It’s San Diego Time – Are You Prepared?

The big one is upon us. In theory I should have been conditioning for weeks. That means waking up early. Stretching. Applying Gold Bond. Having a smoothie breakfast. Walking 10-20 miles with a loaded bag.  The only nourishment allowed (during training) is granola bars and stale chocolate chip cookies – because honestly that is all you can count on when you’re on the floor.

You might think I’m joking – but this is what you need to do to prepare for San Diego Comic-Con. If you’ve been for all 4 days you’re nodding your head in agreement. If you’ve never been – heed my warning.

Of course – I haven’t done any prep work for the con. I mean – I’ve done the prep work that I can do while sitting on my rump and looking at this computer screen – but I haven’t done any training with my body.

The first time I headed out to the San Diego Comic-Con in 2006 – I was running on pure adrenaline the entire time. I think I came home and slept for a week. Last year I didn’t prep either. But at least I knew going into it what I would feel like – what I could expect. I knew the limitations of my body and the requirements of the con floor. I suffered – but I survived.

This year I am considering myself a convention veteran. This will be my third trip to San Diego and my fifth convention in general. WonderCon nearly killed me in February. It nearly killed all of us, actually. Well – all but Ron and his weird mutant ability to not contract the plague.

But I am putting San Fran behind me and I am looking forward to San Diego. The reasons are simple:

1.    It’s in frakking San Diego. I shouldn’t have to explain that.
2.    I will go early enough that I can enjoy a few days of vacation – in San Diego.
3.    I love the zoo… sure, not con related, but important.
4.    It’s HUGE! Like – the hugest.

Let me explain that last point. If you have been to a convention you have a taste of what is going on. But if you’ve not been to San Diego you really haven’t experienced a comic convention of this magnitude. It’s like the difference between listening to a CD or sitting on the speaker cluster at a concert. Both ways you hear the music, but the second you feel it… and you feel it completely destroying you.

By the way – does anybody even listen to CDs anymore? We had them before mp3s and after tapes. Hurm…

Back to the con – I’ve heard many people say “it used to be about the comics.” Not having attended in the early days all I can do is nod and go on my merry way. The fact is, comics may have been the starting place for the San Diego convention – but they are certainly not the main thing on display. It is a virtual overload of anything and everything. Games, movies, toys, anime, terrible costumes, good costumes, screaming kids, screaming parents – everything.

People routinely ask me if I will be attending my local county fair or the state fair. I smile politely and say, “no.” Flabbergasted they ask me why – and my reasons are simple. I don’t like sketchy rides, I don’t like triple fried food and most importantly I don’t like crowds. I continue to get chastised by people – and then the retort comes, “Well, don’t you like people watching?”

Of course I do – and who doesn’t. And, in fact, I know that the state fair and/or local county fair is probably a good place to people watch. But the people watching at the fair just doesn’t come close to the people watching at Comic-Con. Sure it can be fun to see an entire family in matching overalls with no shirts underneath – but isn’t it more exciting to see an entire family of Storm Troopers… right next to a slew of Ghostbusters… within earshot of Klingons?

But really that is just the tip of the iceberg for people watching at Comic-Con. It attracts so many people that are diverse… yet not.

Now for those readers that are paying attention you might be wondering why somebody that claims to dislike large crowds would be so enamored with the world’s largest comic convention. Well – I don’t know. There is just no easy answer. Perhaps in my heart of hearts I am not so averse to large crowds – but rather I am averse to large crowds that are into farming and going to the fair when it is 95 degrees outside. Or perhaps it is knowing that the large guns I see at Comic-Con are clearly fake, whereas things at the state fair are not. Or – as smelly as the con floor can be – it really doesn’t compare to the smell of the cow barn, the horse stables, or the pig pens. And the apparent lack of midway rides run by people that were bootleggin’ during prohibition is a definite bonus for me.

So – as the convention draws nigh – I am just about as prepared as I’m going to get. I did buy new insoles this year… hopefully they will help. The next time you hear from me I’ll be a couple of days into the convention. I have no idea how coherent or articulate I’ll be by that point. I’ll make no promises or excuses.

I’m off to buy Gold Bond. See you on the con floor!!!



  1. GoldBond should have a bith at the Con, just for a lark. Have fun gordon!

  2. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It demands repeating: Gold. Bond. Slip-n-Slide.  

    Always apply more than you think you’ll need.  Your thighs should look like Boy George’s face during his bleakest drug years.   

    Have fun at the con, everybody!

  3. Good stuff. I have the same issues with large, sweaty crowds, but Comic Con is different. I don’t think I could be more excited to go back there again.

    Insoles… that’s a good idea…

  4. Is that Ron doing an impression of Bastian from the Neverending Story?  Yeahhhhhhh!!!!!!

  5. Gordon, I still listen to cds when im in my car.  And i still only by cds,  I prefer to own something that i can hold in my hands instead of MP3’s.    


    But I am super excited to go to comic con this year.  The first time I went was last year, and I was disjointing I didn’t know what to do when.  I know I have to do the Watchmen panel and the doll house and fringe panels.  Should be lots of fun, the one downside is that i would rather spend the money on gas and drive out from Riverside, which is about 2 hours away every morning instead of getting a hotel room.  Yay me and my friends! 

  6. @viewaskew117 – wow.  Are you going for all four days?  That’s a lot of driving!

    @hbkhumanity – yes.

    @BrianBaer – I hope the insoles work out…I really do.

    @DaveCarr – Yes…yes the should.  They have no idea how much potential $$$ they are losing.

    @Paul – This year – I want to attempt to use the whole bottle.  That might be too much – but at least I’ve set a goal.

  7. Man im so glad the con is almost here. I live in San Diego and have been going to the Con since i was about 14. Im now 28 and despite a few year hiatus i pretty much have been attending ever since. Im hoping this year to meet some fellow comic fans there and discuss recent comic events. I recently started readin again within the last year and am completly psyched for the event. My only problem is im the person near me that collects o i have noone to talk comics with. It sucks. Anyways everyone thats going to the event should go see panels like Cup O Joe where you can talk back to quesada and tell him all your complaints like how much Sentry sucks or why the cant get any type of continuity in marvel. They also have a panel like this for DC too. Anyways everyone have fun and see you at the con.