Comic-Con: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Between the spotty-to-no Internet available at the convention center, the enormous churning crowds and my iPhone 4 freezing up on me (ARGH!), these past few days at Comic-Con in San Diego have been a real adventure! Updating the blog has been incredibly difficult to keep up with, mostly because each day for us starts at 5:30am and is jam-packed until at least midnight. And lots of those hours are filled with standing in lines that we are not allowed to sit down in and web access disappearing the moment I step inside of a building. I have been able to Tweet most of the time (or at least until my phone froze up on me), but sending email from the con floor has been a lumbering and not very successful process. Next year if this communication problem continues, and I can only imagine it will get worse, I plan to Tweet only!

All of the aggravations are more than compensated by the the MASSIVE amounts of fun I have been having at the panels, chatting with and watching brilliant comic and graphic novel artists working on the exhibit hall floor, garnering TONS of silly, useless swag, catching glimpses of celebrities here and there, eating great meals and playing in the Gaslamp District post-con, and interacting with the other fans. 🙂

When they say that the sheer size of Comic-Con floor is overwhelming, they are not kidding! The exhibit hall is GIGANTIC, it’s three football fields in length, and although it’s the last day today I have STILL NOT managed to get around to every part of the floor or see every booth. There are wonders and surprises around every corner grabbing for one’s attention, and it’s easy to get distracted by the flashing electronic booths, the thousands of awesomely costumed fans and the hundreds of contests and giveaways happening simultaneously. As to the swag, there are PLENTY of giveaways: dozens of t-shirts, giant posters, keychains, lanyard sharpies, hats, blinky junk, buttons, paperbacks, comics, sunglasses, you name it, and someone somewhere is passing it out by the truckload! I’ve got 3 GIANT bags full of useless stuff so far and bruised arms from trying to carry all I have collected each day back to my hotel!

Of course the main draw for most people here are the panels. There are gobs of seminars and workshops for comic artists and writers each and every day, and you can meet and chat with some of the most famous people in the business here, as well as make connections with other folks looking to collaborate or just learn more about breaking into the comics field. And for the TV and movie crowd, if you are willing to stand in hours-long panels on a vast range of shows from “Supernatural” to “Chuck” to “The Walking Dead” to “True Blood”, and dare I say it, for those so inclined, even “Twilight”! New movies and shows are being previewed and premiered, and chances are you will be seeing big name movie producers and famous celebrities on stage and perhaps even getting an autograph or two if you are lucky.

However, I think that the best part of the experience has been the fans. I’ve met dozens of really pleasant folks who are more than happy to spend a few minutes chatting with total strangers about obscure topics  that we both enjoy. There’s nothing like relating to my brother and sister geeks from all around the world!

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