Monday, July 18, 2011

Comic-Con: An experience fit for a coffee table

The best kind of purchase is the one where you have no idea the item exists.

That is what happened to me last week at Borders. I had a 40 percent off coupon and $5 in Borders Bucks burning a whole in my pocket. After spending a good 20 minutes looking for something to buy, I settled on the trade paperback for "Flash: Rebirth."

As I turned to head to the register something caught my eye. The words "Comic-Con" in bright yellow type.

Like a moth to the flame I went straight for it.

That's when I realized this was no ordinary Comic-Con book. It was a book about Morgan Spurlock and Joss Whedon's Comic-Con film.

I dropped that "Flash" book faster... well, really fast.

Originally priced at $24.99, with the coupon and Borders Bucks I walked out of there with it for only $9.69.

And you wonder why this is happening.

OK, first off with this book: Much like with Comic-Con itself, this book is not for the normal everyday person. Filled with photos of people dressed up like their favorite characters and stories about favorite Comic-Con moments, this book is directed at a single audience. People that love Comic-Con.

But, it's not cheaply done. Spurlock, known for making "Super Size Me," goes after quotes from industry heavyweights like Grant Morrison, Nathan Fillion, Stan Lee and Guillermo Del Toro.

And that is only naming a few. There are a ton of recognizable faces in here.

That is also true of some of the cosplayers. Many people I saw walking around the show floor last year made it into the book including Christopher Schauman and his awesome "Saw" related costume and Jeffrey C. Roberts and his creepy Darkseid outfit.

Seeing the awesome photography of the costumes is great, but the stories are what drive this book.

For the introduction of the Day One chapter, Spurlock writes: "The first day of Comic-Con is the closest thing to Christmas morning that you'll ever experience as an adult. The excitement, the wonder, the anticipation... you have no idea what's inside, but you can't wait to rip it open to find out."

Some of the stories are hilarious, like this gem from G4 host Morgan Webb: "The craziest things you see here are women dressed up in very strange and revealing outfits. And you know it's from a comic book or an anime or a video game, but you can't quite place it, and all you know is that girl forgot her pants."

Obviously this book is just a warmup to the documentary, which at this second does not have a release date.

So, maybe releasing the book so close to Comic-Con wasn't the best idea. I would have split the book's release and the film's release so that they don't overlap Comic-Con. Many people attending this year might not drop the money, because they are about to see the real thing and need to save the money to buy a "Green Lantern" shirt or meet John Barrowman.

Not that Stephanie and I try to do those things every year...

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