ComicCon 2010: Nerd Herd. Like, x A Billion


I’m back from ComicCon 2010. I have the Con Crud, and now I am going to explain how I got it, in a way that involves booze, cigarettes from homeless guys, sleeplessness, being pressed against sweaty people, and other magical moments that touch the heart like a double rainbow all the way.

As you can tell by my prior run on sentence, there is a LOT, and it will probably come in vomitous waves, so I will try to break it down by days. There may be occasional flashbacks to prior days. I will try to keep it as straight as the Dayquil will let me. Non-drowsy my ass.

Preview Night:

My ComicCon experience began by picking up Sara (@radi8n on Twitter), her daughter Bailey (@littlechuckfan), and Jen (@hokie98jj) from LAX. I found Jen first as Sara & Bailz were gloriously parked on the tarmac waiting for a gate. She retrieved her bags, we noticed Marines, and then we went over to Sara & Bailz’ carousel. They came down and I got a huge hug from my little buddy Bailey. Sara has been taking fantastic care of herself and looked fantastic. Also, quite blonde. It was like she was preparing for a future in Hollywood…blonde and svelte, with a crutch. Not alcohol or pills, though. An actual crutch. Therefore I gathered up her things and dragged them to my car, which I typically could not find immediately. Sara offered to put two bucks down my shirt…and hence a meme is born.

We got to the car and I gave Bailey her belated birthday/pre-ComicCon prezzie. It was a Nerf dart gun with laser sight along with masses of candy and a letter from one John Casey and friends. I did not save the letter on my computer as I wanted it to be special, so if you want to know what it said, you’d have to ask Bailey if she wants to share.

After bending time and space to get the luggage in the car, we then proceeded to San Diego. Jen busted out her Droid with the creepy disembodied robot girl voice and got us all there in one piece. Move over, Mr. Sulu; Jen is an expert navigator! Bailey proceeded to “analyze evidence”, which is code for “eat candy”. She was pretty well behaved for a kid hopped up on Japanese sugar; Sara was the only one to repeatedly ask “Are we there yet?” Bailey has picked up a Sean Connery accent, so we got to hear that for over 100 miles, which, if you know my shady history with Sean Connery & certain sadistic former roommates, was interesting. Let’s just say she purified it for me. I am eternally grateful.

We arrived in San Diego to the world’s creepiest and tiniest parking garage and a room with a lovely view and a very small bathroom. We could smell Chinese food from the balcony, so we set off in search of some. Whatever Bailey had looked phenom, but everyone stared in abject horror at my gluten free curried “chicken”, which Sara was pretty sure was actually Chihuahua. We then headed back to the hotel room for our bar codes. As the convention center was only 1.1 miles away, we hiked down to get our passes. Amanda (@amandammason) had kindly provided Sara & Bailey guest passes and we were luckily able to pick them up that night. Jen & I got our passes and Batman bags. So here’s where the KJ FreakOut begins…

I don’t like groups of people over, say, four. I know you people think I’m an extrovert, but you are horribly mistaken. I loathe parties, and always end up in the corner talking to one or two people the whole night when I feel like I have to go to one. Being in a convention center filled with the hive-like hum of over 100 thousand bodies was scream-cry-tachycardia making. The only thing I managed to not do was scream. The cry part was taken care of by rapid swipes to the eyes, and the tachycardia bit was, well, just spinning along. Sara was bravely pouncing with her sweet Virginia accent and smile on anybody with a Chuck bag, making trades. I…wanted to run screaming from the building and hide under a trolley. But I walked along with the gals and headed into the Nikita preview.

Nikita seems interesting. I’m thrilled that Mistress Heather from CSI is in it; you will remember her as the seductee in Chuck v. the Seduction. Before the screening, there were some trailers. My inner geek blossomed like an onion at Chili’s when the trailer for the new Lord of the Rings game came on screen. It was then that my heart rate dropped, and I realized I could maybe probably handle this. I also got a text from Christi (@christikassity) letting me know she was there, had taken a Xanax, and she met me at the screening.

I don’t know if it’s just Christi’s presence, the sitting in a cold room for an hour with Bailey chatting merrily and calmingly at me, or if my God given empathy allowed me to enjoy the Xanax in Christi’s system, but I calmed down. We then all headed to the exhibition floor together. On the escalator down, I spotted a young man with a Chuck bag, and I actually ran after him. “Excuse me, sir, Chuck is my favourite show. May we trade bags? I have Batman.” Apparently he had traded for the Chuck bag himself, but he sweetly traded with me. I haz Chuck bag!

And then on to the exhibition room.

Weirdly, I hit my stride there, despite it being 400 times louder, hotter, and riddled with bodies. Carter (@wondroushippo) recognized me and locked me in a hearty embrace. I then realized I needed to get from one end of the exhibit hall to the other in order to hit the Browncoat’s booth for the two shirts I was determined to purchase. A psychotic calm came over  me, much as I imagine hits River Tam when she takes out a bar or a room full of Reavers. I grasped my Chuck bag, centered my gaze, and headed into the morass. Christi drafted me and said, “Damn, I’m just gonna follow your fierceness!” As I Froggered through the crowd like a leaf on the wind, I spotted Brent Spiner doing a signing, and then stopped dead in my tracks for Pikachu.

Time stopped. I don’t know how long I was frozen there, gazing at somebody in a Pikachu mascot suit, but I was transfixed. The only thing that aroused my attention was Christi saying, “Wow, I’ve never seen your face light up like that!” I wanted to get a picture with Pikachu, but there was a mess of children waiting and I had a mission. I went back into my River trance and nothing but the purchase of my shirts or the laughter of chickens would stop me.

Eventually we got down to the Browncoats booth. I bought my shirts (Blue Sun and Fruity Oaty Bars) from Dave (@davest). I now felt like people. On the way, Christi had spotted the Rudi McBacon booth. They do one-panel comics on notecards, her favourite of which from previous years is a librarian saying “I’m gonna have to cut a bitch.” We tried to find that booth again and it appeared to have encountered a worm hole, to be replaced by some Japanese steam punk cosplay thing. However, on further inspection we just realized we misjudged. We found the booth, chatted with the artists a bit, and then decided it was imperitive we have cigarettes. After stepping outside for a quick nic fix, we met up with Sarah, Bailey, and Jen & we trudged back up the hill to our hotel.

Upon arrival, Bailey and Jen located a note shoved under our door. Apparently, somebody called Michael had left his lap top by the elevator on the second floor, although he was staying on the third floor, & he heard his friend fall down the stairs, wherein he went to help said friend, came back, and his computer was gone. The note made sure to let us know he was crying.

Bailey, our intrepid investigator, asked several pertinent questions.

A. How did Michael print out a note about a missing computer…without a computer?

B. How did he hear someone fall down the stairs when the stairwell was nowhere near the elevator?

C. What was Michael doing on the second floor?

D. Who tells total strangers they were crying?

Pondering this mystery and feeling it did not add up and that Michael was probably full of crap, Bailey fell asleep before all of us.

This was the first day.

To be continued…