2006 San Diego Comic Con report
(better late than never)
by Dave Waugh 8/06/06

"When they say you can't do it all in one day, they weren't kidding."


Bwana Spoons

As most toy collectors know, the annual San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) is the premier pop culture event of the year. A combination of toys, comic books, movies, video games and everything in between, it's a fan boys dream come true. With the gigantic San Diego convention center filled to the brim with over 5000 vendors and a paid attendance of over 125,000 fans, they were indeed correct: it was virtually impossible to see everything the SDCC had to offer in one day. Thank god it went on for three…

But since this is a Micronauts website (and because there are tons of other SDCC reviews posted on the web featuring a wide array of subject matter from the event) we'll take this article and focus it mainly on the aforementioned toy line and it's appearance at said Con. With my trusty assistant photographer Dina Bell in tow, we set out to first locate the SOTA Toys booth and see if their Micronauts prototypes would be on display. Actually, they weren't that hard to find in the massive convention hall, as SOTA president Jerry Macaluso greeted us outside the entrance doors to the "F" section, handed us our vendor passes and took us right on over to where we needed to be.

The three SOTA Micronauts Evolution prototypes (Baron Karza, Lobros and Space Glider) were proudly displayed in a case at the front right corner of the booth. These figures were last seen at Toy Fair in NYC back in 2005, this having only been the second time shown in a public forum which is good news for Micronauts fans indeed. Proof positive that even though certain circumstances seem to be delaying the release of the line, Jerry intends to eventually release the figures no matter what the future may hold. Stay tuned for an upcoming exclusive interview with Macaluso concerning what's currently going on with the property soon to come, but for now…back to the convention…

SOTA Toys booth

Matt Doughty (above) author of "Microshow" and Koji Harmon (r) author of "Micrography" at the Gargamel booth

enlargement of the "Micronauts Evolution" preview comic cover by Randy Queen

Plenty more Micro-fans were in attendance as well that sweltering weekend of July 20-23, most being members of Ray Miller's Micropolis Embassy Suite mailing list. Sometimes events such as this end up being the first-time meeting place for fellow list members, and the SDCC was no exception. Elusive Super 7 magazine contributor/Micro-collector and artist Bwana Spoons was there selling his wares, as was Koji Harmon with vinyl designer Gargamel all the way from Tokyo Japan. Matt Doughty had on display many of his tiny super-articulated creations, most of which are featured in his numerous publications such as "Microshow" and the "Rechlen and Aves" series.

Dave Waugh tattooing Mark Spaude (above) finished Amazon Acroyear
tattoo (r)

Joe from Pirate's Cove and Felix from Fantasia Toys both had product for sale in their own respective booths, and list member/compadre Adam Middleton served as a gracious tour guide for most of the remaining weekends festivities. I was informed there were many more list members in attendance, but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to hook up with them all.

But some who were not seen but heard from did receive a copy of the Micronauts Evolution preview comic (stay tuned for more details) thanks to the handy work of Mark Spaude, proud new owner of a purple Microman Amazon Acroyear tattoo! Who knew that tattooing would be a part of the fun at the SDCC this year? The surprises never end.


SOTA Toys Lobros

SOTA Toys Space Glider

Ken Lilly (former head of production at Palisades Toys) was there with his new company Creatus Maximus, as was Dave Dorman, the artist responsible for the stunning Palisades Micronauts sticker art. Micronauts fans soon seemed to crawl out of the woodwork after the days began to roll on, as I was approached by plenty of industry people eager to ask questions about and in search of obtaining the license for the Micronauts brand. While purchasing an original Spider-Man comic page from artist Terry Dodson, I was delighted to hear him state that one of his favorite childhood comic series was Marvel's Mantlo/Golden Micronauts run. The Super 7 booth had a poster sized blow-up of their most recent issue, the Micronauts Antron cover (featuring the Ken Kelly article penned by yours truly), and subsequently they led me over to a booth manned by a former Pixar animator interested in commissioning KK to do a painting. Micronauts might not have been the biggest thing at the Con this year (pun intended) but they certainly made a big splash with a diverse set of fans.

Each day offered a new exciting surprise around each corner. Digging through a few different comic art vendors' binders uncovered some hidden Micronauts treasures: a Gil Kane splash page from issue #41 and a Pat Broderick splash from issue #31 page 12. But the true Micro-art gem found at the show was from a dealer who was in possession of one of the most iconic Micronaut comic images ever produced. For a mere pittance of 25K I could have been the proud new owner of the original Michael Golden artwork for the cover of issue #12, a sight more incredible to behold in person than viewed in print form hands down. My mind now truly blown for sure among the myriad of sights the show had to offer, I knew by the last day I had probably seen all there was to see.


SOTA Toys Baron Karza

Adam Middleton, PS of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! (above)
SOTA sculptor Alexi Bustamante as Trapjaw (r)

original artwork for Micronauts #12

So after helping break down the SOTA booth (and popping loose the hot glued-in appendages of the Evolution figures for safe packing back to the home office) I was soon off to Los Angeles to stay with Jerry Macaluso for the following week at his home in the valley. A week to decompress, hang, interview and eventually tattoo him…and to learn some exciting and interesting news to report on the Micronauts Evolution line and what the future has in store. So stay tuned, an exclusive interview featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the SOTA Toys HQ and production facilities/mini-warehouse and the start of the only existing Micronauts full sleeve tattoo in existence is yet to come…it was a 10 day vacation that ended up being a Micronauts fan dream come true.

And I had a great time as well!

Ken Lilly of Creatus Maximus (above) and (below) the lines went on forever

Dave Waugh 8/06/06
All photos copyright © 2006 ISO