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Mandatory re-cap: I'm a co-founder of the Behemoth, an independent development studio formed in 2002 to make a console version of Alien Hominid, which started as a web game here on Newgrounds. We are currently preparing Alien Hominid for XBOX 360 Live Arcade and have a new console game, Castle Crashers, in development for Live Arcade as well. Every year, we set up a booth at Comic-Con to promote the games and meet with the hoards of Newgrounds and Behemoth fans who stop by.
Setting up the booth this year brought some new challenges. It was finally time to retire the old Alien Hominid-centric backdrop and replace it with a new one, combining elements of Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers and the Behemoth. This meant Dan had to draw a GIANT piece of art and John had to work with the printers to make it a reality.
This year also saw the introduction of the "Behemoth Pod", a metal monstrosity (in a good way) that allows up to four players on each side to enjoy our games without crowding the main booth. John came up with the design for the pod and built it in his garage. Tim and Emil helped with some final prepwork, but at the end of the day, the pod is John's.
The Con started with pro-night on Wednesday, followed by the official opening day on Thursday. From this point on, it was sort of like going through the motions... Fans come by, the games are played, merchandise is sold and autographs are signed. After so many years, I feel like a Comic-Con veteran.
The Behemoth gang was at the booth, including me, Dan, John, Josh, Scott and Emil. We got additional help from April (my lovely fianc»e), Tim (the NG sys-admin) and Billie, who wears the Alien Hominid costume and runs the "All You Can Eat" mini-game competitions.
The cool thing about Comic-Con this year was the shear number of NG regulars who made appearances. As a result, there were a lot of little moments that hardcore NG fans will appreciate. For example, some of you may remember that a PS2 was stolen from our office. Rog from I-Mockery thought it would be cute to pay us a visit in disguise...
A lot of Newgrounds contributors had booths this year at Comic-Con! If you're wondering why these pics feature Troopac from the College University booth, it's because I stole them from their website.
The greatest thing of all was the NG Sketchbook, which Luis (Pico vs. Convict) presented to us at the Con. Luis sent blank pages to NG artists around the world and the result was this book. You can view it on-line! The only uncomfortable thing about the book was when little kids at our booth would page through it and stumble across Stamper's page. You'll have to check out the on-line version to see what I'm talking about. ;)
A ton of other NG artists were roaming the floor this year, including Krinkels (Madness), evilzug (Work It! - Olskoo NES), James Farr (Xombie), FrostedMuffins (Defend Your Temple), Terence Anthony (Orlando's Joint), Rob DenBleyker (Joe Zombie), Toonimated (TMNT: REBEL), SergeP (Stickmess), Cheshirepus (Second Love) and StrawberryClock!
All these regulars in one place meant one thing: PARTY!
Despite all the NG love, our booth still had a heavy emphasis on Alien Hominid. We were selling the game, the figurines and t-shirt, while giving away free alien antennas to fans. Here are some memorable fan moments!
Of course, it wouldn't be Comic-Con without an appearance by Billie in the Alien Hominid costume!
I had one last surprise at the end of Comic-Con; a random encounter with Evan Spiridellis, one of the founding brothers of Jib Jab! I've always been a big fan of their work, so it was great to finally meet him. Evan was there with Aaron Simpson of Cold Hard Flash. Aaron is another great guy who I never met face to face, however he interviewed me in November of 2005.
With Sunday coming to a close, it was time to tear down the booth and pack it up for another year.
April and I took off after teardown and went to La Jolla to celebrate her birthday, which happened to be that Sunday. It was now time to process all the Comic-Con feedback and prepare the next Castle Crashers demo. The Penny Arcade Expo was only a month away, read all about it!