I am writ­ing this to you all from the glass-​walled busi­ness center of the Embassy Suites in down­town San Diego, a place I emphat­i­cally should not be. This is not to say that I have any­thing against San Diego or the Embassy Suites—I don’t—it’s just that I had orig­i­nally been expect­ing to be some­where over Kansas around now. Appar­ently, Jet­Blue had some prob­lems with this plan; rather than scram­bling to find a con­nect­ing flight, I decided to just cool it and take tomorrow’s flight out. I’m in no rush, the hotel room was booked for the extra night anyway, and hey, San Diego’s a pretty nice place.

Anyway: Comic-​Con. It hap­pened. It was excit­ing! It was so excit­ing, in fact, that I com­pletely forgot to take any pic­tures! To make up for this, John will recre­ate the expe­ri­ence for you in astound­ing, jaw-​dropping, col­or­less and sketchy detail. You already got a taste of this last Thurs­day, and you can look for­ward to a little more of it on Tues­day. But to help sati­ate your surely-​excruciating inter­est, I will attempt to sup­ple­ment his visual extrav­a­ganza with a few humble words of my own.

Pre-​Con
I got my first taste of Comic-​Con this year before even arriv­ing in San Diego, as both R. Stevens and Jeph Jacques were on my flight! For a couple of dudes whose web­comics I don’t read, I sure do manage to run into them an awful lot. (By “awful lot”, I mean “twice”—the first time being ROFLCon—and by “run into” I mean “awk­wardly stare at from a healthy dis­tance”.) If I keep this up, one of them might even start rec­og­niz­ing me as That Tall Creepy Guy Who Keeps Look­ing at Us. A man can dream, at any rate.

On Wednes­day, John, John’s mom, and I went to see Hell­boy 2. We agreed that it was a very pretty movie. Then we went to pre­view night.

Pre­view night is the night before the con­ven­tion proper, and they open up the exhi­bi­tion hall to let atten­dees roam wide and free. Those who forage suc­cess­fully are rewarded with exclu­sive goods and excit­ing mer­chan­dise. The rest either go mad or are devoured whole by inscrutable cos­play­ers. Hap­pily, I sur­vived, and was rewarded with a set of Final Fan­tasy plush toys. In fact, I’ve had my eye on those damn plushies for the past two years, so I was down­right ecsta­tic to get my grubby paws on them at long last.

We also went to a Star Trek exhibit at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, where I annoyed John per­sis­tently with innu­mer­able dumb ques­tions, found out and promptly forgot what class ship the Enterpirse-C was, and learned from Worf that per­haps today is a good day to die. Good times all around.

Thurs­day

In the inter­est of time and space, I’m going to describe the rest of the con­ven­tion in list format. Any­thing I fail to men­tion will be excluded for one of three rea­sons: (1) it is not inter­est­ing, (2) it has been or will be cov­ered by one of John’s comics, or (3) I forgot about it. But if you’d like me to elab­o­rate on any­thing, you can always just ask.

  • Spore: Will Wright gave an excel­lent and intrigu­ing pre­sen­ta­tion, and the game looks fan­tas­tic. It was a little awk­ward, how­ever, when he started talk­ing about Nazi slave camps and the people in front of us wouldn’t stop laughing.
  • How to Tell a Story: Exec­u­tive sum­mary: STO­RIES should have CHAR­AC­TERS that DO THINGS.
  • Dum­b­rella: More gawk­ing at R. Stevens, but also a bunch of other web­comic artists (and MC Frontalot, too!) and an offi­cially sanc­tioned pre­text within which to exe­cute my gawking.
  • Sci­ence of Sci­ence Fic­tion: John went to some Star Trek thing instead of this. What a nerd!

Friday

  • Watch­men: I woke up early and wait­ing in line for 2 hours to get into this panel. The movie looks good, but the panel wasn’t worth the bother.
  • Intro­duc­tion to Web­comics: This was very much like a live edi­tion of Web­comics Weekly (plus Phil Foglio). I rec­om­mend the pod­cast if you don’t already listen to it.
  • Penny Arcade: Mike and Jerry have a great rap­port; if you ever have the oppor­tu­nity to see them in person, seize it!
  • MST3K 20th Anniver­sary Reunion: Gah! We missed this! GAH! Miss­ing this panel was by far the biggest dis­ap­point­ment of the con­ven­tion. Every­one from the show was there. Every­one! Now, if they had hosted this event in a bigger room, maybe we could have gotten in. Instead, the Comic-​Con orga­niz­ers decided to use the largest avail­able space to screen Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Worst Car­toons Ever: I’ve gone to this show every year for the past three years. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s some kind of deep-​seated self-​hate com­plex? Actu­ally, it’s prob­a­bly because of Sam Bas­sett: Hound for Hire, who hap­pens to have a machine gun in his hat.
  • Spike and Mike: The Gaunt­let: This year’s batch of ani­ma­tion was weaker than in pre­vi­ous years. But it gives me an oppor­tu­nity to rec­om­mend Lone Sausage’s pro­duc­tions, a peren­nial favorite of the show.

Sat­ur­day

  • Quick Draw!: Think Whose Line Is It Anyway? meets illus­tra­tion. Although it’s an annual Comic-​Con event, this was the first time John and I went. Fan­tas­tic stuff. If you ever attend Comic-​Con in the future, def­i­nitely go see it. (Sergio Aragonés in par­tic­u­lar deserves spe­cial men­tion for his excep­tional impro­vi­sa­tional talent.)
  • Doll­house: John and I some­how man­aged to squeak into this one. Joss Whedon is a funny little man and I envy him enormously.
  • Myth­busters: To avoid miss­ing the Myth­busters and reliv­ing yesterday’s MST3K dis­ap­point­ment, we camped out in room 6B start­ing two panels prior. It was nec­es­sary. Adam and Jamie were greeted like rock stars, and the energy in the room was as explo­sive as the show.
  • Riff­Trax Live: One of the biggest and best sur­prises of the trip—at the Balboa The­ater, we got to see Mike Nelson, Bill Cor­bett, and Kevin Murphy do a live riff on Plan 9 from Outer Space! It def­i­nitely helped ease our dis­ap­point­ment over miss­ing the MST3K panel the night before.

Sunday

  • Woke Up Late: I slept in until I was woke up with a call from my brother telling me my flight was can­celed. Nice!
  • Exhi­bi­tion Hall: My first pur­chases since pre­view night: Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes and A Con­tract with God by Will Eisner.
  • Frag­gle Rock: I don’t really watch the show, but John does, and I couldn’t turn down the oppor­tu­nity to see Red Frag­gle live, now could I?

And that’s about it. The hos­pi­tal­ity of Embassy Suites has enabled me to spend the rest of my Sunday after­noon as I invari­ably do, wher­ever in the world I so happen to be: lying some­where, stuff­ing my face and watch­ing movies on TV. Beyond grab­bing a grilled chicken sand­wich at the second-​sketchiest Wendy’s in the world and writ­ing this post—this very one that you are read­ing right now—not much else has hap­pened.

So yeah! That was Comic-​Con. Goooooooooooooooooooood times.

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Discussion (5) ¬

  1. Nick says:

    AMBAS­SADOR

  2. Joe says:

    Post long. Long to read. Was R. Stevens a dick? Sounds like fun. Why don’t you have an avatar?

  3. Greg says:

    It was long. Imag­ine how much longer it would have been if I hadn’t bullet-​pointed it! A LOT longer, that’s how much! I didn’t inter­act enough (or at all, really) with R. Stevens to know if he was a dick or not.

    And I don’t have an avatar because… well, because I don’t know. Because I’m lame? That’s prob­a­bly why. I’ll get one even­tu­ally.

  4. Nick says:

    …CLASS STAR­SHIP