Friday, June 28, 2013

Repost: Article about the San Diego Comic Con for Bakotopia 2009

Repost: Article about the San Diego Comic Con for Bakotopia 2009

The San Diego Comic-Con has been going on for forty years. It is essentially nerd-vana for anyone who loves anything geek-centric. I'm talking about comic books, video games, genre movies (horror, fantasy sci-fi I'm looking at you!) Japanese Anime and all manner of toys. I've been to small conventions before (in the 80's in Palmdale and Bakersfield) but those were NOTHING to prepare me for the Leviathan spectacle of what is the San Diego Comic Con. To give you an idea, I will refer to it furthermore as just COMIC - CON.

I've been to big conventions before, specifically NAMM (which was written in BAKOTOPIA magazine earlier in the year by good old JR at where tens of thousands of freaky musicians gather to see all the shiny new gear that they can't afford. Nay, folks. COMIC-CON is wherre over ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND people gather to fawn over all things fandom. I guess it would be fawn-dom.

I've been reading comics since the late seventies and have been an avid collector since the beginning of the 80's. I was aware of the COMIC-CON but just never got around to it, like talking about a vacation that never happens because life always gets in the way. COMIC CON was just Comic-con until around 2000 when Hollywood found out that fanboys ( the typical name to describe us) are the ultimate test group for their movies. Remember, comic book movies died in the mid nineties with BATMAN AND ROBIN, a movie so atrocious that it killed off an entire GENRE of movies. Once X MEN became a success, the suits went and bought any and all comic book properties they could their hands on. The same thing is happening with video games now.

A movie that generates buzz at COMIC CON will open BIG. Guaranteed. Every year all the movie companies pimp out their upcoming movies by having the films' main cast and crew in a panel and introduce new footage in Hall H (A HUGE hall with four massive plasma screens that seats 6500 people yet always fills up) where atendees can also ask questions to the stars and filmmakers.

For example: this year had panels for NEW MOON, AVATAR, IRON MAN 2 among many many others. NEW MOON in particular had people waiting in line for two days before the COMIC CON even started. This has inspired a new breed of geek: the Holly-nerd. A nerd that instead of showing his authority by reciting facts and figures based on fandom knowedge, instead tries to assume it by name dropping celebrities an agencies.
OLD SCHOOL DOUCHE NERD: " I think that the only Daredevil worth reading is the Frank Miller run. All else is garbage."
NEW SCHOOL DOUCHE NERD: " my good friend over at William Morris said that Frank, You know...Frank Miller? He said that Frank just signed up to make a new movie for Fox."

The con has two levels: an upstairs and downstairs. The downstairs is just a massive hall with booths from different companies. The upstairs has many halls with different programs happening every hour. To the east of the main hall is the aforementioned Hall H that has the BIG movies. The smaller halls upstairs have TV shows, anime and panels on actual COMIC BOOKS!

You can meet up-coming artists and creators and get original art at artists alley. You will see the BEST costumes. Have you ever overheard a conversation where someone's talking about a movie you love and you can't help but include yourself into the discussion? Not only are you included but welcome. That's almost EVERYONE there. Everyone's polite (most us geeks are) and welcome to company. Now, it's not all great, the food is incredibly expensive and walking through a big crowd is never fun. I would recommend brown bagging it if you decide to go. You're allowed a backpack but nothing that has wheels.

Also, a few things for anyone that wants to go:

It will sell out from now on. Get your passes MANY months in advance. Like, NOW. Remember, this is now a Hollywood thing and they are on their shit boys and girls.

#2: ATTEND PREVIEW NIGHT. For those that get a four day pass (Thu-Sun) you get an invite to Wednesday preview night. Trust me, get your badge on that night instead of having to wait in line on Thursday morning with (literally) ONE THOUSAND other people in line.

#3: BRING YOUR OWN FOOD. See above

#4: HAVE A PLACE TO STAY WITH CHEAP PARKING AND STAY THERE. Parking on Thursday? $10. On Saturday? $30-$40 if lucky. Trust me, sleep in your car if you have to. Unscented baby wipes ROCK!

#5: GET THE PROGRAM AND DECIDE WHERE TO GO. It's like Disneyland. If the program is at three, get there at two at the latest. There's so much to do that you must choose. Don't take it for granted that you will get into where you want to go. If you see a line, brave it. Once the doors close then it's back to being a con zombie.

#6: BRING MONEY. San Diego is fun but will always take its toll one way or another.

#7: BUY YOUR PASSES NOW. they will be sold out.

Also, sunscreen, vitamins, talcum powder (don't chafe!) a backpack/bag and a CAMERA are gospel. They give a lot of stuff away. Go with an open mind, a few bucks and a game plan and all will be well. Remember: If you're there for the comic books then you'll have ample opportunity to wget your whistle on one of the most amazing art forms in the world. If you're there for the movies then get in line as soon as you can to Hall H. They don't kick anyone out, so if you want to catch something at three, get there at noon.


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