Wednesday, August 1, 2007


This past weekend Emily and I attended Comicon. It's an annual international convention in San Diego for the Comic Book industry. Well that's how it all began. Over the years it has grown to a massive event that covers not only the comics industry, but animation, sci-fi, movies, television, toys, and just about anything that can be related to superheroes, science fiction, video games, and anything geeky. Literally a couple of hundred thousand fans and industry professionals descend on San Diego for this.

Since I work as a writer in animation, I usually attend Comicon, since Emily works in development in children's television she needed to go for her work. So last Thursday we packed up and headed for San Diego for this four day event. But before leaving we had to stop by our local Kwik-E-Mart.

People waiting to get Squishies and six packs of Duff Beer.

As a promotion stunt for The Simpson's Movie FOX converted a number of 7-11's into Kwik-E-Marts (the convenience store in the TV series The Simpsons). There's one right here in Burbank. We thought we stop by before leaving town. Unfortunately a lot of people had the same idea we did. There was a line around the building to get in. So we ended up just stopping and taking a couple of pictures before heading on our way.

The San Diego Convention Center!

Friday was our first day at Comicon. The San Diego Convention Center is a massive complex. The picture above shows only one half of it. It's HUGE! The main exhibit hall is over half a million gross square feet and it will be filled to capacity with sweaty comic book nerds. Oh the sights and smells of it all!

Smile.... take a deep breath before entering.

First we've got to register and get our badges.

Once we get our badges we're clear to go on in. The place is teaming with people. The exhibition hall is shoulder-to-shoulder people pushing and looking, rushing and buying...

Half-a-million square feet of this!

Hey look! It's Pikachu! I'm gonna get me a bite of that!

When we came across someone dressed like Pikachu from the Pokemon animated series we couldn't resist not chasing after it. One of the big things about Comicon is that a lot of people come to it in costume. They'll dress as their favorite characters from comics, animation, movies, books, TV series - you name it. Below are a couple who dressed as the Lego versions of Darth Maul and Princess Leah from Star Wars.

We're missing some pieces, can you help us out?

In addition to attending the events and panels at the Con there are also industry parties to go to. This is where all the meeting n' greeting and schmoozing is done. We attended several while we were in San Diego. The first one was one thrown by The Gotham Agency (my agent) and that generally has a lot of people at it. The second party was one thrown by Disney. This was held atop a night club, on the rooftop. It was very cool. I guess Disney only rented the club until 10pm - because just before 10 the staff of the club became rude, pushy, and unpleasant to us. I think they wanted us all out of there. I was told that I had to leave because I was in violation of their dress code - no flip-flops allowed. So we were all hustled out of the place in short order. I wasn't the only person they deemed unworthy of staying, other people had a similar experience and were told to leave.

The offending flip flops... my little piggies have never been so insulted!

Getting kicked out of the Disney party wasn't really that big a deal because we had another party to attend down the road at the Hyatt - Natural Talent (another agency). This party is held in the bar at the very top of the Hyatt hotel. It's dark and usually crowded, but still a good time. There were several people that both Emily and I knew who were there, and no one cared that I was wearing open-toed foot wear. Obviously a better breed of people.

With writers: Brian Swenlin and Dean Stefan.

The party at the top of the Hyatt ended our first full day at Comicon. Saturday was even more crowed. We attempted to get into a panel discussion for the new Battlestar Galactica, but even though the room held over 7,000 people, we still couldn't get in because it was full. So we wandered around some more and looked at lots of art work. Emily checked out a number of artists, picking up names and dropping off her card in the hopes of making a good contact for future TV development.

We had an early dinner at an Italian restaurant and then headed off to a Writer's Guild party... but we never made it. About 20 minutes after eating, my stomach started getting twisted up in knots: food poisoning.

Let's just say it was lucky there was a restroom in the lobby of the Hyatt where we were headed for the Writer's Guild Party. Once I was stable enough to travel, I limped off with Emily leading me to the shuttle buses.

I feel carbonated... and not in a good way...

Fortunately Emily didn't get sick. That night we were planning on attending the Midnight Show at The National Comedy Theatre (the improv group I perform with in San Diego) - but I was far too sick to do the show.

San Diego at Night. And it's full of comic nerds and nerdettes.

By Sunday I was feeling much better. We went back to the Convention Center one last time. Emily attended a panel regarding a show that airs on Nickelodeon and I sat in and watch a kids film festival. After that we had a great breakfast at a little place we found in downtown. Then we headed back to LA.

Overall it was a good trip, although tiring. Emily had a bit of anxiety when we were on the crowded main floor of the center (but that's to be expected). By Sunday we were both done and ready to head back.

Until next year, when I'll watch what I eat and make sure I bring the proper footwear.


Eugene said...

"Bite"? It looks to me like you're trying to grope Pikachu.

Then again, where exactly would you grope a Pikachu? Drat. Now I'm going to be up all night thinking about this.

Tom said...

But Pikachu is made out of delicious marzipan! He's yummy!