San Diego ComicCon 2004 Report


Monday July 19, 2004

This morning was going to be a an early morning for all of us. I have decided to go to San Diego Comic Con again. Actually, I decided to go last year when I bought my ticket at the convention last year. I waited until January to see them update the San Deigo Web page enough to have Travel Planners have the hotel bookings ready on line. However, by the time this was set up, almost all the big and common hotels were all taken up. Especially my favourite one the Embassy Suites. One the only choices left was the Hotel Horton Grand. So, I booked that one. The train ticket, I decided to wait for a good seat sale like I did the year before. I managed to snag an awesome deal last year, buy one get one free deal. However, I waited till May, and still no sale... Actually, the reverse happened, the price of fuel went up so the ticket went up from $182 USD to $224 USD. What a load of crock. Oh well....

Anyway, it was a long morning of me packing things to go to the con. Warren picks me up in a crowded car along with Victor Lee and Harry Wong. We head over to the train station at 5:20am, about 20 mintues before the bus arrives. The fourth person on the trail this year is a new person, Vincent Tong, who only just decided to come down the convention, because he just lost his job and he really wants the new Street Fighter II comic.

We all boarded the bus and travelled to the Canadian/US border. Like all years, the border crossing is always a barrel of laughs and this year was no different. We all lined up and went through the line up, Of the three border checkers, Vince and I got the one who was probably the most ANAL of them all.

Vince, was asked, what his profession was; of course, Vince being totally honest instead of answering with his old job description, Canadian government. Then the guard accuses him of coming to the US to look for job. He searches his tickets and binder for probably a resume. But finally, he gave up and let him through.

Then I was the lucky one who got this loser. Again, I got to the question, what is my profession. I answered, I worked in retail sales of DVDs. Which is a true statement. But I knew better not to say I owned my own anime store. Anyway, the next question was why did I want to go down to San Deigo? I said, I am going to San Deigo Comic Convention. He asks me, "Are you bringing any comic books to sell?" I said "No. I am interested in getting autographs from people of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek Voyager, and X-Files." Then he asks "Why do want the autographs? Are you planning to sell them?" To which answer, "No. I want to meet Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica because he is doing a seminar about the new Battlestar Galactica. I also want to meet Mark Hamill of Star Wars because he has a new comic book coming out." I guess he wasn't getting anywhere with that... So he asks, "Is that your laptop?" referring to my laptop bag on my shoulder. "Yes" I answered. "Why are you taking your computer down? Do you have your inventory or catalogue on there?" I answered "No." Then he adds, "Are you planning to take orders?" I answered, "No, I am bringing my laptop, because my digital camera doesn't have a large memory card on it, and I am going to need a place to empty all the pictures too. " To which he asks, "How many pictures are you taking?". I told him, "There is a costume contest on Saturday of the convention, and there is usually over 200 entrants. My camera only holds about 130 shots before the memory card is full. This year, I there will be lots of Star Wars people all dressed up as Storm Troopers and Jedis because of the Star Wars Amteur Film Awards, as well as lots of people dressed up in Lord Of the Ring costumes because of the new Extended version of the third movie."

At this point, the moron finally gave up and waved me through. The other guy hassled Harry a bit about his Magic cards that he brought over too. He was similarly accused of trying to bring the cards to sell, as opposed to getting them autographed,

We all make it to Seattle, on time. The train was also on time, wow! This was like the first time for me that this has happened.


Tuesday , July 20, 2004:

Today was all aboard the train. It was a dull and average ride. Very much like the one I took last year. Some nice changes, they had some new food items on the menu including a bratwurst hotdog. Harry and Vince had tried it and said it was very good. However, they only got 12 of them and they were instantly sold out. Oh well, no big deal.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

We arrived in San Deigo bright and early around 1:00am, pretty much on time. Oh well, we were hoping it would be later but we do what we can do...

So first thing we do, was go to the hotel and check in. We go to the Horton Plaza shopping mall, where there was a hotel, which I thought was the "Horton Grand". Well, apparently not. I know from history, that this hotel has changed hands several times, so it didn't surprise me that it is now called the "Westin - Horton Plaza". Oh great.... Now where is our hotel I thought... Ok, with a quick map, I was pointed to where the Horton Grand was. Actually, I did print out the shuttle bus route for Blue Line, and it actually had it on there. Anyway, we walk over there and we were ready to check our bags in. We couldn't check in to our rooms as that the official check in time is 3:00pm but they probably will start letting people in as early has 12:00pm noon since that is check out time.

Ok, with that all done, we had a good 10 to 12 hours to kill in San Deigo. Ok, first things first, I decided to show these guys where the convention center was. Vince was tired but he was taken quite in awe how huge the convention center was. Our next destination after this was a quick tour of the entrance into the Gaslamp district including the new addition of the new San Deigo Padres baseball stadium. While travelling through this part of town, we decided to grab something to drink and/or eat. Well, there isn't much open at 3:00am in the morning, so we headed down to the Ralph's. It is 24 hr supermarket much like a Safeway. They still had a descent selection of sandwiches left so me and Harry grabbed roast beef and Victor and Vince grabbed Italian Sub. I also grabbed some Pink Lemonade Snapple since they didn't have any cold lemon Ice Tea Snapple nor any Gatarade either... I did buy a milk carton size Minute Maid Iced Tea. It tasted weird. But on a good note, the sandwich I had was good. We walked over to the transit trolley stop to sit down and have our late night meal.

