Thursday, July 22, 2010

Opening day at ComicCon

Wednesday was the panic before the storm here at ComicCon 2010 and while the masses waited outside the convention center in the thick San Diego fog, we frantically put our booth together. Our 10’x10’ chunk of real estate sits in a direct line between DC comics and the entrance and when the acres of exhibit hall finally opened for last night’s sneak preview, tens of thousands rushed onto the floor, eagerly grabbing up Spectra comics and stuffing them in their massive freebie swag bags.

Spectra is already an outstanding hit. That’s not too surprising, but one thing that is surprising is that every one fanatically loves our Tesla comics. When we describe how the righteous Nikola Tesla battles the evil, dastardly Thomas Edison at the world fair, people swoon. While the grown up’s love us, the kids go crazy for our “throwies.” We help them build a little LED light using only a battery, bulb, magnet and a Laserfest sticker; which they can wear around on their badges.

Constructing this nerd Disneyland was a massive undertaking and thousands of exhibitors worked from when they opened the doors first thing yesterday morning, until last night’s sneak preview at 5:30 p.m. Building our booth and organizing 35,000 comics was a group effort and took the six of us the entire day. Kerry Johnson, Director of Art and Special Publications for APS, did an incredible job designing our booth, which is the evil laser lab of Spectra villan Ms. Alingment. Rebecca Thompson, Head of Outreach for APS, and writer of Spectra, is dressed as the laser super-heroine herself and has been honoring frequent requests for photos. Thousands of exhibitors moved frantically through the aisles as the convention center workers brought supplies back and forth from the trailers. The sound of forklifts backing up and the smell of diesel fuel from the their exhaust still lingers in my head.

Our booth is in the independent press section and our immediate neighbors include Bone (who coincidentally also has a Tesla comic coming out soon), and 7G Studios, a Columbian comic book company who supposedly has created the first Latin American comic book. 7G studios even has a documentary film crew following them at all hours and their videographers seem to like us too. The group of us would often look up to realize there was a camera in our faces and a guy with a 6 foot mic boon standing in front of us.

We’ve already met high school physics teachers, scientists from various fields and even had one APS member try to renew his membership with us. All of them were thrilled to see us here, but the real opportunity for Comicon is reaching the people who we couldn’t of gotten too otherwise. Our comics are well, written, beautifully drawn and scream read me to young people. It’s nice to get praise from colleagues who approve of what we’re doing here, but it’s far more rewarding to see a group of kids literally light up after they’ve built their throwies and walk away clutching a comic book about Nikla Tesla and a laser superhero.


  1. I'm doing engineering outreach to middle school girls with Society of Women Engineers San Diego, and the wonderful guys working your booth gave me a box of comics to hand out at our event coming up on August 7. I seem to have lost their contact information, but I wanted to share this photo I took of them.

  2. Thanks for sharing the photo Faith. You can email to get ahold of the physicscentral crew.