I was all set to blog about this year's trip to the San Diego Comic Con in the days that followed the event. But then I got the stomach flu and by the time I recovered, it felt like the time had passed to write about it. But isn't that what the feature known as Table Scraps is all about--me posting half-finished blog pieces about the recent past?
Arriving in San Diego was much easier than it was last year. In the lobby of the hotel, I spied a man in his 60's in a Hawaiian shirt. He had the distinct vibe of somebody who was there for the Con. We made some pleasant chit-chat in the elevator. I said this was my 9th con. He said this was his 40th. And that he was one of the original founders of the show. I shook his hand and told him it was an honor, and he disappeared into a sea of nerds dressed as Stormtroopers.
The first few hours of the first day were strangely quieter than in the past few years. But I knew that was about to change, as nearly 150,000 of my chubby, sweaty brethren all packed into the giant building.
Later that evening, I overheard somebody asking a guy dressed as Batman if the Padres were going to be playing that night. Batman replied, "I have no idea." Dude, what did you think the answer was going to be?
There are no pictures of this year's show. Correction, there are tons of pictures all over the internet, but none have been taken by me. Last year's scant photos were an aberration. I usually forget to bring a camera. But I feel okay about that. Most of the traffic on the convention floor is caused by people stopping to take pictures in the middle of a crowded hallway.
I was walking the floor with a comic book writer, who goes to about 5-6 of these shows a year and has lost all patience for convention floor photos, had a solution to the traffic problem. He would plow his way through the crowd, nearly bowling over anyone who got in his way while bellowing, "Move people! Let's move!" It was both effective and cathartic.
There were a few really cool innovations in the toy booths. But the coolest is the toy you play with your mind. Yes, there is a toy that you can play with your mind! Needless to say, I want one.
On the last day, I pulled out of convention floor traffic and parked myself against a wall in order to check my phone. Somebody came up to me and asked me what I was in line for. Although there were people also standing on either side of me, we were clearly not a line. For a moment, I pondered telling this guy that I was waiting for tickets to an advance screening of Avatar or to shake Stan Lee's hand. But I decided to let him off the hook and tell him that there was no line--just a wall. Someday karma will return the favor.