Great we feel like a bunch of homeless bums with no where to go. There was a bit of reality behind that statement, but I guess the only real difference was that we had the money and we chose to be homeless, as opposed to all the other bums out there who didn't have full control over their lives.

Anyway, I continued the tour to the Embassy Suites. At this time, Harry and Vince were feeling tired probably because they didn't get enough rest on the train. Me and Victor were doing good. Anyway, they needed a place to pass out in, so I suggested, maybe go to the train station and sleep on one of the waiting room benches. We got a good 45 to 60 minutes of sleep because the security guard woke us up and said, we had to sit up or get out. I guess he didn't want us using the benches as beds.

It was during this time, Victor had thought up of the idea of going to do our Fry's Electronics run today instead of doing it on Friday. After we do have to kill time till noon. So, Victor and I, went over to the trolley station at around 5:30am to look over which trolley to use. I forgot my agenda in my bag which is now checked in back at the hotel. Well, it was lucky that Victor remembered the train station that we got on to last year. I remembered the bus that we took was the 927 (928) bus. So we went back and grabbed the other two. It was decided that we do this around 8:00am so we can get there when they first open and we can be back shortly after 12:00pm noon. Harry felt much better after a short but good sleep at the train station. We went over to the Starbucks to grab a Mocha Latte Grand. I suppose the caffiene helped a bit. After killing some time there, we walked over to the McDonalds to use the washrooms and to use the payphone. It was a good time to use that calling card that I had Hieu pick up. It was $5 cdn for 300 minutes of talk time. Holy Crap. Last time I remember buying a Barton Drugs one for $3.99 US and that was only 30 minutes. I really pays to shop around for those phone card things. Anyway, we noticed that Vincent was on the phone for a very long time. It turns out that someone from work called in. So, a few more calls, and he finally finds out that the superviser from work has called him back for more work. YAY!! He isn't unemployed anymore!

However, this all being good news, I however, came up with the problem of not knowing where my registration badge is. However, I do remember where I have to receipt thingie from last year. However, that was still back in my room in Vancouver. I will call back later on when mom is awake to find that and read the badge number off of it. I am sure that should be enough for them.

We left the McDonalds and started out to the route for Qualicomm stadium. We managed to find the platform which we boarded last time, and we walked down the street to the terminus stop of the 927 bus. Amazing that we remembered all that for the first time that we took it since last vacation. Anyway, the bus lead us up to the Walmart/Fry's Electronic Mall area. Now it was arouind 10:00am. We were doing good time.

Fry's Electronics is always an insteresting place. It generally has a good price for most all things. There were some items which more expensive than what we could get in Canada. For example, why in the hell am I going to pay $40 USD for Frasier Season 2 DVD box when Future Shop sells it for $43 cdn? Then again, on the same note, they did have a Forever Knight Season 1 Box for $69 USD when CNL carries it for $109 cdn.

I found an Iomega USB Zip drive for $29.95 USD which is perfect for transfering all those old files off my old SCSI Macintoshs to my new Ibook G4. I also bought a new SODIMM the new Ibook G4. The fact the guy looking up the information didn't seem to know too much about the Ibook like which kinda chip it took. The Ibook also has 2 types of slots, of which one is factory 256M and the other is empty. I wanted a 256M chip to put into the empty slot but, they where out of them. So, since there was only a $40 USD difference between a 256M chip and a 512M chip, and it would also eliminate the chance of picking the wrong chip, I decided to go with the flow. Also on my quest, I was looking for another one of those automatic hot key switchable KVMs. So useful! I bought two before from one seller, and I had wished I bought three. Fortunately, Fry's did have those thingies, and I managed to buy one around the same price I bought my first ones which was off ebay for about $50 USD. The most interesting thing I saw in the Fry's was the huge metal hard Dance Dance Revolution mats. They were $299 for a single man unit and they did look nice. But of course, how in the hell was I going to lug THAT thing home. But it was good food for thought, maybe I can order one of those things in or win one off of Ebay and find a way to get it into Vancouver without the shipping killing me.

After finishing here, we walked across to Walmart. We happened upon the huge bin of crap ass movies for $5.50 USD. There were some hidden gems here.

After a short stay there, we got back on to the 928 bus and headed back. The bus took us to another mall, called Mission Valley Mall. Fairly big hub of tranist and flag stores. I must check them out some day in the future. Anyway, we headed back to the hotel. We decided to split up into two teams. Victor and I would go in first to the hotel to check in and claim back our luggage. It was important to find out what room number we got and get our stuff in there. Our only concern was "officially" check in time is 3:00pm and it was only 1:00pm. It is "usually" ok, since convention people will be arriving all day this afternoon so I am sure they will be starting to book people in as they arrive today. And fortunately for us, this was the case. We get room #333, this year.

This hotel, looks very old. I am sure this was a heritage building on the outside. The inside, still captures a lot of the old feel with the fancy trims on the doors and frames on painting and mirrors. However, they did upgrade with modern key card door locks, new modern sinks, A/V capable TVs behind the fireplace mirrors, new toilets and one piece plastic formed showers. Retro yet very functional.

Anyway, the second team, Harry and Vince got off the transit one stop earlier to go to the Kansas City BBQ. It is a little diner famous for one scene in the movie "Top Gun". We met up with them after they were already done eatting and beginning a second drink. At this point, we passed them on the extra key card for the room so they can check in and get their bags too. I lent Vincent my calling card so he could use the pay phone to call back his supervisor to arrange an appointment back at the office. I also used the phone to call back home to have my mother check for the receipt that I got from last year's convention. I sort of remember that there was a badge number on that reciept. After about 10 minutes on the phone, she did manage to find it. In the end, that was not going to be necessary as I was going to find out later. Travel tip here: buy your pre-paid telephone cards BEFORE you go on vacation! Shop around for best price! And make sure the there is an access number in the country to you are calling from. Wow, I sure did save a lot of money on phone calls this trip, that is for sure!

