Unlike Thursday, Friday wasn't packed with panels and autograph signings. It was actually a pretty slow day book-wise, so I figured it was a good time to hit up all the book booths and just wander around the exhibit hall.
The exhibit hall, if you've never been to Comic Con (like me, before this trip), is MASSIVE. The aisles start at 100 and go up by 100s (100, 200, 300, and so on) and they go all the way to 5500! And they're not short, either. Not to mention there's a whole section called Artist's Alley that's also down there, and that part isn't even numbered! You could easily spend your entire day--or entire 4 days--down there and still miss something.
The other thing you should know about Comic Con is that even if you come with a group, it's nearly impossible to stay with them. Unless you're all on board with the exact same stuff, you eventually have to split up. On Thursday, I said ta-ta to my husband at 8am, and didn't see him again until the Scott Pilgrim panel that night at 6pm! So, we figured we would wander a little together in the exhibit hall on Friday morning.
So, I started off my day seeing some pretty cool, non-book things.
First, we went to the DC Comics booth, where husband got his picture with Batman and Catwoman.
I also saw:
And this R2D2 wandering around.
I also saw:
This awesome giant banner for Vladimir Tod, which reminded me it was time to start hitting up the book booths--starting with Penguin, of course!
At the Penguin Young Readers booth (for more about how awesome Penguin is, check out my post about why I heart them) I checked out all the sweet swag, and picked up a purple Vlad Tod bag.
Pictured above: Sample chapters from The Penguin Five, their Destination Elsewhere series, sample chapters from the first Vampire Academy, and free Vampire Academy tattoos (and this was only half of the table!)
They were also giving out ARCs of Matched by Allie Condie (due out November 30th) and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (due out October 19th), which of course I picked up right away.
From there it was onwards to booths by Avatar Press (where I met Max Brooks, author of World War Z, who was super nice and funny, and I picked up his new zombie graphic novel for the husband), Disney Book Group, Little Brown, Harper, Random House/Del Rey, ACE/ROC (Two of Penguin's adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi imprints), Simon & Schuster, and San Diego's own Fantasy/Sci-Fi independent bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy, which was in charge of moderating most of the book panels and were also doing a lot of the book signings in conjunction with different book groups. Definitely go check out their website--even if you don't live in the San Diego area, it's useful for seeing what Sci-Fi/Fantasy books are coming out soon, plus you can order signed first editions and some other cool stuff online!
While circling the booths, I found out that Heather Brewer would be signing at Mysterious Galaxy, and Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl would be giving out signed ARCs of Beautiful Darkness (the much anticipated sequel to Beautiful Creatures, due out this fall!) from the Little Brown booth! Of course, I needed to attend both.
Heather Brewer was super nice, signing Vlad Tod #1 and #2 for me, as well as a poster that will be part of one of our upcoming giveaways. For mentioning the FNC blog, I also managed to snag a super-exclusive Vladimir Tod beach towel!
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl had a huge line (thankfully I was near the front of it!) and because they needed to move through it quickly, they were only signing ARCs of Beautiful Darkness. I figured I'd take a shot, though, and they graciously signed my copy of Beautiful Creatures too! Yay, matching set!
The talented ladies who are making the Southern Gothic hot again.
With my backpack once again totally loaded down with books, I figured I'd make one more round back to Penguin Young Readers (what? I was going that way anyway!) before heading out of the exhibit hall. And I'm glad I did, since I picked up an ARC of The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (coming out September 21st) there! I asked Mardie, one of the Penguin reps there, when they'd be giving out copies of Sapphique (sequel to Incarceron, which I'm so excited about!) and she graciously dug through the boxes and gave me one right then! Score!
After that, it was time for some food, and then I was off to the What's Up With Penguin Panel, run by executive editor for Ace/Roc Anne Sowards, another editor for Ace/Roc, Jessica Wade, and marketing coordinator Mardie Cohen (who I'm pretty sure thought I was full-on stalking her by this point.)
