A lot of other stuff… Then, Gerry and Marty!
The “Ode to Nerds” panel was cool. Then, a lot of other stuff happened. I wandered the convention floor for a while, shopping and taking pictures of people in costumes.
Because 2013 was my first Comic Con since starting to watch Doctor Who, I put special effort into getting pictures of Doctor Who Read the rest of this entry
Here’s another panel I hit in Thursday. Or rather, one that hit me.
Ode to Nerds
This panel was an absolute revelation to me. It was on my radar, but to be honest I only went for two reasons.
First, I needed someplace to sit while I ate lunch. Second, Anthony couldn’t make it and he had been geeking out hard to see one of the panelists, Chuck Palahniuk. (Weird that his name doesn’t trigger spell check – there must be a “Fight Club” fan in charge of Microsoft’s dictionary).
The description in the official guide didn’t give me much to go on: “Everyone knows that published science fiction authors reign on the Geek Heirarchy charts, because the Internet tells us so! Join panelists as the genre’s top names in publishing celebrate all things geeky and nerdy, with Charlie Jane Anders of io9.com. Geek out with Cory Doctorow (The Rapture of the Nerds),Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), Austin Grossman (You), D. C. Pierson (Crap Kingdom), and Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything). “
The first thing that hit me was what a tremendous job Charlie Jane Anders did moderating this panel of authors. I’ve just recently come to read, appreciate, and ultimately cherish the job that io9 does covering culture. So, I recognized the web site in the programming guide, but had no idea who Charlie Jane Anders was.
I’ll tell you what. Charlie was great. She was enthusiastic and knowledgeable – a great combination for a moderator. I’d never read anything from any of the authors on this panel before, except for “Haunted” by Chuck Palahniuk. Now? I’ve got a long list of these titles on my Amazon wish list.
The panel opened with a “Geek Hierarchy Chart” and launched into a discussion of people and their passions. The whole conversation made me fall in love with Comic Con all over again – there’s not just acceptance of “difference”, but celebration of it.
The best thing about this panel was the energy and encouragement these authors had for other writers. The panelists were, to a person, passionate about authors staying true to themselves and doing what they love.
There was a hilarious discussion that started from a comment about 50 Shades of Gray that I won’t repeat here because I just showed my mother how to subscribe to this blog. I’ll wait a few weeks until she loses her login and forgets about it to post the details.
My favorite comment of the panel came from Robyn Schneider. She talked about all the different kinds of fandom present under the nerd umbrella. She said, “They’re all pockets on the same pair of nerd jeans.” Then she immediately seemed a bit embarrassed that she said “nerd jeans”. Don’t worry Robyn, we get you.
The panel was very inspirational. I appreciated the discussion regarding publishing. Specifically, there was a discussion that, too often, people measure the worth of a writer by whether they’ve been published or had a movie made. I don’t want to spoil the metaphor by misquoting it here. And since this panel caught me off guard, I didn’t have my pen and notebook handy to capture specifics. Suffice it to say, there was an acknowledgement that many writers are hobbyists and there are greater aspirations than being published.
I will, however, be keeping my eye on io9, Charlie Jane Anders, and the authors on this panel. And next year, I’ll be specifically seeking out more programming like this at SDCC.
If a video of this panel exists, I’d love to see it and provide a link. I’ve still only got six skill points in Google, though, so I haven’t been able to find it on my own.
In the meantime, you can watch Robyn Schneider introduce her appearance at Comic Con on Youtube. It’s fun and will give you an idea of the geek enthusiasm that abounded.
Even though I’m only through Wednesday night with the recaps, I thought I’d give you all the photos of costumes from Friday.
Come on, people. I read the site stats. I know why you’re here. Unlike other sites, though, I’m not holding out the photos to make you read my posts if you don’t want to.
So, I was walking down Artist’s Alley at Comic Con and turned a corner to head to the rest of the convention floor when I saw this guy hunched over a paper, arms flying and whirling.
Bordin has to be the fastest artist that I saw that day. His work is incredible and he’s got a great style. For gifts, I commissioned three separate comic covers – Hulk, Spider-Man, and Iron Man.
When I handed him the first book, he asked what character I wanted, and I replied, “The Hulk”. He then asked “Which one?”
