Nerd overload my friends. Actually, for all my nerdiness that I tout on stage, I’ve never been to a “Con”, short for “convention” for those whole-word inclined. My mom likened it to an exhibition. I told her never to use the word “exhibition” and “comic” together ever again.This being my first Con, I looked to my friend Tonya’s blog post on getting ready. She’s been to quite a few and prepares for them better than most do for a job interview.
I decided that I would wear my Star Wars jacket, since there are very few public places I get to wear it without someone staring at it. It went over well at the event. The ticket taker had apparently seen my act before, confidently stating “comedian!” as I approached her to buy a ticket. I confirmed that I was indeed “comedian” and I was wearing “the jacket” from my joke. She was happy to see that it did exist. Of course it existed! (Side note, I saw a guy in the Boba Fett version of my sweater there as well.) The guys who make “Red vs. Blue” liked it very much, and were even more surprised when I told them I got it at Macys. Various people bumped into me and said “nice jacket”, but that was the extent to which that story played out.
Now I’m not that big of a comic book nerd. I actually have no idea what to do at most of the booths. I just stood around and looked at the art. Oooh pretty. I did try and find some Hellboy comics to add to my small collection, and did buy a Wolverine comic out of one of the many $1 bins, just for nostalgia’s sake. Most of my interactions with comic book artists went like this though:
- Me: Hi
- Them: So are you interested in my comics, I have a new graphic novel that I just published?
- Me: I’ve never heard of your comic before, but I think it’s pretty cool, can I buy a book?
- Them: Uh, sure. Do you want me to sketch something in it? What is your favorite comic character from
- Me: Well yes, but I have no idea who the characters are in
so just draw something about Star Wars.
One such interaction left me with a picture drawn in one of my book’s that looked strangely like my friend James. Actually in all seriousness (if that is even possible when talking about this subject), I did learn a lot about what is going on in the industry, and the amazing talent it takes to be a professional comic book writer/illustrator. It was really inspiring and makes me want to take up sketching again. Also, the electronic writing pads were freaking sweet. I ended up getting a couple graphic novels (which I prefer over single comics) and some other nerdy odds and ends. I’m not really into the superhero stuff that dominates most of the booths, more of a “Blade Runner” type of guy. Hellboy is the one exception. He’s a badass. Missed picking up a sticker with the statement “Real Vampires don’t freakin’ sparkle” on it, but that was my only misgiving from attending this year.
One thing that did surprise me. After only a couple hours at the event, my feet freaking hurt. I wore good shoes and socks like Tonya had suggested, but man. I’ve been to Disneyland and stood in lines for way longer than I did yesterday. Something about ComicCon just sucks the energy out of people I guess. Evil masterminds with energy sucking death rays maybe?
My experience was overall positive except for not getting the sticker and this; Fuck You ECCC for putting a pack of Magic the Gathering cards in my gift bag. I do everything I can to stay away from that game and its incredible lure on my imagination and bank account. It’s like nerd crack cocaine, and I’ve been in recovery since 6th grade. It’s as if ECCC is like, “hey Brian, here’s a free hit, on us”. Its a good thing its only 10 cards and not enough to do anything with, but wow, dangerous dude. I’m going to go call my sponsor…
Next time, I’ll hopefully attend some of the panels they offered. This first time, it was enough just to walk the floor, see some cool stuff, and get out before I fell too deeply down the nerd rabbit hole. Expect a new five minutes about this in my act soon. 🙂