SDCC 2013 Retrospective

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For many of us not in California, Comic-Con seems so elusive, transient, and far away as if it’s existing in some bubble of wonder that’s forever beyond your grasp (like another season of FIREFLY). Then again, maybe that was just my perception growing up in Seattle and going to school in New York. Tickets sell out in seconds (I still don’t know how that works), it’s expensive (it’s the goodies and room/board that’ll get ya), and you have to get there. That seemed impossible when I was younger and in my heyday of collecting comics, naive of what delights and evils Comic-Con simultaneously represents.

The past three years, my consolation prize had been the Emerald City Comic-Con, which is a terrific and super vibrant festival in its own right. Minus the news and the star power wattage (though it still brings in Sir Patrick, Edward James Olmos, and the like), it’s still massive and boisterous, populated with just as many talented cosplayers, and most importantly, it’s fun. In many ways, it’s more pure than SDCC, although that’s also me talking out of my ass.

Flash forward to this summer. I’m a little older (but no less naive) and fortunate to be among the few to represent FAMOUS MONSTERS this year in radiant San Diego. And I don’t take that lightly. Our eternal editor-in-chief — our ghost with the most — Forrest “Forry” J Ackerman, who created FM, coined the term sci-fi, and discovered Ray Bradbury, was also one of the main men responsible for organizing the very first Comic-Con. He was even the first to dress up for events, rocking a “futuristicostume,” or 25th century leisure wear, with his date Myrtle R. Douglas at the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Yes, Forry invented the behemoth that is now known as cosplay, and really helped deliver the idea that it’s okay to express yourself, to be different, and wave that nerd flag high. Now such behavior is almost cool, as witnessed by the monstrous pop cultural touchstone that Comic-Con has become in the 21st century. In his day, I can only imagine.

I had worked with FM for over a year on a part-time basis, mainly writing to you fine people, but since April of this year, had been roughing it in LA with the rest of the FM family. It was an entirely new journey that I was (and still am!) terrified, excited, and nervous about. In many ways, Comic-Con was my first eye opening experience of this wacky life that I hope to carve out for myself (though grocery shopping at a Ralph’s with Jerry from PARKS & RECREATION had its share of whimsy).

We had worked and prepared for Comic-Con all year, and even with loads of planning, we were no less ready when it came time to pack up and flock down to San Diego. What followed was one of the most crazy, stressful, exhausting, overwhelming, and fantastic weeks of my life. It’s been weeks since Comic-Con ended and I’m still catching up on work and life (though a one week vacation didn’t help matters), making this post a little… late.

We arrived on Monday and got all our stuff (apparel, DVD’s, equipment, magazines, etc.) on the pallets, then came the task became setting up our booth, which turned into one of the cooler booths in the whole show (in part due to the excellent additions of ESP, their guitars, and Samhain Publishing). That wasn’t just my opinion though, as it was shared by JoBlo as well. Here ’tis, if you haven’t seen it on our FB already:

booth2

My editor, Barrett WS, and I formulated a schedule for the week’s activities: panels, parties, interviews, press conferences, and meetings scattered across the convention center, the nearby hotels, and back alleys. There is just so much going on, and it was painful that I couldn’t see even 8% of it, let alone all of it (it made me wish that I, like Hermione Granger, had a time turner). I wish I could have seen the HIMYM gangs’ first (and last) panel at Comic-Con, or not have missed MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot (FM’s Elvis was the lucky one for that; here’s his review), or been able to interview Jane Levy about EVIL DEAD, or had minions delivering me all the free stuff to plunder, or slept with a female Deadpool cosplayer (or these fine people), but it was impossible (except for maybe the last bit).

My adventure continues on page 2!!

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