Hey, look at that! A map of San Diego Comic Con 2016’s exhibit hall, which you can pull down to your device of choice here [PDF].
There will never be an extension to the San Diego Convention Center, so once again the bend in the hall divides things roughly in half, with our attention mostly on the north — or away from Tijuana¹ — side of the hall.
The Great Geek North
Let’s start over to the right side of the map, which is the side of the building closer to most hotels, the harbor, and the road from the airport. Conversely, it’s further away from the stadium and the surrounding lots where much of the offsite eventing will take place. It looks like this:
The Webcomics, Small Press, and Independent Press Pavilions are all reasonably accessible from the “B” lobby. Let’s break ’em down.
Upon The Webcomics Sea
Centered roughly on booth #1332, you’ll find a majority of the webcomickers who will be at the show within about a 1.5 aisle radius; some are slightly outside the orange area, but not too far. Those that return are for the most part at the same booth number as previous years, but there’s been some upheaval, as we shall see.
- Blank Label appears to have given up its space, with David Willis deciding that twin boys are preferable to SDCC crowds. Booth 1330 will be the home of newcomers Cool Cat Blue.
- Similarly, it appears that Matt Inman will not be at the show, perhaps the better to https://twitter.com/Oatmeal/status/746829450843557889 against pornbots (or, more likely, spend his time and effort on his ever-expanding series of Blerch Runs; coincidentally, yesterday marked seven years of The Oatmeal, so happy strippiversary to Inman).
- Other listed newcomers to Webcomics Central include Jefbot in 1232, Mystic Revolution (boothing away from the rest of Keenspot, see below) in 1235, Digital Pimp in 1237 (which is odd, considering their latest newspost is about SDCC 2014), and Rhode Montijo (of Happy Tree Friends fame) in 1329. Lotta turnover.
- No news yet on which TopatoCo creators will be along; we’ll update once we know.
- Given all the book deals flying about, I would be remiss not to mention the presence of Hachette (1116), Harper Collins (1029), Macmillan Children’s Publishing (1117), and Simon & Schuster (1128) in Publisher’s Row; Knopf Doubleday is staking out their turf on the other side of Webcomics Central (1520).
- As of this writing, Booth 1332, the heart of Webcomics Central, is not listed as having an exhibitor. If this situation persists on arrival, I will claim that space in the name of Garylandia.
Small Press And Such
Right by the Webcomics section is Small Press. Here you should find:
From the Small Press section, you’re close by:
- Gallery Nucleus will feature arty types when they aren’t hanging out at Mondo down in booth 835. Keep an eye out for your Scotts C, your Beckys and/or Franks, and alumni of the various Flight anthologies.
- No confirmation yet on which webcomickers will be at the BOOM! booth when, but I’d expect a pretty strong rotation.
- Gene Yang and Hope Larson will be spending at least some time at DC’s enormobooth (1915).
Now head back toward the “B” Lobby into the Independent Press area and you’ll find Jeff Smith (no longer webcomicking but so what, he’s the best) again splitting booth space with Terry Moore (who’s announced no new series work — miniseries only from here out) at Booth 2109. You’re also not too far from the Jack Kirby Museum at Booth 5520 which, yes, is a very large number but is actually just inside the B1 entrance. Weird, right?
Going back to that larger map of the northern half of the exhibit hall. Wedged in between the Marvel and Image megabooths you’ll find Keenspot in Booth 2635.
The South Shall Rise Again
There’s still some neat stuff if you keep wandering past the video games, Star Wars, Legos, and suchlike.
Give yourself half an hour or so, try not to spend all your money on Copic markers (Booth 5338), and you’ll find both Udon Entertainment (home of such worthies as Christopher Butcher and Jim Zub at Booth 4529); and The Hero Initiative (at Booth 5003). Zub’s onetime Skullkickers artist, Edwin Huang will be in the Artists Alley at table EE-19, and Katie Cook will be at table HH-17.
Every year for the past half-decade the amount of stuff you can see outside of the exhibit hall has grown; I’m guessing we’re only a year or so away from complete parity. If you know of anything especially good, let us know and we’ll add it here. Otherwise, just wander the city and see what you got.
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¹ The happiest place on Earth.
²Don’t forget that Ms Call has a concert on Friday night over in Little Italy with a passel of internet musicians, NASA scientists, and David Malki !.