Not long from now, in a city not terribly far, far away…
It is a period of infinite excitement. Cos-players from around the universe are shining their plastic armor, mixing their green body paint and packing their limited-edition, mint-condition, treasured collectibles for the epic yearly pilgrimage to the epicenter of awesome: Comic-Con International: San Diego!
Comic-Con hosts the biggest tailgate party for all nerd kind, and I fully plan on setting my face to stun and partying my Oola tentacles off! I've attended Comic-Con five times, at least that's all I'll admit to – anything more would just be showing off! I have moderated panels in and out of character but, between you and me, I prefer to do it in costume.
I have taken the endless walks from hall to hall. I have navigated the insanely crowded red carpets and I have engaged in impromptu celebrity interviews while standing in line for the women's restroom. I have survived that smell you can taste that fills the Exhibit Halls … you know the smell that can only occur when you jam 100,000 people into a space intended for only 10,000. I've attend all the super-secret, by-invitation only parties where the only way to get in is to be on a list where they can never find your name or have Ben Franklin as your plus-one.
Courtesy Carrie Keagan
I've spent every night bar hopping through the Gaslamp Quarter like it was Halloween only to end up partying to exhaustion with celebrities who are too busy having fun to realize that they're actually down there working … also, I don't think they knew who was in the Chewbacca costume.
I come back every year because this is where I find my joy. These are my people. This is where I feel normal, even when I just happen to be clothed in head to toe latex body paint. That's the secret of Comic-Con because as much as it's a celebrity maze and a studio-driven commercial marketplace, it's still really about the people, the fans getting close to the celebrities and shows they idolize.
Those who travel from all over the world and spend their hard-earned money just to tap into the pure joy that is Comic-Con. Remember that smell you can taste I mentioned earlier … well it's actually joy Joy that emanates from an amazing group of people dedicating their blood, sweat, tears, passion and love for four days to take it all in and have the most amazing time of their lives. I'm proud to stand with this nerdalicious bunch!
Over the next few days I'll share with you my Comic-Con experience so you can see what all the fun is about. My not-so-secret survival tip is to prepare as one would for the zombie apocalypse: recording device, comfy footwear, bottled water (which can be vodka disguised as smart water, but you didn't hear that from me), hand sanitizer and/or wet wipes, and protective garments, but seeing as how your costume probably already gives you super powers, you should be fine.
In between I'll be walking around, taking pics and having the time of my life…so look for me. The only way to avoid the wrath of the CON is to understand the art of the CON. Work hard. Party harder. There will be no rest for the wicked!!