July 25, 2016

Comic Con 2016 Wrap-up

Comic Con 2016 Wrap-up

For those of you who follow me on social media you’ve already seen some snaps, gotten some updates, and generally got an idea of our experience at San Diego Comic Con. So this is going to be more a wrap up of impressions than a day-by-day itinerary of what we did.

As ever, SDCC always has more fun and interesting stuff than we can take in. Sometimes, we can’t take it in because there are multiple things we’d want to see at the exact same time—I would have loved to see the Supergirl panel, but it was the same time as the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary panel. Other times, the lines would be crazy. In fact, I already blogged about how we missed the events in Hall H on Saturday because people lined up days in advance. Yeah…no.

Speaking of the Wonder Woman 75th panel, it was a bit lackluster compared to the Superman and Batman 75th panels we’d attended in years past, but it did have Gal Gadot, the current actress playing Wonder Woman herself, along with Patty Jenkins, the acclaimed director of Monster who is helming the movie. And the trailer they showed us of the film looks absolutely amazing. Already, the images of Diana coming out of a WWI trench and standing against a hail of bullets is being called iconic:

I think the longest we stood in any line was about 90 minutes, and that was for Kevin Smith’s one-man Q&A/storytelling event, which went over two hours. I don’t think we spent more than 45 minutes in line for anything else.

One way we avoided lines was by going to the rooms in which popular panels were being held early, and simply taking in the panel before (in some cases, more than one). That ended up being part of our Comic Con fun: we took in half the Image Comics panel, and loved the creator descriptions of two graphic novels so much we bought them. Before the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary panel, we took in the panel for Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, a French animated series that airs in the USA on Nickelodeon. It’s not a show either of us had ever heard of, or would really watch, but the moderator was practically manic with his energy, the crowd couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, and we found ourselves smiling and clapping just because the positive feeling in the room was so contagious.

That feeling was everywhere. On more than one panel, there was an attitude of “we won”—we in this case referring to all of us who grew up liking sci-fi/fantasy/superheroes/anime/manga or other things that were fringe and considered weird; now what we love is mainstream, and rather than going to Comic Con being something to denigrate or hide, people envy us. As one panelist put it, “even my mom knows what Comic Con is!”

Of course, that means that there is an amazing “street festival” vibe all through the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, but it also means that if you’re slightly uncomfortable being packed like sardines with 200,000 other people, well, prepare to feel either stabby or overwhelmed at certain moments.

But overall, the stabbiness and overwhelmed-ness doest last, the vibe is incredibly positive. As ever, I got to talk to some of my favorite writers and artists, and attended a panel of fantasy writers discussing their craft and taking questions which I found both inspiring and very useful. We attended panels world premiering some really fun looking genre comedy TV shows. We were strategic enough to attend one of the most popular television panels, for the forthcoming American Gods adaption on Starz. American Gods is one of my very, very favorite novels, and I was thrilled when unannounced and unlisted, author Neil Gaiman himself showed up to a rock star’s welcome and sat on the panel with the creative team and cast. And the trailer for that looks appropriately magical and menacing:

I even went to the “American Gods Experience” put on by Starz and Michelle took my picture next to a phantom buffalo:

(I took one of her too but managed to botch it).

So it was a fun few days, we got some great graphic novels and great indie art, ate some good food in the Gaslamp Quarter, and now we’re tired, but recharged.

Now on to the final draft of Watcher and Firebird, book 5 of The Sedumen Chronicles!