I ordered a sliced beef sandwich. It was ok, nothing to spectacular. The cuisine reminds me of Memphis blues, but more cafe like. Very busy and very touristy... I think you spend too much for the atmosphere and not enough on the food.

Harry and Vince, finishing their meals.

Harry cheers!

Victor ready to eat.

Ok, we were headed back to the hotel room to clean up and pass out and get ready for preview night. I got back to the room and passed out for an hour. I really needed that quick recharge!

Vic in front of the BBQ restaurant facing the convention Centre.

Close up to the vegatation.

The time was 5:00pm line up time for Preview night, we left again in pairs, to rendezvous in the line up at the convention. Vince and Harry went first to get in line, while Victor and I will catch up with them in the line. We get there, there was already a small line building. It wasn't crazy and went around the convention centre like last year. We found them in the line pretty quickly but I realized that they were standing in the volunteer line up. I walked ahead to check for another line up and entrance. Sure enough there was an escalator that lead upstairs to the registration sails. I send back Victor to get them, but just as we were about the go up the escalator, the security blocked the escalator and elevators up to the registration area. It was only a short delay but it was ok, since it was short. We soon got upstairs to a long snaking line up into the registration area. Again, not too bad as the line up moved at a pace of a slow walking pace.

End of line, just as we got off the escalator, facing away from the registration area.

line goes all the way down to the window with the red dot, and hooks around. Note the room number 1A.

Ok, now starting the other way starting from room 1A.

walking along to 1B.

Walking more,

Leaving the convention rooms and entering the atrium.

Almost there! At the doors of registration!

We are in!

The line up in front of us, just to get in for preview night.

Side view of the people waiting to get in.

Back view of people waiting.

I got in and talked to a person about registration, I notice some people had to use "Do It Yourself" registration, but since my case was special, it was probably better that I talked to a real person. Well, as it turns out, my ID was all I needed. He did ask for my badge claim slip but I told him I don't have it with me. However, I did know my badge number which I read out to him. But that was ok, it looks like his assistant runner already went and grabbed the pass already. I am in! YEA!

This year's badge was really cheap feeling. It was a regular piece of paper with all the disclaimer stuff all printed on it (probably color lasered). Anyway, the badge was printed on a perferated section of the paper so all you do is fold and tear and separate the badge for the badge holder... ooooohhhh... Really do it yourself like... Anyway, as we move on to the freebie table, they hand you a Upper Deck neck chain for your con badge, and your convention souviner book and schedule book. We skipped the line up to the freebie table and went straight to the queue lines for the dealer's room. This was a long line too but I know when the lines move, they move quickly and suddenly.

Below is my reports about the various booths I saw on Preview Night. Some of these I will describe better further down the in this report and also will have pictures of my bootie later.


Laser Dynamic had some Anime CDs, they looked real but hard to tell. They can still be some weird new Taiwan or Hong Kong bootlegs. I will have a closer look later. They also had some newer looking Rei and Asuka Evangelion card figurines but I don't need more of them right now.


Guys I saw last year, I remember the $200 Dan Cougar kit they had. Well, they still have it...

Down the isle, there was also a massage booth that people could get a back massage. Interesting idea, works for things like the night market and the PNE. The added bonus was they had two women dress in school girl uniforms doing the massages. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a clean shot, but lets say they could have picked better people to put into the costumes.... After all, you have to compete with the Penthouse pets and Playboy Bunnies wearing shirts that makes their boobs pop out.



This isle has Steve's "Anime Pavillion" booth but he wasn't set up yet. Anime Depot which I will look later, and some J-pop shop with lots of Taiwan bootleg stuff.


Cells and Astro boy booth.


Peter Payne's "J-List" shop. OH yea, He always has good loads of Hentai Dojins. I had to stop here for some shopping! He didn't have as much as previous years due to a lot of cons being so close to each other but still managed to spend about $100 on smut.


Anime Cells, and some Love Hina figurines for $125.


Celeberity Photos

Leatherwork and cosplay accessories for Medival European characters.


Celebrity photos booth, a sword booth, and a some booth selling Tokimeki Memorial stuff.


Celebrity photos


Comic Cellar guys had a big booth of artbooks. Found a Nurse Smut one and two of the new Yui Shop books here. Apparently, Vince was really looking for this Nurse book! And yes, it looks good! Too bad, you snooze you lose.


A booth called "Cool Stuff" is the first of the many TV show bootleg guys at the con. These guys are the sad losers who DVD-R old TV shows (and some new ones) and sell off their copies for $15 to $20 per each DVD copy. Totally copyright infringement here and there were a few of them this year.


Bolt Gallery booth, has lots of neat sculptures all made with metal parts and bits from other things. That is a good way to recycle!!

There s also some anime music CDs in this isle too.


A booth with more bootleg DVDs.


The guys from Sakura Con who does the Jojo's Bizarre adventure and Angel Rabbie. They had their box of Dojinshis. There was girl behind the counter who recongized me as the Anime Store owner who would let her sleep in the store during Anime Evolution. I laughed.

They had about another good $90 in smut.


Lee's Comics had a buy 2 get 1 free sale.

Starbucks was handing out free drinks.

