Ah, Comic Con San Diego. Overblown, packed like a sardine can, vaguely disorganized because there is simply too much going on, yet still so awesome. I attended for almost all four days last year and frankly the crowds beat me to a pulp. This year I attended for one day, not even a full day. I didn’t have much planned except to show some friends around and do brunch with a fellow author. I didn’t schedule any panels to attend, figuring that I’d take a look at the Events Guide when I got there – the actual paper and ink Events Guide, not a program application loaded onto my iphone. I had the SDCC guide app loaded onto my phone last year but it kept trying to update inside the Convention Center where the reception sucks and hung up all of the time. Just give me a paper map and a paper schedule. I can deal with last minute adjustments posted on the kiosks. What follows is a brief description of my day, along with a set of fun photographs I took, especially highlighting the steampunk participants.
I got up at 5 am on Saturday and drove to San Diego from north of Los Angeles (about 3 hours to downtown), parking nearby and walking in at 8 am. I like to drive in early to avoid the traffic, then haunt a restaurant until the Con doors open. A coffee, iced tea and a blueberry muffin set me back $20 (including tip) at the wonderfully facade-d SyFy Cafe near the corner of K Street and 5th. There are many nice restaurants in the Gaslamp District and it houses a healthy number of off-site events, some associated with Comic Con and some not. I met up with my friend and the three kids he had in tow and entered the Convention Center near the time it opened. One thing Comic Con does extremely well, in my opinion, is having plenty of stations to process incoming attendees. Even with huge lines involved, the registration process has been efficient and painless in my experience. We wandered the vendor floor for a while, before the crowd really got thick, and I went to see my pals Patti and Jason at their Fat Rabbit Farm booth. They are great people and their kid-oriented books and merchandise are great (I got two t-shirts for my kids). I also picked up two Coloring with Your Octopus books from Brian Kesinger’s booth, signed by the artist himself. It didn’t look like Lantern City had a booth this year or I would have dropped in on them again as well. I sure hope Bruce Boxleitner and his crew can get that awesome looking steampunk tv series going. I walked through a literal river of human beings to make my lunch with Star Wars author John Jackson Miller at the Hyatt, where we chatted and indulged in a lovely breakfast buffet while a rancor-type creature watched us from outside the window. John has a tremendous amount of experience as an author and his latest book, A New Dawn: Star Wars is coming out in early September. He was kind enough to give me a signed advanced reader’s copy. Great guy. Another highlight for me was making it to the Mattel Toys booth where the cover artist for my Romulus Buckle book series, Eamon O’Donoghue, had a full size She-Ra standee on display. Eamon couldn’t make it to San Diego this year so he asked for some photos of his work. Great job, Eamon! Also, Eamon has just completed the cover art for Romulus Buckle book 3, soon to be revealed, and he knocked the ball out of the park as far as I am concerned. Awesome.
So, the rest of the Con day was spent wandering, though I did find the Pro Lounge for the first time and I stood in line for an Indiana Jones Fan panel that I didn’t get into. I did make contact with the steampunks and the steampunk gathering and the following photographs are the best of the ones I took of the group and their wonderful costumes, plus some more Comic Con miscellaneous images. The steampunks sure have a lot of fun. I’ll be back at SDCC next year, hopefully with a lot more going on.