I don’t do con roundups.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I *did* do con roundups, but then I realized that I pretty much livetweet cons anyway and there’s not a whole lot of new information in a blog post roundup.
But this was San Diego f$#king Comic Con.
SDCC is a vortex of all things nerd. The biggest con of its kind, it attracts pros from TV, film, comics and prose publishing, as well as legions of fans from all over the world. I grew up in fandom hearing about SDCC, never being able to justify the expense of going, but always imagining I could see the glow all the way from the East Coast each July.
So now, after all these years, I finally get to go, and as a pro.
This past year and a half has been one of checking off bucket list items. Speaking at San Diego Comic Con ranks up there somewhere between “Tea with the Queen of England” and “Defeating Storm Shadow in Unarmed Combat to Win the Heart of Felicia Day.”
I checked off that box as part of the “Locked and Loaded” military speculative fiction panel, along with heavy hitters like Taylor Anderson, Jack Campbell and Harry Turtledove. The panel went well, to include recognizing the Navy’s Captain Russel Schilling (from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — DARPA) in the audience. When you’re a writer, you groove on who you’re reaching, and knowing that the military writ large is listening was an enormous inspiration. DARPA’s whole job is to look at the wackiest crap out there and make sure the country is ready for it, so I know Captain Schilling appreciated my preparing him for the eventual reawakening of magic into the universe.
SDCC is known for all the famous film/TV types in attendance, and while I wasn’t invited to the Entertainment Weekly party, I did get to hang out and chat with Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz. They’ve written some movies. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. One is called Thor. Another one is called X-Men: First Class.
When I first started out seriously writing, I was also heavily into gaming, and began to follow a fairly new web comic called Penny Arcade. Back then, the writer/artist duo of Tycho and Gabe hadn’t hit the big time yet, and I remember online gaming with Tycho and an old friend of his who went by the handle of Safety Monkey. Now, years later, Penny Arcade is an institution in fandom and I finally got to meet Tycho and Gabe in person. They had no clue who I was, of course, but I managed to keep the creepy to a minimum, and they didn’t call security, so I’d say it was a win all around.
The rest of the con was spent mostly geeking out over the giant Optimus Prime, the Lego Hulk, the Hobbit and Walking Dead booths, and about a thousand other things that have been amply covered in the larger press.
I did want to draw attention to my one unique contribution to the con. When you work around guns as much as I do, you get kind of … twitchy … at having them pointed at you, even when you know they’re not real. There are 4 basic rules of firearm safety that every professional knows, but the most important of them are muzzle and trigger discipline (which is a short way of saying — “Finger off the trigger. Point your muzzle at the deck.”) It wasn’t fair of me to expect cosplayers to know that, but after 4 days of seeing a gun swinging my way out of my peripheral vision, I finally lost it.
It’s what I do folks — harness my irrational anxieties to make your con going experience safer. Sort of.
Anyway, incredible time. If I die tomorrow, I did this. A very big “this” indeed.
Next up, London to promote the UK edition of CONTROL POINT! More details on that very soon!