Comic Con is a Small World After All

Comic Con is a Small World After All

July 19, 2016 0 By Gary

San Diego Comic Con is an amazing experience.

If you’re fortunate enough to get tickets (they are released in two blocks through a lottery system) you are going to have a blast, no matter what.

The entire area surrounding the convention centre is transformed by movie companies, game companies, any kind of company really, trying to get your eyeballs on their stuff.

We geeks are tech savvy, you see, and generally are pretty active with social media. The right instagram photo or tweet, picked up by the right person, can mean huge success for whatever people are trying to advertise.

And it may seem like on the surface Comic Con is about stuff. (You can read about my odyssey to collect exclusive Funko figures here.) Buying stuff, seeing stuff, consuming all that there is to see and do. But really? Comic Con is about people.

It’s easy to make new friends at Comic Con because if you waited in line 12 hours to see the cast of Game of Thrones speak, odds are good that most of the people sitting next to you are just as passionate about the show as you are.

I met a number of guys last year (our story chronicling our hunt for exclusives is linked above) waiting in line and we’ve kept in touch, plotting our course for this year’s Comic Con over that time period, asking important questions like: how do we divide for optimal exclusive coverage? What panels are must see and when do we start lining up?

You know. Life questions.

Just talking to people and hearing their stories is part of the amazing experience Comic Con provides. My ‘Merds’ as we’ve begun calling ourselves (it’s a really long story!) have already joked that we’ll be standing in a Hall H line using holographic versions of ourselves as placeholders when we’re old and gray.

There are enough lines at Comic Con from panels to purchasing that you have a ton of opportunity to strike up a conversation with a stranger. It seems daunting at first but remember: they are at Comic Con for all the same reasons as everyone else, so it certainly can’t hurt.

But it’s also about being able to rub shoulders with your favourite creators; in fact, I was waiting in line to get through airport security and in front of me was a guy wearing a killer hat and a shirt that said “Star Wars.”
Now this is my kind of guy, ’cause it was the classic logo, plain finish, nothing fancy…but awesome.

So I made an assumption: “Hey, are you headed to Comic Con too?” It turns out he was. In fact, not only was he attending the Comic Con, he was going to be signing autographs at the Marvel booth right before the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Wow, and I thought *I* was fortunate getting to interview so many awesome creators and see behind the scenes stuff.
“I’m Ken Lashley,” he eventually offered, very genially; almost sheepishly. “I’m actually a comic artist for Marvel.”

Here I am on my first official San Diego Comic Con assignment and I bump into one of the most popular and influential comic artists of the last decade.

We chatted for quite a while, but it wasn’t an interview, so I won’t recreate the conversation here, but he did say he was excited for a return to Comic Con after a bit of a hiatus and that he’s going to the show to do some signings, and to see the sights with his family. I just happened to be standing behind him in a security line.

That happens a lot at Comic Con.

With so many stars packed into one confined area star gazing is a worthwhile pass time.

Two years ago I nearly bumped into Stephen Amell, the star of CW’s Arrow, while eating frozen yogurt outside a hotel. As in literally bumped into! Being the forthright Canadian I am, I of course apologized for the near miss.
Meeting new people is the absolute best part of Comic Con.

I just wish I’d asked Ken Lashley where he got such an amazing hat. Oh well, there’s still time; the con doesn’t even start until tomorrow, and it’s already getting good.
San Diego Comic Con runs July 20 – July 24 at the San Diego International Convention Centre.
Stay tuned for more notes from Comic Con over the next week.