My First Time: A Geek’s Tale by Bilbo Baggins Davann Srey
It was a Saturday morning. I sat in front of the computer constantly refreshing the web browser to make sure I was one of the first people to purchase a badge for San Diego Comic-Con. I selected the days (Thursday and Saturday), entered my information, and got the message thanking me for my purchase. It took me over 2 hours. I was finally going to SDCC.
I’m a long time geek. I have two older brothers who read and collected comic books and cards. As a kid coming home from school, the TV would start off with Spider-Man on Fox Kids then switch over to Kids WB for Batman/Superman. Cons, however, is fairly new. My first Con was the Long Beach Comic Con back in ’09. After that, I was hooked. I was searching for the next Southern California comic convention. I found it at Wizard World’s Anaheim Comic Con. Attending all these smaller conventions through the years was sort of preparing me for something bigger down the line. In the Summer of 2011, I filled up my car and headed south to San Diego.
I was in awe when I arrived downtown. I was greeted with huge banners draping the sides of buildings and the size of the exhibit hall was something I’ve never seen before. It was amazing. After a few hours though, I was already bored. It was crowded. You can barely walk. Take a picture of a cosplayer and people would walk in front of your shot or a security guard would tell you to keep on moving. Chris Evans was taking a long time to arrive at the Marvel booth. Data connection on my phone was terrible. I replied to tweets and Facebook comments hours later. Everything negative I read about SDCC was unfolding right before my four eyes. I started to have second thoughts about coming again on Saturday.
I decided to go again on Saturday. Bought the ticket, might as well. This time I had my friends’ cell phone numbers. Prior to this, my only contact with them was through Facebook and Twitter. I hung out with them and my feelings about SDCC completely changed. I had no idea there was so much more going on outside of the Convention Center. I played Street Fighter X Tekken and got a free shirt. A Shark Week bag was given to me from Discovery a few blocks away. I discovered Nerd HQ. I got a free shirt from House IGN that says “Game of PWNs.” As a PC gamer and AMD fanboy, I still rock that shirt. The highlight of my “first time” experience was meeting and hanging out with buddies, Jose (@zumspdr08) and Martin (@KryptoKid509), of Fanboy Headquarters. They rescued me from SDCC hell. In 2012, I roomed up with them. I only see these guys in person at Cons and there’s already a sense of trust between us. They’re my SDCC heroes and I am fortunate to have them as friends.