With San Diego Comic-Con aka “SDCC” less than 48 hours from kick off I’ve been thinking non-stop about what I’m going to see, where I’m going to go and who I might meet. If past years are any indication it’ll be a whirlwind trip full of surprises, exhaustion, exhilaration with some minor disappointments. Personally, Comic-Con is the one week I look forward to every year. It is like my Birthday, Christmas & Halloween all wrapped into one happy industry approved package.
When I tell non-convention folks about my passion, the response is usually one of confusion or envy. Here I will elaborate on my favorite Comic-Con memories – the moments that got me to this place in hopes of illustrating why I am so married to this convention. If you are envious of my pass, I am sorry. Getting a ticket is really, really hard these days and I am stupidly lucky to be attending (I know, please don’t hold it against me).
My 10 Favorite Comic-Con Memories:
That time I gave Bill Nye the Science Guy a high five.
Comic-con is a place where childhood heroes roam freely in the open air of the San Diego Convention Center. Which, in my humble opinion, makes them fair game for high fives, pictures and autographs. It was 2013 and Mr. Nye was in the audience of the “Cosmos: A Space Odyssey” panel in the Indigo Ballroom wearing a bright canary yellow three piece suit and his signature bow tie. I couldn’t believe he was there and as soon as the panel ended, I rushed up as fast as I could speed walk to him. I blabbered on saying something to the effect of “Thank you Mr. Nye for everything and making my childhood amazing. Could I please give you a high five?” and then quickly rushed off after doing so to cry tears of sheer joy and happiness in the back of the room. Two nice gentlemen saw me losing and I happily told them I high fived Bill Nye. They laughed a bit and said “are you ok?” and then I took this selfie.
I wish I had a picture of the actual high five, but I was too afraid I would be stopped by a body guard if I didn’t act swiftly. I regret nothing, this is one of my happiest moments.
That time a VIP forwarded my cosplay picture to the costume designer of my favorite show.
I had a really amazing convention last year… and I got really, really, really lucky. A lovely executive who I will not name here told me my costume looked dead on and asked if she could take my picture and send it to the costume designer for my absolute favorite tv show. I wanted so badly to blurt out all the ways in which my costume was inferior and state my embarrassment, but instead I said “Oh, wow… um…. sure?!” at which point she then asked me to stand on a platform next to the actual costumes from the show. I studied the impossible detail of these garments in screen grabs and promotional pictures agonizing over my lack of ability to duplicate them just weeks before… and there I was standing next to them. I was floored and so very absurdly happy all the while feeling incredibly unworthy. I do not expect something like this to ever happen again – to this amazing executive, thank you. You made it wonderful.
That time I chatted with the ladies of “The Guild” about discrimination against women online.
In 2010 I paid twenty dollars to stand in line and get a photo signed by the cast of web series “The Guild”. Being a woman who uses voice software I had my question for the ladies ready “What do you guys do when you experience animosity online”. I was asked to clarify my question so I explained I had been filling raid spots when someone in my guild said my raid was being run by an actual woman… the chat response to this was “BS, I can smell your balls from here”. It was at this moment Felicia Day turned her head from the fan she was engaged in conversation with and said “What?! Oh my god! What server are you on? That’s awful!” and I like to think we bonded… kind of.
That time my favorite author tweeted my cosplay mid panel & then signed my tattoo.
Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez are an amazing team and Locke & Key did not disappoint… what made it even better? I got to show off just how much I love the series to the people who create it. I think Joe was especially worried I was going to get his signature tattooed onto my arm, but really I just wanted to take a picture to send back to my favorite tattoo artist who replicated Gabriel’s work so well. Joe’s personal tweet of us wee indie comic cosplayers was the icing on the cake.
That time I realized indie comic, web comic & otherwise unknown panels are amazing.
While waiting for big panels sometimes there’s really good stuff in the same room you would never see if your feet weren’t tired and the air outside weren’t thick with the humidity and heat of Decjuba. I highly recommend small panels – the seats are everywhere, you can learn a lot and the panelists are always really happy you’re there. It’s so rare to have an opportunity to expand your horizons in person this way I’m glad I gave “Savage Chickens”, “MAD Magazine”, “Boom! Studios” and any panel by iO9 a try.
That time Ben Templesmith signed my comics to my name with “the real” in front of each one.
Conversing with your favorite artists is fun. Having inside jokes with them that fool their twitter followers? Better.
That time someone was super nice to me for no personal benefit of their own.
I won’t go too far into detail here, but there are random acts of kindness. That girl who offered to zip you back into your costume, the man who gave you a bathroom pass (totally illegal, that never happened) so you could “re-enter” the panel. Not to mention the friendly impromptu conversationalist and the stranger who takes a picture for you with that random celebrity whats-her-name.
That time I gave Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite a silver dollar.
Ok, I know this is a weird one but last year I saw the BEST Elizabeth cosplay I have ever seen up close… and I realized I had a silver dollar in my change purse. I excitedly shouted to her “Hey, Elizabeth, catch!” – a play on a common line from the video game to anyone who is unfamiliar. I was afraid of hitting any number of civilians, so I opted to quickly pass off my half dollar and escape into the crowd semi-unseen. It worked and I heard her say “What the f**k?” followed by “OH, COOL!”. I was so happy to play out something out from a game we obviously both loved. That and it made me feel cool.
That time a Comedy Central executive asked me what I was waiting in line for.
The “suits” as they’re called, the executives are frequently at Comic-Con. Waiting for Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” panel, there were a few jovial men and women in suits standing by the VIP entrance. One walked over smiling and asked what we were waiting for. Nearly every person said “Workaholics” – myself included. I’d like to think we played some small part in that show not getting canceled before its sophomore season by being there that day though that is likely a naive notion. That said – Workaholics has run for over four seasons and launched several careers… so who’s to say we didn’t help show them physical evidence stoner comedy is immensely profitable and should be nurtured.
Those times I made it into a panel I was sure I would never get to see.
Sometimes security tells you you’ll never get in… sometimes you just don’t listen and then you profit. Getting into Hall H is 50/50 on a good day. Most years I don’t even try but you really never know. I’ve seen Doctor Who, Supernatural, George R.R. Martin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Legend of Korra, Futurama – and I held zero expectations I would get into any of these panels. Sometimes you just don’t know until you try – and my god when you do get in it feels like you won the lottery.
As Miss Frizzle used to say on the Magic School Bus sometimes you have to “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” Good luck with all your last minute arrangements & to those of you attending, I’ll see you in San Diego!