July 18 -22, 2001: The San Diego Comic Con
By Orne Montgomery
The San Diego (International) Comic Con had the usual run of attractions – film and comic-book previews, panels, and workshops – with the Saturday night Masquerade topping the mix.drawing a mostly SRO crowd (estimated attendance was 36,000 over four days). The Dealers Room was expanded and, along with the perennial publisher venues, showcased a full-size Time Machine (with detailed model and production artwork) for a new movie directed by H.G. Wells’ grandson, and an appearance by the original Batmobile. (I learned at this time that George Barris’ wife. Shirley Barris, was ill and that he had gone home to be with her. She passed away on July 30.)
While I brought my models of the Jupiter II, Starship Ivanova, and Batura, no other models appeared in the Art Show, and not many figures (the restrictions in place preventing use of wheeled carts/trolleys, probably dissuaded many from displaying anything heavier than what could be easily carried in portfolio-cases).
Over the last few years the focus of what was made available in the Dealers Room has shifted from comic-books to action figures and model-sculptures. With the exception of the new Hasegawa Valkyrie kits, there were no new model-kits to be seen, and only a few displays of SF collectible models (Anime, Trek, and Star Wars), it has become more prevalent this year. Among the figure-vendors was X-Plus USA, Inc. (Godzilla and the Harryhausen figures), the Shiflett Bros. with their fantaxy creations, and Tom Allison of Mad Robot Studios, who was busy sculpting a new Superman figure while fielding questions from an ever-present crowd surrounding his table.
The Batmobile — Had to wait til the last day of the show just to get these photos. Total mob scene rest of the time. The profile shots had me pressed against a wall ten feet away and couldn’t get a full view.