This report just in from Bradley Mason Hamlin: July 29, 2007.

For Robert Berry’s coverage of Comic-Con check in soon with

Up at four in the morning … we flew to San Diego from Sacramento with no major hassles from the airport robots and/or security troopers. After standing in line … and standing in line a little while longer … we gained entrance into an open-minded world clearly designed for fun and fantasy.

From the ultra bizarre ...

... to the super cool ...

Elvis Trooper and Robert Berry.

... the annual con has a little somethin' for everyone.

We encountered characters hired to model at the show ...

... and others attending in a sort of fun Halloween atmosphere of their own creation.

Treasure seeker that I am, a highlight for me: DC Comics’ latest line of groovy toys from Mattel. Not to be outdone by Marvel’s terrific line of Spider-Man & Friends, DC has released the DC Super Friends collection of kid-friendly action figures, and they are A+ all the way.

Check out this fantastic Aquaman with Aquaman's shark sub! Finally, the real King of the 7 Seas is back! Thanks, DC!

Believe it or not, COMIC-CON is still about comic books as well. I picked up some bargain copies of Marvel's Supernatural Thrillers series from the 70s, written by bullpen legend (and creator of Ghost Rider) Gary Friedrich (whom I also bumped into in the restroom, a brush with greatness!) He (Gary) shared his thoughts with a panel of other writers and artists called "Marvel in the 60s and 70s" with Roy Thomas (a Mystery Island favorite), Mike Ploog (Werewolf By Night and other great stuff), Magazine Management's David George, and hosted by Mark Evanier.

Roy Thomas sharing some outstanding stories about the good ol' days of Marvel.

I was also really pleased to see that the independent, alternative, and small press world is still active, and in some cases thriving, in the midst of giant corporations buying up space, time, and attention. We had fun speaking to: Johnny Ryan of Angry Youth Comix, Dan Goodsell and his world of Mr. Toast, and even the great Steve Rude who has recently brought back Nexus!

You can even find original art inside the restrooms.

I found this masterpiece on the inside toilet wall in the men's room.

Of course no major science fiction oriented event is complete without a visit from the number one man himself, Mr. Ray Bradbury.

Ray answered questions alongside the other great "Ray," Mr. Ray Harryhausen. If you've never seen these gentlemen speak of their roles in creative history--you've missed a real treat. But see them soon. These ol' boys have been busy for a very long time.

Well, once you're taking pictures of yourself standing next to a giant Frankenberry statue ... it's probably time to go.

Many thanks to all the good folks who put on a great show.

--Bradley Mason Hamlin (safely back on Mystery Island)

p.s. Unfortunately, however, this time the robots did seize one of us at the airport when attempting to leave San Diego with weary feet and aching backs. Robert Berry thought he could get a toy ray gun past the not-so-secret police and was caught in the act! The mad scientists examined the strange x-ray on the machine for quite some time, then pulled Robert out for unknown horrors until they let him go. Read more about this zany tale at Robert's website:

"Mystery Island and retroCRUSH's Excellent San Diego Comic-Con Adventure" (and all photography this page [except for Ray Bradury and Frankenberry pics by Robert Berry]) by Bradley Mason Hamlin © 2007 by Mystery Island Publications. Published: 07.29.07 by Mystery Island. All rights reserved.