Preview Night At Comic Con

July 18th, 2013 by Max Allan Collins

After endless shuffling by convention staff in various directions, Nate, Abby and I were directed to a line for professionals waiting to get in to the dealer’s hall. There a very high-energy young woman cheerfully played power games, changing up the width of the line and telling us to sit or stand according to her whim. My goal was to get someone to trade me their Batman TV show giant bag courtesy of DC/Warners for my similar Green Arrow one. This mission failed miserably.

The dealer’s hall is vast, like a couple of football fields slammed together, but it was nicely air-conditioned and somewhat less busy than recent years – aisles not so clogged, tempers not so frayed. Purchases were made, fun was had, but I definitely am feeling like this event is starting to overwhelm me.

I have a business lunch tomorrow and Nathan has a panel. In between, I will be exploring the hall, searching out bargains, running into friends, and making new business contacts. I don’t bother trying to get into panels.

Henry Aldrich Strip

I spent much of my time on this first night working on art deals – I have collected original comic art for a long time, and was able to trade art I brought for a nice Joe Kubert “Green Berets” original, as well as an unpublished try-out strip for HENRY ALDRICH. I love the movies with Jimmy Lydon, though admittedly the radio show is fairly frantic. But Henry Aldrich predates both Andy Hardy and Archie Andrews (ARCHIE began as an outright ALDRICH imitation), so it’s historically very interesting. The strip I picked up is particularly interesting because it was drawn by David Berg of MAD MAGAZINE fame and written by (wait for it) Jerry Siegel. You know – the co-creator of SUPERMAN. Must have been frustrating for Aldrich creator Clifford Goldsmith to see the ARCHIE strip flourish when he couldn’t get the original teenager comedy into the funnies. (There was a successful Dell comic book, though.)

By the way, my son finagled me a Batman TV show bag, which shows just what kind of son he is. And what a ridiculous father he has.



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