My reply? “Uhhhh… the incredible one?” (Apparently there are more Hulks in the Marvel Universe now, which I did not know)
These pieces are on actual comic books that are printed with blank card stock wrapped around the regular cover. They were also each done, beginning to end in under 20 minutes each. To which I say, “Bordin – YOU are the incredible one”.
Wednesday was just a travel day for me. Flew in around 1:00. Got picked up by Anthony Fankhauser, my movie producer friend and roommate for the weekend.
Anthony was late to the airport, foreshadowing our roommate relationship for the whole weekend.
I had planned to meet up with my SDCC friends, Justin Bolger and Michelle Gilness, a couple of cool people that I met at SDCC 2011. We haven’t met in person since then, but such are the ways of SDCC. It unites people across space and time in a magical vortex of insanity and fun.
Awesome Coincidence #1 of SDCC 2013: when I called Justin, he and Michelle were already at the hotel where I was staying – the Town and Country Resort. Why were they already there? Apparently four-day badge pickup was available on Wednesday night. And of all the places to have early pick-up, it just happened to be at my hotel, five miles away from the Convention Center.
So, instead of waiting to get in a huge line Thursday morning and waiting to pick up my badge, delaying my Comic Con adventure, I was able to pick it up as soon as I arrived.
I showed up. The people I was planning on meeting were already at my hotel. My badge was ready and waiting. All completely unplanned by me? Score one for the good guys.
Wednesday night was spent chilling out in San Diego’s Gaslamp district.
Now, here’s the deal. Even if you’re not one of the lucky people able to put your hands on a Comic Con badge? If you’re a pop culture fan, just go anyway. The whole Gaslamp is on fire with people in for Comic Con, and there’s always something cool happening.
Our Wednesday consisted of dinner at The Yard House, followed by two parties of wildly varying quality.
The SDCC Blog held “Enchantment Under the SDCC – The SDCCBlog & Outside Comic-Con Fan Event!” (10 internet points for the reference). The title is quoted from their web site, and I left the exclamation point because it assuredly deserves at least one, if not more.
First off, if you’re even thinking about attending Comic Con, you should follow their blog. Also, if you want recaps of the coolest panels, swag, and costumes, they are also the hub for you. I know that Casual Comics Guy is pretty alright, but SDCCBlog is the beginning and end of my preparation and debrief for SDCC.
They also throw a pretty wicked party. I walked away with a pretty sweet T-shirt that also served as a useful tool for remembering where and how to check Twitter for updates on line status. Got some free Pop Chips, too.
We then walked over to another nearby party and almost immediately walked back. The “Super Hero Party” at the Side Bar was deadly. Side Bar : Geeks::Snakes: Indiana Jones
There was no one there for a while. Then some “bros” showed up. Then, even though there were only about seven people there, including four people in my party, they started turning people away at the door for “dress code”. At Comic Con. Dress Code? At Comic Con? What? Here’s my advice. Do not ever go to the Side Bar.
(Did I mention that the Side Bar is terrible?)
We went back to Enchantment Under the SDCC for a bit. They raffled off some cool geek gear, a couple of one-day passes to Comic Con, and the number on most desired item among the crowd gathered… a “front of line” pass for the Hasbro booth.
Are you kidding me? For those who have never been to Comic Con, the Hasbro booth has a ton of exclusive merchandise. You have to get in a line outside at 4 a.m. in order to hope to get a spot in their line inside that lets you have a chance to stand in another line for an hour, hoping that whatever you want isn’t sold out by the time you’re at the register. (By the way, the Boba Fett Black Series sold out the first day)
So, after that, we were more careful. We wandered over to McFadden’s and spent the rest of the night at “Nerdioke”, the best and most fun karaoke party I’ve ever attended. As we walked in, we heard a demonic voice growling Green Jelly’s “Little Pig, Little Pig”. When we hit the main floor, we were shocked to see a slight, short girl bellowing with rage into the microphone to enthusiastic applause.
It was like a normal karaoke bar, only good. And the highlight of the night was when this guy took to the stage – he must’ve been a Broadway or Las Vegas performer – and blew the crowd away. His voice was spectacular and he had the whole song down pat. Emotion… passion… He had it all. By the end, the crowd was following him around the floor and dancing arm in arm. To wild cheers and bouncing, he led the cheering throng in a dance of glee around the whole bar.
The song? “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast.
And that, my friends, is why Comic Con is the BEST.