SDCC 2011: Preview Night Wrap-Up In Pictures!

…And just like that, once again, San Diego Comic-Con 2011 has begun. We prepped, we trained, we mentally prepared ourselves, yet nothing could have made us ready for the sheer onslaught that is SDCC. In fact, as fondly reminisced about with old-timers (you know, people who have been coming to the Con for five years or so?) Wednesday Night used to be the slow night, where exhibitors and press could mingle freely in the aisles.

Not so this year, as the amount of packed the Con floor was could have given any convention a run for its money. And as usual, the movie, video game, and TV section was jam packed, while Artists Alley and the small press section had to settle for moderately packed. The one big difference this year? Nowhere were the crowds larger than at the Marvel, DC, and later on, Dark Horse booths.

Let’s make ours Marvel, first:

The Marvel booth was completely decked out pimping the upcoming Avengers movie, including S.H.I.E.L.D. agents working hard at computer consoles, a giant logo, and – we’re guessing – much more to be revealed. The main attraction, though, were posters for The Avengers (which unfortunately had a Paramount logo on them instead of a Disney logo), Iron Man 3, and these AMAZING Avengers T-Shirts, one of which is worn handsomely by’s Ben Morse here:

The flurry of activity continued all night as Marvel’s Agent M gave away passes for a Captain America screening on Twitter, and a constant stream of fans and picture takers tried to grab free swag left and right.

On the other hand, The DC booth was all about the comics… And though fans may grumble online about the publisher’s relaunch, they packed the HUGE DC booth to capacity… And stayed there. DC set up signings, a green screen booth to put yourself in the new Justice League, and tons of demos and goodies, including a Lego Batman whose cape swayed in the wind:

The star attraction though? As the Con floor opened, there was Jim Lee, sitting on stage, drawing Wonder Woman:

And though our first thought was to snarkily joke about whether his drawing had pants or not, Lee took the wind out of our sales by revealing that Diana was wearing the star spangled undies, but actually also holding a pair of pants, contemplating them, concerned. He also did a Green Lantern drawing, and gave both out to lucky fans, with a note written on the bottom: “Don’t sell me on eBay.”

Around 7:30, already exhausted and only 90 minutes in, we headed over to the Dark Horse booth where a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT was promised. And the crowd that showed up certainly was huge, packing the booth and aisle solid:

The announcement itself was a little underwhelming, as Guillermo del Toro, who was supposed to be there to talk about the comic book adaptation of his book The Strain had thrown out his back. However, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello made up for it, announcing his own comic book:

As our energy started to fade, we headed over to pick up a signed and limited copy of Kate Beaton’s brilliant Hark a Vagrant, which had already sold half of its allotted 300 copies, with the Con just starting. That’s some good business, you guys.

A last little sweep revealed some assorted cool sights, including a TARDIS:

Legend Walt Simonson signing his giant IDW Thor collection, with an unidentified woman (just kidding):

The CBLDF’s Charles Brownstein showing off a piece of Dave Gibbons art that had just been dropped off, and will be auctioned later in the Con:

And we got to play a game of “Who’s Hat Is Weirder, The Guy Who is Wearing It For His Job, Or The Guy Who’s Just Wearing a Weird Hat?”

…And then it got weirder:

So we headed out into the night, passing by an exhibit of Conan O’Brien art:

The ubiquitous banner ads for Real Steel:

A guy we think was supposed to be Batman maybe:

And finally, we’ll leave you with a parade for Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time:

We’ll be back throughout the weekend, with non-stop coverage of panels, news, and much more.

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