I sort of fell into going. Around the end of June, a Battlestar Galactica community that I stalked in those days put up an announcement that there would be a panel at Comic-Con. The panel guests included Edward James Olmos (Cmdr Adama), James Callis (Baltar), Lucy Lawless (D'eanna Biers/#3), Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), Ron Moore, and David Eick. I mean, come on. How could I pass that up? I had heard of Comic-Con in a very vague way, but I didn't know exactly what it was. I was going to be in Los Angeles by chance that weekend anyways. I bought a Friday single day membership on July 7th. JULY 7th people! And there were still plenty of tickets left. Hell, I even think that might have been the last year you could buy memberships on site.
I was unprepared in every way possible. I didn't look up information on parking or what I could find in the exhibit hall or anything about other panels. I barely remembered to print my registration email. I parked a good mile away from the convention center, and of course, the heat that year was brutal. Besides the BSG panel, which was worth it all, I stumbled into a Star Wars panel by accident. It was about the model makers and sculptors that were going to be featured in a new book.
I wandered the exhibit hall with what had to be an expression of dumbstruck awe. The only other convention I'd attended before that was Origins, a gaming con in Ohio. It is tiny in comparison. The press of people, the constant shoving of things into your hands, the giant studio booths... I don't think I ever really found my feet that day. I stumbled along and just tried to absorb everything I could. I tried to be courteous and not run into people, but at some point I realized it was a futile effort. I let the crowd sweep me along.
That first trip, all I saw was the big picture. I couldn't separate out details, and actually without planning, I barely noticed the details were there. I know had a great time that day, but I couldn't really tell you many specifics. And that's okay with me. I had enough fun to go back again and again and do it better.
Below is my only photographic evidence of being at the con that year. My camera decided it would stop working but somehow it knew how important that photo of Cliff Simon was to me.