San Diego Comic-Con 2008 G4 Presents: Comic-Con '08 - An Anime Fan's Guide to Comic-Con, Part II
by Zac Bertschy, Jul 21st 2008
In our previous installment of “The Anime Fan's Guide to Comic-Con”, we talked about the various and sundry panels that anime fans could drool over at Comic-Con 2008; lucky for you, there's so much more to do than simply attending panels! This time, we're going to discuss the guests, industry booths, cool places to get swag, screenings and gaming.
THE EXHIBIT HALL
The massive and iconic exhibit hall is the crown jewel of Comic-Con and it keeps people coming back to Nerd Mecca year after year. Of course, there are plenty of people there selling anime and manga; here's a guide to the best and brightest.
Anime One Stop Shop, Booth #230. Located all the way on the right side of the hall, in the middle of Aisle 200.
Anime Pavillion, Booth #337. Located just around the corner from Anime One Stop Shop, at the rear of aisle 300 on the right.
Anime Palace, Booth #229. Located directly across from Anime One Stop Shop in Aisle 200.
Broccoli Books, Booth #2235. Find DC Comics, located just to the left of the center of the exhibit hall. Next to that is Sideshow Collectibles; just across from Sideshow, to your left, will be Broccoli Books. Be sure to harangue them about whatever translation quibbles you had with Galaxy Angel.
CAPCOM, Booth #5113. Located all the way over to the left of the hall, next to Square Enix. They'll probably have a bunch of Street Fighter stuff on display, in addition to the mountain of other anime-related properties they own. Be sure to stop by and Hurricane Kick someone's ass.
D3 Publishers of America, Booth #5132. You can find these guys directly north of CAPCOM; they should have a big stack of Naruto games for you to try out.
Dark Horse Comics, Booth #2615. The home of Berserk, Gantz, Hellsing, and almost every other kick-ass adults-only manga on the market can be found smack in the center of it all, directly across from Lego and Image Comics.
Entertainment Earth, Booth #2343. They don't have a lot of anime merchandise at the show – just some Air statues, if that's your thing – but if you stop by Entertainment Earth's booth, they'll give you a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase on the website, which has a load of anime merchandise to select from. They also sell Big Lebowski toys, which is rad as hell. You can find Entertainment Earth right next to Marvel Comics, in aisle 2300.
FUNimation Entertainment, Booth #4135. The overlords of the anime industry are located right next to Warner Bros. and Fox Atomic, left of the center of the hall. Just look for the giant Funimation sign. They'll have a giant pile of anime for sale and likely a bunch of special daily events with voice actors and whatnot. You know, the usual. Stop by and praise them for bringing Hellsing back.
Giant Robot Magazine, Booth # 1729. OK, so this isn't directly related to anime, but this is a great magazine that has definite appeal to anime fans. Stop by and pick up a copy in the middle of aisle 1700, just around the corner from DC Comics.
J-List / JAST USA, Booth #129. Looking for porn? LOTS of porn? Maybe one of those mousepads where the wrist rest is supposed to be anime boobs? Well shut your trenchcoat, lower your hat and shuffle on over to J-List, located allll the way on the right side of the hall, on the endcap between aisle 100 and 200.
IMAGI Studios, Booth #3530. Just across from the Hasbro Toy Shop in aisle 3530, on the left side of the hall, is IMAGI Studios, who will be promoting the hell out of their upcoming Astro Boy movie. Plenty of folks from the film's staff will be here as well.
Kaiju Big Battle, Booth #4632. If you're eager for people in strange costumes fighting eachother, hit up Kaiju Big Battle, located in the middle of aisle 4600, around the corner from AAA Anime, Yamato USA and Warner Bros.
Namco Bandai Games, Booth #5037. These dudes publish a hell of a lot of anime games, so check ‘em out and take a few of them for a test spin at the Namco Bandai Games booth, located right across from the Artist's Alley on the endcap between aisle 5000 and 5100.
Organic Hobby, Booth #3245. Check out the latest awesome import toys at Organic Hobby, located straight across the aisle from Toynami in aisle 3200.
Pokemon USA, Booth #2845. Itching to have your photo taken with a giant fiberglass Squirtle? Curious as to how the unstoppable Pokemon juggernaut will continue to dominate the world? Hit up Pokemon USA, located across from Upper Deck, on the left hand side of the hall in aisle 2800.
Random House / Del Rey, Booth #1129-1128. Random House and Del Rey dominate aisle 1100, with booths on both sides. Stop by and say hi to manga guru Dallas Middaugh. This is also where you'll want to go to get a ticket for the Hiro Mashima autograph line.
Sci Fi Channel, Booth #3829. Sci-Fi always brings that big weird blobular booth thing with TVs in it, so they're hard to miss, located on the left side of the hall next to New Line Cinema. There's no guarantee that they'll be promoting their relaunched anime content but who knows? Stop on by anyway.
