Special thanks to Patrick Haney for writing this article about his first experience at Comic Con. He had a blast this year and I really enjoyed getting to know him. Another SDCC convert is born:
For many of you, SDCC 2011 was just another installment in your Comic Con franchise, but for me, this was my SDCC origin story. Welcomed into the fold of the famed ‘CONtourage’, I battled the long lines and mediocre panels alongside Tony, Jeff, Johnny and the rest of the gang. So for you that have always longed to check Comic Con off your bucket list, here is a review of the best that SDCC had to offer this newbie. Let the vicarious living begin:
To be completely honest, I went into my first Con with low expectations of how many famous faces I would see to defend my inner child from being disappointed (he’s a crier, and nobody wants to see that). However, I have to admit that all of my expectations were exceeded. I shook hands and geeked out all over Jim Lee, Zachary Levi, Adam Baldwin, Aziz Ansari, Blaire Butler, Olivia Munn, Taryn Manning, Diedrich Bader, Gil Gerard and Judah Friedlander. And those were just the celebs kind enough to acknowledge my presence. The list of famous faces I saw at events, signings and panels would go on for a parsec.
One of those celebrities that graced an event I attended was none other than the First Avenger himself, Chris Evans. Making a “surprise” appearance that everyone expected, Chris showed up with an entourage of USO girls to say a few words before the country’s first showing of Captain America. During the movie the crowd cheered and clapped and nobody had to explain why people were laughing at the Stan Lee cameo to the person sitting next to them (I love you, babe). Even without Mr. Evans, seeing the best comic book movie of the summer with a Comic Con crowd would have made this one of the highlights of the weekend.
And like me, I’m sure many of you have sat around with your friends surrounded by a library of comic books inventing new characters and writing your own stories. Maybe it was as a kid, and maybe it was last week, but we’ve all been there. Yet last weekend I had the great pleasure of seeing my grade school buddy, Brent Peeples (@peeplesart), showcase his own talents in Artist Alley. With an Image title on the way and a cameo on G4, it was finally my chance to say, “Hey, I know that guy,” and to see a childhood dream come true.
Now you may be expecting to hear about the panels or the swag or the cosplay, and while these were great I feel like the bulk of Comic Con coverage has done these items justice. What you’re really missing from most stories is the camaraderie that is built each year inside those convention walls. I went to Comic Con 2011 a noob, but I left a member of the CONtourage. I became a part of a league of above average gentlemen, and I hope to be standing shoulder to shoulder with them all in outrageous lines soon again.
You can follow Patrick at @PrHaney