Top 10 List: How to Know You’re An Old Pro at San Diego Comic-Con Fandom

An SDCC 2017 attendee friend and I were chatting on the back channels of Facebook today. He shared this photo with me of the SyFy Channel’s sign, boldly listing “true SDCC fandom” characteristics. We were having a good laugh about how we would write this list. Can you pass our sniff test? I’ll bet those of you reading this will have some great additions to our list–feel free to chime in and share!

And speaking of SDCC 2017, I hope you got a chance to check out Dave Dorman’s new creator-owned WASTED LANDS novella and his AMAZING TALES OF THE WASTED LANDS pulp fiction magazine Kickstarter campaign! Here’s your handy link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikebawden/amazing-tales-of-the-wasted-lands-inaugural-issue?ref=thanks_tweet

Are YOU a Pro at the Con? But can you meet MY criteria?

You Pass the SDCC Old Pro Fandom Sniff Test If…

  1. You can pronounce Bill Sienkiewicz’s last name correctly.
  2. You can correctly identify the actual creator–and for bonus points, the publisher–of the character you’re cosplaying.
  3. You attended SDCC back when the signage all over San Diego still said “Celebrating the Comic Arts.”
  4. You know why Ralph McQuarrie matters to the Star Wars universe.
  5. Creators know your name without even looking at your badge.
  6. You don’t drink a drop of liquid for 12 hours before you see a panel in Hall H. Also, you bring gum and a snack.
  7. You know 501st isn’t a style of Levis, but the world’s largest cosplay organization.
  8. You carry extra Sharpies in black and silver, in case the artists’ Sharpies go dry.
  9. You know where to find your favorite booths without relying on the guide book.
  10. You attended Preview Night when it was still exclusive to pros.

 

That Time I Wrote for Newsarama

Every once in a while, I’ll get pulled into a project for Dave, like that time he informed me at breakfast on a Monday morning that the manuscript for his autobiography IDW wanted to publish was was due by end of business day on Friday. (Good thing they were on California time!) I dropped everything and camped out in his studio with my laptop and wrote all but the Foreword and about 10 pages written by his BFF Steve Smith.

The book I wrote in technically less than 5 days. 5 lbs. of Art & Text.

The 358-page book I (mostly) wrote in 5 days… 5 lbs. of Art & Text.

But I digress. Before #SDCC one year, Newsarama was looking for a fun hook, and I’m like a heat-seeking missile for the silly and the ridiculous, so I suggested writing Dave doing an interview with Alien and Predator in an L.A. White Castle. I pitched it because Dave was renowned for painting Alien and Predator’s images over the years, and this particular summer the first AVP film was coming out, so it was timely. Dave had earned his Eisner Award for Aliens: Tribes. (The Eisner is like the Oscars of the comic book field, for the uninitiated reading this).

Alien v. Predator by Dave Dorman

Alien v. Predator by Dave Dorman

So, I wrote it. Mind you, some of my comedic pacing is thrown off by the forced promotional mentions, and some of my grosser humor got cut, but I am posting it here for you today, in all of its sick & wrong glory:

DAVE DORMAN INTERVIEWS ALIEN and PREDATOR in a WHITE CASTLE

Back Story: Renowned illustrator Dave Dorman, Alien and Predator are old friends, dating back 15 years ago to the days when Dorman was painting Alien v. Predator pieces to please the Dark Horse fans…today the threesome reunites for a pre-Comic-Con interview in this Newsarama exclusive.

POV: We see the famed illustrator and two of his favorite creatures lunching at a local White Castle.

Dave Dorman: Hi guys. Thanks for wearing pants today.

Alien & Predator (in unison): Ditto.

Dave Dorman: Let’s Q&A. How did you like being depicted as warring nemeses in your new film, Alien v. Predator?

Alien: Well, the fans have been dying to see me kick Predator’s ass in a live action piece…

Predator, interrupting: Hold on a ****in’ minute. Whose ass did they want to see getting kicked by who?

Alien, continuing: I believe the correct word is whom…but Dave, you were the first one who actually depicted us dukin’ it out 15 years ago in your painting for Dark Horse Presents #36. It was that first fight cover in the swamp, remember?

Predator: That’s right! You made us fly down to your Florida studio and pose under all of those hot lights. In the middle of summer, no less! That was the modeling job from hell. Just for that, you’re buying lunch today. And I’ll take an extra sack of sliders for the flight home.

Dave Dorman: Nada, Rasta-boy; you can afford to pay your own way! But that particular cover has been one of the most popular from my fans–and yours. You have to admit, Predator, you seemed to enjoy posing with that hot babe on the cover I did for Alien v. Predator #4.

