At 4:00 a.m. a heavy mist makes my surroundings look more like a scene from a horror film, than the back patio of the San Diego Convention Center. Bodies are sprawled out everywhere, either by choice to camp out in line, or just unable to secure proper lodgings for the night. People mill about in a staggering state of conciseness, much like the Zombie-run that was held at Petco Park the night before. When the mist finally clears with the warmth of morning light, it reveals hoards upon hoards of nerds, geeks, and dorks in every age, sex, and color. There’s no doubt about it, I’m at Comic Con.
Anticipation fills the air as dawn breaks on day three of the Con. Not just for a new day, although that’s part of it, but rather because this year something unique has happened. Something responsible for throwing the Con out of flux the last few years has finally been righted, and the attendees can feel it. A balance has been struck in the force (if you will), one that consists between Big Hollywood, and the simple little guys who in recent years have been fighting to protect the true essence of what Comic Con was founded on way back in the ‘70s.
As I walk the lines, halls, and the convention center itself this year, everyone seems to agree on one thing over all, this year just feels right. Unlike 2010, which people remember negatively as “Blockbuster Con,” because of the overwhelming presence of Hollywood, and 2011, which was almost void of Hollywood altogether, this year seems to have finally worked out the equation. Just enough Big Hollywood to bring in the money and star power we want, but not so much that it dominates, and plasters everything with the ones we don’t.
With Hollywood’s presence in proper check, a few artists shared with me their excitement over the new floor placement, which allowed them better access to the wandering Con-goers. One artist in particular, was both pleased and horrified, that he had almost sold out of everything a whole day before the Con officially came to an end.
As always, the convention floor itself boasts some amazing displays. Nickelodeon and Weta Workshop were responsible for two of my personal favorites. Nick was promoting their new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show that will be ‘shelling out justice’ on 9/29. [More can be found here: Nick] While Weta Workshop showcased three forest trolls which will appear in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, coming out December 14th [more can be found here: The Hobbit Blog]. Both displays were expertly crafted, and both were built with family picture opportunities in mind.
This was the first Con for Felicia Day’s newly created network, Geek & Sundry. Day, along with her co-creators held an hour-long panel to the delight of over two thousand attendees. During this time, G&S revealed a new show to her slate called Written By A Kid, to air on her YouTube channel July 18th. Without spoiling anything for her first time viewers, let's just say one of the biggest Kings of Con makes quite a bit more than a simple appearance… Check her out, and lend your support to her Channel here at: Geek & Sundry
|Photo courtesy of LA Times|
After what seemed like no time at all, I finally found myself Sunday afternoon, purchasing my last piece of artwork depicting some beloved ‘90s cartoon characters. Making my way through the gauntlet of people doing their last-day shopping, I overheard a debate between a booth goer, and a vendor, about the affects of digital tablets on the comic industry. In that moment I was immediately reminded, yet again, why I love this culture so much because it has the amazing ability to be passionately opinionated about damn near everything, yet open minded enough to respect the opposing view of its members. That is the truest gem to be found really at any Comic Con. A group of people, enjoying the fruits of decades worth of labor, moving what use to mark them as outcasts, into a thriving, media supported industry, filled with headlining excitement for all to experience and enjoy – together.
By: Justin Woychowski
All photos © Justin Woychowski unless otherwise stated