For the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to have a job that sends me to San Diego Comic-Con. We make awesome books, and SDCC attendees like awesome stuff–so it’s a good match. As a fan-attendee, I’d spend my days bouncing from panel to panel and wandering the floor spending too much money. Now, as an exhibitor-attendee, I stand for 10 hours a day and chat with a myriad of amazing, fun people (and help them spend too much money). Yes, there are some negative aspects about Comic-Con (the crowding, the mass B.O., the lack of a full-time naked Eric Northman in our booth). But we will not be examining those in this post. Nay, this post endeavors to capture the core appeal of Comic-Con for me, as a fan and as an exhibitor. Here, for the first time, are My Five Favorite Things at San Diego Comic-Con 2011*. So without further ado…
#5: Dreamy Weather
Yes, I know this might seem weak. But while I was meandering down 5th Ave, enjoying the balmy mid-70′s temperature and the gentle caress of a cool ocean breeze, my brethren back in NYC were doing this.
#4: Costumes and Toys
Halloween is my all time favorite holiday in NYC. I love seeing the crazy, creative, amazing ideas people come up with, especially if they set pride aside and fully commit to the character they’ve decided to portray. Comic-Con has this same element in spades. I didn’t get pics of all my favorites, but I’d have to say these guys might have delighted me the most.
#3: Passionate, Creative People En Masse
There is nothing more inspiring than listening someone who loves what they do, talk about what they do. There is a lot of that going on upstairs in the panels, but even down on the floor, just in talking to people who came by the booth, or with our own authors and illustrators–you can feel it. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so many people who are so passionate about their, um, passions. At the end of the show, I (while physically exhausted and mildly delirious) always walk away from SDCC creatively energized.
#2: w00tstock 3.0
I bought this ticket at the last minute. I knew I had to work the booth till 7p.m., and that w00tstock started at 7p.m.. I was worried I’d be turned away at the door (hey, it happens at shows in NYC), but I bought a ticket and showed up anyway. There was only joy from that point on. Everyone at the theater was a delight, my seat was three rows from the stage, and I laughed harder that night than I have in ages. Seriously, there was a point when I was laughing so much, for so long a stretch, that I briefly felt as though I was going to vom all over that lovely theater. Luckily, I did not. I still can’t believe that w00tstock wasn’t totally sold out. My favorite bits were Patrick Rothfuss‘ guinea pig story**, the live RiffTraxx (At Your Fingertips: Grasses), and Wil Wheaton’s WilliamFuckingShatner story. Oh and the 5 second films. Crap and also Hard n’ Phirm (lumping in Mike Phirman’s solo here). Also, the Pirate Song finale. And Axe Cop. Ok, you know what, let’s just say all of it.
#1: George R.R. Martin
Last year I met Joss Whedon and pretty much thought I’d peaked in terms of meeting awesome people at SDCC.
I was wrong.***
A picture is worth a thousand words, this picture is worth 8 letters: OMFGGRRM
(I’m quite proud of myself for not leaning over and whispering, “I’ll never forgive you for The Red Wedding” after the picture was taken.)
*There are a lot of good mojitos in San Diego, but I didn’t have the time (or, frankly, the constitution) to compile that list.
**If you haven’t started his Kingkiller Chronicle series yet, do so. Immediately.
***Nothing personal Joss! (because, clearly, he is weeping bitter tears over this).