D23 v. ComicCon
Had a good time at the D23 Expo up in Anaheim over the weekend. If it was my only convention-type event over the summer I would have said great, but following in the heals of The Con, aka San Diego ComicCon, I had to accept that it pales in the comparison. It suffered the fate of an event that couldn’t live up to its media hype.
It is what it is: a fan event for a single entertainment conglomerate. It lacks the diversity of thought and has none of the small press and independent artist exploration opportunities of ComicCon, and was in a relatively sterile corporate neighborhood.
That last part was probably my biggest hang-up. Over the years I’ve been repeatedly told that this is one of the events that makes Anaheim a contender to take ComicCon from San Diego. ROTFLMAO. It has parking – gotta give it that. They need it because their local public transit was clearly not up to the task (looking specifically at you, Anaheim Resort Transit). But that part of Anaheim lacks the flavors and diversity of dining in San Diego’s Gas Lamp, and if D23 was an example of what Anaheim would do to support a Con like San Diego’s ComicCon, the answer appears to be nothing. No restaurant tie ins. No off-site events. Not that you want to go outside because access to the building was limited to a few select (and understaffed) doors, resulting in excessive waits every time you needed to enter or re-enter the Anaheim Convention Center building itself.
But once I accepted the differences, it was a good time. The tie-ins for Star Wars Battlefront (the new game) and Alice Through the Looking Glass were first-rate. The panels we were able to attend, and particularly the retrospective on Disney’s Silly Symphonies hosted by Leonard Maltin and accompanied by a live 32-piece orchestra, were great.
One last rant though to certain vendors, and you know who you are: if you sold something at ComicCon as a ComicCon exclusive, don’t just put them on the shelf again for D23 (or any fan event for that matter). At least have the class to cover up the “Exclusive” label.
Comic-Con has come and gone. I didn’t shoot much with the Canon, but took some GoPro video that I will hopefully have a chance to go through and edit into something pretty in the near future.
I’d like to say I’ll be able to slow down and catch up once Randy goes back to school next month, but business is being good to me at the moment, and I need to bill the hours before they see me and run away like startled deer.
At least I’ve been swimming more regularly, and the weather’s been perfect for tanning when one of the joints is saying no to swimming, so at least it looks like I’ve been having a fun summer.
Too much of a good thing is kind of a Southern California summer tradition. Unfortunately this summer choices will have to be made: someone scheduled the San Clemente Ocean Festival on Comic-Con weekend. Maybe I can find an Aquaman on Thursday or Friday who would like to watch the dory races with me on Saturday morning.
After many years of Comic-Con, we finally went in costume. We weren’t insane about it. Even in San Diego, head to toe neoprene is just way too much for me. And while it might hurt to admit it, I just don’t have the abs of a Spartan warrior/Roman gladiator. But it certainly brought the experience to a new level: it was a conversation starter and a point of reference. We were asked to pose for photos and brought smiles to a lot of over-30 faces as they remembered their first Akbar and Jeff moments and we had some nice chats with the folks at the Bongo Comics booth. Randy even got to meet the Creator, Matt Groening, himself. While I think returning as Akbar and Jeff next year would get stale, I think we both agree we need to keep going in costume when we return to Comic-Con – the experience is not just different, but seriously better.
At a Comic-Con panel this morning I had the pleasure of hearing Deepak Chopra, Grant Morrison and Deepak’s son Gotham Chopra discuss the concepts of superheroes. As part of Deepak’s introduction to the panel’s discussion he listed a variety of synonyms for the concept that good and evil are necessary adversaries: angels and fallen angels, particles and anti-particles, and finally change and inertia. Every time during the day that I caught another news update about the budget show in Washington I kept flashing back to that line, and while I believe Deepak’s logic is correct, am having a lot of trouble seeing anything coming out of Washington, or government in general, to play ‘change’ and take the side of good in the current story.
No one seems to be getting back to me on anything today, which makes for a nice recovery day. We made the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 last night, which was a very good movie, but it kept me up until 3ish, and then Diego alerted us to a ninja intruder at around 6ish. Siesta will necessarily be longer than usual.
Five More Years!
Taking a break from dealing with the real world for a bit. Time to focus on the wild and fantastic sides of life, and celebrate the announcement the ComicCon will be in San Diego for at least five more years. Time to par-teh like a stormtrooper!
Doing The Happy Dance
Maybe I’ve been neglectful of y’all, truth be told I’ve been having a great time and was just a tad busy to drop back by. I tried to do a ComicCon post, but I think I’ll let the photos and their captions tell the story for me. We had a great time and the photos prove it.
Since then there’s been lots of work. And a new living room set, with photos forthcoming once the lamps arrive and the new print gets back from the framer. And Randy starts school again next week, which has left me crashing on the website his kids use for homework and collaborative projects (their very own little child-safe wiki), bringing it up to spec from last year’s feedback and expanding into a few new areas.
Then today a very nice federal judge all the way up in San Francisco said some very nice things. Lots of them actually, written down on 138 pages. Hopefully that will lead to us being able to attend more fabulous gay weddings at some point in the future. Everyone should have the right to be a Party B.
So yes, even though Randy’s up at UCLA for the week, Diego and I are doing the happy dance tonight. We’re having a good life.
And So It Begins…
At least from our vantage point, the Comic-Con organizers seem to have finally figured out a registration process that makes sense. We went to the off-site location, showed our IDs and e-mail registrations, and were politely handed our badges. Twenty-one minutes from parking to putting on the lanyards.
Saw in the server stats this morning that this photo of Randy and the wonderful John Barrowman is now the ninth most viewed photo in the local gallery here at Howling Point. Out of 1367 posted photos, this is the first non-sports photo to crack the Top 10.
Randy met the actor who played Captain Jack Harkness (not to mention “Lead Tenor” in The Producers) at the 2009 Comic-Con. I stood several feet away with the camera and tried not to be too jealous. Hopefully they can rekindle their relationship at Comic-Con this year, which by the way starts in only 27 short days.