Anime Link had a booth


a booth called "Drunken Master" is a bunch of white guys selling Hong Kong bootleg movies of Chinese movies. Yea, there is something really wrong there....

The was really nice booth in the middle with a 10th Muse poster.


Top Cow was giving away posters and comics and stuff. I got a nice girls poster, a few comics and a whole new box of Cyber Force cards for free.


Bud Plant and Comic Relief booths for selling books.

At the end of the row is a booth selling the SM and other Hong Kong / Taiwan bootleg CDs.


More autograph celebrity photos.

Femme Fatale magazine booth and Heavy Metal Booth, both didn't have large breasted women. booth.

Fantagraphix and Eros comics Booth!


smut furry comics


Del Rey books, not set up yet.

Decipher Cards for Hack CCG and Lord of the Rings CCG.


Wildstorm and Radio Comix booths

some booth doing a $5.00 ding and dent manga sale.



Nintendo till you puke booth

Legend of the Rings booth.


Electronic Arts doing a booth fro Lord Of the Rings.

Greg Horn, was selling his stunning prints and pitching his new art book.


Anarctic Press, nothing new that I am following from them currently.

Red Star, some game and comic.

Previews booth, with free bag and comic board


Shi poster booth

Manawa - a korean manga company


Kotobukiya - had a comic con 2004 version of Please Teacher Mizuho. All it is, the regular Mizuho sitting in a chair. Her arms are painted yellow instead of vest orange, and her top is painted purple instead of hair red.

There was also a butt leaning version of Tifa that looked really nice so I picked that one up for $60. There is also a standing bathing suit version of Mizuho which was $35 which looked nice. I also bought the Yuna with crossed guns here for $25, although, I didn't like the blush she has on her face. Makes her look drunk.


Star Wars section, big huge booth. Large section for taking autographs, picture ops and lots of guys wandering around in costume including a full scale X-Wing Fighter.

There were big long line ups to give away the silver storm trooper and well as a free miniature super deformed storm trooper.

They had a human sized figurine package, you could step into and make your own picture.

Dark Horse booth always promoting their graphic novels they can never sell, and statues that are over priced. They did however had a rather interesting variety of shot glasses and zippos.

Mega Tokyo booth with the heavily overworked yet ever popular web comic.



Upper Deck cards - lots of Yugioh tables, Starwars CCG and Yuyu Hakusho CCG.


Mattel Toys, was really pushing their new She-Ra action figure with a huge raffle for the figurine. As mentioned earlier, we did win two of them, but they had a cute She-Ra wandering around.


Playstation booth is pushing the Eye Toy again this year. They also had a sneak preview of the Grand Turismo 4, but they didn't have the network ability working in it.

ADVision is selling videoes under Sun Coast again, their prices were not so great.

Bandai was pushing their Jpop "TM Revolution" stuff, as well as revealing the new Gundam Seed DVDs.


TokyoPOP - again without the doubt the largest and most easily obtainable and most widely obtained con bag. They were free, with piles of free sneak preview mangas.

I got a bag first day, and before I left the con, it ripped (it was a plastic bag and I bought lots of SMUT today). From this day on, I decided, that TokyoPOP bags will be used as our designated Hotel Garbage bag. Scary enough, it is bigger than a standard bag, slightly stronger and has handles..... Oh, it is also white instead of black, and it has "free" advertising on the bag.


Dreamwave - mostly Transformers stuff but since Pat Lee is going to be at Anime Evolution, I skipped over this booth and will let Paul take care of it.

Sci Fi booth - will be bringing in cast members of Battlestar Galactica, Alais and most importantly Stargate SG-1.

Konami was showing of more games, including two Dance Dance Revolution games, Rumble Roses, and Metal Gear Solid 3.


Yamato - releasing some very nice figurines set from artists like Masume Shirow, Kia Ayasamia, and G-Taste. Kia will be doing autographs at the booth daily too! The have two convention exclusive Kia Ayasamia and Masume Shirow sets which they were handing out free raffle tickets for. Strangely enough, I just walked up to them and they had lots of spare Compiler and Shirow figures and they were only $6.50 each so I just bought the ones I wanted. Apparently, you had to win the draw for the "privilege" to buy the limited edition convention figures. Oh well, I am not going to complain...

Happy Tree Friends - very disturbing dead baby jokes put to cartoons. Interesting but warped.


Stargate SG-1 Atlantis booth

Viz Comics - was handing out a nice red cloth bag. At the time, I thought this was the nicest and strongest convention bag.

Funimation - pushing Full Metal Alchemist, some Fruit Baskets, and other stuff but not Dragonball.

Comic Protectors - selling comic supplies.



Media Blasters Booth - mostly run by the CPM guys, selling their La Blue Girls and all the other anime 18 and live action animes. Even had deep discounts on DVDs like Marriage for $5.

what was more important was picking up the Live Action La Blue Girl DVD 1. I also noticed they had lots of gay Yaoi stuff now, including "Level C" and "My Sexual Harrassment". Oh the yayoi fan girls will go crazy over this stuff!

I was about to pick them up, but they didn't take credit cards, stupid...


Hirameki Interactive - selling their play as you go DVDs. They also had a small both full of various figures and books and stuff like that. They didn't have all their stuff there yet, so I will come back tomorrow to grab that.


Animeigo was in this isle. Time is running out today so I was just breezing through booths.


Yes Anime - the last table I made it to, They sold lots of figurines. I had my eyes on the Love Hina figurines for $95 each. Maybe afterwards.

