That feeling I had as soon as I woke up this morning.
It didn’t matter if I had 2 hours of sleep; my senses had a tingling sensation knowing that something spectacular was going to happen. Today marked the 2nd day of the Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con, everything was set into place. A comic book fans dreams were coming to reality, as Stan Lee, the man pretty much behind every famous Marvel superhero from the likes of Spider-Man, The Avengers, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and many others was coming to the convention to spend the day with attendees!
But that’s not all! Critically acclaimed artist Jim Lee was also scheduled to come to the convention to spend the day as well! The man who put X-Men on the map in the nineties or even as recently as changing the face of the Justice League and Superman in the New 52 series, it pretty much was a gift from the comic book heavens!!
The anticipation for these two was such a complete build up that you could cut the tension with a knife! By the time I arrived to the South Point Hotel and Casino, there was a line that swiveled around each other in the convention hall and out the door! I was in shock and awe at how many people were in the lines. I had flashbacks of my first time at WonderCon when Stan was signing there and they had to close off the line due to the influx of attendees, but unlike this, they all remained!
And right in the adjacent room was JIM LEE?! As I continued to patrol the convention floor, our very own nerd, Hayley Etter went to the Jim Lee panel. What she told me was magical. By the time she arrived there, the room was filled to capacity. The setting that Jim was placed from the audience was more of an intimate affair, just the stage, a table which had a projector positioned just above the sketching area, Jim and about 5 feet of space between him and the attendees who packed the hall room.
Jim went back and forth with fans as he answered questions and gave the crowd lessons in how to draw while he sketched The Joker which was displayed by the projector that captured every detailed line that Jim drew on the maniacal clown prince we have all grown to love. Stroke by stroke, each line his pen produced brought more depth into his drawing, more and more you saw that cheeky grin, those bulging eyes and that essential flow The Jokers hair had. What was as crazy as that lovable Batman villain that was coming together, was how Jim would explain the questions that the fan asked, stop what he was doing and quickly start sketching up something else to show that his illustrations are not as easy as he makes it to be.
“Back!”, that’s what was his response as Jim Lee drew the back of a character and just as quickly as he was showing the crowd as he drew the muscular features of the back he also quickly covered the error he did by drawing a big long cape in which he looked at the crowd and said: “See what I mean, back is what I have trouble drawing ladies and gentlemen. And that’s why super heroes wear capes! To cover the deformed backs of super heroes up!” The crowd applauded and laughed.
Next Jim Lee drew an amazing Harley Quinn and wrote right above, Happy Fathers Day, Puddin! He looked into the crowd and asked if anyone can prove that they had a ticket to the midnight premier of the Man of Steel on them, that he would give them the sketch of Harley Quinn. Afterwards he also said, anyone with a super hero themed sneaker can have this drawing of The Joker, a stampede almost occurred and eager fans rushed to the stage to show their sneakers to Jim, while a round of applauded erupted to thank Jim Lee for his time!
Just mere steps away, I arrived in the other room just as Stan Lee’s panel started. An estimated 800 people were gathered into the panel room with curious ears listening as he explained how he got into the business. What he thought of the comic book industry, and why he created the beloved character we have all grown to love! Right after he did a Q & A as fans picked Stan’s brain with questions like who his favorite super hero was or why he named his characters the way he did. Even Stan was taken back by the questions as he took the time to answer correctly, as well as to throw in a few joke in the process.
The Panel was about an hour long and when it ended Stan scurried into the next room where he did an autograph signing and separate picture taking for over 1,500 fans! You would think at age 91 Stan would be exhausted. He had his fair share of ailments that a person of his age would have but you wouldn’t have known. His energy brought everyone who was in attendance to see him in a brighter and happier mood. It was such a great event that I was fortunately able to witness.
Now back over at the convention, as the Stan and Jim Lee’s experiences were taking place, it didn’t stop Saturday’s festivities from going on. No, this was the Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con of course! And as much as quadruple the amount of Friday’s attendance showed up today. Just like yesterday everyone was in full force taking part with everything from mass gaming in the video game section of the convention as kids were just an all out gaming fest with each other, to the comic book rifling as collectors were trying to find the key issues to complete their collections through the many vendors selling worthwhile comics, to the people just trying to find a special novelty item that they can take home, I even found Avengers cologne there! Though I didn’t buy it, I was more surprised by it.
Everything was going on here, and the excitement was definitely felt by the crowd! Autograph sessions from the leading men of illustration and writing were going on, people ran double lives as their cosplaying counter parts took over, photos were being taken of everything, and smiles were on everyones faces!
Pure fun was had on Saturday by all!
For more information on the Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con, visit: http://amazinglasvegascomiccon.com