The only thing missing was Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier. Other than that, Comic Fest in beautiful San Diego this past weekend was a blast. Well, actually a very small blast because this comic book event was very mellow and low key. If you can imagine attending a comic book convention without huge crowds, snarled traffic and long lines, than this geeky gathering answers that prayer.
We arrived Friday evening after sunset so it was a little tough getting a sense of the venue. We had never been guests at the Town and Country Resort so at first glance we felt as though we had stepped back in time. We almost expected to see Jessica Fletcher checking in at the front desk. She would be meeting some old friends and one of then would surely be dead before the weekend was over. If this wasn't the perfect location of “Murder She Wrote,” than Rod Serling could make good use of this dated resort for an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” Heading over to the restaurant we observed cute, aging couples gliding on the dance floor. The women even had bee hive hairdos. They were Images of an age long past.
Early Saturday morning gave me a better sense of my location and I quickly found the registration desk and all my comic book pals downstairs. It was great seeing old friends and colleagues wandering the halls and moving about proved to be a breeze. Unlike the other larger San Diego event, this gathering was small and stress free. My first panel was moderated by Jerry Beck and I was joined by my old friend, Willie Ito. Willie and I had fun remembering our early days in the cartoon business and that included both Disney and Hanna-Barbera.
There were more panels to follow along with sketching and signings. The highlight of the Comic Fest for me was the Hanna-Barbera Panel that included Scott Shaw! and Willie Ito with Phil Ortiz acting as moderator. The time passed quickly even though the whole event moved at a more leisurely pace. While it's true we didn't have high profile celebrities or cute chicks bulging out of their costumes, we did have our fair share of comics books. Imagine that. A comic book event that's all about comics. A pretty nifty idea that just might catch on.