COMIC-CON 2009--Eric Jansen's CCAS Update!

CCAS TABLE/STREET COMIX UPDATE I took 500 of each comic (Street Comix, PARAMAN, etc.) we do at work (FMP/Foursquare Missions Press) and dropped them off at Ralph's house the week before the Con. Ralph and Kevin would drive down early Wednesday morning to unload and set up. Wednesday night was a special Preview Night where they only let in professionals and exhibitors from 6-9pm. Then, the regular main floor hours would be 9:30am-7:00pm, Thursday thru Sunday (5:00pm on Sunday). Here are the details, book by book-- LONELY LADY--I didn't get to the table until Thursday evening and I noticed there weren't any LONELY LADY displayed. I was curious and asked "We're not putting out LONELY LADY?" I was told "We did! They're already all gone!" THE CHRIST OF PROPHECY--I only packed 250 of these because they take up so much more room than the rest. They were all gone halfway through Saturday. HOMELESS HARRY--Kevin mentioned to me that he noticed that people either took one of everything or, if they only took one thing, they took HOMELESS HARRY. I was skeptical, but not 20 seconds went by before a woman came up and asked if she could only take one, which one should she take. She didn't wait for my answer before she snatched up HOMELESS HARRY and walked away! I think HARRY was also more popular with the kids. A PARAMAN HALLOWEEN--This "sold out" about halfway through Sunday, being a little more popular than PARAMAN. (Kevin pointed out, however, that some of the foot traffic were return visitors from previous years who already have PARAMAN. It does show the value of always having something new.) PARAMAN--I actually think there were 550 PARAMAN in the box I gave Ralph, and there were two packs of 50 left over. VENGEANCE IS MINE--I think there were also 100 left of this one. Ralph will be sending the leftovers to Don Ensign in Arizona for a smaller con coming up soon there. It's interesting that this was probably the LEAST popular for people to pick up of their own free will, but is possibly the 2nd (after PARAMAN) most popular to be ordered at my work. (Of course, most of our orders for it are from prison chaplains!) JACK CHICK TRACTS--Ralph is a big fan of Jack Chick and he buys a lot of Jack Chick Tracts (NOT the controversial ones) and puts out piles of three different ones at a time. Numerous unbelievers would take only these, laughing and smirking as they walk away. But, still, they TAKE them and read them. SUMMING UP--Now, there's no telling how many of the people who took the comics were Christian and how many weren't. It was obvious from comments like "I'm so glad you're here!' and things like that that many of the people who stopped were already Christian--BUT they were often getting the comics to give to somebody else! It was also obvious, by the looks on their faces as they walked by, that many of the people were NOT Christian! (Including director John Landis, who mocked us a bit and left.) However, a large number of these people--at my cry of "Free Comics!"--would often turn around and come back and get one/some. CCAS MEETINGS/PANELS UPDATE SPIRITUAL THEMES IN COMICS PANEL (Saturday Morning)--This went well. Leo Partible did a good job organizing and moderating it. The big names on the panel were outspoken Christian Doug Tennapel and friendly witch Holly Golightly. (Sorry I don't remember the names of the other two panelists.) Holly is our favorite witch! (And her kind of "witch" seems to be more of a naturalist/in tune with the earth kind, not pagan or wiccan.) She's very entertaining and pleasant. Doug Tennapel used some profanity and said he would never buy a Christian comic. (Perhaps he's never found the right one.) Obviously, I tend to disagree with him on some things, but I was quite impressed by his brave and vocal stand against abortion. CCAS OPEN MEETING/"MEET AND GREET" (Saturday Night)--Unfortunately, the Con neglected to put this one in the program guide and we only had about 20 people show up. But that might have been a blessing in disguise as the 20 of us all got to share and pray for each other. (See photo.) CCAS CHRISTIAN COMICS MEETING (Sunday Morning)--After worship music by Janae Miley and her friend, we had a good message from Buzz Dixon on giving God your best. Buzz Dixon moderated and then joined Leo Partible and myself on the panel. Our starting off point was the novel "THE SHACK" and that led to topics such as how to properly portray the Trinity in fiction, etc. PERSONAL UPDATE I always am very blessed to stay with friends of the family at their home on Coronado. The drawback to this was always that the best way over the bay was a ferry that would let me off about two miles away from the Convention Center. However, (mainly because of the newly-built Hilton, I was told) they have instated a new ferry stop RIGHT BEHIND the Convention Center! It only runs every two hours, but it worked for me! My (new-to-me) car did not want to start halfway through the Con to drive me to the ferry landing on the Coronado side--which necesitated me walking TWO MILES to just barely catch the morning ferry! Sigh--things have a way of evening out, don't they? (Of course, walking two miles on EACH side of the bay would have been too much!) This worried me no end, but then it started fine that night! It turns out that I just have a weak battery, which is much better news than I expected. We met a lot of new people this year at the Con, and I would say that would have to be the high point for everybody. A lot of them are from the SoCal area, so we might have a fresh influx of people at our monthly meetings in the near future. There was another high point for me. I'll admit, every year I seem to have a new celebrity crush. This year, I have been quite enamored (but you know, not in a crazy way) of the actress/model Diora Baird (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake, WEDDING CRASHERS, a very funny and impressive episode of TWO AND A HALF MEN--and numerous magazine covers). Friday night, I made sure to attend a panel on the new movie spoof STAN HELSING, starring Diora Baird, Kenan Thompson, and Leslie Nielsen. I was looking forward to seeing the great Leslie Nielsen in person, but I was mostly there to see Diora--even if it was from over 100 feet away and I could barely see her head without the giant projector screen. I felt bad for her as most of the questions/comments from the audience were directed at Nielsen and Thompson and none for her, and the director made a big deal about the OTHER female star of the movie being a great comedic actress! Cut to Sunday morning after the CCAS panel. It had gone well, and my friend Josh and our new friend Danielle and I were talking and VERY slowly making our way out of the room and up the hallway. (I noted at the time that it was much slower than I normally would have done.) 50 feet up the hallway, a beautiful blonde walks right in front of me and sits down against the wall. It took a moment to fully hit me--it was Diora Baird! I asked Josh and Danielle to excuse me for a moment. I walked over to Diora and she looked up. I introduced myself, we shook hands and we had a very enjoyable conversation! Enjoyable for me for sure, but she also seemed to very much appreciate me telling her what a great job she did on TWO AND A HALF MEN and how I thought that SHE was the next great comedic actress. Unless I miss my guess, I think I made her day. It certainly made mine. (A number of things went wrong for me all week, but this more than made up for them!) Other celebrity sightings included: Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) sitting at a booth together, Adam West (Batman) kept walking by the CCAS table (as his booth was near ours), George Lazenby (2nd James Bond) and Maud Adams (Octopussy), Gil Gerard and Erin Gray (both of BUCK ROGERS), Brandon Routh (SUPERMAN RETURNS), Elvira, the new Elvira, Meredith Salenger, all the voices from FUTURAMA, Lou Ferrigno (Hulk), and a LOT of people I didn't see! So, that may be more than you wanted to know, but that's my whole update for my visit to COMIC-CON 2009.
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