That's it for the Preview Night. I skipped over some 10 isles really quickly but I would say I almost scanned the entire floor. Of course, I will start a more detailed sweep tomorrow.

I walked out and this was when my stupid handle of my plastic TokyoPop bag ripped. CHEAP... On the topic of TokyoPop convention bags, they win hands down for having the largest most widely distributed FREE bag at the convention. Saying that though, the bag made very good garbage bags as we filled one of them every day with all our hotel garbage. I thought I was the only person so cruel to use this free offering from TokyoPop such a manner but when I was looking around the city near Ralphs, I quickly found out that other people have the same idea as me. So, below I have taken some pictures of TokyoPOP's contribution to San Deigo's pollution problem.

Our daily TokyoPop bag of garbage.

TokyoPOP litter.

More Tokyopop trash in front of the Shuttle Bus stop.

Even more TokyoPOP trash in the San Deigo downtown core.

On the side note on how much GARBAGE there was; this is a pile of books that we all got at the convention but we ended up leaving in the hotel room. The set we took up with us, we finished reading on the train ride and ended up giving it to some kids that were getting off the train in Seattle.

Anyway, now I wanted to take the free shuttle bus back to the hotel, so I got on to the packed Blue line bus. It got to Horton Plaza and lots of people were getting off. I figured, I may as well to, and get a drink at Ralph's. Some kid was in front of me asking the bus driver where the Horton Grand Hotel was. Well, for some strange reason the bus driver was doing a bad job describing it, seeing it is one of the stops on the blue line. Anyway, I offered to show him there since I was going there eventually.


So, back at the hotel, the others were already going over all their bootie. It has looked like the others had eaten, so I went back ou to Ralph's to buy something to eat. I decided on a whole BBQ chicken and some corn dogs. I brought it back to the hotel room and started to eat. I think the main idea tonight was to take a shower and get some sleep for a full day tomorrow.





Thursday, July 22, 2004

This morning at about 3:30am, I am awake. Or better yet awoken. Harry, who complains about his back, took the bed, and the rest of us took the floor. I was a the farthest from the door, though it probably was better closer since I would be sneaking out. But was away from the outside light and the bathroom light so the location was good. The bad part is that, Harry snores, badly and loudly. He sounds like the buzzer of an alarm clock going off. Anyway, that will give me time to finish this report update. I spent like an hour maybe two hours in the outside lounge typing away. I got back inside again, and went back to sleep.

This morning we headed out to Horton Plaza mostly to use the McDonald's. However, since there was a food fair upstairs, we decided to go upstairs to that for more variety. Well, as it turns out, the McDonald's upstairs was not open. As with most of the other places, were not open yet. I did however, have a really nice breakfast fahijta thing which was really nice.

This morning was going to be a busy day. We had a list of places to hit to get free giveaway raffle tickets, Apparently, the way to do con exculsive giveaways was to give people lottery tickets. This gets rid of most of the line congestion problems. They also mark your con pass, which will eliminate most of the multiple chances per person problems.

We had to hit the Wizkids booth for Galactis HeroCliks figure, today we ended up winning one out of four tries. I helped Harry claim his Galactis which was $75 USD, and I bought him 2 DC boosters because they were out of Marvel and they were out of Unlimited. On the good side of things, I did get for free a Silver Surfer, an Invisible Woman, and a Movie Catwoman. We had go to Mattel for the special She-Ra figure, we won 2 out of 4. Victor also needed to go the Yamato booth to get tickets for the Shirow and Asamiya exclusives. We got four Shirow tickets, we won with three of them! Funny thing happened, Victor went to claim his one. While I was in line, I just wanted to buy the non-convention special but last Dominion Annie Puma from the Shirow Set. I noticed that 2 people came by looking for Intron Depot tickets. I quietly slipped them one of the winning tickets. Anyway, when it came time for me to pay, the total was $6.50 USD for one figure. I gave them $20 USD. They didn't have the small bills to give me. Then suddenly, the woman who I gave a winning ticket to, gave the guy $6.00 USD. She said, that was for giving her nephew the winning ticket. I smiled and thanked her. So there you have it, there is value to a free winning lottery ticket at conventions.

Ok, on with the dealer's room today. I decided to start from the other end of the convention floor and work the other way. I will imagine that at some point I will meet up with the point I left off at from yesterday.


a figurines booth

Everquest the online game booth

Stargate photographs booth





Stan Sakai had his own booth. He was not there but he had all of his things autographed and ready to go. Vic bought a calendar.





Penthouse Pet Taylor Wan was pushing a comic book of hers. Like most the models out there, she had breasts that were just popping out of her shirt. She had a deal on her sexy cover comic plus a free poster. I decided, to get one just because I can then give the autographed poster to Sheldon, who collects all the boring Playboy and Penthouse porn.


Kinokinoniya Books had a booth for all their Japanese mangas, artbooks, and art supplies. They also had some posters and autograph boards which I ended up buying later on. Most importantly, I noticed a sign saying that Kia Asamiya will be signing Friday at 11am. Oh yea!

Media Blasters was in this isle selling their smut DVDs.

Atari was marketting a Godzilla game for the X-box.

Play magazine was pushing a nice book of "Girls of Games" for $10. It was not much more than pictures of game girls. Some of the pictures were very nice, but nothing original so whats the point...

Capcom booth had lots of arcade units with Street Fighter in it. But most importantly, it had Studio Udon, doing a buy the convention special issue for $5, and for another $5, you can have the blank page at the back of the comic drawn with any character you want drawn by one of their panel of artists.

