July 31, 2007

How I Survived Comic-con San Diego 2007

I just got back on Sunday from San Diego and I'm still recovering and reminiscing. Reading this post on Occasional Superherione got me thinking about why I went, and why other women go to Comic-con. What she finds if very similar to what my suspicions were - that women go for many reasons other than comic books. Namely, these would be movies, TV, and gaming. Come to think of it, I think that's why a lot of the men go to the Con these days too.... I mean, you can't swing a golden lasso there without lassoing a poster from some new movie, a young actor starring in a TV show, and a beta code for a new video game.

Yesterday I spoke with a co-worker who went to Comic-con 1975 (before Star Wars - what did they do?!). He said the whole thing took place in the El Cortez Hotel. I doubt you could squeeze even one-third of the Expo floor in there from this year. But they could then because all they talked about was (shock) comic books.

I find that people I talk to that have never been, are fascinated by the spectacle and want to know more. The first question they ask is, "did you dress up?" Well, I can see why they would get that idea from the TV coverage.

So how do modern women survive the craziness that is "The Con"?

  1. Location is everything. We were lucky enough to snag a hotel only two or three blocks away from the convention center. Hotel rooms sell out quickly and we had to book them months in advance. If you are farther away, there is a bus route and a trolley line. No need to put any extra steps on your feet than required.
  2. No spandex. As fun as it may sound, dressing up looks like a huge mistake to me. I see the sweatiest, most bruised and tired people dressed up in superhero/movie/Halloween costumes. I cannot imagine standing in line for a panel outside in 90 degree heat with three layers of Storm Trooper on. Let's be practical here. Jeans and tennis shoes are the way to go. Most attendees don't dress up in case you're wondering.
  3. Learn to bob and weave. All those years maneuvering in crowded bars really paid off. This place is crowded and your skills will sharpen most definitely.
  4. Plan your day but be flexible. The program schedule is your friend. Me and the boyfriend would highlight the panels we really wanted to go to each day. But if the line was too long or we were having a terrific lunch, then we could skip it. The in-between times were for the Expo floor. You can always go back there and find something new. There's comic books of course, toys, dolls and figurines, video games, card games, movie and TV previews, and tons of other shops (jewelry, corsets, tee shirts, light sabers...).
  5. Enjoy your surroundings. San Diego is a great city with a great downtown. The convention center is actually right by the Gaslamp District (very trendy) and on the water. You can walk around into the various shops and restaurants, or go down to the seaside village and watch the fireworks at night. I even saw Cinderella horse and carriage rides by the marina which I pointed out several times to the boyfriend, but he didn't get the hint. Although we didn't go this year, San Diego is known for their zoo, Wild Animal Park, and Sea World. A full day is really needed for any of those.
Even though I do not wish for any more attendees to Comic-con (there was 123,000 last year), I do wish more women attended. More women like me who don't necessarily dress up but who aren't scared of this nerd convention, but excited for the next one - you don't know what you're missing!

July 30, 2007

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8

This is a great comic for the comic-book uninitiated. Joss Whedon (creator of the Buffy movie and TV series) is writing this comic book series for Dark Horse. It takes place chronologically after the last season of the television series - hence "season 8".

I think this is a great way to start reading comics because the back story is one that a lot of TV viewers are familiar with. And if you ever wondered what happened after the end of Sunnydale, here it is. Whedon doesn't disappoint with his irreverent and all out fun storytelling style. How can a guy be so good at writing such great female characters?

Each issue has two covers: the original and the variant. This is for the collectors, and the inside is the same in both versions. The artist of the first four issues, Georges Jeanty, has a modern, detailed style which pleases me. And Paul Lee pencils Issue 5 with an equally talented hand.

So far we are up to Issue #5, and (as we left off in the TV series) Buffy is leading a large group of Slayers that were given their powers in season 7. They are basically an army which Xander is helping to coordinate, thanks to his convenient army training from the Halloween episode.

All in all, this is a great transitional sort of series - if you can watch the TV show you can read the comic book. Order from Dark Horse or purchase from your local comic book shop. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I am.