I suppose it’s a bit backwards to write about the year’s Comic-Con International (#SDCC) from the perspective of the last day. After a final trip to the San Diego Convention Center this morning, I’m sitting up on the rooftop paradise of my hotel (the beautiful Andaz) and am finally beginning to unwind from nearly five days of constant motion. It’s been a very hot week in San Diego, with nearly no daytime respite from heat, humidity and sunlight. But, as always, it has been a lot fun: interviews with Hollywood actors, directors, and producers, learning about the networks’ and studios’ upcoming offerings for fall, attending some very cool parties, and of course, people watching.
The searing heat blistering sun did little to deter Comic-Con goers from soaking in the sights and sounds both inside the packed convention center and sprawling array of installations outside the realm of the SDCC, which are open to everyone, coveted Comic-Con badge or not. The entirety of Harbor Drive opposite the convention center invited people into the Amazon Village (Thunderbirds are Go, Man in the High Castle), South Park’s Canada, the Powder Puff Girls, NBC’s range of new and long-standing series). Kiddy-corner from the Con in Petco Park’s parking lot was turned into a carnival of delights from Fox, Comedy Central, MTV and many more. Something, literally, for everybody.
Security was different this year; Comic-Con International mailed out the badges, which were embedded with RFID chips. Getting in and out of the Convention Center meant electronically stamping in and stamping out with your encoded badge.
Considering the huge crowd (more than 150,000), array of costumes (some with costume weaponry), people were generally chill, accepting and tolerant of others. It almost seemed that the acknowledgment and acceptance of diversity within the throngs of comic-con was a subtle, unplanned response to the xenophobia and hate mongering that has cast a pall on the U.S. presidential election. Comic-Con is a celebration of geekdom–natural “others” within greater U.S. society. It’s a theme that came up over and over during my interviews with everyone from Rod Roddenberry to Greg Grunberg to Kevin Smith to Rufus Sewell and others.
All along the Gaslamp Quarter, television networks advertised their series with mega-posters taking up the entire sides of skyscrapers and other buildings: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Corporation premiering this fall on Syfy, ABC’s Once Upon a Time presented it’s newest poster of Lana Parrilla’s Evil Queen, FX’s Strain emblazoned upon the Hilton Bayfront’s facade, Fox’s new series with Kiefer Sutherland, Designated Survivor. And, as every year, Conan (the talk show guy, not the barbarian) is everywhere, in cartoon form–and in person.
I didn’t go to all the parties, but I did take in the great party thrown by NatGeo’s Nerd Night in honor of its new Mars series. All I can say is that the lollipops are way too pretty to eat! The cocktails served were appropriately geeky, including the Mars-themed vodka concoction pictured to the right. And the annual NBC Digital party is always a highlight: a chance to just hang out with the other journalists covering the convention to network, compare notes and hobnob with NBC’s stars!
Over the next few days, I’ll be posting lots of interviews, some on video, some strictly print (with pictures): composer Bear McCreary (Black Sails, The Walking Dead, Oultlander, 10 Cloverfield Lane), Adam Nimoy (Leonard’s son), Rod Roddenberry (Gene’s son) talking about Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary and the legacy of the Trek franchise, the casts of The Walking Dead, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (the new BBCAmerica series with Elijah Wood, directed by Stargate Universe’s Rob Cooper), Greg Grunberg and Kevin Smith of AMC’s new series Geeking Out. Once Up on a Time’s cast, and the casts of Amazon’s series Man in the High Castle and Thunderbirds are Go will also appear in the next week.
So, I invite you to follow me on Twitter, and you will be the first to know when my interviews go live over the next week. And ICMY, my publisher is giving away copies of my forthcoming novel The Apothecary’s Curse over on Goodreads, so please head over there an enter any time before August 6. And–stay tuned!