Predator: Nah, she didn’t do it for me. Though I did like that slinky, latex costume.

POV: We see Predator struggling to fit a milkshake straw into his etiquette-unfriendly mouth.

Dave Dorman: Havin’ some trouble, Predator? Let me help.

POV: Dorman’s hand shakes nervously as he pours the vanilla milkshake into Predator’s gaping pie hole.

Dave Dorman: Hey guys, remember when I worked on those designs for that first attempt at the Alien v. Predator movie 12 years ago? Did I ever show you my hybrid Predalien character?

POV: We see Dorman revealing the Predalien illustration to an astounded Alien and Predator.

Predator (sniffs with disdain): That is sick and wrong…unnatural. Not to mention chromosomally impossible.

Alien (lighting a cigarette): Humans shouldn’t be playing God with the mother race.

POV: Predator slaps the cigarette out of Alien’s mouth and his long claws rake against Alien’s jaw. A few drops of blood drip onto White Castle’s table, hissing as they burn steaming holes through it, then the floor.

Predator: Alien, how many times do I have to tell you? There’s no smoking in California restaurants! Besides I didn’t bring my inhaler.

Alien: Thanks, pal. There goes my goddam product placement cash from the tobacco industry.

Dave Dorman: You know, Alien, I have this persistent rust stain in my toilet and I’ll bet a few drops of your blood would take it right out.

Predator: I’m bettin’ it’s not a rust stain…

Dave Dorman (indignant): Nice. And to think I painted your flattering side in that jail scene for the Predator: Race War piece!

Alien: He doesn’t have a good side. He’s a ****in’ four-toothed freak!

Predator (growling): Wrap it up, Dorman. I’m not sitting much longer with this slimed up gene pool abortion.

Dave Dorman: Right. So, guys, what do you think of my WASTED LANDS series?

Alien: I got your RAIL graphic novel, which definitely had some slick Schuiten and European influences, but my agent’s been hanging onto my complimentary copy of THE UNINVITED. He wants some cool beach reading in case Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman ever invite him over to their private Malibu sands.

Dave Dorman (offering Alien his book): Ah, well here’s an extra copy for you.

Alien: Thanks, man.

Predator: I thought the artwork and the stories kicked ass–just like I do with Alien on a regular basis–HAH!–however, I noticed you didn’t write any parts for me or Alien into your new series.

Alien: Yeah, we’re a little hurt. Remember, I helped you win that Eisner Award for your graphic story album Aliens: Tribes. Nice work with writer Steve Bissette…

Dave Dorman: I’d include you guys in a New York minute, but you have that contractual thing happenin’ with your movie studio. Since you liked the artwork, I’ll forward both of you my “Tales of the Wasted Lands” from Atomeka Press, which is a collection of three Wasted Lands stories with a color portfolio coming out in October.

Predator: Cool. Let me leave you with my home address this time so my agent doesn’t permanently borrow my copy.

Alien: What else ya’ got cookin’, paint-boy?

Dave Dorman: Promise not to get pissed?

Alien: I’m not promising anything except for some seriously stale White Castle farts in your van for the ride back to the studio.

Dave Dorman: Okay, let me reiterate, I would have written you in if I could…

Predator (nods, knowingly) to Alien: He’s stalling…

Dave Dorman: Well…it’s a new Wasted Lands sci- fi action adventure novel, featuring my popular character Iguana, called…just don’t get mad, guys… “A Thousand Angry Teeth.”

Alien hisses (dripping with slime and sarcasm): Gee, I wonder who inspired that title?

Predator to Alien: Last time I checked with the dentist, you weren’t the only one with a mouthful of sharp teeth, you cocky bastard!

Alien (revealing menacing, dripping teeth, slowly rising up from his chair): That****in’ does it!

Dave Dorman: Hey, look!!! Isn’t that Harold and Kumar at the White Castle drive thru’?!?

POV: Alien and Predator–both cursed with short attention spans–look toward the drive thru’ window, distracted just long enough for Dorman’s quick get-away. Dorman flips them some cab money as he casually exits the fine dining establishment, relishing the fact that his van will be Alien fart-free for the drive home.

Approaching sirens wail, tables overturn, plate glass windows shatter and fry jockeys quiver beneath the stainless steel counter at the White Castle as Alien and Predator stage their own private, kick-ass sequel. Were it not for the 20th Century Fox-licensed monsters, it would definitely resemble a scene from Dorman’s action-packed sci-fi series, The Wasted Lands. Don’t believe it? See for yourself: http://wastedlands.com.