In my opinion, the guys two Chinese guys, Andrew and Arnold drew better than the two girls, Jo and Christina. However, of them all, I liked Arnold's work the best. Anyway, today, I decided to have Arnold draw a Felicia the Cat girl from Dark Stalkers. Nyah!!





Victor decided t have Andrew do a Cammy.




Species 3 was hyping up their movie by having a model in a swimsuit in a raised glass case. People were blocking up the isles trying to take pictures, including myself....

Manga Entertainment was selling their stuff, however, it was still more than I would pay for it in Canada anyway.

Funimation was pimping out titles like Full Metal Alchemist.

In the other part of the Capcom Booth, they were launching a new action figure series. If you ask me they look really crappy compared to what other companies have put out but that's how the business goes. Anyway, they have cool life sized, 8 foot tall Sagat statue that has a hand you can pose under.



There was a nice cheap comic book supplies booth here on the end of the isle,

There was a booth selling lots of Alais merchandise,.

Yamato booth was at the end of this isle. Today, I got Kia Asamiya to sign two of the backing board cards from his figurine set.



Viz Comics were giving away a sample book just like Tokyopop was. However, they were giving away a nice read book tote bag, which was very strong, kinda small but was built with a hard cloth. I would say is this the nicest anime bag of the convention. THIS was not the BEST bag for the con, nope, not by a long shot,. The nicest bag award goes to Highlander. They gave out free bags in the registration area to the people who were lined up for the freebie table. I just walked up to the freebie table at an empty spot and started to pull flyers. I went around and they just gave me a bag, which was great because all these other people were complaining.

Dreamwave is in his isle selling lots of Transformers posters and stuff.


TokyoPop and all their litter.

Sci Fi Channel was getting their Stargate SG-1 stuff ready for Saturday.

Comics One were selling a pile of mangas for $2 each, including Red Prowling Tiger, Maxion and Wounded Man.


Toyanami booth were selling Scott Bernard's Alpha fighter for $5.00 USD. They were also selling Serial Experiment Lain and Armitage figures. However, they wanted $20 for a Lain with Guitar, a Lain with broom and an Armitage. Unfortunately, they won't break their set up. Which seems to me a rather strange combo in the first place.


A group of artists that do stuff from Manhawa, the Korean manga company. They had a beautiful poster table with some really nice art work. I really like a poster for a series called Rhapsody. Victor liked the Final Fantasy X Rikku looking like poster. They were $10 each, $15 for 2 and the people were there to sign it too. I didn't want to buy it today since I didn't have my poster tube but I can grab it tomorrow.


Xena look-a-like booth. They got a really good Xena impersonator, and two other blonde chicks as Gabrielle and Castillo to do photo ops. Victor wanted to do a photo, tomorrow.

Lou Ferrigeno was here selling photos and do autographs.

Megatokyo Booth, had to help Warren to get his limited First Print manga signed by Fred as well as a small sketch of the hamster.


A company called "DF Productions" a bunch of losers selling bootlegged DVDs of old TV shows.

"New England Comics" more white idiots trying to sell "Shaolin Soccer" and "Battle Royale" for $15 USD each. Yea what a rip off. At least in Chinatown, you can get 5 movies for $20 Cdn. As I said before, Americans don't know how to bootleg stuff worth shit.


"Comics And Stuff" were selling a bunch of Taiwan bootleg anime CDs.


A nice figurine for Miya of Vandread.


another one of those TV show bootleg DVD booths.

We joined up around 1:00pm in order to trade lottery tickets and prepare to pick them up. Since I wasn't after any of the exclusive stuff, I went up stairs to see what autographs I can get. Today, I got Herbert Jefferson Jr (Lt Boomer on Battlestar Galactica), to sign my DVD book. He made me buy a photograph for $20 but he was then willing to sign anything.

I also went and got Mark Singer (Donovan in V, and the Beastmaster). I got a nice photo op with him.

Marc Singer (V, Beast Master)

his autographed picture

I also bought a photograph of Dean Haglund (Langley) from the X-files and Lone Gunmen. Wow, he looks different with his hair cut.

Dean Haglund of the X Files and Lone Gunmen.

His autograph.

Dean's Comic he wrote about the X-Files.

I also got Robin Sacks (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to sign my DVD boxes. He was being a real asshole for signing over Sarah Michelle Gellar's face. I guess he was jealous of her because if it wasn't for her, he might have been famous. Yea... right...

While I was upstairs getting the autographs, I spotted a line up of people getting free bags, It just so happens that I discovered that registration was giving out these free Highlander Bags. I quickly poked myself into a blank spot of the freebie table. I worked around the table and waited for my free bag, ho ho ho!!

At night, I decided to go to Ralph's for a BBQ whole chicken. Great price at $5.99 for the whole chicken. Of course, I didn't finish it all, but I ate all the good parts and threw away the rest anyway.

Again, in the middle of the night at about 5:00am in the morning, I was awakened by the human alarm clock, Harry. But that is ok, since it gives me time to type this stuff in.


Friday, July 23, 2004.

Today, our plan is to go to the con and get all those autographs, although today is the busier day, I knew that today will have lots of con goers but I am hoping they will be too busy shopping as opposed to standing in lineups.

