Comic-Con Newbie

by wjw on July 17, 2012

I’m now installed in academic splendor at UCSD and have started my Clarion teaching gig.  The students seem to have been drawn from a very large talent pool, and I’m impressed by their technical abilities.

But I arrived on Friday, and the actual teaching didn’t start till Monday morning . . . so what did I do in the meantime?

That would be what is seems now to be called San Diego Comic-Con International, which I gather is the world’s largest gathering of pop culture fans.  Comic-Con had very kindly comped the Clarion attendees a day’s membership, and Ted Chiang (the outgoing instructor) and I were very kindly given a ride to the convention just in time for the doors to open.

I can see now that I really ought to have somehow procured a guide.  I really needed someone to take me around and say things like, “Here’s this utterly cool comics guy you have to meet,” or “Here’s this special effects master whose works you’ve seen in a hundred movies,” or “Here’s this gaming god you really need to know.”

(I could probably have arranged something like this, in fact, but all my focus was on Clarion and reading the participants’ submissions.)

So I wandered about very slightly in the dark, in a vast concrete cavern devoted to comics I haven’t read (or haven’t read in decades), to movies I’m not terribly excited by, and games I’ve never played.

What I finally did was hunt up Paolo Bacigalupi, NK Jemisin, and John Scalzi, and find a Thai restaurant where we could all have lunch, and talk about books and publishing.

At one point I passed by Actor Richard Kiel, who must be in his eighties by now.  Amazingly enough, he’s still very tall.

The only actual programming item I attended was a panel featuring Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick and Puppet Angel, who was fully as demented as I expected him to be.

I wanted to attend the Ray Bradbury memorial, but I had to catch my ride back to campus.

Next time I do this, I get myself a guide.

Alex Kreis July 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

That’s funny, I’ve been telling Nora for years that her work reminds me of yours (Metropolitan in particular). Wish I could have listened in that on dinner conversation.

Patricia July 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I have 20+ years experience at SDCC. Please let me offer my services as a guide in the future.
Wish I had been there this year.

Kenneth July 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Just because *I* was curious as well, loving his role in the Bond flicks – Richard Kiel is about 73 🙂

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