Thursday, July 14, 2005

San Diego Report 1

We blasted out of Prescott, Az Tuesday for Sandy Egoes and the annual comicon-extravaganza, I've gone to everyone i think since the mid 90's, but last year eneded up being so expensive for me I decided I had to save some $$, so I shipped my stuff ( art and books) to Bret's place and flew into Pheonix and stayed with them in Prescott, about 90 minutes north. I had been staying with Bret and his family since Saturday when I flew into Phoenix. Bret, his wife Patricia (who drove) left a little later than we wanted in our trek to get to SD and get set-up for PREVIEW NIGHT, our van stocked full with our art and sketchbooks, we hauled ass to San Diego con, which is about a 5-6 hour drive, depending on traffic and how many times we have to stop to whiz.

Prescott is around a mile above sea level, so for a good part of the drive you spend it coming down some super whindy roads.And brother, does it get hot fast!

We hauled alond some busy trucker filed roads, here is our ride reflected in the hubcap of one of the hundreds of trucks we past...

After sketching and finishing some commissions, Bret took a nap..

We hit a slowdown in traffic due to this grizzly looking wreck which also set off a brush fire in the super-dry tinder of the road side brush.

Though it was well above 110 degrees in parts outside, we keep it cool inside with MANGO JUICE! Nectar of the gods it is...


One of the big complaints this year about the con, besides the usual "It's getting too expensive!" is the hotel situation. This year it's especially bad...with the hotels selling out in record time. Back in January Bret and I secured our room in the first 10 mintues of them going on sale via the service the con uses to book them. Lucky for us we did as they were sold in something like an hour, but we felt this year we were more organized and on top of it. we decided to stay at the same hotel we have stayed at the last few years, The Holiday Inn on the Bay. Upon arriving to the con we parked underneath the convention center, unloaded our books and headed over to the hotel, ready to relax. last year the "move-in' was so hellish since we arrived too late to park close and had to haul our stuff in shifts from about a mile away. We were proud of ourselves, we figured, " Hey we are all set, we did it right, dotted all the eeyes, crossed all the T's, we can a day early to set up before "Preview night, which starts Wednesday", got in, no hassel with parking, used the elevators to load in, no lines for our badges, man it was smooth! until we went to check in..

I waited by the van while pat and Bret went in to check us in. 15 minutes later pat comes out with a bad look on our face. the hotel said our reservation was gone, they had us arriving a day early for some reason and gave our room away! FUCK! And not only did they do it to us, but several other people in line too. Luckily I was able to switch into emergency LOBOT mode and hop on my cell and withing a few calls managed to snag one of the only rooms left in the area at the Embassy Suites La Jaolla! when we checked in, the lady at reception said,. "Oh I'm sorry sir, we are totally sold out." and I replied using my "I will skin you like a Sandperson" look insisted she check again...and guess what, there was our room. So we are 20 minutes out but at a much nicer hotel for about the same price. Good triumphs over automatic message board robots and incompitent and evil corporations. And on top of this all, the same hotel forced my pal Ricardo Villagran, who traveled from Buenos Aries for the con,to pay-up-front $800 in cash for his room after they also screwed up his reservations! This has to be illegal! There needs to be something done about this type of my motto is now FUCK THE HOLIDAY INN!


Our set-up at the show, we have an island...there will be 8 men and one woman on this island, and we'll be surrounded on all sides by freaks and geeks.

A mere 15 minutes before the show people rush to set up, like Neal Adams, as the giant Pikachu

More later....


surly hack said...

With apologies to Kieron:

FUCK THE HOLIDAY INN..the ass, of course.

Jason said...

yeah Holiday inn sucks.

FUCKING MIKE FUCKING MANLEY!! Darkhawk is the sole reason why I have been reading comics for the past 15 years. I picked up number four at a newstand and have been a total comic dork ever since. I'm glad to have come across this blog.

SNeelyArt said...

Maybe it's an omen! Somehow, Mike, I knew there would be a problem with the hotels for the show. Sorry it happened to you. I've always had issues with them. Holiday Inn sucks ass indeed! At least you got a place to crash for the show. Ricardo got jacked and if I was him I'd see what could be done about it. If Wizard ran the San Diego show I'd say they were in league with the hotels. I bet Jim lee don't have these issues! Word to the wise, I find it helpful if you call a day or so before you get there and make sure that you have the reservation and get someone's name as to who you talked too. Also getting a copy of the confirmation emailed or faxed to you can help your case when you're at the front desk bitching. Works for me!
Scott Neely

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