Hey kids, Victoria here. So I had the amazing privilege of attending this year’s Comic Con International, as indicated by the rad podcast to your right. For years I had dreamed of going, but never had the cashflow for the plane ticket nor the pass, but I figured since I relocated to Los Angeles from New Jersey a little over a month ago, I would be able to swing it this year. My little Volkswagen had survived a cross-country drive, I’m sure it could survive a 2-hour jaunt to San Diego. And I am so glad that I made it!
Not only was the convention center crawling with various nerds like myself of all ages, nationalities and types, it seemed as if the entirety of downtown San Diego was taken over by Comic Con. The trendy Gaslamp district was all decked out in celebration of nerd culture; a local diner was taken over by the SyFy channel and geeked out in the style of the television show Eureka, gigantic comic book/scifi movie promos covered entire sides of hotels and buildings, geeky giveaways at every corner, and there were people in awesome costumes EVERYWHERE.
I called my dad on Wednesday while wading through the crowd at preview night and he asked me of my impressions, and the only accurate answer I had was that I felt like it was perpetually Christmas Morning and I was six years old. As a matter of fact I was standing in front of the Delorean from Back to the Future at the time, one of my favourite movies in life. That feeling lingered for 5 days. Hell, I was all of two feet away from STAN LEE at the Activision party on preview night. I got to shake hands with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, creators/writers of my absolute favourite show in recent years, Lost. I was in total awe and I am “meh” at best about celebrity encounters in general.
I attended a few panels, which I will be posting about once I gather my thoughts and import my photos. I walked around with friends from back East, including two that are moving to LA. Besides the fact that it was great to see some familiar faces, one of my good friends from NJ had also never been to SDCC, so it was cool that he was in the same boat as I. We took some time on Saturday to explore the historical district of San Diego, check out some local antique shops, and see some more of the city than just the downtown area.
One of the key differences betwen SDCC and NYCC is the location; the San Diego Convention Center is right in the heart of a very cool neighbourhood, with the hotels all clustered fairly close together right on the water. There’s a tram close by that can take you anywhere around the city and even to Tijuana, whereas the Javits Center in New York is in no-man’s land with not much going on in the immediate area, except for a vaguely ghetto diner and some bodegas.
After the Con was over in the evenings, we all crowded into hotel bars and restaurants with other attendees and compared what we’d done and seen all day, what panels we went to, who we met and spotted on the floor (I think I saw Brian Posehn about 9 or 10 times during my stay!). There was this sense of community that was a lot of fun, and like nothing I’d experienced in a long time. Driving back to Los Angeles after such a whirlwind 5 days was exhausting, and then I caught the SDCC plague and was knocked out for about 3 days immediately thereafter. I think it was a combination of low levels of sleep, walking around for 8+ hours daily, being in the sun, and hanging out in a gigantic hall with hundreds of thousands of people. It was well worth it.
If you have the means, I strongly recommend getting to San Diego for Comic Con in 2012!
(That is, if we’re all still here in 2012.)