Sunday, August 10, 2014


Free lunch on Thursday,
courtesy of the Ninja Turtles.
I had hoped to have this up last weekend, but a week of catching up on work after a week-plus vacation kind of sucks the desire to write anything out of you. So, here I am -- a Comic-Con post-mortem, two weeks after it ended.

You know that sad, sort of "let down" feeling you get after something you looked forward to for a long time has come to an end? That's how I feel around this time pretty much every year. As I noted previously, Comic-Con has changed a lot since I started attending. This has been my big vacation every year, and while I did have a longer trip a few months ago in the form of a honeymoon, that didn't stop Comic-Con from being as huge a part of my summer as it's ever been.

Kiefer Sutherland and director Jon Cassar.
But the weird thing is, I don't have much to report this year. Comic-Con was as insanely crowded as it's been any of the past few years, but there was nothing especially exciting that caught my attention or stuck in my memory this time. I attended a few panels, as always -- Fox's 24 on Thursday morning and Disney's STAR WARS: REBELS that evening. A handful of Adult Swim panels, followed by FX's ARCHER on Friday. That's really pretty much it. My wife and I left San Diego Sunday morning, so I spent the whole of Saturday exploring the exhibit hall floor and then taking in the sights among the neighboring hotels and downtown San Diego.

Most of my fun, however, came outside the convention. Playing games with my friends back at the house. Sitting at the Tilted Kilt bar while watching UFC on Saturday night. Sometime long ago, around the time it ceased to be comic book-centric, the actual convention strangely became less of a fixture of my annual Comic-Con trip. It became more about seeing friends, some of whom I see rarely throughout the year, and socializing with them. It's still fun, but in a different way than it used to be.

She will be mine.
I didn't even buy anything at Comic-Con this year! Literally nothing. Of course I paid for meals. And I got a handful of freebies. But, for the very first time ever, I left the convention without having purchased a single item. There were no exclusives that spoke to me this year, and I can find trade paperbacks online for far less than most of the SDCC dealers charge. Toys and other collectibles are also way overpriced in San Diego compared with anywhere else, so I bought none of those, either. It was a weird feeling to leave San Diego with not a single purchase in my possession. I still feel a little odd about it, two weeks later. But, the way I look at it, any money I didn't spend at SDCC can go toward Sideshow Collectibles' breathtaking new Power Girl Premium Format statue, which I ogled for a long time in the exhibit hall. There were a few other upcoming collectibles that I added to my shopping list as well, but that one is the most notable.

The view from the back of the
Convention Center (Ballroom 20 line).
So I guess that's it. I thought I'd have more to say, but the truth is that the panels I saw, while entertaining, didn't present me with any truly memorable experiences. And while I treasure my time with my friends, nothing that happened with them is anything to write home about. We had some fun, story-worthy times in our younger years, drunkenly exploring downtown San Diego, but those days are long past. Now it's more about sipping a beer while discussing TV or playing a game of Settlers of Catan -- and I'm not complaining, because I have a great time doing both. But those low-key evenings don't really make for engrossing blog posts.

Thus, another Comic-Con comes to an end. We've already got a house booked for next year, and tickets go on sale this fall, so I'll plan to do it all over again barely eleven short months from now. But in the meantime, it's back to civilization, normal life, work, and Roger Stern's Spider-Man.

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