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26 July 2014 @ 08:59 am
The sf world  
Yesterday rachelmanija and I drove down to San Diego to meet our agent at a lunch thrown by The Gotham Group. It was held in a restaurant two blocks from Comicon.

It took a little over an hour to drive down, and two hours to park. The only reason we did eventually park was because my daughter's roommate, who works at one of the hotels, came down to drive us into the employee lot of the hotel he works at, to take his space until he showed up for work.

The hotel is right there, so we walked from it to the restaurant, some of our walk carrying us past the Comicon site. Thousands of people, thousands all moving along and having a good time. The people-watching opportunities outside of what I am sure is a stunning con full of great stuff was in itself a whole lot of fun. There were some great costumes, and some not-so-great but still full of the old-days verve (like a guy dressed as some sort of warrior with a gigantic futuristic gun rather obviously made of toilet paper roles, duct tape, spray paint, and plastic bits). A gorgeous woman in black with black wings feathered in what looked to me like raptor patterns.

Young families with their babies in costumes--at one point a man walked by one of these family groups whose laughing, chubby round infant was dressed as Batman, and he said, "That's the happiest baby-Bat I've ever seen."

Another thing often not heard, "Pardon my dinosaur leg," as disassembled bits of a gigantic tyrannosaurus rex were toted by.

An astounding number of hawkers, including some earnest young fundamentalist Christian youths urging people thru megaphones to choose between God and Satan. They didn't threaten or harass anyone, and no one bothered them--paradigms brushing past one another, not colliding, as alas is happening so grievously in other parts of the world.

I would have tried to get pix but the crowds were so intense there was no getting back far enough to snap a shot, and it was also pretty hot.

I don't see anyone arguing anymore, but Comicon serves as a fine reminder that SF and F are alive and well in all media.
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Rachel M Brown: Timbuktu to Uttar Pradeshrachelmanija on July 26th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
I believe it was actually, "Pardon my dinosaur tail." ;)

Comic con looked like great fun if we could have been teleported in and avoided having to park and wait in line. I also wish I could have gone through the elaborate ninja obstacle course. (Too hot, not dressed for it.)
asakiyumeasakiyume on July 26th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
An LJ friend of mine who's currently in Sweden got some great pictures of people cosplaying. It's fun to see a really pro costume, but sometimes the amateur ones are even more of a pleasure, just because of the resourcefulness.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 26th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Those are terrific! Thank you for that link! They all made me smile.
Deborah J. Ross: teddy bearsdeborahjross on July 26th, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
It's glorious that so many folks are so playful and imaginative - and can get together and have such a wonderful time. Something is indeed right with the world.

My older daughter's partner is there, handing out "Random Acts of Kindness" bags of goodies.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 26th, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
That is seriously cool!

Yes, it was so fun to see so many people thoroughly enjoying themselves!
whswhswhswhs on July 27th, 2014 02:57 am (UTC)
Parking downtown during Comic-Con is insane. If there was ever a time to take the bus or trolley, this is it.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 03:20 am (UTC)
Our plan was to park at Old Town and take the trolley in. There was no parking anywhere, at all, in the vicinity. We searched for a solid hour.
whswhswhswhs on July 27th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
I hadn't realized it was so bad as that. I'm afraid Old Town was what I would have recommended to you! But I haven't tried it; the 11 is a more efficient route for me—so clearly my local knowledge wouldn't have been adequate. I'm sorry it was such a nightmare.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 04:37 am (UTC)
Well, my daughter lives down there, and she was the one who suggested it, so I imagine that many others did the same! We had no idea what to do or where to go, but her roommate came to our rescue, so all was fine. But we both agreed, never again.
starshipcatstarshipcat on July 27th, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up on the parking issue. We'd been thinking about trying to sell at Comicon sometime in the future, but if it takes two hours to find a parking space for a regular car, parking our giant van would be even more of a nightmare.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 01:44 pm (UTC)
And that doesn't even include the sky-rocket high daily prices for said parking, and the stunningly high hotel and motel costs.
whswhswhswhs on July 27th, 2014 03:41 pm (UTC)
I think that there is parking space in the convention center itself reserved for exhibitors. The convention Website probably has information on this. But I think that might entail arriving for setup, parking, unloading, and then staying parked till teardown, relying on public transportation and convention shuttles to get around.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
Yep. And of course there is the ferocious competition to get in!

My daughter tells me that there is an enormous expansion program slated.
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on July 27th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Amanda has a lot of friends from Disneyland that attend Comic Con every year and it sounds like a blast!

How cool that you got to see so many costumed people. I rather miss that about the few conventions I attend these days. Once upon a time, almost every convention I attended was full of people wearing costumes.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
I miss that, too. Heck, I miss wearing my own costumes! I used to attend cons solely in costume.
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on July 27th, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
I did, too. I loved to make costumes and dress up. Nowadays, my sewing machine lives in a box. (Though Amanda has friends that have offered how to teach us to make armor!)
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 05:05 pm (UTC)
That would be seriously cool! (Though NOT in the San Diego sun!!!!)
Queen of the Skiesqueenoftheskies on July 27th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
Nope, not when it's 100 out.
birdsedgebirdsedge on July 27th, 2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'll ever manage to get to Comicon, but I'm off to Worldcon in London in August - small by comparison (9000 members), but big by normal UK con standards. My favourite con (Eastercon) usually has closer to 1000 members.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 27th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, every mention of Loncon *hurts* I would love so badly to be there! Well, I will enjoy the con reports afterward.
birdsedgebirdsedge on July 28th, 2014 08:51 am (UTC)
Oh, I so wish you could come. It would be lovely to meet up!
Karenklwilliams on July 28th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
I miss the pre-Hollywood Comic-Con. I used to go every year, but the last time I went was a decade ago, and even then it was too massive for me. These days there's no point, as getting around would be too hard for me.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 28th, 2014 02:34 am (UTC)
Just two blocks was a real challenge! I cannot imagine what it was like inside the actual exhibit halls! (Which extend a quarter of a mile.)
Patrick Nielsen Haydenpnh on July 29th, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC)
I've been to San Diego Comic-Con three times, and what I've always been most impressed by is how good-natured it is, for an event of that size, complexity, and physical challenging-ness.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on July 29th, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've attended it once as a panelist, and there was this visit, and yep. Both times, noticed the same. All the more remarkable considering the density of the crowd.