, at a wildly different Mexican place, Candelas near the convention center. Nick is a great guy and we could talk pop culture for hours…and we did.

Tomorrow is the final day of the con, unbelievably, and Nate, Abby and I will be there till the bitter end. Barb will shop elsewhere. This has been a fine year where appearing on panels and business was concerned, but less enjoyable for the con itself. The only panel I wanted to get into, the Warner Archive one (they do made-to-order DVDs of classic movies and TV shows, and have sucked thousands of dollars out of me) was packed due to the scheduled appearances of actors from the old SHAZAM kids’ show, which they are about to release on DVD. The line was endless and many were turned away. You’d have thought the Beatles were performing, not Billy Batson. The whole con is like that — you can’t get into anything without standing in line, sometimes for hours, sometimes over night (a woman died in a traffic accident early on in the con trying to maintain her position in a re-directed line for a TWILIGHT event). The security at the con has been inconsistent to say the least — sometimes nice, other times belligerent and frequently ill-informed, keeping people out of places that were open to them. For reasons I will never understand, masses of people are often directed through single doors (where there are multiple ones). Mid-way in the outer hall, everyone is forced through a one-person-only passageway for no discernible reason. I have always loved this con, but they are making it hard for me.

Let me briefly note the passing of the producer of ROAD TO PERDITION, the great Richard D. Zanuck. I will talk more about this fine gentleman in a future update.


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