San Diego Comic Con 2009 has come and gone and my head still isn’t right yet. For those of you that have made the trek down for the full Convention know that it can be a tiring experience full of frustration and wonderment. By the last day you’re sluggish and might have the Day 4 Limp going on, but it’s always worth it and within hours of leaving you find yourself wanting to go back. A year later though, as I’m still not up for it again just quite yet. Enough messing around, here is what I liked and what I didn’t.
10 Things I Liked
10. San Diego. There is some talk about moving Comic Con when the San Diego Convention Center contract is up and I can see both sides of the argument. Con grows every year and is already straining the capacity of the building. But San Diego is a great city with good weather and good public transportation, so if it stayed there, I’d totally be down.
9. The Tin Fish. Speaking of San Diego, if you’re ever by the Convention Center or PetCo Park, hit up The Tin Fish, a very excellent restaurant with awesome fish and chips.
8. Celebrities. As an entertainment writer, seeing Robert Downey Jr. isn’t uncommon or earth shattering, but when you’re walking the floor at Con and you see Stan Lee next to Lloyd Kaufman or Mark Hamill shaking hands with James Callis, there is something special about that. Plus, you get to see celebrities who might not always hit junkets or have big films out like stunt-actor extraordinaire Ray Park or the very friendly and jovial Doug Jones.
7. Meet the Press. In the on-line press community there are several of us who have talked and worked together and become friends without ever seeing each other. Con is one of the few events to get us out of our basements and into the sunlight where we can finally see each other in person.
6. Parties. Rocking and rolling with celebrities and press dudes is fun. This year Focus Features had a fun little get together, there were drinks and a conference with Peter Jackson, and IESB.net’s Wrath of Con which had Capcom themed drinks. Mm, Jill Valentine.
5. The Exhibitors. All the big boys are present, like Marvel, Sideshow Collectibles, Paramount, yatta yatta yatta, and that’s cool. But what I really enjoy are some of the smaller exhibitors, people you may not have heard of who are offering great stuff. I bought a print from Ben Walker (www.benwalkerart.com) which is awesome. I picked up some random small press comics and also hit up the big boys like Hasbro for some exclusives, like the Baroness 12" Figure. Yes, I’m a huge nerd.
4. The Fans. Some other sites may be full of douchebags who do nothing but complain about the crowds and the fans and the people in bad costumes, but I love it. That’s what makes Comic Con so unique. These people take time out of their lives to make costumes and come and celebrate what they love. We press members get in for free and some of us are even paid to be there and work, where as the real fans cough up their own money to have a good time. Certainly, some amongst them are weirdos, but for the most part I love being in the middle of it.
3. Iron Man 2. The footage shown for Iron Man 2 was pretty bad ass. War Machine blew me away as he blew away a bunch of bad guys. This film looks like its on track to equal or surpass the first film. There’s not much more to say other than it looks great. Oh, and the t-shirt they handed out was sweet.
2. District 9. I had the pleasure of watching this film down in San Diego and if you saw my video-blogged thoughts, you know I thought it was awesome. It had a poignant message, an unexpected emotional center, and plenty of awesome, body exploding alien action. Watch this film when it comes out!
1. Nerds: The Night Generation. I already mentioned my love of the fans above, but what really is awesome is seeing the next generation of fans being brought up. Kids in Storm Shadow costumes or young people picking up their first non-mainstream press comics, that’s great. My favorite sight of the entire SDCC was a young girl, maybe five or six, carrying a replica machete and wearing a Jason Voorhees mask that was signed by Kane Hodder. Awesome.
Best Panel You Didn’t Go To: The Goon. Just like last year, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon showed up to bring the laughs. If you want to learn about The Goon, this panel sucks. But if you want to laugh your ass off, welcome to it.
5 Things I Didn’t Like
5. Hall H. Hall H shows some great stuff – it’s the biggest room at the Center so it gets panels like Iron Man 2 and Warner Bros Showcase, but the problem is its still not enough. So many people are left outside and have no way of getting in or seeing the panel. Lame. Broadcast this on CCTV to the people outside so they can be a part of it without standing in line for 4 hours in the morning!
4. The Hate. There is a lot of hate at Con, whether it is websites bickering at each other, people saying Twilight somehow ruined Comic Con, or just people at the ends of their ropes snapping. Hey, just relax everyone. This is Comic Con, lets take it easy. Plus, as Kevin Smith pointed out, cute young Twilight fans at Con may end up being hot, legal comic loving babes in 3–5 years.
3. The Smell. It’s a bit of a cliche to complain about this, but you really need to bring deodorant and some among us need to keep it nearby at all times. Just sayin. Also, I avoid the bathrooms at all cost in the convention center.
2. No Time. I missed so many awesome panels just because there isn’t enough time in the day to do it all, especially if you want to get into Hall H and some point. Panels I missed that I wish I didn’t: Psych, Burn Notice, True Blood.
1. No Comic Con Attack Squad. For various reasons involving alcohol, drugs, jail time, or just plain laziness, none of the Attack Squad of Rejects from last year made it down this year. I was basically flying solo the whole time which is both sad and a little boring. One guy with a press badge comes off creepy when he tries to talk to you, while a group of guys with a camera is legit. I don’t get it either. Anyway, if you decide to hit up Comic Con in the future, bring friends. Nerd friends. Or hot female friends. Ya know, whatever.
Did you go to Con? What were you likes and dislikes?