Sunday, August 02, 2009

Comic-Con, Part Two:

That first night we didn't do much more than head down to the Con and pick up our badges. But I got my first look at the place--damn. It was a fanboy (and fangirl) fantasyland, a soaring astrodome celebrating every blip of pop-cultural nerddom since before the dawn of Superman. People were dressed up as Stormtroopers, of course, but also as characters from the Sims, replete with floating green icons over their heads. My jet-lagged brain could barely absorb it all. Fortunately the place was shutting down for the night, so my friends took me to a cheerfully rude honkeytonk called Dick's Last Resort for cold drinks, ribs, and buckets of fried catfish. Good first day.

Friday morning. I woke early and took a blissful swim in the motel pool, looking up at palm trees and hibiscus blossoms. It made me realize what I've been missing all these years, slaving away at my computer like a mindless, soulless drone. Man does not live by bread alone! On the way back to my room, I noticed a notice posted in the stairwell: WARNING! THESE PREMISES CONTAIN CHEMICALS KNOWN TO CAUSE CANCER AND BIRTH DEFECTS.

The complimentary waffles were excellent. Then Dave, Steve, Chris, and I headed out for our first full day at the Con. We didn't stay together long, because they had stuff of their own to do, and a base at which to do it: the Slave Labor Graphics booth. They had chairs and everything, while I was helplessly swept along like a pilgrim to Mecca. At first it was fun, seeing some of my favorite art and artists (the Last Gasp and Hi Fructose concessions), checking out the more outrageous costumes (butt cheeks galore), and surveying movie props at the various studio pavilions. Oh, and I met the delightful Penguin contingent, my publishers, who were very nice about me taking up half their available floorspace to babble incoherently about my book. But I couldn't bother them long; there were many other people yet to bother. Moving on, I realized I was crashing: dehydrated, jet-lagged, footsore, and carb-starved. I could barely see straight. Fighting clear of the crowd, I left the Con and caught a trolley back to the cool, quiet (and apparently toxic) refuge of my motel. A pretty girl dressed as Poison Ivy helped me find my way...or was she just a hallucination? Whatever, a little nap was all I needed, and it worked like a charm--by that evening I was back at the Con and meeting my buddies for another round at Dick's Last Resort.


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