All photos courtesy of Larry Berger Photography ©2011
San Diego Comic Con. A phrase that makes the heads of geeks everywhere explode like lumpy, fleshy pinatas barfing up Smarties. This yearly Nerd-gasm by the bay is no longer just Comic-geddon; it is Pop Culture Ground Zero, the crossroads where movies, comics, books, and toys lovingly embrace.
Authors are plentiful, like poppies in Afghanistan. Literary panels discuss themes like putting the Epic in Epic fantasy, writing the Apocalypse, and Space Odyssey, Alien Encounters, and Future Worlds. The amount of Science Fiction and Fantasy activities are immense, like salad choices at Soup Plantation, a book smorgasbord. Authors chat, sign, surreptitiously take photos of scantily clad individuals walking the floor, and generally brave the unwashed masses, always with a smile on their faces.
This is their story.
125,000 Nerds. Most with poor dietary practices. And plenty of opportunities to blame their farts on others. This is what you take away from Comic Con: the Stench. Noxious fumes prowl the floor, a Fart Fog more horrible than anything in a John Carpenter movie, ready to combust with the slightest provocation. Here Patrick Rothfuss protects his beard. Wise man.
George R.R. Martin was a very popular man at the Con. Having a critically acclaimed HBO series will do that. Here Martin and Daniel Abraham sign the Fevre Dream graphic novel for those valiant knights of Geekdom who braved the floor.
Polka. The music can't be stopped, can't be contained. It happens. Spontaneously. Like an accordion playing flash mob. Here Jim Butcher enjoys a polka classic, Sweet Child O' Mine, performed by the Waldo Butters Five. Oom-Pah-Pah with me.
Want a panel full of Epic Fantasy star power. How about George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Christopher Paolini discussing who has the biggest one. Novel, that is.
Martin, Sanderson, Rothfuss, and Paolini were only four members of the panel. Kevin J. Anderson was another. Every fantasy panel needs a science fiction counterpoint. Keeps the fantasists from making tons of shit up. Like unicorns. Real scientists don't believe in animals that shank people.
Rare pictures. There were a few. Like this one of Brandon Sanderson not writing. Yet still he managed five thousand words for the day. Conclusive proof there are a thousand monkeys in a basement somewhere writing the sequel to The Way of Kings.
Christopher Paolini has extremely large business cards. Here he gives one to a fan who collapsed under the weight. Still, the cards keep him from being mistaken for Harry Potter. Sometimes.(Note: Don't check his hairline. He hates that. Siriusly.)
Life is more than just Fun and Games, they say. Duane Swierczynski disagrees. Funny story: I tripped in front of the booth. Went heels over ass, crumbled into a pile of Paul. Looked for the Accident People. Didn't find them. Elusive bastards.
Accident people not scary enough? How about a maniac wielding a chainsaw? Or poltergeists? Both straight from the mind of legendary horror director Tobe Hooper. Here Tobe signs his new book, Midnight Movie.
Redheads have more fun. It is a proven scientific fact. They take great photographs, too. Lucky Kim Harrison.
Ben Loory writes fables. And nightmares. Damn good ones. Comic Con certainly provides a wealth of material for more. Maybe Ben's next book will be titled, Stories for Nighttime and Some for Cos-Play.
Debuts. I'm always looking for the next hot one. Buzz has The Night Circus as a can't-miss book. I certainly didn't miss picking up a copy signed by author Erin Morgenstern.
Teamwork. That's what Comic Con is all about. It's bigger than one person, one movie, or one comic book character. It takes a village. One incredibly nerdy village. More appropriately, a Geekopolis. Even writing books requires teamwork. Like Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck writing collectively as James S.A. Corey. See, people working together accomplish great things. Take that monkeys!
Want to stop a robot uprising? Daniel Wilson demonstrates how. Flash a copy of Robopocalypse at them; stuns them like a grenade.
Five minutes later, an opportunity arose. A robot charged. Daniel's method still fresh in my mind, I acted on instinct. It worked. Probably saved my life. Here's my close call.
Injuries are part of the Con. Writers autograph until their hands fall off. By Sunday, it looks like a leper colony in the signing area. Yet they persevere. Champions, that's what they are. Besides, it is in their contracts. Here Joe Hill soldiers on.
Long post. But it's almost over. Time to celebrate! An adult beverage is appropriate for making it through my ramblings. Maybe more than one. Or you can listen to Kevin Hearne and go get Hammered. Proof Kevin's awesomeness is boundless.
The thing I'll most remember about the 2011 San Diego Comic Con: the gratuitous nudity. Fond memories, indeed. But that is for another post.