This was a Triumph.
I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS
It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction …
– from “Still Alive” by Jonathan Coulton
San Diego Comic-Con 2013 is a wrap, and I’m home, feeling a bit like I’ve been run over by several, large, multi-wheeled, trucks, and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle…But happy. Very, very happy.
It’s hard to describe the precise feeling here…A combination of physical exhaustion, joy, elation, and contentment, mixed with a bit of melancholy that comes with saying goodbye to friends after a very intense, but seemingly all too short, period of shared closeness. More than that, there is a bit of a surreal feeling…Sort of like that feeling after a long day at the beach, when you go home and feel the tides pulling you in and out like a wave. Well, that’s my post-Con feeling…Your actual mileage may vary…But I’m wiped, both physically and emotionally, yet feeling uplifted by the experience, and the awesome community that I shared it with.
There is much work to do…Words to write, photos to publish, and that will come over the next several days. For now, I just want to reflect on the best part of Con for me…The friendships, the people, and the time we shared together.
Leaving for San Diego I set out with a top-ten list of goals, most of which were met, and the few that weren’t had little weight compared to the rest. The overarching theme of the week was all about connecting with friends and family…Not the family that we were born into necessarily, but the family we choose for ourselves, and the people that belong to those extended families…And connect with them I did.
Friends, both old and new, were there in abundance: Artists, writers, fans, geeks, cosplayers, actors…Folks like Heather Lo, who I’ve known online something like 15 years, back to the old Buffy/Bronze posting boards, but never met in person. There was also the famous (or infamous) Adam Linden, aka BelRand, from Sweden, who I first met in the original Guild fan forums years ago, but also never met IRL. Lots of IAWTV friends, like Steph Thorpe, David Nett, and others with whom I’d only interacted online…I even ran into Theo Rossi, “Juice” from ‘Sons of Anarchy’ at a coffee shop, where he stopped my friend, Brian Kameoka, who cosplaying as Nien Nunb, to take pictures. It was a weekend of random interaction awesomeness.
Hell, I even had a face-to-face with graphic artist Adam Levermore, after years of near misses at parties and other social events (some people were starting to suspect we were the same person because we were never seen in the same place at the same time…But that myth was put to rest at Comic-Con (about seven times in two days, to be precise. 🙂 )
I’ve been very lucky over the past five years to become part of an extended family of friends and colleagues, and it all came about due to a seemingly happenstance experience creating some visual effects for the web series, “The Guild“—And I say “seemingly”, because I don’t believe anything in life is truly happenstance or coincidence, rather that everyone we connect with in our lives is there for a reason, whether or not we understand it at the time—Anyway. A couple of weeks worth of time volunteered to produce a fifteen second FX sequence has turned into a series of developing personal and professional relationships with people involved with web television in some way, including a special group of people who have become my friends, my community, and my extended family…The Guildies.
Guildies come from all walks of life, and came together from different paths…Show cast and crew, fans who became part of the original fan forums, members of “The Knights of Good” Guild on Warcraft that was started by Felicia Day years ago, and, a group that has become very near and dear to my heart, The Guild of Extras, an amazing community started by background cast for the show (and featured this week in an excellent article written by Bill Wasik for Wired.) We are all united in a few common things: Love of “The Guild”, love of all things Geeky, and love of each other. And that last part…Well, you just have to get to know these folks to know what that is all about, and that is about family.
The week was full of activities, both at the Con, and off-site; Theater, Improv, concerts, panels, were all part of the mix. We played, we partied…Sometimes together, sometimes in smaller groups, with many of us coming back together to drink and dance the night away, and it was sharing all of this with this group of people that made the Con something special, and an experience like no other.
Felicia Day and the good folks at Geek & Sundry were kind enough to provide an off-site home for fans and friends at Jolt ‘n Joes in the Gaslamp District, a stone’s throw from the Convention Center, and that was pretty much Guildie base camp for the week, as it should be, and having a place where we could congregate, chill, and party all night long was very much welcomed by all…
Sunday night as many of us as could make it gathered at a steakhouse in the Gaslamp for a final meal together prior to hitting the road. The meal was great, the fellowship awesome, and having to leave at the end of the evening was more than just a little bittersweet for all of us, for while many of us live in California, many came to the Con from as far away as Brazil, Switzerland, and even Montana (of all godforsaken places. 😉 )
Such an amazing, awesome, wonderful time…