[Each year we try to find a newcomer to the amazements of Comic-Con to report on their adventures; it’s a nice way of seeing the very real enthusiasm for what is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. This year’s con virgin is cartoonist Matthew Petz who offered to both write and sketch some of his experiences at the con, starting with not even having a badge… Here’s his first report and part 2.]
by Matthew Petz
The adventure continues…
Note: My notes for the next two days were increasingly less and less. Saturday and Sunday really were one HUGE day broken up by about 5 hours of sleep, but lets dive in!
Saturday as I woke up my hotel mates and I were still laughing about the previous nights game. As I write this I’m still cracking a smile. “Martian Manhunter”, giggle.
I headed out to breakfast at the Broken Yolk. That place is pretty great, but you need to get there before the line forms. We arrived JUST before it would have been a hassle. It’s worth mentioning that San Diego is basically one gigantic line that weekend. You wait for everything. Also no matter how awesome your shoes are, your feet will hurt at some point. Remember to bring your Advil!
That day at the show was intense. Just packed. Cos players were out in force. More then any other convention the cos player roadblocks just grind to a halt any movement at SDCC. Sexy Boba Fetts WILL stop you from getting anywhere. Then a few minutes later sexy Bane stops everything. After the first two or three times I found it really annoying. The con should have a HOV lane for cos players
Speaking of cos players, I get the feeling that a lot of them are looking to be models or actress’s. Maybe walking around in a sexy Batgirl costume is the modeling equivalent to getting an editor to look at your samples?
Saturday afternoon fatigue was setting in…BUT I had one more task to try and complete. I had my exclusives, and I wanted to see about getting into Hall H.
Now when I left for the Con that day the Hall H line wrapped around the nearby marina– twice. Later on I heard that people started lining up at midnight the night before. Thus is the power of The Hobbit. As I totally ditched plans to wait on line, I thought I would try and lie my way it. Horrible, I know. I heard that once you left Hall H you received a ticket for re-entry. This seemed the most logical way to break in. I approached the gigantic security guy and said I had lost my re-entry ticket, but had been there earlier…he just shrugged and said I had to get in line again. End of conversation. Failure.
Did I feel bad about trying to get in that way? A little…but thus is the mania of seeing a Godzilla trailer…which DID in fact play, and apparently was awesome. Argh.
Frankly, by this time the con was just too packed to really enjoy so I went to lunch.
I had a burger at the Fox Sports Grill. Decent grub. Decent price. They were playing Batman Begins and the Dark Knight on flats screens – at the same time – it was a perfect example of schizophrenic nature of the show.
When I decided to relax in my hotel lobby I had the one star struck moment of the show. I saw Lt. Daniels from The Wire taking photos with people. I decided to go with the “what’s up guy” head nod. Though I regret not having taken a picture. DOH!
There were also what I can only describe as “Star Stalkers” in the lobby as well. Waiting and pouncing to get photographs and an 8x 10 photo autographed. Felt bad for a few actress’ that looked like they just wanted to get to the elevator…
Later on a buddy of mine and I when back to the show to go through artist alley. It’s SO SMALL. Seems like an afterthought or an obligation at this point. It seemed busy, but just tiny…
That night we hit Trickster again, as well as a quiet Mexican restaurant. We played horrible comic character sex act game, then hit the Hyatt.
2 AM and the Hyatt was just insane. SO crowded. Regrettably between sore feet and booze I hit the wall hard. I bailed and went to sleep.
Woke up LATE! SWEET!
It nice not to have a booth sometimes. I had a really expensive hotel breakfast and went to the show with networking on my mind.
Sundays are great to connect with editors and get and give some business cards at shows. Over and hour I had 5 great conversations, two of which I felt might lead to something cool. Pro tip: I had samples on an iPad and it was really easy to just pop up and flip through. So with some good contacts made, I bid farewell to the convention center.
That night we all had dinner and I did the one drawing I would do all weekend. I drew a grumpy shark with a top hat, some juice, water and a hotdog for my friends 3 year old. Wish I would have taken a picture…but here it is as close as I can remember.
Ended my weekend at a private party. It was great, but I was done. With a 6:50 flight I needed sleep. I got 4 hours of that, and stumbled to the airport and went home.
Brooklyn was horribly hot, and the taxi home took forever…but a home cooked meal was just what I needed…and sleep.
SDCC was fantastic and insane. If you love comics, even though it’s not the focus anymore…you owe it to yourself to go. I can’t wait to go back. Next time I’ll be more prepared….I hope.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.