I was in San Diego last week to cover my first press event – San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) – and I couldn’t be more thankful for the trip. I had an idea of what the convention would be like, but I was blown away by my experiences. I thought I’d meet some of my Marvel Report co-workers and maybe have dinner, but I never thought I’d share such cool experiences and bond with them. It was a joy and an honor to have spent so much time with this talented group of people. Here’s what SDCC means to me:
Whether we were walking the exhibition floor, waiting in line, eating dinner, partying on hotel rooftop VIP parties, interviewing TV or movie stars, or having our collective minds blown at Hall H on Saturday, the core of my SDCC experience was with the people, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. It’s a funny thing to think about because I’ve always felt that it’s not possible to bond with people in such a short amount of time, but I was proven wrong, for sure, and I’m thankful for that.
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with immense amount of people, the lights, and awesome cosplays grabbing your attention at every turn, it was important to me to absorb as much of it in as possible. Sometimes, that meant taking the time to compliment an awesome cosplay. Sometimes that meant asking a the parents of a young little girl cosplaying as Rey if I could take her picture because she was just the cutest thing, ever. Sometimes that meant stopping for a second, looking around, and realizing what a privilege it was to be at such a cool event.
The Marvel Report is a pretty decent-sized team of incredibly talented writers, podcasters, and Marvel-lovers, so I was a bit anxious during my first day about how and if we would all get along. I first met with Shawn and Gavin Richter for lunch and felt like I was sitting with celebrities because everyone kept asking, “is that Kid Coulson?” It was fun just to be able to spend a short time with them just before the chaos of the con. My anxieties about the lack of chemistry with my TMR friends was thrown out the window, and my SDCC experience was highlighted by the people I spent most of my time with. The photo above shows us with our collective minds blown after spending over 24 hours waiting to get into Hall H on Saturday and then live-tweeting the Marvel panel.
Our group was shown so much favor over the week in terms of interviewing the best casts, randomly winning exclusive Captain America shields, or getting awesome seats in Hall H, my first SDCC set the bar very, very high. So, after everyone left and went their separate ways on Sunday, I found myself in a rush of emotion. On Saturday, it was excitement and euphoria. On Sunday, it was sadness. Sadness not that my time at the con was over, but because I had to see my friends go until next time.
My flight then got cancelled and that made me feel even worse. I was ready to go home and process everything. Instead the airline put me in a hotel for the night so I took advantage of that and walked around the con area in the Gaslamp that was emptied out – a shocking juxtaposition from the hoard of people from the previous few days. I think that walk helped me, though. It gave me time to sort of take in everything from the last few days and time to sit by the waterfront, watch the sunset, and reflect on the immense sense of gratitude I was feeling.
What does SDCC mean to me now that I’ve experienced it first-hand? Fellow TMR Reporter Carolyn Poddig wrote a piece highlighting all of us TMR reporters, and one of the questions she asked us was, “What does SDCC mean to you?” I didn’t know how to answer that, but now I do. SDCC means being surrounded by so many like-minded people. It means seeing so much creativity and self-expression in terms of art and cosplays. It means finding your geek tribe or nerd herd. It means bonding with people you didn’t expect to bond with. It means having 6500 minds collectively blown in Hall H. It means leaving with an immense sense of not only gratitude, but also in validation – validation in my skills as a journalist, validation that I’m not entirely alone in my set of interests and love for pop culture, and validation that my thoughts, words, and opinions have value.
See you next year, SDCC.