Yes, it's that time again kids--momma's going to Comic-Con International, San Diego!
Way back in the day, I wouldn't have needed the full name. Just Comic-Con worked as this was really the only one of it's kind. Also, back in the day, even telling local "mundane" people where I was going would bring a, "what?". Then I'd explain until their eyes glazed over or they ran away in terror.
Now when I say where I'm going there is envy there. Sometimes even a bit of drool. This is in part because of the rise and acceptance of nerdom. I think that back in the day there were a lot of closet nerds who refused to let their inner geek flag fly.
It's now okay to be geeky ;).
Plus, there is the cred. Folks want to be able to say, "I went to Comic-Con!" (ergo- cool by association whereas in the past it was un-cool by association ;)).
But we are here! It is time! This my 25th year (started in 1991, but missed a year early on). I have seen some changes.
I remember when one of the registration folks was going up the escalator and yelled to another, "we hit 50,000 people!"
I remember getting a text from a friend in the "big" room saying, "IT's ARNOLD!!!" The first REALLY big star to show up. Prior to that there would always be rumors, "Johnny Depp & Tim Burton will be at the Sleepy Hollow panel!" Then there would be the, "they are unable to attend--due to traffic" (they couldn't get out of LA-LOL- right ;)). Casper Van Dien held that panel all by himself and did an awesome job.
I remember walking by the reg booth for the next year, and the folks working it becoming very excited when we stopped to actually by our tickets.
I remember preview night being mostly empty and finding all sorts of deals (and prior to that when it was for the vendors).
We would have huge groups of friends meet for breakfast downtown. Ya had to get there early to fight for parking, and back then you didn't have lines, so we'd go have a nice, obnoxious meal together. The buffet at the Marriott (sadly, now long gone) was the usual place.
I remember joining with friends under the sails to dance, drink, and snark during the Masquerade. The line for that is not doable anymore.
Up until a few years ago you could still get into Ballroom 20 (the second largest room at 4600 seats) with a few hours of line waiting. Now the line loops a mile or more away from the convention center.
The ol' con is not what it was. But it is still an amazing tribute to popular culture--comics, books, movies, games, groups, fandoms, you name it, it's there.
I still love it. In part for all the amazing memories of hanging out with long lost friends there. In part because the creative energy there is something that rolls off your skin. It hits you like a wave when you go to the exhibit floor, then just buffets you the entire time you're there. It's an amazing thing.
* almost forgot my shameless plug- if you're going to be there, I will be signing at booth 1119 (Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore) on Thursday from 12-12:45. Come say hi!