First thing to do is head off to Ralph's to pick up sandwiches for lunch, we will be skipping breakfast since we needed to grab all the con exclusive special stuff. Today, Harry and Vic and Vincent, when to Wizkids to grab three tickets for Galacticus. In the end, all three tickets won. Victor needed to go to the MegaTokyo booth to get his first print Volume 1 Manga out. I went into line up for him while he waited in the Galactus line up. After we were done here we headed over to the Capcom Booth to get another picture done. Today, I will ask for a Kyoko from Rival Schools. Originally, I ended up in front of Andrew again, but he was not as good at Rival Schools as he was with Dark Stalkers, so he traded with Dugan who was the resident Rival School guy. I guess that was ok, he did a reasonable pencil job with it.







So, next step was to get a sketch from Kia Asamiya who was doing an extra appearance at Kinokinoya. I bought two drawing sketch boards so I will have something nice and clean for him to draw on to. So my first choice of a character for him was Lebia from Silent Mobius. He signed a bit, as if he wasn't sure. I asked him if it was ok, and yes, he was ok with that. The print turned out really well.





Ok, with that done, it was time to go upstairs to do the autographs upstairs. I bought a "V" picture from Marc Singer and got a pose from him. He is a very approachable guy! Richard Hatch had a big line up but Buffy was even larger so, I decided to stand in it. Fortunately, they put all six of the of the Buffy guys together. Now, as for who was there, was I will use composites of pictures and the names from the con book schedule to Adam Bush, Tom Lenk, Robert Lavente, James Leary, Iyari Limon and Mark Lutz. Now, there was one other guy from Buffy who sat by himself was the loser named Scott Schwartz. Today, I didn't know why he sat alone by himself instead of with the other Buffy guys and all the other Buffy fans. It is because he is one of those hard up, dead beat actors who need to charge money for autographs. He seems to think his autograph is worth $10. Hahahhaaa. Get a real job at McDonalds or something loser. Considering how many people that came by his booth buying his pictures for his autograph, he probably would make more from flipping hamburgers.

Danny Strong (Johnathan)

George Hertzberg (Adam)

Greg Vaughn (Richard)

James Leary (Clem)

Mark Lutz (Grooselugg)

Robina LaMorte (Jenny)

Robin Sachs (Ethan)

Tom Lenks (Andrew)

The end result of my Buffy DVD box looks like this...

Ok, the next guy on the list is Richard Hatch. His lineup now was almost all totally gone. The guy right a head of me was insterested in buying one of his books. This was good because Vic also wanted to buy one of his books. I asked him which one of the many books he had was the first one. Richard recommended the book "Paradis". The guy infront of me paid $35 for the book, it was numbered at only 2500 copies, signed by Richard. At the same time, he asked to sign the book for the DVD box set and he wanted him to sign the group shot. EXACTLY the same things I want to do. So, I said, "I will just do the same thing as him." He chuckled and signed everything. I think the guy behind me also had a DVD boxset to sign too... hahaha. Well, at least Richard Hatch a better celebrity than the Schwartz bum.

I bought this group shot from Herbert for him to sign.

Then he signed my Battlestar Galactica book from the DVD box set.

Richard Hatch also signed the book too.

Victor was running around getting autographs from the black guy from Ghostbusters and Richard Herd from Star Trek Voyager and TJ Hooker.

Richard Herd (Voyager, TJ Hooker, V)

After this, it is back into the convention hall again to get in line at the Yamato booth for the second picture from Kia Ayasamia. This time I decided to ask him to sketch a character that he doesn't always draw, after all, he is probably getting asked for too many Katsumi's and Batmans. When Victor got up to him, he asked for an Interepter from Compiler. Although, he wasn't clear, probably didn't pronounce it slow enough, and it didn't help that the interepter thought she was getting asked for assistance, Kia finally figured out he meant Interepter from Compiler. Ah yes, now I guess he had time to think of how she looks like, mine should be easier. I came up and aksed for Plasma also from Compiler. This time he didn't have a problem, his mind was on the right track.











After the big major locations are done we spent the rest of the time running through the convention floor looking for deals. We left the convention along with everyone else which made things like hell for dining. We rendez-vous at the hotel room and then went to the Gaslamp district for dinner. However, since that is the only place in the area for food now, it was just soooo busy. Thus, we went to the Horton's Sports Bar, which is connected to the Westin Hotel Horton Plaza. It is a nice cozy bar like place. Waitress was on a bit of pissy mood. When we arrived we sat ourselves down at a booth table with only 2 settings and menus. We were sitting down and relaxing, some of us were going to the washroom. The waitress comes to the table, and Harry tells the waitress there are four of us. There were two menus on the table, and she responds with "Why? Can't you guys share?" Huh?!? Harry's concern was that we only had 2 place settings but thats ok, we can worry about that later. She finally comes back with two extra menus and she takes our order. After she gets the order, she takes the menu, and walks to another empty table and just flips the menus on to the table. Holy crap, who put the anal probe up her ass? Then when all our food came to the table, she didn't even notice that things that bought over required forks and knives to eat it with and we were two place settings short. In the end, another waiter who was working came by and gave us a pitcher of Coke which two of us ordered, and gave us the two other place sets. If it wasn't for him to make the save, the tip would have been a lot closer to zero.


Saturday, July 24. 2004

Here I am again, 5:30am, woken up by the human alarm again. So I am out in the lounge typing in what happened Thursday and Friday. Today is another day to run around for autographs. First and foremost priority was to head over the Stargate SG-1. Even before 10:00am, there was already a massive number of people waiting for autograph tickets. There was no resemblance of a line up being made, and there were starting to be a large number of people clogging up all the isles. Soon, a few SciFi staff people started to wade through the crowd with booklets of autograph tickets and they were just randomly handing them out while wading through the crowd. Of course, this didn't last long before all the tickets disappeared into the mob. Victor managed to get a ti ket, and Harry could have got a ticket but it would have been a Stargate SG-1 Atlantis one. He should have grabbed it anyway, so he might be able to trade it for a normal SG-1 one. Oh well, he didn't yet learn the lesson about the "value" of those tickets.

