Friday, July 30, 2010

The fun part of comic con.... HOOPS & YOYO

This post added Aug 2010.
Here are the costumed characters of HOOPS & YOYO outside the convention center, being interviewed for TV....

Here's the Hoops & Yoyo booth on the exhibit floor (this pic taken during morning set-up, before exhibit hall was open for attendees)

Here's the booth during one of the Hoops & Yoyo signings...

The characters also in attendance (they get around for 2 big puffy guys...)

This year, we spent quite a bit of time trying to remember how long we had been attending and exhibiting at comic con. I wish we had taken pictures of the booth each year! My first years at comic con w/ Stuart we weren't exhibiting... we were attending and still collecting items. We didn't have the perks of an exhibitor badge back in those days.... but I'm glad we got to enjoy comic con from the perspective of giddy fans eager to be there, and attend the show "back in the day" before it morphed into the colossus it has become (for better.. and worse).

Our amazing Peggy joined team Ng 3 years ago... and her first week on the job was at comic con. Talk about being tossed into the deep end of the pool. Peggy has never been to comic con "just for fun." One morning on the way into the booth at this year's con, we were all talking about "the fun" of comic con from years past and Peggy's comment was: "I have yet to know what the fun part of comic con is." I feel bad that Peggy hasn't had a giddy fanboy moment... but one of the things I love and admire most about Peggy is that she's so sensible and a sensible person wouldn't normally find themselves at a comic convention.

The fun of comic con today for most of the attendees seems to be the movie panels and all the free "swag" dispensed at the studio booths.
For us old timers... the fun of comic con was trolling the many small mom and pop booths on the exhibit hall floor and finding that one item you wouldn't find anywhere else (this was BEFORE the internet, dear reader... back in the stone age that is MY era....).

Also fun.... meeting the artists and actors... not in a hall with a million other exhausted-to-the-point-of-zombie-status fans... but up close at small panels or autograph sessions where the line didn't stretch to Alaska. My favorite autograph from those days... Julie Newmar (the real catwoman...meow!). One year, there was a "Batman" signing scheduled w/ Julie Newmar, Adam West and Frank Gorshin. There is a strict policy at the con... no PA announcements... so if you hear an announcement you know something's up. Well that year, the PA announced: "Julie Newmar. Adam West. Frank Gorshin. Please report to the Autograph area. Your fans are waiting to meet you." I LOVED the idea that the stars of Batman had es caped their handlers and had gotten so caught up browsing at all the booths on the floor that they were late for their autograph session (probably not what really happened... but I love the idea all the same).

but I digress..

The fun at comic con for me for the last two years has been Hoops & Yoyo!! If you aren't familiar w/ these flash animation ecard characters from Hallmark... check out their website at

A few years ago my dear friend Paul sent me a Hoops & Yoyo ecard and I've been a fan ever since. You can also see the cards & other Hoops & Yoyo videos on You Tube.

I had my own fanboy moment last year when I was returning a patrons backpack at our booth's bag check. You have no idea how many people tote black backpacks until you work a bag check. In this case, I was helped out by the bag's bright pink "Hoops" luggage tag, which I instantly commented on... ("oh you have Hoops! I'm such a fan" yada yada)... only to learn the backpack belonged to more than a fellow Hoops and Yoyo fan... It belonged to Hoops! There's more to the story... but too much to type so you'll have to ask me about it sometime.
Meanwhile... Hoops and Yoyo were such a hit as part of the Hallmark booth in 2009 that this year they were the headliners at the Hallmark licensed character booth. Hoops and Yoyo artists Mike Adair and Bob Holt did signings.... Plus there were Hoops and Yoyo costumed characters. I was happy because the Hoops & Yoyo booth was located on the route I used to get across the hall, so when I was out of the booth for various errands, I often was able to swing by. Where else but Comic Con can something like that happen (no where).
You can also find fun videos of Comic Con on You Tube... these short clips are probably enough comic con experience for most people these days...

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