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An Alternative To Comic-Con

Have the massive crowds and marketing onslaught around Comic-Con kept you away? Every year there's a moment when I'm swept up in the sea of fans crossing the street to the convention center and I get a little queasy. What if someone yelled fire and everyone ran and trampled the weak and clumsy? I fall solidly into the latter.

And then there's the bumping and jostling outside the convention center (don't even get me started on the inside) as people stop to take pictures of the Green Hornet car and the leather clad, belly-baring Hornet girls posing in front of it. Cars and half-naked girls - a proven recipe for marketing success.

A small convention for artists and comic book creators is positioning itself as the antidote to Comic-Con. "Tr!ckster" will be held directly across the street from Comic-Con, running for six days, July 19-24th (concurrent with the Con).

According to the LA Times blog "Hero," Tr!ckster is the brainchild of two Pixar story artists and independent cartoonists named Scott Morse and Ted Mathot.

They will set up a series of booths/retail spaces, hold symposia on various topics, and stage music events in the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center. Morse told the LA Times:

“We’re celebrating people who make, own and control their own work. In a world of movies where it’s nothing but sequels and franchises and reinventing and rebooting ideas, it’s refreshing to see people create a new idea now and again, instead of rehashing Spider-Man or Sherlock Holmes or making a movie out of the Harry Potter books.”

Other big names in the artist/comic book/graphic novel industry who are participating in Tr!ckster's events include: Mike Mignola (“Hellboy”), Dave Gibbons (“Watchmen“), Jim Mahfood (“Marijuana Man”), Mike Allred (“Madman”), Jill Thompson (“Scary Godmother”), painter Jason Shawn Alexander and illustrator Bernie Wrightson.

You can purchase tickets to individual Tr!ckster symposia for $35 or you can buy an all access pass for $350, which comes with a limited edition book and a framed work of art.

In a real departure from Comic-Con programming, wine will be served at all of the Tr!ckster panels. My kind of convention.

Check out the Tr!ckster website for more info on the event and the artists participating.

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