Alaska Robotics

Comic Con Wrap Up

Thursday, August 8th 2013 by Pat

I feel like I should try to throw a few words at summing up my Comic Con experience before the memory completely fades. I loved it.

We got there early this year so Aaron and I were able to catch up on sleep, eat ice cream, and watch Pacific Rim. Good times. Just eating burritos and hanging out with one of my best friends was a nice way to start the trip.

Our rental house had a lot of Buddhas and sexy lady paintings so I felt right at home when we got moved in. A dozen of us pitched in this year and rented a place, I think that’s the way to go, much more fun than a hotel and less expensive. I guess the downside was the short bus ride to town but even that wasn’t too bad.

Marian and I went out for some wine and Brussels sprouts when she got to town. It was good to have a date night after she’d been out on the road so long. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have eaten the Brussels sprouts.

On Tuesday, Aaron and I took a really long bus ride out to a niche bookstore in a stripmall to catch a presentation by Cory Doctorow. It was excellent, the kind of casual and conversational experience I knew I wasn’t going to get at the convention. Doctorow writes for Boing Boing which has been my primary source for tech news, inspiration and internet culture over the past several years.

Doctorow’s book, Little Brother, was an Alaska Battle Book a couple years back so it’s all over the state. I picked up my copy in White Mountain. I finally cracked it open this week and it’s incredibly topical considering all the Snowden revelations about U.S. government surveillance. I’m a sucker for dystopian novels and I can’t wait to get home and continue reading this one tonight!

Wednesday involved lugging bins into the convention center for preview night but Aaron let me sneak away and go to a release party for W00tstout, a colla-beer-ation between Wil Wheaton, Drew Curtis, and Stone Brewing. It was great, I loved it, and I don’t normally go for those kind of beers, but I could do with a lot more of that one. The venue was, unfortunately, right at the end of the runway which meant a lot of interruptions during the talking bits but a generous uptick in airplane jokes.

Thursday was the first long day at the convention. I think we sold some comics, it was a blur. In the evening, we went to W00tstock, a variety show full of music, comedy and storytelling. It was a blast hanging out backstage but also incredibly weird. I’m not used to such a distinct social hierarchy and when I get put into that kind of famous person fish bowl, I sometimes feel like I need more air.

Of course, it’s got to be incredibly weird from the other side of things. Can you imagine being Neil Gaiman or George R. R. Martin hanging out anywhere at San Diego Comic Con? I bet it feels like everyone is watching you and waiting to deliver an over calculated hello.

Patrick Rothfuss gave me a copy of his children’s book, he seems like a good dude. The best part of the night for me was eating deflated pizza while watching Jamy Ian Swiss perform card tricks and seeing a very nice music video by the Doubleclicks for their song, Nothing to Prove.

The fake geek girl chatter goes round and round in the nerd circles and I think this brings it right down to the ground in a very lovely way.

Molly, Marian, and The Doubleclicks had a concert together on Friday night and it was the best. I’ve heard them all play a lot and I don’t know if it was atmosphere or my own mood but it was the most pleasant and wonderful show I’ve seen them put together. The ice cream helped. If you want people to love your music, make sure they have plenty of ice cream going into the show.

I had some great breakfasts and lunches and dinners of course. That’s always a favorite part of the convention, sneaking across the Smurf Bridge to burrito land or meeting up with friends to try food I can’t get back home.

I got to hang out with Vera and Jeremy a bunch. I gave Kazu a big hug and caught Jason in passing a few times. Scott was drowning in fans every time I saw him, always smiling though. Chris and Maurene were there, married now. And I shared a house and many pizza slices with Tony Cliff and Dik Pose.

I just think those flight artists are the best people ever. It’s their 10th anniversary next year. I’ll have to make a card.

Working the booth is always a joy for me, I love talking to the people who come by and it really makes me happy when a group of kids gathers around the comics bin and starts reading through everything. It’s fun to guess who they’ll turn into, what the world looks like to them.

After the convention was over I came back and found that I’d been included in a wrap-up article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, I guess I wore the right shirt on the right day. The EFF is the group I believe is doing the single most good in the world today. They’re way out ahead of the curve on digital rights and working hard to extend our civil liberties in a vast, rapidly expanding, space that is often misunderstood by lawmakers and misused by corporations. They’re kind of the digital equivalent of the American Civil Liberties Union and I’m proud to be a footnote from their trip to San Diego.

Predictions for next year.. Tony Cliff will win an Eisner Award and go to a pool party. Aaron and I will eat all the burritos. I will have a book.

One Response to “Comic Con Wrap Up”

  1. Jeff Dahn says:

    Pat, thanks for the wrap up report. It’s nice to hear it from your perspective. Maybe if I can start saving my shekels now I’ll be able to make it to San Diego next year.