Monday, April 6, 2009

Here Comes Comic-Con .....

If you know me, you know I love summer in San Diego. That's when Comic-Con comes to town, right around the end of July.

I'm already getting all googley over it and it's still 3+ months distant.

Comic-Con is all about the panels and the people and the events and the surprises and the learning and the costumes and the knowledge and the excitement. I have contacts there I've done business with. I have friends there I bump into. I have acquaintances there I see only during Comic-Con. I look forward to each and every aspect of the event, crowds be damned.

But it's the interaction with everyone - goobers and industry people alike - that turns my crank and gets the blood flowing. It's a kick to see a favorite waiting in the wings or someone you didn't expect to be there right in your vicinity as you turn around. One of the biggest thrills for me of a Comic-Con past was a sit down discussion I had with Mark Mothersbaugh of the band DEVO. He was sitting all by his lonesome at a signing table with no one around him. No one knew who he was. I got the privilege of monopolizing an hour of his time - of which he was thrilled to oblige - and converse non-stop about music and art and people in general. What a treat.

Yep. It's the interaction that really makes the event for me.

Here's a sample from last year. I hope you enjoy.


A buddy of mine and I were headed for the upper levels of the San Diego Convention Center one afternoon and decided to take the elevator rather than the escalators filled with every kind of freak and weirdo imaginable.

As the elevator *dinged* and the doors parted, a hulking, ominous figure gave us reason to pause before entering.

It was none other than the Dark Lord Of The Sith
Darth Vader himself. (Well ... someone dressed as Darth Vader. If it really was Darth Vader, he wouldn't've put up with the shenanigans and monkey business we foisted upon him.)

My buddy and I: We see an opportunity, we pounce on it.

Darth was certainly foreboding. Dressed completely in black (well ... DUH), he was all of seven feet tall, oozed darkness and inspired nothing less than tail tucked 'tween leggedness. He was breathing just as in the films, too, with that sucking/hissing sound. Labored breath was the only thing you heard in that elevator and, I must admit, it was effective. We both walked in. I raised my hand in greeting.

"Annie! What's happenin' dude ... ?!?" I asked gleefully. As we turned around to face the door, my buddy jabbed me in the ribs with his elbow and said under his breath (but loud enough for "Darth" to hear): "Are you an idiot?!? Call him
Lord Vader, you dipstick!"

I was doubled over in pain by my friend's jab, but I managed to turn painfully and apologize. "Sorry about that, An .... I mean, Lord Vader. No harm, no foul ... s'aight?"

He just breathed at me and didn't say a word.

I turned, looked at my friend and shrugged. The elevator doors closed and we began rising.

Three seconds into the ride, the elevator came to a stop. A mere five feet off the ground.

"What the ... ???" I mumbled. I turned to Darth: "I said I was sorry! Come on! Get this thing moving, Bub. I have a panel to attend."

Darth stood there looking down at me and sucked air.

I looked at my friend. "Guess it's not him that stopped the elevator after all, eh? I mean, if it was, he could get it goin' again. Either that or we'd be dead already from insulting 'His Lordship'."

My friend turned around and faced Darth. "Hey, do us a Sithy kinda trick, will you, Darth? Make a coin disappear or detach your thumb or sumpin' ...."

Darth hissed in and out, but said not a word.

"Kinda stuffy in here, ain't it?" I muttered in my friend's ear, but within earshot of Darth. "Hey ... you feel anything? Feels kinda dark ... heavy. I wonder if a storm's comin' in."

My friend looked out the glass windows of the elevator to see if anyone noticed it was stuck and exclaimed: "I have a great idea! I'm hankerin' for a burrito. You wanna burrito? Darth: You in? A burrito'd go down good right about now. We could head over to that busy Mexican joint at the Gaslamp, you know the one with the waiting list? With Lord Vader in tow, I betcha we'd get a seat in no time! I'll even buy!"

I was on board. "Zounds! Great thought!" I turned back to Darth. "Whaddya say, Your Worship? You down with Mexican? That and a limed up Tecate trips my trigger!"

Darth sighed. And sucked wind.

"Doesn't like Mexican, I guess," I whispered to my friend.

"You can't blame him," he replied. "It must be hell trying to get outta them clothes when the burrito kicks in, if you know what I mean."

I nodded in understanding. We let the lunch date drop.

"Hey, Darth," I queried: "Can't you do anything about this stuck elevator? Mind meld with it or laser blast it or sumpin'?"

I received yet another elbow in the rib for that one. "Goofus! Mind melding is a Star Trek thing, not Star Wars! When are you going to get your stuff straight? Way to piss Darth off. I'm sure his Lordship doesn't appreciate that, y'know ..."

"Sorry, Darth," I mumbled. "But seriously - can't you do anything about the elevator?"

More heavy breathing.

Suddenly, someone saw us and realized we were stuck. And stuck with Darth inside, no less. People started pointing. I took the cue and began choking myself as if Darth were using The Force to strangle me. My friend started screaming at the people for help, pointing at me and pointing at Vader. We were drawing a crowd.

Suddenly, the elevator jolted and we began descending.

We continued our act as the doors opened. We tumbled out the door, I collapsed in a heap on the ground, my friend bending over me to comfort my "attack" from Vader.

"Don't go in there!" he yelled. "Vader's trying to kill us! Someone get help! Security!"

Darth Vader walked out of the elevator and stepped over us with all the swagger of the villain he was .....

..... and was immediately accosted by a bunch of fanboys waiting with cameras.

....................... Ruprecht ( STOP )


  1. That is a fantastic story. I had never heard of comic con before, it sounds like a lot of fun. I hope July comes quickly for you.

  2. OMG that is made of AWESOME Rupr!!!! I love it!!!! That sort of stuff is what makes an event an EVENT!