I have a little bit of time tonight (thanks to a cup of Vietnamese coffee), so I thought I’d write this article for posterity before the memories fade away slowly. Here are my personal Top 10 greatest moments of Comic-Con. No pictures yet though. Maybe when I get back to Singapore. It’s a long post, though, so feel free to just skim.
1. Meeting Robin, Amy, Jeff and Sean of The Guild on the Amtrak.
Though this was before Comic-Con, on the way to San Diego, it’s too cool not to include. We were waiting in line for the Amtrak at Union Station in Los Angeles, and suddenly I see Robin Thorsen and Amy Okuda walk past. Starstruck, I lost the ability to speak until they came back the very same way after they’d checked in and got their tickets. Turns out they were meeting Jeff Lewis and Sean Becker on the Amtrak, and so we got to meet half of The Guild and their director in one swoop! They were really fun to talk to and it was our first brush with geek celebrity!
2. Seeing the unfinished prop of Abin Sur at the Warner Bros booth.
I think this was my first real hint that San Diego Comic-Con was a big deal. Abin Sur is, as any Green Lantern fan knows, the dying alien who anoints Hal Jordan as his successor, becoming a big part of the superhero’s hallowed origin story. Though supposedly unfinished, it was an interesting look at the amount of prosthesis actor Temuera Morrison will wear to portray the alien in the live-action Green Lantern movie next year.
3. Meeting Keith R.A. DeCandido multiple times throughout the Con.
I have been a fan of his writings ever since purchasing a copy of “Articles of the Federation”. I had read his prior works, but it was “Articles” that really showed me what a detailed writer he was. It turns out he was also one of the friendliest and most generous people in person! I had contacted him several times on his blog and through Twitter and each time he responded graciously and warmly. Getting him to sign my novel as well as two Farscape graphic novels that he was selling was definitely a main highlight. It was a pity his Supernatural novel sold out so I couldn’t get that signed.
4. The Scott Pilgrim Experience
Three of us were already hyped that this year’s Comic-Con was going to feature the most awesome movie of 2010, Scott Pilgrim VS. The World. We had no idea that it would take up practically half of our Con quest (pun intended). Three-part summary, here goes. 1) We got a chance to meet Bryan Lee O’Malley and Edgar Wright in person and make our own flipbook and t-shirt at the Experience. 2) We got into Hall H to catch the cast of Scott Pilgrim and got a cool pin as well as previewed some clips from the movie. 3) WE GOT TO WATCH THE WHOLE MOVIE ITSELF! THREE MONTHS BEFORE IT OPENS IN SINGAPORE! Yes, that is all.
5. Attending W00tstock!
If Comic-Con is the undoubted mecca for geeks, W00tstock was clearly the Shangri-La. An elitist gathering of geeks to celebrate geek music, humour and culture, created by geek icons Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage, it was an event not to be missed. It was also here that I began to discover exactly what an incredibly astute and funny man Matt Fraction is. Plus he looks like Zachary Quinto. Total man-crush that night (no homo).
6. Seeing Stan Lee in person.
Wow. One of the most surreal moments was waiting in line for the Marvel Animation panel and then seeing Stan Lee himself walking past, with a small entourage. Once again, I was starstruck to see the legend in person, and didn’t even move or shout a thing. One of my many goals, coming to San Diego, was to meet him and it’s ironic that despite seeing a lot more of him throughout the Con, I never worked up the courage to approach him and shake his hand.
7. Seeing legendary voice actors Tom Kenny and Charlie Adler!
Equally surreal was seeing Stan Lee sharing the stage with Spongebob Squarepants and I. R. Baboon at the Marvel Animation panel. Yes, Tom Kenny and Charlie Adler were some of the world’s most familiar voices and there they were, in person, right before me. Wow.
8. Attending the panels for Paul, Cowboys and Aliens, Captain America and Thor – and the swag!
I knew these were panels that I just couldn’t miss and I’m glad I didn’t. All four movies, opening in 2011, are at the forefront of this continuing trend of making geeky movies mainstream blockbusters. The first two took familiar genres – the road trip and the western, and gave them an out-of-this-world twist, while the other two were huge major motion picture adaptations of two of Marvel’s iconic characters. Perhaps making it that much cooler was the free swag I got after the panel – a Cowboys and Aliens t-shirt and a Captain America themed t-shirt.
9. Meeting Marjorie M. Liu and getting three of her books autographed
I honestly don’t remember how I discovered writer Marjorie M. Liu, but I know I immediately took notice of the fact that she was relatively Chinese, extremely hot, clearly intelligent and wrote comic books. Needless to say, I was in love. A tip from Keith (another reason why he rocks) led me to discover that she was signing books at one of the booths – away from the crowds. I quickly bought all three books in the Hunter Kiss series and got her to sign it – but would you believe it, got so starstruck I probably came across like an idiot.
10. Meeting Chase Masterson and getting a big hug from her
My ultimate fantasy was meeting an actor from any of the Star Trek series and I fulfilled it at Comic-Con when I finally met Chase Masterson. Though I knew she would be at the Autograph Area promoting her movie, it was only till the last day that I had time to actually head up to her booth and meet her. She was extremely engaging and really made me feel like I was her biggest fan – even to the point of giving me a big hug as we posed for a shot. I think that’s a moment I’ll always be able to recall in great detail.
In a nutshell, my first Comic-Con experience was essentially one opportunity after another to meet truly talented people in person and to discover that most are extremely gracious and warm in person and wonderful to spend some time with. I’m definitely going again if I can.