You probably have heard from the New York Times and various outlets that Comic Con, the huge comic book and pop media happening, happened this weekend in San Diego. I managed to score a ticket for Sunday online before it sold out and was excited to get my geek girl on.
Anakin, my significant other, isn’t into scifi, so he stayed home and watched Beckett plays on DVD while perfecting his cinnamon raisin bread recipe (still needs more cinnamon). Yes, Anakin bakes his own bread and has read most of Beckett’s novels.
I didn’t completely abandon Anakin this weekend since we spent Saturday afternoon paddling around Mission Bay in kayaks. A few times, mid-paddle, he’d say he bet most of the scifi fans weren’t out paddling. I told him not to be so hard on the fans---we all have our little obsessions.
Even though I attended the Star Wars Celebration last summer, I hadn’t done a convention in awhile. I pulled out my Yoda T-shirt and joined counter culture on Sunday morning. However, I soon discovered that what was the counter culture is now the mass culture, and my little Geek girl thang is not so little anymore.
There were a lot of people at Comic Con, and the Con did an awesome job of keeping it all organized. Fans are nice people and will line up wherever you tell them to line up. However, as I wandered the huge exhibit hall filled with merchandise, comic publishers, major film studios, and gaming companies, I found myself packed in with crowds all lumbering in different directions. It was kind of like that scene in Empire of the Sun when Christian Bale loses his parents.
By the way, if you ever go to Comic Con, stay away from the Warner Brothers booth. They were giving away free large non-biodegradable bags with the logos of various geek shows on them. You would’ve thought they were giving out bread to the starving masses (although given the quality of food at San Diego convention center, maybe they were).
At one point, I nearly drowned in the whirlpool of humanity near the Warner Brothers booth, but I escaped and crawled to calmer shores which turned out to be a table selling photos where Gareth David-Lloyd (aka Ianto from Torchwood) was signing. Exhausted and trying to get my breath back, I lacked sufficient wit except to get a photo signed for my Mom (although I forgot how to spell her name) and to learn that Torchwood Series 3 starts shooting in August. By the way, Ianto’s really cute in person, and he looked like he got some beach time during his stay in So Cal.
I went to a few panels. The one for Firefly fans was useless. I was hoping for some goss, but all I got was a charity appeal, a girl who spoke through her nose, and an author reading for a book that had nothing to do with Firefly. I wandered into another panel for a reality show about paranormal hunters called Paranormal State. I learned that if you’re ever in a haunted place, hang out in that place at 3 am, turn off the lights, then say in an assertive voice that you wish to speak to the spirit in the place and want some sign of its presence. Now I know.
For me the highlight of my day at comic con was the panel of actors who do the voices for animated shows. Their panel will probably end up on youtube. Basically, give an open mike to people can change their voices into anything, and that was the panel.
My conclusion is that the con was wayyy too big for my tastes. With the bigness, there was too much big junk---like those stupid WB bags. Do I take it too seriously? No, I don’t think so. Am I getting too old for all of this? I hope not. I just wanted a good time in an alternate reality, and I got a never-ending commercial as I trudged to the next line then the next line.
When I left the convention in the afternoon, I headed to a nearby pub and had a really good pint of Guinness. As I detoxed with stout, I went from comicconnumb to comfortably numb.
Here’s a photo of people who waited in line too long for comic con: