Friday morning, I got up at 7am, quickly showered, ate breakfast (our hotel provides a breakfast buffet every morning), and headed across the street to the convention center. This year, I wasn't surprised to get there about an hour before the doors open and discover that there was already a crowd there, getting their tickets validated and picking up their goodie bags. I was very quickly corralled into the back room where we'd be entering from those three days (three day pass holders get in earlier on Saturday and Sunday, so they don't let us in the MAIN entrance).
On Friday, I attended the Avengers panel from Marvel and the Bendis panel (which is now living in infamy on the many comics news sites). In fact, you can listen to it here (page down to day one). I also attended the fan awards that night and they were a sweep for Batman (except strangely for the WRITER OF THE BOOK, Jeph Loebs). Kevin Smith gave out one of the awards, so I did manage to see him for a little bit that weekend (I wasn't planning on trying to attend his panels this year, 'cause they were ticketed events and were scheduled opposite other things I would want to attend).
Okay...so Friday night, Paul met up with a friend of his from online named Theo (nice guy). After hanging out with him, they returned to the hotel and the four of us went out to Maria's Mexican Restaurant (about a half-mile away down the street). Not bad, not great, eh. However, the salsa served with the chips was fantastic (though not as good as that served at Mixto in Philly).
Saturday - We all attended the DC panel, I also attended the Marvel panel. More shopping ensued in between. Most of the people in the line at the beginning of the day who had the early entrance pass swarmed the special ticket booth for the Kevin Smith signings/panel. By only 10:15am they were gone (an announcement was made over the intercom). the Joss Whedon signings/panel soon followed.
That night, the three of us ended up going to the Rosemont Giordano's pizza (as did MANY others from the convention)...it's about a mile walk from the convention center. By the time we'd gotten there, we found there would be a forty five minute wait. However, in a brilliant move, they allow you to "pre-order" while waiting, so they can prepare your pizza while your waiting (and you only have to wait for it to be baked once you sit down and give the receipt for the pre-order to the waiter). We got a simple deep dish this time out...fresh garlic and pepperoni. Awesome as usual. We were all stuffed and we still had some for leftovers (which Jarvis had on Sunday night).
Jarvis and I then found the pool and hot tub that night and we ended up in the hot tub (which was very soothing) with a nice bunch of people who I later discovered were creators with a table down in artist's alley...they were from Imbrium Studios( and did a book with a great concept called Bad Moon. It's a dystopian future world book, but it had a great hook...everyone in the world is controlled by a computer chip in their brain. They don't realize how mundane their ordinary lives as consumers are. One day, a teenage girl gets her chip deactivated and all hell breaks loose for her...it had a great cliffhanger at the end of the fourth issue and I can't wait for more from them.
On Sunday, I went to the X-Men and DC/Vertigo panels. I did some more shopping, including picking up (finally) a Hero-Clix starter set (I got the BIG DC one for only $12).
We ate our leftovers, packed and I did a lot of reading...