We have a team on the ground of Comic-Con bringing us the latest, greatest and smelliest news from the world biggest fan convention.

After a day of high and lows, it was time to see what the Comic-Con night life had to offer. According to my schedule I had two gatherings to attend, both occurring at the same time. The first was Disney’s “Comics & Cocktails” party, the second, a launch party for the “Smeaker,” Kevin Smith’s latest collaboration, and first foray into footwear, with etnies. For the first time since I began setting-up my Comic-Con strategy I realized the interesting juxtaposition of Disney and Kevin Smith on the same night.

Comics & Cocktails (Hosted by Disney)

disneycomics post After Hours At Comic Con: Drinking With Disney

[pullquote quote=”The Disney Comics App offers a new, director-style reading experience.”]Having made my way to the Andaz Hotel and rocketing to the rooftop alone in an elevator I was greeted by the smiling ladies of Disney’s PR company and the promise of a beautiful Disney collectors book upon my exit as a parting gift. The drink special (of course) was the “Comics Cosmo” and I noted the half-dozen belly-bars a-top each one lay an iPad 2 displaying the new Disney Comics App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Showing my interest, I received a personal demonstration of the app and it’s capabilities. The Disney Comics App offers a new, director-style reading experience; readers can choose portrait or landscape mode, automatic or manual smart paneling, and can view double spreads. It also enables readers to preview comics before making a purchase, share their stories with Facebook friends, and save all content to their device for offline reading. An added feature lets readers receive automatic updates when stories relating to a favorite Disney character become available.

So who is this for? According to Disney Comics’ Marketing Manager the app is intended to reach an audience who long ago stopped buying Disney Comics, but not because they’d lost interest – the medium just didn’t suit their lifestyle any more. Hopefully by taking the water to the horse, old fan favorites will find a new means of accessibility.

The company also hopes that a new, younger audience will be found in the process of broadening their brand into tablet-based technology. If you love the idea, but use a different platform – fear not! Disney Comics are already in the process of branching into Anderoid-based applications.

The launch collection includes more than 50 comics for readers of all ages and features Disney classic characters like Donald Duck; Disney-Pixar stories featuring Toy Story’s Buzz and Woody; Disney Channel-inspired content including High School Musical; and feature film-based comics based on Tron: Legacy and Tangled. Disney Publishing will release two new titles each week following the launch.

Okay, now what’s all this fuss about Kevin Smith and his shoes?

Smeaker Party (Hosted by Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier & etnies)

smeaker post 2 After Hours At Comic Con: Drinking With Disney

[pullquote quote=”If you know anything about these two and their humor – most of the subject matter can’t be re-produced in this article.”]Upon exiting the Andaz hotel, I as immediately accosted by a gentleman with a pedicab, “Anywhere you want – $10!” Well, how could I refuse? Not to mention I’d already walked about nine light years during the course of the day.

Around .7 seconds into the ride I began questioning the soundness of my judgement as my driver careened an interesting course (considering our detonation was in the opposite direction) toward Bar Eldorado. With [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Snoop Dogg[/lastfm] blaring from the ratty sub-woofer strapped under my seat and bus driver’s wagging their fingers disapprovingly, this was the single-most exhilarating portion of my day, if exhilarating were to translate into “the moments I most feared for my life.”

As my driver redefined the antithesis of “As the crow flies,” I realized that no matter how entertaining Kevin Smith was, he couldn’t possibly be this exciting.

The thing about most trade shows and conventions is that they’re largely based around specially designed convention centers and the safe environs of their surrounding hotels. Which is why my curiosity was piqued that Mr. Smith and his über-hip clothing affiliates chose a dive bar in a time-trodden area of the city to host their shin-dig.

Upon gaining entrance (and learning that this gathering’s drink specials were free PBR and Moscow Mules – of course!) I realized that I’d dropped right into the middle of a live action “SModcast” by Smith and his long-time producer/partner, Scott Mosier. As the seated audience relished the conversation being broadcast across the room, and out into the ether from what would otherwise be the DJ’s pulpit, others enjoyed being sheltered from the dazzling fluorescents of the Convention Center while sipping a cocktail and perusing examples of the new shoe, appropriately named, “SMeaker.”

All in all, Smith and Mosier gripped the crowd with their at-ease hilarity, unfortunately – if you know anything about these two and their humor – most of the subject matter can’t be re-produced in this article. With that I finished my drink and walked back out into the grey dusk of an overcast San Diego city evening. As I walked, I relished the safety of my two feet over the the frantic pedaling of the mad tricyclist.

Come back all weekend long for the best in Comic Con coverage!


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