July 29, 2009

Wednesday is Preview Day, which is supposed to be less busy than the other days. The floor opens for a few hours in the early evening. I sneak away from our booth at one point and walk the floor. To be quite honest with you in the lead up to the Con I had been sort of dreading and resenting it, it was just so much work and the thing itself was just a big unknown. But walking the floor when it’s still largely unteeming I am surrounded by Star Wars stuff and new video games and comic book things I recognize and even more excitingly, don’t recognize, and I start to walk on my tiptoes, and at least internally, I am skipping. Oh right, I think. This is fucking COMIC CON and I am a fucking NERD. This is THE PLACE. An overweight kid with glasses and a pork-pie hat and a red Hawaiian shirt and green gym shorts is standing on a stage singing “You Give Love A Bad Name” at the Rock Band booth while lots of other people stand around and cheer. An older comics writer (I’m guessing) is saying to someone, “You can always thread those stories through…” I get an autograph from Earthworm Jim creator Doug Tennapel, who is chilling at his booth. On the way back to our booth I sort of almost tear up, sort of.


I spot my first pink-wigged anime girl at four fifty-one PM.


After dark we are walking back to our hotel and a little kid behind us is looking at a downtown building that has a crown of colored lights and he says to his parents, astonished, “The blue square changes colors!!!” Don’t tell him what to geek out about. Standing on the edge of the strip of sidewalk that will teem with convention-goers all week, a security guard has the job of shining a flashlight at a fire hydrant to warn people that it is very pointy.


In our hotel I can text message in the elevator, whereas most elevators will kill your phone service. This is novel to me, as I am an overconnected douchebag.


Donald and Dan have joined us so we are the complete picture. That night we go to a nearby hotel’s bar to have drinks with lots of film bloggers, several of whom we know and are fond of from Sundance. TVs behind the bar that seem like they would normally play sporting events are tonight playing an all-CGI anime movie. At one point Pete Sciretta from Slashfilm tells me Kevin Eastman was just there. I get psyched, because Kevin Eastman is the co-creator of the Ninja Turtles. “Wait,” says Pete, “he might still be here.” We look at a nearby group of older guys talking. Pete points out one of them. I take out my iPhone and quickly Google image search the man. Then I embarrassingly circle around their group and look at the guy I think I am looking for, then back at the iPhone, then back at the guy and say, loudly, “Yup, it’s him.” I am drunk so I think this sort of behavior is okay. Everyone else in a quickly growing group of Eastman fans laughs at me. When I realize Pete was actually talking about a different guy, and I was standing much closer to the actual Kevin Eastman when I said some other guy was him, I am suitably embarrassed. Nevertheless, we continue to gather a crowd. It seems like he is leaving several times but he keeps talking civilly with more and more groups of what we assume are fellow artists. Finally I say “fuck it” and apologize for interrupting his conversation but we have a large group of people who would like to quickly say hi and thank him for all the entertainment he’s given us over the years. He is convincingly abashed and touched and nice. I shake his hand and give him over to the rest. It’s seriously very cool.


DERRICK goes to dinner at TGI Friday’s. None of us have eaten in a long time. Everyone else has apparently seen a very attractive girl dressed as Rufio from “Hook.” I am jealous, because there is no fantasy of mine this does not fulfill. I have stupidly placed my phone on top of my wallet and at one point it slides off and hits the floor with a disturbing clatter. I dropped my phone and it shattered completely the other week, but I received an undamaged screen without having to pay anything or do anything but stand in line for a few hours. I wonder if fate will now punish me for my bravado. I note that for the moment, we are in the world of Schrodinger’s iPhone, dual realities where my phone is all fucked up and useless, and is also unharmed. I pick it up off the ground. It’s okay. I have learned exactly no lesson, the hard way or otherwise. At a certain point it’s last call and a waitress comes by our table and forces us to all to drink our drinks quicker for legal reasons. We comply and then pay and then walk back to the hotel. Thursday will be the first full day of Comic Con.

Posted by DC at July 29, 2009 12:52 PM
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