Left to right: Anne Sowards, Jessica Wade, Mardie Cohen. Sorry I couldn't snap a better photo, I was so focused on the books! (You can also see the stacks of ARCs in front of them that they gave away!)
The Penguin panel was awesome--I learned about a lot of the new Ace/Roc stuff coming out (which I don't know as much about, spending most of my time in the YA section) plus some more information about the Penguin Five, Richelle Mead's Last Sacrifice (which they are sadly not doing ARCs of :( ), the final Vlad Tod, the new Robin McKinley, and lots more cool stuff! They also gave out TONS of ARCs and t-shirts and tote bags and another one of those super-exclusive Vlad Tod towels!
After the Penguin panel, I was pretty pooped (like the alliteration?), but I only had time to check my 100lb backpack and Vlad Tod tote, because I needed to change and head across the street to the Hard Rock Hotel, where Penguin was having their FangFest party.
FangFest was being held here, which if you click on the link, you can see just how awesome and vampire-y the place--called 207--looks.
Now, if you're like me, you're not much of a nightclub person, you would rather watch Disney movies than go out to a bar (or a party, if you're under 21), and you generally are not known as "party person." Which means you rarely get to say things like "I'm on the list."
Me? I've NEVER been somewhere even remotely exclusive. FangFest? It was exclusive. Like I walked through a velvet robe exclusive. Like I got to say "I'm on the list" exclusive!! (Can you tell how nerdy and excited I am about this? This is exactly why I'm never on the list.)
If you're wondering how the husband and I got invited to something so exclusive like FangFest, the answer comes in two parts. A of all, the blog helps a lot. Like I mention in my Penguin post, they're super-friendly to bloggers and definitely understand the importance of the free viral marketing that bloggers provide. B of all, I may or may not have an insider connection. I'll keep you wondering ;)
Inside FangFest, I will proudly say that I totally squeed!! and was a total fangirl. The husband was lovely and supportive, but just didn't understand. After all, he'd been at the big movie panels all day and had seen people like Eva Mendes, Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Paul Bettany and Stephen Moyer. And here I was, going "Omg! That's Michael Bourret! He's Heather Brewer's agent! That's Tim Travaglini, senior editor at Penguin!"
Here I am at the party, being overly excited and holding up my Vlad Tod bag. And husband. Pretending to understand the fangirlness of it all.
I also spotted: Heather Brewer, Charlaine Harris, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Patrick Rothfuss, and others.
Did I talk to them? Uh, no. Well, I talked to Heather Brewer for a few minutes about her cool gargoyle backpack. I also mistook Heather Brewer's teenage son for the model on the front of the Vlad Tod covers, because they look TOTALLY the same. (Heather revealed in the vampire panel on Saturday that she says her son is her real life Vlad Tod, so I guess I wasn't that off-base!)
But mostly I just stood with the husband and squeed and was way NotCool. I did, of course, talk to Mardie Cohen, because a) she's nice and b) like I said, I kind of stalked her the whole week.
I also spent a bunch of time talking with a lovely blogger from BookYurt, which is an awesome book blog that gives you reviews, book updates, success stories, book-to-movie information, and lots of other stuff. Plus the woman who runs it is super nice, and we found out we were kind of YA soulmates, both being in love with Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore, and feeling violently angry over the film version of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
I felt weird trying to talk paparazzi-style photos of the people there, so instead I took some snazzy faux-artsy photos of things. Behold!
All in all, the party was awesome, and we headed back exhausted (and possibly still squeeing.)
I give Penguin and Comic Con a thumb's up! (Also, you can see my sparkly get-me-into-FangFest-bracelet.) (Which I may or may not still be wearing.) (No, I took it off.) (That's a lie, I'm a dork, I'm definitely still wearing it.)
Stay tuned for Saturday, the last day at Comic Con for me, plus some final pictures of all the swag I hauled in, and stories of my amazing Tetris-style packing that brought it all back to the east coast!