Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things I Learned at My First Comic-Con:

I want to go to there...
  • San Diego shattered many of my preconceived notions about California.
  • Comic-Con is a big deal. Really big. Way bigger than I expected. Immediately after getting off the plane, the airport TV welcomed me. 10 minutes later I was staring at my first 30 foot trolley car featuring a full length Batman: Arkham City advertisement. Another 10 minutes and I saw a Lord of the Rings: War in the North bus.
  • Some comic book character costumes cannot exist in real life. Even the best Deadpool just looks like a really heavily armed BSDM enthusiast.
  • ...And some people should really think twice about how much of themselves their costume's going to show off beforehand.
  • ...And just because someone is wrapped in a blanket doesn't mean they're in costume. Sometimes they're just homeless.
  • Nerds come from every age and background, and it's epic!
  • ...And they should stop letting G4 be their spokespeople. They're like that kid in high school who just hangs out with people they can put down to make themselves feel better.
  • I haven't read nearly enough comics, watched nearly enough movies, or played nearly enough video games yet.
  • ...And if you want some good manga, room with a guy who translates the stuff into English.
  • Scott McCloud and his fellow comics visionaries are severely underrated. I mean really, a bunch of old school comics guys sitting around telling stories about how awesome Will Eisner is (the father of the graphic novel) and the room isn't even half full?
  • ...And the guy who created the Joker is still alive!
  • Celebrities are just people too!
  • ...Except Lou Ferrigno--that guy's a...Beast? Giant? What's a good word for "massive"?
  • The booth with the most scantily clad booth babes were the publishers of my wife's favorite comic series...actually, I probably could have guessed that one.
  • Not only are there a lot of other nerd couples out there, but some of them have started procreating! It's like a nerd baby boom! 

Indeed an Incredible family!
  • If you're attending a group dinner, sit with people you don't know. You just might end up eating with a former graphic designer of Magic: The Gathering who now teaches middle school and his 15-year old, Axis Powers Hetalia cosplaying daughter who can give you mad webcomic recommendations. 
  • Comics scholars are some of the coolest nerds ever, and you can easily strike up a conversation with any one of them about anything nerdy. I had one conversation that included Infinite Crisis, Stan Sakai, Batman: The Animated Series, trying to use Kenan and Kel in the classroom, and Samurai Jack.
  • The best part of Comic-Con isn't the comics, rare collectibles, awesome art, video game previews, or even the guest speakers. It's the camaraderie. Maybe it sounds corny, but being surrounded by people from around the world as passionate about the same stuff as me is simply amazing.
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?


      Andrew Wales said...

      Sounds awesome! I liked your write-up. Glad you got a chance to go. I definitely agree with your comments about McCloud and company.

      Ben Villarreal said...

      Thanks! It was definitely awesome, but I was surprised by the poor attendance of Scott McCloud and company's panel. I mean, Jeff Smith was there too!

      Beth said...

      Just wait a few more years until your students are ready to embrace their inner nerds and then there will be a whole audience of people saying, "Hey, Mr. Villarreal made us read his book. We should probably go see him." Of course, by then, you'll probably have your own panel and they'll go see you instead, so maybe Scott McCloud is just doomed to talk to small audiences forever.

      Ben Villarreal said...

      Ah! If only :-)

      Melanie said...

      What were your preconceived notions about California?

      I like the note about homeless people lol. It sounds like you got to meet a ton of awesome people! Glad you had a good time (:

      Ben Villarreal said...

      That all Californian cities are terrible, horrible places ;-)


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