It’s finally here! Geeks around the world begin the countdown to San Diego Comic-Con’s 42nd year. That countdown begins as soon as the previous year ends. The pop culture juggernaut evolved from a 300-person comic book gathering to the most-sought after ticket in the entertainment industry. It’s bigger than any sporting event and twice as smelly.
Though some hardliners complain that the convention has become too “Hollywood” in its approach, it is the proving grounds for television programs and movies from every genre, with the exception of ‘chick flicks’. If you succeed at Comic-Con, chances are you’ll succeed in the ratings war and box office bonanza.
I’m sure my co-workers are sick of hearing me talk about how I’m not going to Comic-Con this year. It makes its way into my conversations for a majority of my time each day.
For the past two Julys, at this very moment, we’d be packing our convention essentials into overweight luggage compartments for the transcontinental trip to San Diego.
Although the experiences and opportunities at Comic-Con are amazing, we decided to take a year off to rest up and recoup. Knowing that I won’t have to smell a roomful of cosplayers who haven’t showered the entire week makes the absence slightly more bearable, if only to my nose.
I have to admit though, it seems like we chose a good year not to be there, if there is such a thing. Normally, we would be checking the Con’s website multiple times per day for schedule updates and ‘Easter Eggs’, but scrolling through this year’s panels and signings, there was nothing I can’t live without seeing.
There were a few exceptions with our decision not to go. The first being The Big Bang Theory signing and panel, currently my favorite series that’s still on television’s airwaves. The geek-tacular cast of Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg will be joined by executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady as well as recurring guest stars Mayim Bialik (Yes, Blossom!) and Melissa Raunch. Did I mention Blossom?
As I have stated in blogs past, last year we chose to skip the panel to wait in line for autographs where we were literally almost trampled underfoot by some super heavyweight geeks. I was pleased to learn Warner Brothers is following the lead of other major studios and have a line-ticket drawing. Sure, not everyone waiting will get in, but this will most certainly reduce the likelihood of having to go to the hospital during your vacation.
Second, the panel for the upcoming animated version of Napoleon Dynamite. The over achieving cult phenom movie gets its animation makeover featuring the awkward Idaho teen and his wicked dance moves which spawned catch phrases dating back to 2005. The original cast will take the stage Thursday for a Q&A and a special sneak peek. This makes me want to play a game of tether ball while listening to 80s ballads.
Third, “I know you are, but what am I?” Paul Reubens brings his beloved alter ego Pee-Wee Herman to Comic-Con’s biggest stage to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. For myself and thousands of other kids in the 1980s, the weekly visit’s to Pee-Wee’s world were the highlight of the week. Pee-Wee is promoting a brand new special on HBO “The Pee-Wee Herman show on Broadway.” Chairry gives this appearance 2 arms up.
The thing I’ll miss ‘next’ most is not a panel or program, but is simply wandering the Exhibition Hall floor with my husband trying to keep up with me. For two geeks like us, this is a dream come true. Aisles and aisles of geek-centric shirts, boxes upon boxes of comic books, toys and the essential Comic-Con exclusives.
Last, I’ll be sad to miss out meeting up with the friends we’ve made at the past two Cons and making friends with other convention goers. I’ve said it before and I’ll reiterate it, regardless of stereotypes about geeks, it’s so easy to strike up conversations with people in line with you. And for the most part, the majority of people attending are just as excited as you are to be there and are more than willing to offer advice.
So, this week, we’ll be glued to G4’s cable coverage of the Con and tuning in to Sirius/XM special convention channel for the latest geek updates. I’ll be envious of everyone we know who’s having a ball in Ballroom 20 and enjoying the delicacies in the Gaslamp Quarter’s 5 star restaurants. I hope everyone has double the fun for the two geeks left in the Mountain State.
Meanwhile, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed the Arrested Development movie actually makes an appearance in 2012!