Monday, July 14, 2008

E3 what? Scheduling my daily Comic-Con agenda.

Oh the frustration!

I've never been to San Diego Comic-Con before, (although I did go to Wonder Con for a few hours after GDC this year back in February, but that really doesn't count). From what I've heard about Comic-Con though, the show is an exhausting mess of uber Geekery unmatched by the shear popularity of the event. The 4-day multi-genre convention is on a completely different level from anything else out there, that is quite different from PAX, and not even comparable to the typical "industry specific" conferences that I've attended in the past. With several years of GDC, E3, and even PAX, under my belt, I'd say it's about time for me to head on over to the geekiest place on earth, to experience what those have called "Heaven on Earth for the Geek", where fans can be fans, and up and coming talent can get close to their idols, and inspirations, while dropping a load of cash on a wide array of merchandise; toys, comics, autographs, photographs, books, art, animation, clothing, movies, and more.

With only a little over a week away before one of the most exciting conventions gets underway, it's time to start finalizing the plan of attack. Because if it's one thing that I've learned from being an avid convention goer, it's that it's impossible to get to everything on the schedule, so you have to plan accordingly, and Comic-Con is no exception.

Unlike other conventions though, I've noticed that the Comic-Con 2008 lineup is looking very tight, and planning the agenda is kind of frustrating the hell out of me. There's so much I would like to attend, but the timing of each of these events are either happening at the same time, or overlapping significantly.

For example on Saturday, Glen Murakami one of my favorite animation producers, and character designers of the Warner Bros. animated Superman, Batman Beyond, Justice League, and Teen Titans series, is giving a talk at 10:15-11:15, while the entire cast of Heroes will be giving a Q&A first look at "Villains" at 10:45-11:45. To make things even worse, the great Mike Mignola MIKE "HELLBOY" MIGNOLA, mastermind behind Hellboy, is on stage 11:00-12:00 talking about his latest works.

On Friday, 1:00-2:00 there's a Q&A with Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, and director Makoto Kamiya, who introduce Resident Evil: Degeneration, the full-length CG film. Then Joss Whedon gives a talk at 1:30-2:30 showing never-before-seen clips from his new short film, discusses Buffy Season Eight, and the upcoming Serenity comic. And at 1:45-2:45, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson, talk about the upcoming Ghostbusters videogame.

And, that's not even an entire days worth of events. Now if this isn't a tough situation for someone who wants to go to all three of these events, I don't know what is. Almost everything on the daily Comic-Con program seems to have this same schedule overlapping issue, making it really hard to pick and choose which ones to go to. Or is it, that I'm interested in too many genres... This program is impossible!

Not only is planning panels, lectures, screenings, and Q&A's a tough job, but taking into account the time spent at the booths for signings, and buyings is also a big big part of Comic-Con. Ragnar, Ashley Wood, Paul Pope, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Bob Dob, Jeff Soto, to name a few of my favorites, are scheduled to be at different booths at certain times, which no doubt conflicts with the daily program of events in my agenda.

It's times like this a wish I had clones.

I've put off attending Comic-Con for the last two years each time my brother invited me to come, and when I finally do get a chance to go, he's no longer here. It hurts, but I made a promise to go.

Originally I had planned on attending the Con with my brother and sister, without any obligations to provide coverage for any media outlets aside from my blog, but since he (as you all know) passed away recently I've decided to take on some work at this year's Con. He would probably be disappointed to hear that rather then having fun at the convention, I'm running around like a headless chicken with a press pass but oh well, he understands my freelance duties. I'm going to be helping to cover Comic-Con for Gamasutra, Game Career Guide, and Tomopop, as well as both my blogs, and I've always enjoyed the energy of covering an event, it's exciting, and rewarding, and it's great to have a purpose beyond just being a convention goer. I think I'll be needed some Red Bull.

View the entire Comic-Con Program HERE.

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