San Diego Comic Con: A Reflective Essay
Monday, July 28, 2014
By Satu Runa
This is my 3rd year attending the San Diego Comic Convention, and my first time as a guest panelist. The panel, “Taming the Web: The Nuts and Bolts of Web Series Creation” was an incredible success- speaking to a full house of 400-450 people, all curious of how to make it on the web and/or use crowd-funding to create your project. I played a secret clip from my project, Queen Gorya, which was greeted with a round of laughter. It felt great to talk about the work and inspire people to DIY their own project. I hope to be a regular panelist in the years to come!
Wednesday, preview night of SDCC, was epic. You could feel the buzz of electricity and madness as you walked closer to the convention center on Harbor Drive. It was a pleasantly unruffled crowd, full of hope and excitement. Spring (robot) chickens just perusing the aisles at their leisure. Preview night is truly is the best time to attend. I was lucky enough to stay for all 5 days and it was worth it. The #1 reason I go to the con: for the cosplay. I love seeing everyone’s creativity with crossing characters and wardrobe skills at their very best. It’s even better when someone is a dead ringer, both in cadence, movement, and likeness. Petyr Bailish and a Catwoman (Animated Series, played by Adrianne Curry) were the best, to name a few. The #2 reason to attend is for the Gaslamp district at night (and yes, collect rare comics/graphic novels and trading cards)! I also enjoy perusing/buying original art, as there are so many fantastic artists displaying their best work, it’s important to support the reason the con exists in the first place.
Thursday night, I was lucky enough to attend a Tori Amos concert. It was an incredibly intimate show on the harbor. It completely drove me back into the 90s (which is where I like to live most of the time) and it was refreshingly powerful and classic, just her and her piano. What a lady. A truly soulful and AWAKE artist.
Friday: My sea legs were starting to crumble. I powered through the morning scanning the aisles for cool corsets, rings, trading cards, and graphic novels (like Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan, an incredible sci-fi/fantasy comic a friend recently recommended to me).
Saturday: Got to meet Adrianne Curry, who, at the time I did not know, had just beat a guy’s face for sexually assaulting her friend, who was dressed as Marvel’s Tigra. She was an awesome Catwoman (from the animated series) and posed for a photo with me. She is a strong woman. While comic-con is no place for violence or assaults, she did the right thing. It only happens because of the sheer volume of people, you are bound to get a certain percentage of criminals and psychopaths.
Sunday: The final day. It’s always a somber feeling. Comic con is such a burst of positive energy, I am overwhelmed by it’s instant happiness on the attendees. Michaelangelo breakdancing in full regalia. Captain America motioning for curious children to come take a picture with him and Superman. The smirk on Loki’s face when he is asked to get his picture taken. The joy of Arthur Dent when he is recognized (with towel). The skill and artistry of the wardrobe from a very large group of characters (plus George R.R. Martin) from Game of Thrones. Last but not least: Seeing a boy of 9, skinny and light as air, donning a Finn from Adventure Time bear hat, skipping down the hallway to a panel. This was the sweetest moment. Nothing affects me more powerfully than other people sharing a mutual passion for all things geeky, and seeing how happy it makes them when it is celebrated en masse.
After spending 20 minutes on the floor, I walked around the back of the convention center for the first time. Gotham City zip-lining. The Simpsons Experience. Godzilla photo-op. And sailboats. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the one yacht named “Oberon,” both for me being a Shakespeare nerd, but also for the Game of Thrones reference. I people watched for an hour, pontificating about my life and the weekend, until a kite caught my eye. A man in a pedicab was flying a kite down the boardwalk as another person pedaled. The playfulness and the free-spirit of the green and blue sting-ray like flying object affected me deeply. I thought to myself, my heart is like a kite. Playful and free, yet always tethered to the ground. And perhaps Comic-Con is like a kite. We are here to escape, to take off and play… to let our spirits soar into the realms of fantasy and fiction. Yet we remain tethered, as Sunday comes to an early close, with the long drive back into the reality that is called “Tinseltown.”
Pictures from my 7D coming in the next post. Until then,
Later, fanboys and fangirls!
Satu (aka “The Final Fangirl”)