Most people use the start of a new year as a reset button on their lives; it’s a time for rebirth, refreshment of the mind and body and spirit. I’m a little different. For the past decade my year has reset in July at the San Diego Comic-Con. I roll in to the convention saddled with quotidian worries and I roll out exhausted, but brimming with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm for creation and collaboration.
Unfortunately, it’s hard for a lot of non-con goers to understand exactly why SDCC is so special to those of us who attend. I place some of the blame for this on the media. They cover the spectacle – the crowds, the costumes and the celebrity spotting. When I tell people that I attended Comic-Con, the first question is always, “What did you dress up as?” When I answer that I don’t dress up, people are confused. “So why do you go?” Whatever my answer, it never seems to fit their understanding of the event. It’s a frustrating situation for everyone.
This year I want to shed a little light on aspects of Comic-Con that are often left in the dark. There’s no way I could do justice to everything at SDCC in a single blog post, but I can share some of what I experienced. Highlights in no particular order:
- Books! This year I kept my book buying to a minimum, but I came away with 13 new titles. You can see the full list on my Goodreads page . Obligatory book stack photo:
- Sequart Organization is devoted to the study of popular culture and the promotion of comic books as a legitimate artform. Tone and I enjoyed their documentary, Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods and stopped by their booth to check on their upcoming Neil Gaiman film. In the process we met Editor-in-Chief Mike Phillips and Webmaster Stuart Warren, both of whom seem like fun guys.
- In the pro lounge I met Katie Cord, founder of Evil Girlfriend Media and Timothy W. Long, author of more zombie fiction than you can shake a partially gnawed femur at. We had a great conversation about everything from genre fiction to Wonder Woman’s new costume.
- I missed the Masquerade this year, but listened to a recorded version of my friend Rogue’s group performing Be a Fan. It’s funny and sweet and super clever!
- In the dealer’s room I met Ave Rose and geeked out over her amazing steampunk/ taxidermy/ animated art. She brought an amazing possum creature from her Bestiary of the Automata collection. It was equal parts creepy, fascinating and beautiful.
- Since I can’t do a Comic-Con without getting a little horror in with my superheroes, I learned about the Los Angeles H.P. Lovecraft filmfest. It’s coming this September and features original short films, feature films, guests and special events. This year’s theme is “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”