Thank you readers and Pixelated Geek (with much technical support from Tumblr)!
No matter how many times you wash your hands (and who’s leaving the line to do THAT?) you are in a building with, it turns out, 125,000 people, so guess what: You get sick. I had really bad nerd flu for 2 days after Comic Con. It’s totally worth it. Hand sanitizer only decreases your immunity in regular life usage, but I think it’s not a terrible idea after certain zones of Comic-Con.
You might have heard about the stabbing that took place at Comic Con – well, we
staged had one at Kitchen Con too! Anne Stibor took this picture and I have stolen it!
Pre-registration for Kitchen Con 2011 is filling up quickly!
Coda: The stabbing was in Hall H on Saturday, apparently between two people wrestling for the same seat. A guy took a pen to the temple.
Special thanks to Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges for not kicking our asses out of there. It helps that Brad (pictured) is an excellent bartender.
The Fables party.
Matt Sturges and Bill Willingham have a party at the end of SDCC and this reporter went again! Bill holds court in one of the fancy chairs in the suite, while Matt sits quietly in the corner, observing – or else they are both hollering at the top of their lungs over the room full of friends, professionals, writers, hipsters, and awesome people. I was told the story of how Bill Willingham saw Felicia Day at a previous SDCC (last year?) and was all geeked out. He went up to her, a nervous fan, and said, hi, I’m Bill Willingham and I am a huge fan. Felicia totally freaked out because SHE is a huge fan of HIS! He invited her to last year’s party but her travel home was already booked. This year she said yes…but we didn’t see her.
Too bad! Dave Justus (which sounds like Justice!) from Austin Books was there, being all adorable and from my home town. I got to meet and touch my first Olympus PEN camera. After borrowing the inscrutable Canon EOS from my friend for this year, I am definitely going to have to get myself a micro four-thirds for next year. The PEN is sexy!
Chris Roberson was there and we caught up a bit – his life is still charmed beyond belief so I chose not to update him on his ex-girlfriend’s personal dramas just then. Other former members of Clockwork Storybook had cute, discreet little cog pins on their shirts. I didn’t ever actually see a secret handshake, but I know there has to be one.
Two awesome gals from Milwaukee and Bill’s good friend Brad and I held court in the kitchen the whole party, mixing drinks, laughing our asses off, and generally just being more awesome than anything. Kitchen Con!
I would hardly call myself a veteran of SDCC, but it only takes one insane experience to teach you a lesson in certain situations. Unless it’s Wednesday, or possibly Sunday, just don’t even try to go near the Warner Brothers water tower. I learned that on my one-day trip in the early 2000s with my friend PJ, and it has held true since then. You can see it from everywhere, so it’s a handy reference point. In 2009 it was in the middle of the exhibition hall, a major major traffic issue. This year it was tucked over in the corner, which helped (you could actually pass it if you went to the opposite side of the hall and sucked in your belly), but WB is always a packed area. They have one-way zones, long lines, insane people trying to get the signature giant bags, and inexplicably consistently unhelpful booth staff.
When I had to dive into that maelstrom to get some kind of press dispensation to go to the Chuck panel, I briefly considered all my life priorities. Do I really want to go to the Chuck panel? Of course I do. But how badly do I want it? It turned out I did want it enough to try. I dove into the morass of nerds, strollers, bulky costumes, WB bags already stuffed with purchases, burly security folks, and oblivious people on their iPhones. I nearly exploded with amazement when I found a pocket of air – which was only because I had somehow stumbled into the wrong lane of a one-way zone.
I was probably seconds away from being permanently banned, but I flashed my press pass futilely and made a jagged, jostling beeline to the closest WB staffer. ”Hi,” I gasped. ”I’m trying to find the Warner Brothers press rep? They sent me up here.” I struggled not to show on my face what a stupid idea I thought that was. ”You what?” she chirped, and I knew she had been hired for her waistline and not her knowledge of TimeWarner policies and procedures. ”Yeah, I apparently have to get a panel-specific press pass for every panel? And I am trying to make sure I have one for the Chuck panel Saturday, so can you point me to the person I need to talk to?”
I looked hopefully up at the restricted balcony area, thinking if anyone was important, they would be up there. Safe. ”Um, yeah I guess, you want to go to press relations?” she said dubiously. I was blocking the aisle and a line of folks lining up for autographs was starting to shimmer into cohesion from the teeming horde. The staffers were putting out little signs with celebrities names. I knew in moments the carpet I was standing on would be swamped by fans of a show I probably can’t even stand to see previews of. ”Yeah, they sent me up here, well OK, thanks never mind.” I was trapped. I had to go the right way on the one-way aisle. But that would take me further into the belly of the monster.
The din of this corner of the exhibit hall is stressful – I must get myself to the peaceful walkways of the Small Press area or perish! Needless to say, I attended the Chuck panel as a fan. At least I didn’t have to worry about looking cool when they came out – I could scream like the little-girl-screaming man next to me with abandon. And I did. Nyah!
These men are far away from where the Warner Brothers water tower is…but you can see from their battle-hardened faces that they have SEEN THE HELL THAT IS THE VORTEX.
Let’s face it. You can be all over Tumblr and Reddit and whatever you want to be, but you aren’t going to be able to see all the art in the world. Though it can seem like it in Artists Alley and Small Press. Come to the con. Buy your pop culture stuff, buy your mint #7 with the upside-down Dark Horse logo, get that thing autographed. But buy some art. Something here is going to speak to you, in ways you may not understand. The money goes to the artist almost totally, and you get to give them positive feedback on their lonely creative burstings.
Plus it makes your home look cool. I buy a print a year, and this year I bought this Ragnar.
Some costumes are permanent. I saw a LOT of fan ink, including an entire arm covered with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and signatures, I presume of the comic artists and not the voice or stunt actors from the film, also tattooed in with the Turtles. I saw old Star Trek logos on necks, I saw every pop culture thing you can think of committed to permanence, and not always well. This one, if you can see, says TRUE LOVE.
Ponder that. Comic-Con. It’s not just a weekend. It’s a lifestyle.
Free blow jobs!
This is Zed. He’s a zombie, one who can be calmed by winding the mechanism on his neck. He is kept docile by the tube that feeds him some mysterious fluid pumped from his keeper. He was a great butler, so when he passed on, they had to keep him. This guy never broke character in the 2 hours or so I watched him. They had him on a chain.
Zed’s dead, baby.