Events & Appearances
When: July 14-17, 2005
Where: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.
The world's largest annual convention of popular culture. For more
While attending, be sure to catch Eldon and others on the following
THURSDAY, JULY 14
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Is that Your Sword, or Are You Just Unhappy to
See Me? Writing Fight Scenes
Epic fantasy means epic battles, both large and
small. Our panel of
writers work hard to make the sword as mighty as the pen.
Authors: James Clemens, Robert Jordan, R.
A. Salvatore, Eldon Thompson, Jim Butcher
Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart
Autographing to follow immediately in the
official Autograph Area
NOTE: Events and
participants are subject to change. Please remember to check your
official programming guide for scheduling details.
Eldon had the following to say about his first
experience as a professional at Comic-Con:
"The trouble with Comic-Con is, where to begin?
Okay, perhaps that dreadfully slow-moving line in which my friend
Kevin and I stood for more than two hours in order to pick up our
pre-registration packets. The convention staff members were pleasant
enough, and extremely apologetic, so I suppose there's no real cause
for irritation. Still, I must say I'm glad I chose to pick up my
materials the night before my panel, rather than waiting until the
The panel itself, moderated by Maryelizabeth Hart of
Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, was great fun. The only
disappointment was that R. A. Salvatore was unable to attend. I
tried to steal his nameplate and pretend that I was him, but
Maryelizabeth wasn't going to let that fly. So I was stuck being
myself—a letdown for more than just me,
The other panelists,
however, seemed to hardly miss a beat. Things started off with a
bang when Maryelizabeth asked what sort of real-life battle
experience any of us had, and Robert Jordan stunned many in
attendance with a brief accounting of those he had killed while
serving as a soldier in Vietnam. A shocked and respectful silence
ensued, as it seemed no one knew quite how to respond. But
Maryelizabeth deftly pulled things together, and the discussion went
on. Fortunately, both James Clemens and Jim Butcher sat before me in
line, and were able to liven things up a bit by the time it got
around to me. Because all I had to talk about was mock battles with
my brothers while growing up, and football—a far cry from Vietnam.
A group autographing
session followed. Man, oh man, does that Robert Jordan have a lot of
fans! I hung in there until the end, chatting with the others and
listening to stories from Mr. Jordan and his wife, Harriet.
Afterwards, the stories continued, as they invited my friend Kevin
and I to lunch. Along the way, we encountered yet another Jordan
fan—Wonder Woman! I'm not sure if it was really her, mind you, but
she certainly looked the part. In any case, lunch was terrific: good
food, kind advice, and great stories. To both Robert and Harriet,
my heartfelt thanks.
And all of that on day
Of course, the rest of
it is a bit of a blur. That tends to happen at Comic-Con, as anyone
who has been there will understand. The exhibition hall is
cavernous, with more sights and sounds than any one person can
absorb. On top of that, there are the ongoing programming sessions,
with so many topics that it becomes difficult to choose which ones
to attend. And of course, there you are in the San Diego harbor,
adjacent to the famous Gaslamp district, where once again, you could
spend an entire day and night without ever growing bored. Thus, here
are some highlights, in no particular order:
Running into the
Dabel Brothers, producers of high-quality graphic adaptations of
George R. R. Martin's The Hedge Knight, Robert Jordan's
New Spring, and more.
Hanging out in our
hotel room, with an excellent view down into Petco Park, where
the San Diego Padres had a homestand against the Arizona
Chatting with Anne
who edits George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire,
and who singlehandedly held down her publisher's exhibition booth.
Picking up a box of
candy Red Hots in special packaging used to promote Christopher
Paolini's forthcoming book, Eldest. Someone in marketing
had a fun time with that one!
Having dinner with
friends Will and Kevin and film producer Ryan Colucci, followed
by an encounter with the most inebriated man I've ever seen who
was still on his feet. Of course, after watching him wander off
into the middle of oncoming traffic, I have to wonder how long
he stayed that way.
Chatting at the Del
Rey booth with Betsy, Jennifer, and Colleen, who introduced me
to none other than Mr. Orson Scott Card. Mr. Card went so far as
to purchase a copy of The Crimson Sword and have me sign
it for him. Bit of a surreal moment there, though one I'm not
likely to soon forget.
the Mysterious Galaxy booth, trying to help out, but mostly just
getting in the way.
Heading into town
for an advance screening of the film, The Island, only to
stand in line for an hour and not get in.
Viewing the costume
exhibit from the forthcoming film, The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
"Earthquake" ice cream platter at Ghirardelli's dessert shop
along with my brother Neil and a couple of friends, Damian and
Teah. For the record, I'm confident that either Neil or I could
have polished it off ourselves.
There was all of that
and more. Comic-Con truly is an audiovisual feast for fans of all
ages and across all entertainment mediums. You really have to see it
to believe it.
On Sunday, we went to
the Hotel del Coronado to partake of their champagne brunch. Quite a
sight. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. My friends Damian and Teah
picked up the tab and managed to do it without fainting. Brave
souls, I must say. A trip to the San Diego Zoo, a nice dinner, and
before we knew it, the weekend was over.
I'm not even sure what
I enjoyed most. Certainly, I owe a debt of thanks to Maryelizabeth
and Patrick and the rest of the Mysterious Galaxy crew. Also, to
Robert and Harriet Jordan, James Clemens, Jim Butcher, and Orson
Scott Card. It's so nice to be able to meet professionals who are
kind and down-to-earth and not nearly as snooty as they've earned
the right to be. And of course, thanks to the fans who made me feel
as if I actually belonged there. With any luck, I'll see them all
again next year."