Score Entertainment, Booth #3545. Located right in between Hot Wheels and Cartoon Network, Score Entertainment will be showing off their latest anime CCG, Bleach.
Seven Seas, Booth #2649. Located right next to the Wizard Entertainment booth, catty-corner to Marvel Comics in aisle 2600. Make sure to ask them a bunch of annoying questions about Kodomo no Jikan; they love that!
Sony Computer Entertainment, Booth #4901. All things Playstation can be found right next to Square Enix and CAPCOM in the lower left side of the hall.
Square Enix, Booth #5001. Squeenix has promised to show up with a whole lot of stuff anime fans will go ape for, including a bunch of Final Fantasy stuff, some new toys, and a bunch of exhibitions featuring stuff from Japan. We'll have a special look at the Square Enix booth for you on Thursday evening.
Tokidoki, Booth #4738. Purveyors of a whole lot of weird vaguely Japanese-looking novelty vinyl toys and mascot characters, tokidoki is your one-stop shop for “Moofia” toys, which are adorable cows with guns and stuff. Check ‘em out smack in the middle of aisle 4731, nestled in between the endcap and another booth.
Toy Tokyo, Booth #5237. Your home for incredibly hip toys of all manner and size, including Kubricks, Gloomy merchandise, Be@rbricks, and a lot of other stuff. Find them all the way to the left of the hall, the last booth in aisle 5200.
Toynami, Booth #3229. Robotech, Inuyasha, and a bunch of other anime toys can be found here. They're right next to Mattel, left of the center of the hall, down the way from Pokemon USA in aisle 3200.
Udon Entertainment, Booth #5022. The purveyors of Street Fighter comics and a bunch of Korean manhwa can be found across from Adventure Retail Ltd. In aisle 5000, near Sony and CAPCOM.
Upper Deck, Booth #2829. If you're still playing Yu-Gi-Oh!, stop on by Upper Deck to find some like-minded geeks. As a bonus, you can also nerd out to their World of Warcraft CCG, and your circle of dorkness is complete. Located catty-corner to Dark Horse, in aisle 2800.
Viz Media, Booth #4113. Wondering where the big Viz booth was at AX? Turns out it's right here! They're giving away a ton of free swag this year so make sure you swing past Viz at some point. You can find them to the left of the hall center, across from Fox Atomic and Warner Bros.
Yamato USA / AAA Anime, Booth #4437. Also located next to Warner Bros., AAA Anime usually has a great selection of upcoming imports to peruse. Directly across from the WB in aisle 4400.
Yen Press, Booth #1116. Just to the right of the hall center, Yen Press can be located in the middle of aisle 1116, to your right. They should have a decent selection of their titles to peruse, and you can always bug Kurt Hassler with your various and sundry quibbles.
Yesanime, Booth #305. One of the largest anime retailer booths, Yesanime is in the rightmost lower corner of the hall, right next to the big PosterParty.com booth.
In room 14AB, there'll be all-day Pokemon TCG mayhem, including a load of tournaments, with some involving prizes. Show up early if you want to beat the rush of grade schoolers.
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Tournament
The annual Comic-Con Tekken tournament starts at 1:30pm on Saturday in room 17b. You can sign up to beat some polygonal ass starting at 11:00am. 17b is also where the rest of the console gaming is, so if you feel the need to get your Smash Bros. on, this is the place.
The Eisner Awards
The Eisners have limited appeal to anime fans, but if you're willing to sit through the comics industry's annual back-pat-athon, there is a special manga category. Nominated this year for Best US Edition of International Material – Japan (that means manga) are The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories, MW, Monster, New Engineering and Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms. If you want to get in, show up in a clean shirt an hour or two before the doors open at 8:15pm. They let in professionals and talent first, but you can still get a seat as a lowly con attendee.
Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody
Friday, July 25th, 7:00 PM, at the Gaslamp 15
Viz Media will be screening the Bleach movie at the Gaslamp 15 in downtown San Diego, so if you didn't catch this in theaters a while back, now's your chance to see it on the big screen. The film itself is pretty insubstantial but hey, they'll have a costumed Kon mascot character there.
There are a small handful of guests from the anime and manga industry that are holding autograph sessions at Comic-Con. The autograph area (AA1, AA2, AA3) is in the Sails Pavillion, which is up one floor from the dealer's room.
Author of Fairy Tail, published by Del Rey
Signing from 4:30pm to 6:30pm in Autograph Area 3 on Saturday, July 26th. You'll need to go to Random House's booth, #1128, and pick up a ticket to get in line for a Mashima signature.
Author of Bleach and Zombie Powder, published by Viz Media
Kubo will be doing two signing sessions, each lasting one hour, both on Saturday, at 10:00am and 3:30pm. Only 100 people will be allowed to attend each signing. If you want in on this, be one of the first 50 people to show up to the Viz booth from Wednesday through Saturday, and buy a Bleach item from their store. You'll get a ticket to attend one of the signings and a special signing board.
And that's all for now! See you at Comic-Con!