Even though everyone says Comic-Con isn’t about comics, it’s still the biggest, best comics show in the Western Hemisphere. The guest list and programming alone make it unrivaled as a place to celebrate cartoonists and their creations. From Gilbert Shelton to Lynn Johnston to Katsuhiro Otomo. The Comic Arts Conference. Tr!ckster. So much more. Even with all the fuss and muss, if you love comics, it’s still the best place to be.
Thus I feel a small pang of guilt when I cover all the hoopla and nerdlebrity explosions in the run-up and during the show, because they get the lion’s share of the attention from all the media coverage you’ll be seeing next week. But the experience itself is so one of a kind that it can’t be ignored. We’ll all be complaining about the flyers and the autograph seekers and the Klieg light parties and the giant banners and sky-writing and expensive cocktails…but…well, it’s the whole swirling miasma that creates those fever dreams and sunset memories.
I have made my peace with the whirlwind that is con. Reading some of my past posts on the show, I seemed to have some kind of grandiose idea that complaining could change things. It took a few years, but in the end you had to let go, let Wil Wheaton. And in addition, I had the memory of The Breakfast Burrito to keep me going. Because sometimes you find your perfect moment in all the craziness.
In 2011, you veterans may recall, there was a South Park theme park opposite one end of the Convention Center. And they had a morning media preview. Being a fan of South Park, I trekked over a bit before it opened. And there I found a parking lot filled with food trucks. (And also a giant bus previewing that The Lord of the Rings: War In the North video game which sucked, I guess?) I also love The Lord of the Rings. I also love breakfast. And you know eating at the Con is always a challenge. So I grabbed myself a breakfast burrito from one of the trucks and sat down on a lamp post and ate it while I waited for South Park to open.
And that was the best damned breakfast burrito I ever had. It came with a green sauce that was life-changing. It was like fiesta and Christmas in one bite. As I sat there eating that burrito I marveled at how everything was fitting together. South Park. Angband. Kyle and Stan. Elladan and Elrohir. Coffee. Green sauce. An Adventure Time parade lining up by the trolley tracks. A morning of promise before a day of unknown joys and terrors. A day where anything at all could happen.
I felt that moment of peace, that moment of knowing you where were you belonged for one brief instant.
And for one whole year, I have been dreaming of going back and getting another breakfast burrito, of the creamy eggs and crispy bacon and chewy burrito and tangy green sauce, merging into one perfect bite.
The food truck lot was right next to my hotel, you see. I pictured myself getting up each morning, downing some Vietnamese Instant Coffee, dashing off some posts and then hustling over and grabbing a burrito, and for one more moment centering myself with bacon and eggs and green sauce. A moment before the madness.
I can’t tell you how many times I thought about this.
And then I found out that the city of San Diego has banned food trucks in the Gaslamp district.
The city told the food trucks they had to leave after the Neighborhood Code Compliance received an anonymous complaint, and Murcia said no specifics were given why they had to go.
But the food trucks are working to get back downtown soon, and Murcia has upcoming meetings with city officials to resolve any issues that were presented.
Complaints from local establishments charging $15 for a Batman poached egg, no doubt. No cheap, delicious food for you, con-goer.
But maybe there is still hope? Maybe I can find that food truck? A little googling and I found this:
It seems there will be a food truck festival during the show.
But it is not near my hotel.
View Larger Map
And there is one other problem.
I don’t remember where I got the burrito. The name of the truck is something that escaped into the miasma of con and all the butterfly nets in the world can’t find it in my brain.
I DO remember where it was however. And there’s this video. It’s all I’ve got to go on.
And this list.
If only I study it…put together the pieces…add it up…maybe I can find it again. A shuttle is running from the con to the food truck festival on the pier. A quest, if you will.
Who knows. I’l probably never get there again. A new defining moment awaits. Satori strikes you when you least expect it, maybe on a beach crowned by stars, maybe in a dusty parking lot. There must be a reason. You just keep searching.