Everyone remembers their first time. Funny thing is, it’s true. My first time is something I will not soon forget. I have watched San Diego Comic Con from afar for years. Going to the usual sites many times a day for tidbits and updates, reveals and announcements, panels and exclusives. All of these things, I have read for years. Seen the pictures, read accounts of screened footage. But I couldn’t possibly have imagined being there. Until I was.
I arrived in San Diego a day early. Wanted to familiarize myself with the area, do a little bit of recon, study the floor plan, and do some prep work for what was about to come. I lived in San Diego for a bit as a kid, but the city has changed a lot since then, and I frankly don’t remember much of it. So I walked around the convention center. Found Hall H. Found the Press Registration area, which also served as a quick in for press.
So Wednesday comes, and so do the masses. Hall H lines were beginning to form. Cosplayers already outside the convention center posing for pictures with eager fans. The buzz was palpable. The energy, unbelievable. Time was drawing near for preview night. I thought it was going to be a nice opportunity to run through the floor really quick, get the lay of the land, finalize a strategy, a plan of attack.
Well as Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”
And punched in the mouth I was. Just entering the floor for the first time, I was astounded. The sheer size of it all. I had two hours of the preview night (Wednesday) and four days to see all the things. My plan, out the window. Gone in an instant. I tried to hit up some of the bigger booths to grab a schedule of events. Yep, further ruined my plans because of all the events and appearances I wanted to get to.
Then it was time to head over to the DC booth to meet up with “boss”, the reason I was there, the guy that brought me on board here at Heroic Hollywood, our Editor-in-Chief, Umberto Gonzalez. We had chatted online about everything from movies, to politics and world events, to site related stuff for about 10 months. Even developed our own conversational shorthand naturally. But we had never actually met. So, BOOM, first night, and I am meeting my boss. For those of you that haven’t had the chance to meet him yet, he is just as cool in person as he seems. Couldn’t be a nicer guy. He knew everyone and everyone knew him, but went out of his way to make it a point to say, “oh hey, this is one of my guys Wes Harden,” with everyone that came up to talk to him. Immediately made me feel like I belonged there for the purpose I was there. I didn’t tell him this, but it knocked off the initial jitters, and made me feel at ease.
Now, I was ready to Con.