Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There and back again a Geek's tale

I survived Comic Con 2008 and lived to tell about it. Actually, my telling is rather late, as the news of Con was all over the internet seconds after it began. People were busy blogging and uploading pictures all over the convention center before panel chairs had gone cold. Comic Con is Geek Heaven, and everywhere you look there are i-phones and blackberries, lap tops and digital cameras. Everyone is talking and texting and snapping photos like mad. And, since you spend a huge amount of your time standing in line it seems perfectly logical to use that time uploading photos to Flikr, and answering the same question over and over. "What are you standing in line for? Somehow, I think if I had dared to knit while standing in line the whole place probably would have gone into lock down. Natural fiber! Wooden needles! No computer chips!

the crowd

I've never had 5 days fly past so quickly or been so tired when it was over. As things went I never had a chance to meet up with someone I very much wanted to and I am very bummed over it. (Sorry Nancy) Once the convention center traps you, it's over. It doesn't give up its dead easily. Once I saw the nightmare that is con, I knew I wasn't going to test mine or Nancy's mettle in trying to deal with all those people and all that traffic. She was better off where she was, tucked up snug at home and enjoying her garden and sewing.

Day 1, the reporter goes to work

Five days later...

I had a great time, and almost felt 18 again, until 3 days of 12 mile a day walking caught up with me. Then I just wanted curl up on my bag of swag and die. I rallied again on Saturday after sleeping until noon, and spending a day in the sun and fresh air on Sunday worked wonders. I couldn't visit San Diego without some time spent by the water and the maritime museum. However, by 4:30 a.m. Monday morning at the San Diego Airport, both Beth and I looked like we could have starred in Planet Terror. (After running out of shirts, I was forced to wear a free swag shirt with Terminator on the front which didn't help matters any.)

the Zoners

Despite my complaining about walking 1.5 miles uphill to our hotel on 4 consecutive nights (that's after that 9 miles at the convention center, walking to dinner, etc.), I was declared a great traveling companion and praised for keeping my end up. I met Beth's editors and put several names with real life faces from The Zone at AintItCoolNews. I was declared "cool" for being a mom over 40 attending Comic Con. It's easy to forget "we moms" were the original fan girls who stood in line for the first Star Trek movie, Wrath of Con and dressed up as Princess Leia for Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI. Without us, this crop wouldn't be here.

Ray Stevenson and me (he still wears his 13th legion ring BTW)

I sat mere feet away from Rick Baker, Zach Snyder, and David Boreanez. I got an autograph from Ray Stevenson who played Pullo in Rome (the whole event passed in a mist as I basked in the glow of his wonderful smile and blue eyes.)

Nathan Fillian

I actually glimpsed Nathan Fillian as I was forced by the sheer strength and size of the crowd to circle the booth twice while he was signing autographs. I wanted to meet him so badly and tell him how much I loved the film Waitress, but I was shunned in favor of a woman wearing a full length velour cape covered in Comic Con buttons. Maybe next year...

a wall of t-shirts

If you like to show your geekyness by wearing t-shirts, then Comic Con is the place for you. This photo shows only one wall of a 4 sided booth. Actually 8 sides, as all four of the inside walls were covered as well. There were T-shirts of every conceivable kind (I splurged on a Firefly hoodie). Comic Con is a sea of t-shirts, action figures, posters, and costumes. A life size Archie the Owl ship from Watchman hovered over the convention floor. Row upon row of comic books and the artists who created them scribbled autographs and sketches. I fell in love with the Elizabeth Swann dolls by Tonner and was ready to pull out my wallet for the Lara Croft had she been available.

Achimedes, Night Owl's ship from Watchman.

Archie's insides. I have no idea if there
was a coffee maker...

There is a phenomenon at Con, that I just can't quite grasp. The insanity of SWAG. Don't get me wrong, I love my free t-shirts, and collecting buttons for my lanyard. My BONES poster and Rock Me Sexy Jesus bracelet are among my favorite swag of con. But fighting people for giant shopping bags? It's true. I spent 3 days coveting the "Big Frakkin Bag" but I wasn't willing to risk my life to get one. I swear Warner Brothers has ulterior motives when they purposefully release a new bag every 12 hours at 20 minute intervals. And Fox's free poster tubes? Gone on preview night. As one bus driver told us, "Today's hot bag is tomorrows garbage, and we'll be seeing them around the streets for the next six months." I kept picturing the sleeping bums blanketed in "Big Fracking Bags" all winter...

the big frakkin bag

I lunched with a producer of the Simpsons, who congratulated me on what a talented daughter I had, and asked how could he raise his baby girl to make sure she turned out just as geeky. That was the best compliment I've ever had. I only wish my answer had been better. (ask me again Don, I've been practicing) We all had a great time and you couldn't ask for a nicer, more down-to-earth geek of a person. It was a pleasure to meet you Mr. Payne.

the Simpsons panel

Saturday is costume day and I worked as line manager for Lara Croft. By days end we were really wishing we charged $5 a photo.

Beth and Ewan McGregor?

Beth, Scott and Eric (the editors)

Even Jabba had to have a picture with Lara Croft...

Beth got to meet Lena Headey, and I had my first real anger management issue, when someone leaked the stars wear abouts and we were descended upon by paparazzi. After waiting eons for first the autograph session to end, and then the inevitable executive ass kissing, I was shoved away by a wall of photographers just as Ms. Headey was introduced to the Cinematical team and we got our photo op. Somewhere out there are loads of photos of Lara Croft and Lena Headey, and they are by rights mine. Cough 'em up you paparazzi scum! Lena Headey was sweet and understanding. Beth had a chance to talk with her later at a party and apologized profusely for putting her arm around the ladies waist. Lena told her not worry about it, it wasn't a problem at all, and that Beth had "looked great."

Scott, Beth, and Lena Headey (barely)

And now, here, in Colorado, the buzz from Comic Con is wearing thin, the foothills saw their first dusting of snow and the leaves are beginning to turn. Summer went by much to quickly. I had a great time but I am very content to be back in my Hobbit hole with my knitting and my puppies, and a stack of good books. I'm 1/2 way through my first graphic novel, Watchman. Jane Austin forgive me, but I have succumbed to the power of the comic book. I've got to be ready for next year.


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