2007 Merchandise & Miscellaneous News Archives

Wizard World

March 17, 2007: Superman Homepage Wizard World LA Report: DAY ONE (Neal)

By Neal Bailey


Thirty-two hours on a bus and my head is swimming with motion sickness, citrus smelling fruit and a lost bag of potato chips. Not that I eat potato chips, really, but I was going to indulge for a long trip. Better to have them steal that than my manuscripts or the Superman Homepage signup list.

I started in Tacoma, Washington in the murky, somewhat suspect depot where I waited for two hours with the intended goal of reading Ayn Rand's Atlas shrugged in two sittings, the ride there, and the ride back.

The first seat had a busted light and a four hundred pound woman who, while nice, lacked the capacity to take up less than half of my seat, all the while spouting in the middle of my waning daylight how hard it must be to read in the dark.

Page eighty it is, then.

Then back to the second seats with apologies three hours in...no, it's nothing personal, I just want to read, my dear, and then in the side aisle in the emergency seat where there is no one else - and ultimately why is anyone going that far south at two in the morning on a Tuesday? Regardless - only to find that the one remaining seat, being an emergency seat, as I've mentioned, has a functioning light of approximately three and a half watts, not enough to read time by.

I met Luiz from Guatemala, his car broke down so he took the bus. I met many men who apologized as they shifted past me in their seats for smokes, angry whenever the lights turned on every two hours, waking anyone from any hope or semblance of sleep.

And then, in the Los Angeles terminal, a compressed air cannister blew in the bus ahead of mine, causing everyone to be evacuated and one lady to continuously scream, merscilously, endlessly, that she was dying. Four fire engines and three ambulances later, she somehow survived, and I was one hour late for my rendezvous with Jeffrey.


Jeffrey is as cool in person as he is online, which is a relief, because I feel bad whenever I keep anyone waiting. He takes me to the In-N-Out burger and explains to me animal style and the extra parts of a simplistic menu, so it would seem. Awesome, hand-cut fries, saturated fats and a good drive later, and I collapse at his place, with many thanks from me.

You may want to know more about Jeffrey, but that's his business... I suggest writing him, because I'll respect his privacy. Needless to say, his family rocks and he's making it possible for me to get out her, for which he is owed a great debt by me.


Unlike the previous shows that I've attended, this con had a slow, quiet first day. The diehards, with Captain America tattoos, David Mack fanatics and those who wanted desperately to get in on the sketch books ran rampant. Awsome people, some crazy, many nonchalantly ambivalent.

I met a man who sent me his comic book earlier, Bizarre New World, about flight fantasy and the ordinary man's reaction to extraordinary situations. Stikes a good Superman note, does it not?

Per usual, people really dug the Homepage and were great about mentioning it. The only possible complaint is that few had anything missing from the site that they wanted to see or we lacked.

And many thanks.

There are always the crazies. I had a guy tell me, without ever looking me in the eye, about hidden value and the way he treats a book that is at best popular fiction in multiple editions with gloves, and how he sneers at his mother for her desire to read a book. Real man, really odd. It made me adopt the card system.

There are three cards on the table now. Shiruken, Pie, and HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED who was the cause of the VERY BAD THING from last year's Chicago con report. When I say hello and no one responds, they get a Shiruken to the back as drawn by me on a card (a card rapidly filling up). When someone is kind and polite, I give them a slice of pie. When someone is beyond the pale in odd or rude (such as sitting their goods on top of yours while speaking to the next table over) they get a HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED.


Fortunately the monniker of SuperFan Homepage did not fool anyone for long, and we managed to get a good quorum of converstation, fine people, and discussions of the maladies of late books, continuity, and who we loved and have hated over the years. One fan, ecstatic at meeting Joe Kelly for the first time, positively beamed.

Jeffrey managed Didio and the panel. We were surprised to find that DC either "forgot" or "didn't have enough time" (paraphrased from random, bad sources) to make a booth, but nonetheless Dan is supposed to be walking among we the living in the next few days, so I will be sure to try and corner him and expose the secret hidden truths and untruths of continuity, and why he says Supergirl has to die in a fire.

Okay, that was a joke.


In closing, Lou Ferrigno gets all of the chicks, so I have declared a friendly war on him. Curse you, Lou Ferrigno! However, David Mack gets all the chicks too, and he's right across the way from me, so I'm in his sphere of chickfluence. He survives. Besides, I like his work.

Today was the slow day most of my evidence is anecdotal, as is my jetlag. I have found the location of Vivid Entertainment, which I'm told means something epic. I saw Capital Records and the Hollywood sign in smog, and the US Bank building. I'm doing things I never thought I'd have the chance to, and it's awesome. You guys make it possible, and I thank you.

It's quieter here at night than it is in Tacoma, but somehow the newness is more animal and tangible. Tomorrow the costume parade and the information begins. I'll hang on with all of my might and see if I can't scream some quatations at you in earnest. Jeffrey has the audio, I'll try and take the human interest.


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