The original idea was to post these some months before the 2005 San Diego convention, to serve as an enticement to attend. But that scheme slipped between the cracks and now this year's show is nearly upon us. You can still get a plane reservation and a convention membership if you hurry. Good luck finding a hotel room!

ARE JULY 14-17.
FOR FULL DETAILS, GO TO comic-con,org

Guests file into the San Diego Convention Center by the thousands. Like, 87,000, by one count. The 2004 San Diego con was held July 22-25.

Security concerns weren't an issue, what with the giant robot standing guard outside. It was there to promote the then-unreleased movie, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Our own Jeff Smith operated one of the best and liveliest booths at the convention to promote his Boneville line of books and products. I never quite managed to catch Jeff at the booth, however. And, I didn't catch the names of these guys manning his booth.

A gaggle of Batman villains. From the left, Catwoman, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, the Penguin, and the Scarecrow. My personal favorite, Louie the Lilac, was a no-show.

A relatively calm moment on the convention floor.

Spider-Man and Dr. Octopus take a break from their Hollywood schmoozing to visit their fans. Also present: The Green Goblin, the Black Cat. Don't worry that Spidey's turned his back on them; he has that spider-sense to warn him if they try anything funny.

It's David Spurlock of Vanguard Publications. David publishes a line of beautifully-designed books focusing on comic book artists of the Silver Age and thereabouts. Wally Wood, Neal Adams, Carmine Infantino, etc.

Life-size G.I. Joe. That is, the original G.I. Joe, with the scarred cheek and the buzz cut, not those dinky little toys that came along later. Very cool, and slightly creepy all at once.


Can't have a convention without Star Wars stuff. It's the law.

And if you can't have a convention without Star Wars, you certainly can't have one without Sergio.

Speaking of Star Wars, Jan Duursema (right) is one of the top Star Wars comic book artists. Her husband, Tom Mandrake, is a great comic book artist as well.

The NCS hosted a Charles Schulz tribute panel titled "Why We Love Peanuts." Sorry to say, this is the best shot I managed to get of Greg Evans, doing a Luann sketch for the crowd. Other cartoonists participating in the panel were Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Kevin Fagan (Drabble), Bill Amend (Fox Trot), Michael Jantze (The Norm), and Paige Braddock (Jane's World). Jean Schulz was also on hand to offer insights. The panel was hosted by San Diego TV personality Jack White.

The Jane's World booth. However, that's not JW creator Paige Braddock, but a friend of hers, keeping an eye on things while she's away.

Jeannie Schulz autographs a stuffed Snoopy for a grateful fan.

How Abe Lincoln fit in among the other mutants, aliens, super-villains, etc. I'm not sure, but there he was.

You never know who you'll run across in Artist's Alley. Case in point, here's the creator of the Joker, NCS member Jerry Robinson.