Half the fun of Comic Con happens outside the Convention Center.
And I don’t mean the celebrity hounding a lot of people get into (although I’m not going to lie, meeting Ian McKellan was kind of a highlight of MY ENTIRE LIFE).
What I mean is that downtown SD turns into a full on Nerdvana with an impact radius of about two miles. And every year, when July rolls around, I am burdened with glorious purpose: to make my annual pilgrimage to Geek Mecca and reunite with my nearest and dearest ladygeek crew: Shannon, April, Tiffany, Marisa, Tasha, Cindi, and Joey (and her non-ladygeek husband Garrett, who is the patron saint of patience for putting up with us).
First (and second and third) order of business upon arriving in San Diego on Wednesday: BEER. After arduous train delays (which I’m 90% sure were caused by the mercurially gruff Seth Green) and Grand Theft Auto-inspired cab rides, we all felt we deserved a wee little drink. And by “wee little drink” I mean “we got
chocolate Hobbit wasted” at the cantina. We did not, however, dance on any tables or sing folk songs.
That was Saturday night.
Just kidding. There were no jigs of any kind (unlike the Great SDCC Blackout of 2011, of which I remember literally nothing).
No, this year we were all about chillin’ out maxin’ and relaxin’ all cool. Usually we arrive with color-coded spreadsheets and pre-assigned camping shifts so that we make it to every panel and every party. But apparently our neurotic sides went on vacation the same time we did because there was nary a deadline in site.
And that is precisely why this was the best Comic Con in recent memory. Feverish star-hunting and nonstop panel-watching be damned!
Sure, randomly running into creatives whose work I truly admire was a plus. I mean, chatting with Joss Whedon about Shakespeare was cool, I guess. (Cut to me screaming on the inside.) And teasing Robert Kirkman about peeing his pants was pretty awesome (pictured below with Shannon).
And I’m not gonna lie. I got a little swoony when we ran into the Nerdist himself, Mr. Chris Hardwick (in his Doctor Who costume, no less). He chatted with us about the con and The Walking Dead for far too long. I mean, the guy is truly a mensch of the highest order. And SO DREAMY.
Wait, this is not the point I’m trying to make. In fact, this is the opposite of the point I’m trying to make!
The point I’m trying to make is this: sure, it was totally supafly (are we still saying that?) to meet all these guys. Don’t even get me started on how starstruck Tiff and I got in front of Robert Downey Jr. (spoiler alert: rendered 100% speechless while our uteri tried to claw out of our paralyzed bodies to chase after him).
But none of those were my favorite moments. My favorite moments were playing Mao in the hotel room. They were the mimosa-filled lunches and super-late dinners in the Gaslamp. They were the random laughing fits that broke out more frequently than is befitting grown-ass people. They were the shared tears and shrieks during gasp-worthy moments of the Doctor Who and Fringe panels. They were the bellylaughs induced by watching a gaggle of Castiel cosplayers chasing after Misha Collins on his morning run along the marina (still cracking up about that one).
Do ya get where I’m headed with this?
Here’s my beef with Comic Con: everyone pisses and moans about how it’s so commercialized and the studios have too much of a presence and not enough hardcore geeks get in because of the faux-nerds and so on. You know what I have to say to that?
O, on my soul, my comic con is belied!
You know why? Because Comic Con is what you make of it. No less, no more. You want to spend all your time trying to get into Hall H? Fine. Wanna spend your entire night in the lobby of the Hard Rock celeb-spotting? More power to you.
As for me, I’ll be wandering around the exhibition floor picking up nerdabilia I’ve been searching for (like my precious R2D2 stein!). I’ll be buying art from amazing painters like Brandon Bird and Christian Waggoner, and talking to journalists I adore like Josh Horowitz. I’ll be scoping out the wacky cosplayers and drooling over the collectibles for sale. I’ll be checking out sweetspots like Nerd HQ and dancing for chips in the food truck lot (okay, so I lied. There WAS a jig.). I’ll be sprinting to the theater to catch a midnight press screening of Lawless (thanks to the terribly kind Moisés Chiullan and the crew at Ain’t It Cool News).
TL;DR: Comic Con is as awesome or annoying as you make it. And this year we chose to make it THE MOST AWESOME. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. It is so choice.
This con…I like it. ANOTHER! Is it 2013 yet?
Tune du Jour: Goodnight Moon by Shivaree. Why? Three reasons. 1) I’m on a Halloween kick and this song is spooky. 2) It’s on the Kill Bill 2 soundtrack (which is amazing, btw). 3) BECAUSE I DO WHAT I WANT.