My San Diego Comic Con 2022
I survived San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) 2022! How’d I do it? By flying in Wednesday and flying out Friday. Which gave me one day to do panels, and even that was a lot.
(Mark Evanier was complaining that people don’t call it Comic-Con International: San Diego, which is its proper name, and wondered why they still use the old name. For the same reason Batgirl is back again: traditional comic fans love nostalgia and hate change. And I include myself there, because I wanted to go to the show because it had been so long since I’d been.)
I do miss walking around the show floor and discovering things, but I used my limited energy on meeting up with some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Given how long the lines were — getting a pro badge took over an hour, which is why I was thankful to be in line with people I wanted to catch up with, and getting into Preview Night on Wednesday took 20 minutes and then they told us we were in the wrong line — if you aren’t twenty-something and full of energy, you have to carefully choose what you are able to do, since it takes forever to get anywhere.
So, a few high points.
Last time I went to this particular show was 2003 or 2005, something like that. People asked how it had changed, but it hadn’t, that I’d noticed. It was still a convention, with more to do and see than anyone could handle.
My big celebrity sighting happened on the flight out, as I sat next to Devan Chandler Long, who you may recognize as the Viking on Ghosts or Flex Mentallo on Doom Patrol. We had a lovely chat.
I went to the Ghosts installation, set up as “Pete’s Friend Zone”, but didn’t stay long because of the heat. (Plus, I already watch the show, so I didn’t need the exposure.) There were some archery targets and a Tarot card reader, in keeping with the theme. Prizes included a bandana and a fake arrow through the neck. (I kept thinking of Steve Martin, showing my age.)
You want to go to con with friends. That’s the best part. So, for example, when you see the intrepid Thom Zahler and then realize hours before you’re due to leave that you forgot to buy a copy of his latest, Love and Capes in the Time of Covid, Brigid Alverson gives you her version so you can keep the series complete. Thanks, Brigid! It’s a good read.
Heidi MacDonald got me into the Scholastic party, which seemed a great time to catch up. I was thrilled to get to say hi to Raina Telgemeier, for instance — until a couple of hours later, she tweeted she’d tested positive for Covid. That might be how I got it at the show. I tested negative at-home twice before a PCR test confirmed it (while I was sick the whole time). I’ve come to think that it’s not the con that’s the danger, but the parties and meals.
Before that, though, we had the Doctor Who Comics panel that was the reason I’d come, and it went well, I thought. Somewhere between 60-80 people and some great stories and writing tips from Dan Slott and Jody Houser. They had plenty to say, even with not many audience questions.
Another high point came about because of the panel. Brigid was doing introductions. “Dan Slott,” she says. Applause. “Jody Houser.” Applause. “Johanna Draper Carlson.” One person clapped. I thought to myself, “cool, I have a fan.” Turns out that it was old friend and Lego customizer David Oakes. We caught up after, and spent a bit of time getting a bite.
One of the many secrets of comic-cons is that, if you’re working the show, you don’t see the show. I wanted to see a panel that came before the one I was moderating, but I couldn’t guarantee getting in and getting out and getting across the entire building in time. Others who were writing about panels spent most of their time in the press room.
Acquisitions: my single purchase — see previous comment about no time to walk the floor — was a copy of the Buckaroo Banzai soundtrack. But Deb Aoki brought me a couple of super-cool things she found on her travels, a Moriarty the Patriot promotional bag and a French manga version of Sherlock Holmes. I had a wonderful time remembering more French than I thought, translating on the fly cause I knew the stories.
You can hear me tell some of these same stories as part of Heidi’s Four Women in a Hotel Room podcast. I’m on days one and two.
So, I survived, and I’m now recovered from Covid, and given that next year is the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, I’ll probably even come back.