San Diego Comic-Con 2014:
Nearly a week after and my brain has already marched onward, especially to follow up on possibilities begun at comic-con. I can tell you that I had a good day attending and that's probably due to accomplishing certain things necessary to my needs whilst not killing myself doing them. ;)
One, connected with an elder and idol of my profession, Trina Robbins, whom I'd not seen since 2001. :) She's lots smaller now but can hug like a fierce woman. ^,.,^
Two, looked at the publishers (Random, Penguin, etc) and what they trotted out for this show, took in the floor area, booth set-ups, and especially the atmosphere of the small press area. (Why? I had to figure out if exhibiting was something I really should consider in such an enormous-con. The logistics are still not very attractive).
Three, spoke on a panel, which helped me connect with a certain audience, affirmed a few things gratifying, and probably taught me a thing or two, too. :)
Four, did an onsite radio interview---thank you deejay Willow Leafstorm and Krypton Radio!---which was a nice publicity touch as well as an opportunity to discuss my cool books. :D
Five, showed up at my spot at the PRISM Comics booth, a non-profit for the promotion of LGBT comics and books, and sold quite a few copies of Charm School Graphique Vol 1 and Dark Victorian: RISEN! As always, it's great to meet readers, so that was a pleasure and always makes my day.
Six---there is no six.
Seven, did a business dinner and connected with certain editors and fellow creators.
Thus, I accomplished everything that needed doing and which satisfied my mysterious creator needs. Did I need to buy a bunch of stuff, cosplay, experience actors, panels, and other reveals, collect free goodies, and so on? Not at this time, though I may relax enough to do so, some other year. But I began to understand something about SDCC at this point in its growth and identity.
I believe an attendee can go to this thing and stand somewhere pertaining to her passion---the huge studio and toy islands, the publishers hall, the areas where cosplayers may be, or set her bottom down in Hall H and never budge---and that attendee can experience happiness. Because at this point in Comiccon's wealth and growth, there is now enough of dreams and fantasies present that you needn't want for more.
And if that attendee still wanted more or something else that's just not there, then SDCC may not be what she needs.
A screenwriter (and producer/director) I really admire, Katherine Fugate, shot pics of her adorable daughter in the studio islands then edited it all together as a movie for Facebook. Viewing the con through her eyes, I realised that it was possible to take in only a portion of the event, recognise the value of spectacle and entertainment, and not be overwhelmed or diminished by the experience. As Darren Franich wrote very astutely for Entertainment Geekly:
" . . . running Comic-Con seems like the equivalent of governing a city that appears out of nowhere and is exclusively populated with insane people."
And that's it Exactly. That thing I could not describe the scope of because I couldn't recall an equivalent measure. But that night after dinner, enjoying the walk back by the harbor with my buddy Kim Dwinell, I did think of one: the Olympics. For five days, San Diego is transformed into Nerd Planet, and because that is still a rare and wondrous phenomenon happening in only one spot in our universe, I'm now okay with it.
One thing I forgot to do: visit Artist Alley. Out of sight, out of mind, and that was a big oversight on my part. I gathered from Facebook that even my most curmudgeonly of associates had a very good Comiccon. Now that's saying something. :) If you can work THIS show as a creator and make the connections needed, that's a triumph indeed.
io9 has a pretty comprehensive photo gallery of what experiencing Comiccon is like, from huge studio islands down to indy creator booths. Though I'd say 90% of the stuff shown is corporate/franchise-derivative (as in, not enough representation of original works):
Enjoy a well edited cosplay video from Sneaky Zebra. There's a really excellent Aquawoman (gender switched Aquaman) in there who I think is fantastic. :D:
And have you ever been to actors/show panels or just seen actors from your favorite shows speak? It can be very entertaining and lots of fun. :) But thank goodness for the internet. I haven't seen nor read Game of Thrones yet, but this is delightful:
And there you go! Now back to whatever I was doing.
All the best, ~~eee