Jul 28, 2011

A Writer's Guide to Comic Con

Hello All!

I'm back from Comic Con, and it was tons of fun.  But really? It's boring if I talk about Comic Con.  Better to hear from one of our lovely clients, who can describe it much better than me (writer and all).  Merrie Destefano is the talented author behind FEAST and AFTERLIFE.  You can read more about these books and buy them here.  You can also read more about Merrie at her website.  But wait to do all that.  First read her blog post about the Con!

The Road to Comic Con

The road to Comic Con is paved with superheroes, movie stars and cartoon characters. For someone like me—who spends 24/7 immersed in a world of sci fi and fantasy—it’s a tiny bit like heaven. Every year I get to spend 4 days with fellow geeks and nerds. And for once in our lives, we’re actually the cool kids in the crowd. Nobody laughed at the Viking-sized guy whose centaur costume had fully-functional, motorized hind legs. Instead, we stood in awe. Whether you came as a professional, like I did, or as a participant, there’s always plenty of time to play fan girl (or boy).

If you’ve never been to Comic Con, here are a few of my favorite things:

1. The author panels:
Panel subjects range from Magic & Monsters to Immortality: An Obsession With Youth to Writing the Apocalypse. This year’s authors included Kim Harrison, Richard Kadrey, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Carrie Vaughn and more. It was a great opportunity to hear your favorite authors talk about their books and their creative process. On top of that, there was almost always a book signing right after the panel. This year, I spoke on the No Damsels in Distress panel with Marie Lu, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Carrie Vaughn, Kathy Reichs, Chloe Neill and Jeanne Stein. It was a lot of fun, especially once the audience started asking questions.

2. The movie star / TV star panels:
Morning to night, the Comic Con universe is star-studded. Iconic figures from film and television fill the panels, with topics that range from existing TV shows like Big Bang Theory and Vampire Diaries to movies-in-production like Snow White And The Huntsman and (last year’s) Cowboys And Aliens. Fans sometimes wait in line for hours to get in to the panel they want. Here’s a trick I learned last year: If you want to see a really popular panel (like Vampire Diaries), get in line for the event held an hour earlier in the same hall. You can stay in the hall for as many events as you want, plus you can move up to better seats between events.

3. The costumes:
This is one of the few times in your life when you can dress like a kid and get away with it. At Comic Con, every day is Halloween and no costume is too outrageous or silly. Granted, some of them look pretty uncomfortable—like the Spiderman full-body suit that even covers your face—but I’ve never seen anybody complain. Well, okay, I did see a Disney princess get irritated when a guy standing behind her on the escalator trampled on her gown. But in reality, she did a good job of staying in character and barely batted a glittering eyelash. My favorite costume this year was a zombie superman that I saw at the Marriott. Cool note: People weren’t the only ones who got dressed up. The Marriott dressed up too. Take a look at the elevator doors below.

4. The freebies:
There’s almost no end to all the swag you can find at Comic Con. From signed movie posters to ARCs to tote bags, you’re going to be tempted to take it all. Just remember, you also have to carry it all and you won’t get to sit down very often. Comic Con is a standing room only event, where crowds swarm from one end of the convention center to the other—but they almost never stop and they rarely sit down. There just aren’t enough chairs. So, I waited until the last day to gather up my swag and I focused almost entirely on books. ARCs I snagged include: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee, Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts and Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (I’ve already started reading!)

5. The Comic Con bag:
Nothing compares to the amazing Comic Con bag, given freely when you register at the entrance and get your badge. One side of the bag displays a popular television show like Fringe or Vampire Diaries or Big Bang Theory, and the bag can hold an unbelievable amount of swag. This year’s bag was phenomenal—it could be used as a super-long tote bag or it could be configured into two different styles of backpack or it could be folded in half to look like a woman’s handbag. I’m definitely keeping my bag and have already used it for errands.

Was Comic Con fun, exhausting, like an adventure to another world? Yes. Will I go again next year? You better believe it! This is one event I don’t want to miss.


Elizabeth Briggs said...

I was at her panel, and it was awesome!

Merrie Destefano said...

Awww! Elizabeth, that is so sweet! I'm really glad you enjoyed the panel!! =)

Najela said...

I really miss going to comic con. I definitely want to go next year. I've never been lucky enough to go for the four full days,but I volunteered and got in for free and the second I volunteered they didn't even need us so we basically just got in for free. I can't wait to go next year!

m. christine weber said...

Okay, I’m totally drooling. *kicks self for not attending* And here I had my steampunk outfit almost finished too—just needed to add a few essential touches, such as a quality parasol (can’t seem to find one with pepper spray inside, which seems like a very cool lady-weapon) and my throwing knives (now where did I set those down at?).

I’m glad you gals had fun. Loved all your pics, Merrie!

And that Spidey costume is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

It looks even more wonderful than I imagined! So glad you enjoyed yourself, and welcome to the NCLit family, Merrie!