Posted August 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm
This year I had the pleasure of attending SDCC through the Deviant Art Comic-Con Scholarship contest. It was my first time attending any comic convention, so I have to say that to get straight to one of the huge ones was grand indeed. Not only was it my first comic convention but it was also my first visit to the US, as well as my first time winning anything substantial. A lot of first time experiences in one neat package, it was a bit overwhelming to tell the truth. My first impression of America, not counting the excessive amount of Hollywood movies I've watched, got me a bit worried. I landed at the JFK airport in New York and every employee I talked to had a pretty hostile and rude attitude towards the travellers. An attitude that if in Sweden (where I'm from) would've earned them a ticket to the land of unemployment. My worries weren't warranted however, once I landed in San Diego the attitude changed to very polite and nice. So I don't know If it was a New York cultural thing or if I was just unlucky. Maybe some of you guys can shed some light on that for me. OK, on to the actual convention. I've attended European game conventions before and I was half expecting the same atmosphere of "free-stuff-frenzy" amongst the visitors at SDCC. I was pretty surprised to find that generally everything was very calm and relaxed. Though, packed to the brim! At times it took me 30 minutes to walk from one end of the exhibition hall to the other. Luckily there are a lot of neat stuff to look at as you try to reach your destinations. I likely would've bought a ton of stuff If I hadn't been so concerned about travelling the 30 hours back home with a heavy pack. But I did find out about a bunch of cool comics, books, games, authors and artists that I previously didn't know about, And I intend to check them out and buy stuff from now when I am back home again. One of them being Walter Ostlie and his graphic novel "Cubicles" which my last blog post was about. The Deviant Art staff made me feel very welcome at SDCC, they where fun to talk with and were genuinely nice people. They provided me with a table in their section of Artist Alley, where I showed of a few 2gag strips. Though, having no permit to sell I didn't spend very much time at the table. Didn't matter though, It was just way too much to see on the convention floor anyway. With a convention filled with cool stuff and awesome people, for me the best experience was to meet Kris Straub, Scott Kurtz, Brad Guigar and David Kellett, and I got them to sign my copy of "How To Do Webcomics". Living as geographically challenged as I do, I never thought I'd get to see that day! These were only a few of the names I got to meet or see at the convention however. For instance it was fun to see Dean Yeagle there, the man behind some of my favourite pin-up art. Danielle Corsetto with the webcomic Girls With Slignshots. And of course Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, the men behind Penny-Arcade. Those are the things I was the most interested in, but in the Hollywood side of affairs, I got to see the main cast of True Blood as well. I could write extensively about the huge parts, like DC and Marvel, but I think it's a bit redundant. Traversing the floor, I did however come across another smaller publisher called Red5 Comics that you may or may not have heard of. Red5 has a relatively small but nice looking collection of graphic novels under it's name, the most famous of which is Atomic Robo. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't already. I haven't read all their comics, but I plan to check most of them out. All of their titles can be found at Comixology. The whole comic-con experience left me very inspired and humbled, something not even the nightmarish trip back home could ruin. If you want to know about my trip back home, just keep reading. Like the heavy turbulence back to Sweden, leaving me with no sleep wasn't bad enough, once I got back after two eight hour long flights, all the trains from Stockholm to my town where cancelled, the only option was to grab a bus that would depart five hours later. But the fun didn't end there. When finally moving again, the bus breaks down and we had to spend 3 hours on the highway until a replacement bus would pick us up, all with the continued promise that it would only be "10 more minutes". At this point I hadn't slept for almost 30 hours, so in my defense, the happy fantasies about me initiating a murder spree didn't truly testify to the general state of my mental health. Technically It took less time crossing the Atlantic ocean than to travel the 55 miles from Stockholm to my apartment. Summed up, I spent 60 hours travelling compared to the 48 hours spent in San Diego. And I still consider it a worth while experience and can't wait to do it again. Even if I have to pay for it myself next time!