Been building a photo gallery from this year’s Comic-Con. It’s still a work in progress, as I comb through the 700 images shot during the week, so check back as I add more photos.
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…
It’s Saturday morning, the next to last day of SDCC 2013, and I’m up early enough after a light night of partying to send in a little postcard from the road.
Con has been non-stop action and fun since Wednesday. Got in San Diego about 3pm, after getting an early morning drive on with Brian Kameoka. After a quick stop at the Westin Gaslamp to check in, we were off to get badges, get a bite to eat, and head back to the Convention Center for Preview Night…And we were off.
I’ll get to a blow-by-blow after we get home, but the con, and the outside events, and the parties (mostly at the Geek & Sundry lounge at Jolt n’ Joes) have been, more or less (but mostly more) non stop. I still haven’t been to any of the panels at the con, but I’m off in a little bit to see Joss Whedon over at the NerdHQ panel in Petco Park, this trip was intended to be, and has been, mostly about people…Connecting, re-connecting, and just hanging out, and that has been the major theme for the week.
Many outside events, including a trip to The Stage bar to see Jason Charles Miller last night. I’ve been aware of Jason through my Guildie circles for a while, and seen a few of his music videos on YouTube, but his live show is great. It’s Country with a hard rockin’ edge to it, and it’s very, very good…
Been getting lots of photos and video, and looking forward to shooting on the convention floor today, and Saturday is the big cosplay day. Big moment was getting some shots of author George R.R. Martin on Wednesday. The Game of Thrones author was doing a signing in Artist Alley, and was being very generous about giving photo ops.
The party scene has been pretty frantic, and San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has been overflowing with tourists and convention goers since we got here…It will all hit a climax tonight, and I’ve been told that the Saturday night parties will be epic and, quite possibly, apocalyptic. Can’t wait.
So…Now off to the day. See ‘ya!
We’re almost down to the wire, and San Diego Comic-Con is only a day away…Well, Preview Night, but that’s when all the goodness starts. I’ve got a firm set of priorities for Comic-Con, and I’d thought I’d share them with you because, well, I share everything with you…Well almost everything. There was that time back in ’88 when…Never mind, best we don’t go there.
My SDCC Top Ten List
- Connect with friends, old and new…You are the best, and most important, part of the con.
- Have a damn good time, and forget/ignore anything and everything else that isn’t about having a damn good time.
- Drink Responsibly (Yeah…You, right there, I see you…Stop laughing. It’s not that funny. 🙂 )
- Spend as little as possible on all the awesomely cool geek toys on sale because I’m a responsible adult (and I will keep telling myself that and hoping I wind up believing it.)
- Maintain as high a level of personal hygiene as possible because Con Funk is a preventable condition, and, besides, eewww….
- Swim in the hotel pool at least once a day because HOTEL FRIGGIN’ POOL!
- Eat at least one machaca (con huevos) burrito and an order of taquitos at the taco joint on College Avenue, because nobody sells machaca burritos north of San Diego County and, damn, they are good.
- Visit the SDSU Campus and sit at the Drama department benches, drinking a cuppa’ joe, and pretending it’s 1982 again, ’cause memories (light the corners of my mind…)
- Try to sleep occasionally, because avoiding sleep deprivation-induced psychosis will probably have a positive effect on the social dynamics of the event, and, finally;
- Spend as little time on long lines waiting as possible, because I’m here for the people, not the panels.
That’s it…I’m spending the rest of the day, cleaning, packing, and getting my gear together before hitting the road. For those of you going to the con, I hope to see you there, and for those of you who aren’t…I’m not quite sure why you’re reading this but, thanks you for your support.
July has been a pretty amazing month so far—the best of the year, and getting better. I’ve got about a million and one things to attend to, major changes on the life horizon, a whole move to coordinate, and…Well the plate is pretty full. So what am I doing? Getting ‘to-do’ lists together? Calling potential landlords? Looking for apartment rentals? Hell no—I’m getting ready for San Diego Comic-Con.
SDCC, or ‘Con’, is something that I’ve been wanting to go attend for years, and years…and maybe a few more years than that, but work pressures, or lack of vacation time or money have always put the Comic-Con on the back burner. But not this year. This year I am hitting Con with all the unreserved power and nerdy enthusiasm that my geeky heart and brain can throw at it. With only a few days left until the drive down, I’m cleaning, packing, buying tickets to events, and, oh, yeah…taking time to blog about it (-1 to productivity, but, hey…It’s what I do…)
Lots of exciting stuff to look forward to, including meeting friends IRL that I have only known through social media—and there are a lot of those, and they are real friendships, and every year that circle gets smaller, and smaller, as I get out and meet more of them, which is always the best part of any of the geeky gatherings I go to. Case in point, looking forward to meeting artist friend, Jeff Carlisle, and super fan-girl, Dani Figueiredo, from Brazil, both of whom I’ve known for about five years, and never met in person.
Dani will be coming back with us from San Diego, going to Disneyland, and then hanging out up in the Bay Area for a bit before heading back home. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Then there are the off-sites and shows; Hammer Improv, NerdHQ, 30-Minute Musicals, “Psych: The Musical” and as much more TBD as I can fit in. Plus the parties…Oh, there will be lots of parties. It’s going to be another whirlwind tour, and I can’t wait.
What’s that? Panels? Meh. I’ll probably go to a few of them, but that’s not my main thing at these cons, and the ones I do go to will probably be more along the lines of networking opportunities, like the ‘Web Series Creators Assemble’ panel on Thursday…Mostly plan to avoid Hall H like the plague, and pick and choose. I’ve just started putting things into my calendar, and will sit down later and consult the official SDCC schedules at some point. For now I’m just planning on mostly following my friends, checking things out, and spending a lot of time on the floor taking cosplay photos.
I’ve kind of let my big passion project, Geektastic! Nebula go…Partially because of time constraints, partially because of a whole lot of crazy that’s been going on in my life, and partially because I was starting to wonder if another geek-branded portal was going to able to elevate itself about all the competition in the marketplace. I’m probably going to start re-vamping the web site, and for now at least schedule, daily photos of cosplay photos and occasional other reports. We’ll see how it goes from there. I’ve been working on a number of podcasting efforts, and may just use that brand as the focal point when I get some of those going. But, back to Con…
Will probably also get caught up in some web video shennanigans as well…Have a number of friends down there that will be shooting, and I usually enjoy getting pulled into whatever is going on, and seeing the results. We’ll see.
Still waiting on the last of my geeky shirts for Con to come in, and getting everything ready to go…And speaking of that, I better get going… See you at Con!