After this disaster, the only thing I had to do was to go upstairs to get the last of the Buffy autographs, which wasn't until 3:00pm. However, as it turns out, he was relocated and the session ended 2:00pm. This was still before I found out Scott was going to be conceited and so anal. I will found out this from the loser tomorrow.

So, the only other thing I needed to do was to go to the Street Fighter booth to get my comic signed and to get other sketch. There were four artists were there this time, two guys and two girls, all chinese. I was going to take my chances with who ever comes up. Well, what do you know, I get Andrew Ho again. I asked him, so, what do you prefer? Street Fighter or Dark Stalkers? I figured if he answered Street Fighter I was going to ask for Guy and if he answered Dark Stalkers, I would ask for a sketch of Lillith. Well, his answer was interesting, "I want to draw big buff guys." to which Jo answers, "Yea. You think of big buff guys all the time." He turns again gives her a look as she laughs.


Sunday, July 25, 2004.

Today the only thing that I needed to do was to check that one Buffy guy but he wasin't going to be around till 2:00pm. So, I went out and followed Vic and Harry around. I was keeping an eye out for any of those 50 cent bins and seeing what good things are left. I found a booth that had a few good comics plus they they were selling the Erma Frost comics with the Greg Horn covers at less than cover. I came across another booth where I had picked out like 4 comics and someone came along and bought all the comics off the guy. I was about to give the guy two bucks, when he said, never mind, just take them. Why thank you! I wandered off to the next booth which had a bunch of $1.00 comics that dropped down to 50 cents. I picked up a good number of comics totalling $15.00 USD. Other than this, we headed back to the hotel to get our bags packed.

While cleaning up the hotel room, we found a journal. It is a diary of some of the other guests who have come and stayed at this hotel. Most of the stories are about people who like their stay, a couple of stories which read like a Penthouse Forum letter. Couple pages missing due to inappropriate content I assume. So I sat down and wrote my bit. diary.jpg


Monday, July 26, 2004

We checked out at 5:30 am in the morning. I was in such a rush I didn't even look at the items. I guess I was rushing to make it to station with all this luggage. Well, the bill was wrong because they charged me for parking. That was stupid. Oh well, I didn't notice the mistake until I was on the train so I will have to call them up to fix the problem when I get back. Other than that, we got to the train station using the hotel's airport shuttle. I gave the guy $10.00 USD, and Vic gave him $6. 00 USD.

While we were in the station, we checked in our baggage. I knew about the 50lb limit and I was worried about my big suitcase, but as it turns out, it wasn't that bad and the guy checked it in. Oh yea!




Here is my stockpile of cool stuff form this years convention.


A nice batch of comics from the Capcom booth. I also picked up the Emma Frost because it is a Greg Horn cover. Of course, I don't need to say anything about the Satoshi "Breast Man" Urushihara, that is a must...

A lot of cheap 50 cent comics.

Some of the freebies.

Dojinshis!!! Yea!

Yui of course with a nice dojin. A good lesbian You're Under Arrest. Also a good big breasted nurse book too.

Final Fantasy Unlimited, Fruit Baskets, Dead Or Alive, Vandread and Chobits smut!

Noir, Final Fantasy X, and rare Night Shift Nurses Dojinshi. Interesting there is a smut dojinshi for a SMUT... It is all good...

More Yui and Dead Alive, and a rather odd Gun Parade March Dojin and a Cyber Team in Akihabara smut. Of course, never have enough Final Fantasy SMUT.

A good mix of Yuri Ai magazines. REALLY weird big breasted stuff. Saigado is always getting nice and weird, with more of his Yuri and Friends. The other artist I like is the Toluene Ikkokan.

Yui Shop, Noir and a strange Record of Lodoss War Dojinshi. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a lot of Deedlit.

One Piece SMUT and an old Gundam SMUT. There is also a manga done by the Toluene guy.

More mangas that came out including the guy of Spunky Knight making another one. It was also interesting to see Koh Kawarajima's "Breast Man's Assistant" manga being translated.

The games I picked up at the Electronic Boutique. Two of them were in the dirt cheap pile so I couldn't resist the price. The Karaoke Revolution 2, I wanted to use at Anime Evolution to scare people away.

Cheap DVDs from WalMart.

Bought the Orange Road Set from the Animeigo, only just because they were giving away a free T-Shirt. Some play as you go DVDs from Hirameki , some goodies for the yayoi fan girls, as well as the hentai kamens!

More stuff for Yayoi girls, Hentai guys and a few more DVDs from Hirameki.

Here are the figures from the various tables like Kotobuya.

The Convention Exclusive figures from the Kia Asamiya and Intron Depot sets from the Yamato Table. I did get the Kia Asamiya ones signed.

The metallic version of Scott's Alpha fighter which was selling for $5.00.

On top of the box was the Convention exclusive Please Teacher Mizuho. Which if you had a normal one, it would look exactly the same with the exception that her shirt and shirt sleeves were painted in different colours... Also, the box that it was packed in is a box for the swimsuit figure set, it doesn't contain a picture for this figure, likewise, none of the girls in swimsuits shown in the box are available in the USA release. Can we say, someone at the factory screwed up and this is their great brain storm to get rid of them all. Ahhh... Sell them to the stupid Americans!!! What a brilliant idea....