In a normal year for San Diego Comic-Con, we at borg would be taking photos and checking out the new products, panels, and movie trailers, and trying to share as many as possible.  But first we’d go through the badge line and get our annual, over-sized haul bag, which we’d probably keep folded up anyway because it makes it difficult to move around.  But with that bag is the annual “Comic-Con book,” which is not a comic book, but an official book about half of a medium-sized city telephone directory (what’s a telephone directory?).  The book would be full of discussions about anniversaries of comic and pop culture events and salutes to individuals who have gained some portion of iconic status for fanboys and fangirls everywhere.  But you never read this during con week.  Why?  You’re too busy trying to cram in all you can before the show is over.  Sometimes you don’t even find this book until two months after you get back home after the con and are revisiting your swag.  This year, the SDCC staff has made it possible for everyone to download a copy of that book.

First, download the 262 page pdf file at the SDCC 2020 website here.

Officially called the Comic-Con Souvenir Book, it’s not completely advertisements, but it contains several (including an enticing new prestige format Batman series from DC Comics).  You’ll find a big salute to Ray Bradbury, celebrating the centennial of his birth (Bradbury died in 2012) via several articles on the man and his works.  Adaptations in Weird Fantasy comics and several others over the years are his comic book connection for purposes of SDCC 2020.  You’ll find a seven page reprint of one of the comics in the Souvenir Book.  The next section of the book is a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the birth of filmmaker and stop-motion and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen.  For both tributes, you’ll see several pieces of fan art created for this volume.

Speaking of Weird Fantasy comics, the publisher, EC Comics is the subject of its own tribute, with nice reprints of some great comics covers.  And you might learn something new, as the Finland-born comics Moomins are covered for the 75th anniversary of the Moomin comic strip.

And that’s only the first 150 pages.  The rest of the book covers subjects from Jack Kirby to Conan the Barbarian, 50 years of Last Gasp Publishing, the Comic-Con Museum, memorials to past comics creators, and the annual slate of nominees for the 2020 Will Eisner comic industry awards.

So download the annual Comic-Con Souvenir Book, and read it now, or wait and save it to read later, and instead soak in all the other new content available this week.  San Diego Comic-Con 2020 the @Home Edition (or “Consolation-Con”) is now underway through Sunday.  In case you missed it, check out our suggestions for panels to attend from home, for free, here.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg