SDCC Recap: Friday Night
Warning, this recap contains less than 10% actual comic book-related content! Friday night was when things got a little wobbly. Time started folding in on itself. You’ll recall that Friday morning began for me at 4:00 am, getting into line for Hall H and “The World’s End” panel. (Quick aside, if you haven’t seen “The World’s End”, stop reading and go now. If you have, finish reading this and then go see it again.)
After the last panel of the day, I went to meet Justin and Michelle for dinner.
I met Justin and Michelle at SDCC two years ago, waiting in line for the Battlestar Galactica panel. If you want to know what’s going on in the world of pop culture, you could do worse than to follow @JustinActual on twitter. When I’m at Comic Con, these are two of my favorite people to visit.
Now that I think about it, Justin still has one of my sweet swag bags from Comic Con. I’m going to e-mail him and, if he still has it, we’ll find a way to give it away to a reader.
Anyway, Anthony (the good friend/bad roommate) left the convention around 5:30. Anthony and a couple of his buddies really wanted to attend the Assassin’s Creed 4 launch party – one of many offsite parties hosted all over San Diego during the convention. Neither of us play the game, but the location of the party was a fully decked out pirate ship in the harbor. Seemed worth checking out.
The plan was, as follows:
- Anthony was going to hang out with his friends at a nearby bar
- Justin, Michelle, and I were going to have dinner less than four blocks from the bar where Anthony was waiting
- After dinner, I was going to call Anthony, meet him at the bar, and go to the Assassin’s Creed party
- Fun, as they say, would ensue
Not a difficult or complex plan, in the least.
Justin, Michelle, and I had dinner. I don’t recall the restaurant’s name. We went to a bunch of places that were all packed before finding a casual place to grab some fish and chips. We laughed, we compared notes, and then it was time to roll.
I began walking to the bar where Anthony was, assuredly, waiting for me. When I reached Anthony on the phone, though, his crew was already on the way to the harbor – without me.
I looked at my watch – close to 9:30 pm. This was the second day in a row that I was in line before 5:00 am. As any sane person would, I decided it was probably for the best to head back to the hotel and get to bed.
Sanity and SDCC are not really close friends, though. They’re not mortal enemies or anything, they’re more like casual acquaintances who may bump into one another from time to time.
Standing on the street, thinking about hailing a cab, I saw a huge sign on the bar just in front of me. The sign said “Geek and Sundry”.
The only reason I knew anything about Geek and Sundry was that I had spent a bit of time researching offsite events prior to my trip. What I knew was this – Geek and Sundry was the name of a joint venture between Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day. They were taking over a local bar for the entire Comic Con weekend and were welcoming people to enter board game tournaments, maybe wind up playing against Wil or one of his collaborators. Video gaming was also promoted.
I figured, hey, what could it hurt to poke my head in and peek around for 15 minutes before heading back to the hotel for some much needed sleepytime? It’s the poke-and-peek. What could go wrong?
Nothing, it turns out, could go wrong, to quote Davina and the Vagabonds.
But, everything could go right.
I walked in and at the ground level, there were two signs, one directing visitors to the board gaming area, the other to the video gaming lounge. From upstairs, I heard some 80s beats. Like a siren’s call, Frankie Goes to Hollywood beckoned. No longer in control of my locomotion (which, coincidentally was just starting as I walked the stairs) my feet carried me up to the party room.
As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I heard someone shouting my name. I turned to see Marty and Gerry (from Thursday morning) calling out to me. Their TARDIS must have pulled them into the sweet, sweet vortex of the Geek and Sundry party.
When the three of us had parted ways Thursday morning, I had no idea that I would ever see them again, yet now San Diego Comic Con was offering me a brand new experience – staying up all night and having beers with two genuine, and genuinely Irishmen. Who am I to refuse that gift of the cosmos?
Over the next several hours, our spirits were lifted as we lifted our own spirits in toast. That night, we met many cool and interesting geeks while the best of the 80s and 90s caressed our eardrums. There was other caressing, but a gentleman never speaks of those things publicly.
But, I guess since we’re all friends here, I can tell you that Gerry totally was locking lips with a lovely young lady right at our table.
At some point, Anthony called and told me how lame the Assassin’s Creed party, to which I replied, “Well this party is AWESOME”, so he showed up, buddies in tow. There’s a lesson here, folks. First, do your research on offsite events before you leave. Second, don’t ever ditch The Casual Comics Guy (a.k.a. “The Mayor of Comic Con”) at SDCC.
The next day, my wife kept asking me, “who are all these new facebook friends you have?” Many of them are Geek and Sundry people. Two of them are the mad fellas who traveled half a world to SDCC and the best party imaginable. Next time I’m out, I will once again raise a glass to these two guys.
They finally turned on the lights and pushed us all out the door around 1:30. Back to the hotel and in bed by 2:30.