August 26, 2011

San Diego Comic-Con Recap (A Month Later)

Remember the time I went to San Diego Comic-Con and didn't write anything about it? Other than a wrap-up of my lunch with Timothy Zahn anyways.
I've decided there is no statute of limitations on recapping my convention experience, and maybe you'll agree. And if you don't, well, hopefully you'll read anyways.

I feel like I say this each year, but it seemed crazier than ever at the San Diego convention center. I don't mind, and I expect most of it. One doesn't walk into Mordor unaware that it's going to be hot and uncomfortable (incidentally, SDCC is hot and uncomfortable but there's not any lava. or eagles). Normally I'd wrap up the happenings day by day, but since it was a month ago and my memory is fuzzy on events that occurred last week, I'll go for broad strokes.

The Floor
Most of my exhibit hall wandering this year was going from point A to B to specifically visit someone I knew behind a table, to get to a signing, or to meet a friend. I didn't get to do the systematic up and down the aisles to make sure I saw everything, but for the first time that didn't make my insides twitch. I just went with it. I picked up commissions, stopped by the Marvel and Archaia booths frequently for hugs from friends working at each place, wandered through Artists' Alley, visited justJENN for cookies, delivered some of those cookies to people who needed them, saw the full size TARDIS at Quantum Mechanix, shopped at Her Universe, and took several photos of toys.

SDCC 2011 Day 1

My favorite purchases: Battlestar Galactica toaster necklace from Her Universe, mini AT-AT plushie, a pile of books from Archaia, original art from Gronk by Katie Cook, BSG Triad cards by Anovos, and a book called Sprocket & Gear by Richard Peter Han.

SDCC 2011 Day 1

Commissions: Daenerys by Grant Gould, Death and Obi-Wan (not in the same drawing) by Thom Zahler, and a lovely English countryside scene by Janet Lee.

Every year I make it to fewer panels. This year I saw just five of them: Oh, You Sexy Geek, The Clone Wars Season 4 Preview, and Her Universe: Writing Female Characters for Sci-Fi for me and Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Falling Skies for IGN. I waited in line for all of those and in a particularly long, hot one for Green Lantern and Falling Skies (they were in the same room). If anything, it discouraged me from going to more panels next year. Standing in line is not my favorite thing, unless I'm at Disneyland.

Not that the panels weren't worth it, I'm just impatient. I particularly liked The Clone Wars (highlights here) and Her Universe panels. Lots of clips were shown at Clone Wars, and Supervising Director Dave Filoni dropped hints about what's coming up for season four. The Her Universe panel was exceptionally informative and fun. So much so that I'll write a summary of it next week. The panelists all brought good points to the table about female characters in science fiction and comics.

Offsite (read: the parties)
I slept the least amount ever at Comic-Con this year. It's not a bad problem to have. After I checked out preview night for about thirty minutes on Wednesday, I went to Action Flick Chick's party at Hard Rock Cafe and ran into almost everyone I knew at the convention. That party extended to another bar and eventually that led to me not feeling so hot on Thursday. I had a late dinner Thursday night and ended up staying awake late watching Star Trek: TNG in my hotel room. Friday night was the Geek Girls Network party at Vin De Syrah, a cozy underground wine bar. The party was a blast until the mundanes were let in after 10 or 10:30. Then it got crowded. Some people went to bars, some to The Nerd Machine's Nerd HQ, and some to the Hyatt. I walked until the heels hurt my feet too much and turned in.

Saturday night, I finally figured out that the bar at the Hyatt is the most fun place to be. Everyone I wanted to see ended up there, just up the escalators, and we had an impromptu love fest (not as dirty as it sounds). Just hanging out in a space with breathing room (though it was loud) and time to talk and laugh was perfect. I ran back to Nerd HQ to end the night.

I didn't do any cosplay this year. I realize how sad that statement is. I did pack my Indiana Jones costume and a Captain America shield, but the universe conspired against me playing dress up. I loved seeing what everyone else came up with though. Read about my favorites in this article on Fashionably Geek.

SDCC Day 2

By the time Sunday came, I was glazed over and in a barely functioning state. I fangirled all over Zachary Levi, talked for what I'm sure was way too long to Janet Lee, and used a lot of single syllable words in all conversations. It wasn't a pretty sight. Around 12pm, I decided I couldn't take anymore Comic-Con. I wandered past a farmer's market in the Gaslamp Quarter and was briefly resuscitated by a bacon wrapped hot dog with guacamole, but it didn't last. I had to pick up commissions, and I kept running into people I wanted to see and eventually I left around 3:30. I won't tell you about the extreme measures I had to resort to in order to stay awake on the drive home (it might have involved singing along to boy bands).

Still. Being exhausted after going to a nerd convention is satisfying. I like coming home and surrounding my bed with oversized bags and swag that will never see the light of day, curling up with a new comic or book, and falling asleep with my con badge still around my neck.

See all my photos from San Diego Comic-Con here.


  1. Glad you had so much fun! Exhaustion seemed to be the theme for all attendees. :) Love Katie Cook's work!

  2. Feel free to swing by the Gentle Giant booth next year and I'll hook you up with some swag. =)

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