Friday, July 22, 2016

Not quite at Comic Con... or, we don't need no stinkin' badges.

So, here's how it happened. I'm sitting at my desk on campus the day the San Diego Comic Con badge purchase process (AKA The Hunger Games) opens and casually mention to my admin, Crazy Face, that I have never gone to Comic Con and didn't ever expect to, partly because the process to obtain a badge is so onerous and partly because I'm not really sure I could even handle the Con itself.

Crazy Face mentions that her previous employer, a specialty printing company, used to print the Comic Con badges and that they always got freebies and she could probably hook me up. I told her to go for it.

A few days later, she texts me to say she has made a connection for two badges, but that her buddy will have to mail them up from San Diego so it will be a few more days. We finalize things and I give her a check to pass along.

The deal is done -  I hook up with my gaming pal Karminator (Wonder Wife would have a meltdown ten minutes into something like Comic Con). She seizes the bull by the horns and gets us a flight to San Diego and accommodation 25 minutes away from the Convention Center on the Green Line Trolley. It's looking good.

A few days after that, Crazy Face texts me to say that my badges have arrived and sends me a photo of the two badges. To Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle.

Talk about the mother of miscommunications. All this time, Crazy Face is thinking I am talking about Emerald City; the San Diego element in the conversation is just a coincidence that reinforces my own presumptions. There was never any connection for San Diego Comic Con tickets at all.

Of course, all the travel arrangements are non-changeable and non-refundable.

I must say that the Karminator is the best person in the world with whom to encounter this kind of fubar. Her first response when I tell her about it is not to get pissed off but to remark that there are so many cons now that it would be very easy for someone to get confused. Talk about easy-going! So we cave to inevitable: either kiss off the cash or take a vacation to San Diego anyway. We opt for the vacation.
 Lemons and lemonade
A little research tells us that we were in good company: there's a whole deal known as Outside the Con - I find a couple of websites about it. The Comic Con such a big deal for the City of San Diego that there are plenty of people without Con credentials who can still be swept up into pop culture events and cosplay events and movie launches and star visits and suchlike (and separated from their simoleons at many of them).

So that's how we found ourselves on a flight south from Seattle yesterday and then throwing ourselves in the throng of Deadpools and Daleks and Lolitas on the Green Line. We are booked into a huge hotel resort - our building is a five minute walk from the trolley stop, although the lobby is about thirty miles away on the other end of the complex, so that we had quite the warm walk to check in. But now it's easy to get into the Convention Center/Gaslamp area to sample what the Con has to offer.

Happy Con attendees on the Green Line

We did just that last night, to get a late supper after a long travel day.  We walked through the crowds, under a five-story image of Keifer Sutherland on the side of hotel, past a Batmobile and a 20-foot statue of Superman in the park, watching the cars and cabs and tricycle rickshaws slowly make their way through the crowded streets. In the Gaslamp, we ate at a restaurant that was totally themed for Incorporated, a new SyFy TV series.

Our server, Patty, told us that the place was usually Maryjane's, an affiliate of the Hard Rock Cafe, but that every year the SyFy channel comes in and completely re-skins the place for whatever show they are promoting the most at the Con: new wallpaper, new table covers, the host counter, the bar, the insignia on the back of seats, window treatments, menus - even the receipt printed out by the POS system is reprogrammed.

Patty's pen: I wasn't kidding about the completeness of the re-skinning.

It's incredible how much money is flowing through this event: it's truly a spectacle. We hung around until travel-tiredness took hold, and then caught the trolley back to the hotel.

Today, we're going to do something way outside the Con: kayaking in La Jolla. But that's another story.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite Irish Pub is The Field in the Gaslamp District. Great boxties and maybe it's knowing that it's California outside makes the Guinness taste better, but they do an excellent pour. Have a great vacation!