And so here I am at Comic-Con International 2010 or, as I refer to it, "The Bastion of Cruelty."
Make no mistake, Comic Con is not fun. At least, not the kind of fun you're used to. It's fun in an entirely different way, where the suffering is what makes it fun. Because once you've endured the crowds, the endless lines, the expensive food, and the many opportunities for bitter disappointment... what you have left is fun that you've earned. Which makes it just that much sweeter, of course.
I wrote in-depth about my Comic-Con experience when I was here last time, and this year is more of the same, so I won't bore you with another extensive recap... just a few things I took away from my half-day at the event...
• As expected, AT&T's service was complete and total shit. A lot of the time I couldn't get even remotely useable bandwidth speeds, which was still better than the many times I couldn't get service at all. Never mind that 3G service was absent more often than not and I was kicked back to EDGE, a huge chunk of my battery was spent just trying to get something... anything I could work with so that I could TXT or make a call...
Now, granted, 150,000 people all in one spot is bound to overload a cellular network, but I wasn't expecting things to be this bad. I wonder if Verizon and T-Mobile were in the same boat? Probably.
• Just like last year, Comic-Con was drastically oversold. There's just entirely too many people, which means that even if you stand in a line for hours, you're still not guaranteed that there will be room for you in the venue. I sure wish that the people running this thing would find a way to make this more fair so you don't wait in line for nothing... though I suppose if they eliminated lines and went with tickets or something, then all the people in line would be clogging up the show floor, so maybe that's why they don't.
• While I am excited about a number of movies being promoted at the Con, including Scott Pilgrim, which is based on a comic I really like, it's TRON: Legacy that has me freaking out. I loved the original film, and the sequel looks like it will absolutely amazing. If nothing else, the new LightBikes are cool...
• Just like two years ago, I had three comics people I wanted to see on the dealer floor. Eric Shanower, Sergio Aragonés, and Brandon Peterson. Shanower was easy to find, still promoting Age of Bronze, his epic retelling of the Trojan War in comic book form. Aragonés, whose work in MAD Magazine I've loved since I was a kid, was signing his latest Groo The Wanderer collection...
Peterson I COULD NOT FIND! Not from the booth number he gave at his website (which, so far as I could tell), didn't exist. Nor from his description of the area he'd be at. He had a new artbook I wanted to get too. Bummer.
• Speaking of comic books... it truly shocks me when I walk by the booth of some titan of the industry and see that nobody is there to see them. They've long since been replaced by some hot new talent, and now they've been forgotten as if their work doesn't matter. I guess it's just a facet of the industry, like all industries, but it just doesn't seem right.
• The costumes this year were better than ever, though I'm ashamed to admit that my favorite costume I saw wasn't super-hero related. It was Dr. Rockzo from Metalocalypse! "MY NAME IS DR. ROCKZO! I DO COCAINE!!
It's more fun to see people dressed up outside the convention. Like your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, walking down the street...
• After four hours, I had as much as I could take, and decided to get as far away from the crowds as possible. I hadn't been to the San Diego Zoo in decades, so that seemed like a good place. It's a remarkable zoo... probably the best I have ever seen... and it just keeps improving. The sheer volume of animals you can see it pretty impressive...
And lest we forget... they have THE BUCKETS OF DEATH available...
And that's pretty much it. I met up with quite a few friends and bloggers along the way, which was truly the highlight of my Comic-Con experience. I'd take that over meeting movie stars and comic book heroes any day.
All that's left is a redeye flight across the country, and my day is done...
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I must not have looked up at the SD Zoo. I completely missed the Buckets of Death. I took the bus loop with quite possibly the least enthusiastic bus driver on staff. She read her lines with all the vocal variety of the Ben Stein teacher in Ferris Bueller – absolutely no inflection whatsoever. “A polar bear’s paw can be 18 inches long. That is pretty big for a paw.”
I remember being in San Diego last year for ComicCon. The hotel was filled with all sorts of YOU PEOPLE!
Are those capybara in the photo above the tiger?
That really is cool. I’m very much looking forward to Tron.
I was expecting you to put an image of Sarah Palin at the end of your animal collage. Kudos to you for not stooping so low.
I love the San Diego Zoo. I haven’t been there since I was probably five. BUT I’m making Vahid take me when we go to San Diego, whenever we get around to doing that.
I doubt I’ve ever told you that I got to handle a bunch of Sergio’s original pencils back in 1996. I won a national D&D championship (not in the US) and was invited to a special after-con party for the staff and Guests of Honor. One of them was the publisher for the Groo card game and we got to playtest the game, which at that point was just a deck of hand-drawn cards and some blank D6’s with hand-drawn stickers.
Dr. Rockzo: *whispering in Murderface’s ear while tying balloons into the shape of a guitar* ‘Seriously. I do a lot of cocaine.’
I need to visit that zoo at some point…looks fun!
The SIngapore Zoo is by far the best zoo I have ever been to in my life.
You should do a comparison between Singapore Zoo and San Diego Zoo.
I cannot wait for Tron: Legacy. I saw a cardboard light cycle at the movie theater at the weekend and I got all excited. I’m *that* sad.
I’m jealous that you met Aragones. You also met Sullivan, too. 🙂