Last month, our GoComics team went into San Diego Comic-Con on a mission. Like the classic 80's show (and beleaguered movie remake) "Fame," "they're gonna remember our name." From our booth, creator signings, street teams with hundreds of free items daily to social media sharing the sights and news with the world, we wanted people to get to know GoComics as well as they know the wonderful comics that we represent.
While GoComics/Universal Uclick has been going to SDCC since 2004, this was my first time going to Comic-Con with the company. In my previous work life, I was there the past two years, but with a much different experience. You see, I was at Comic-Con, but with a view from afar. I worked in a partnership with a major entertainment magazine and website, interacting with actors and filmmakers to publicize their films and their in-theater releases. It made for some interesting stories and positive work experiences, but I left feeling like I hadn't yet connected with the "real" Comic-Con audience.
A testament to that is when I walked through the convention center on the first full day in 2011, a costumed guy with a megaphone yelled out to the audience when I passed: "He isn't a real geek! Look at him. He's a nerd-postor!" I quickly learned that Kenneth Cole isn't the preferred attire for Comic-Con.
This year, being on the floor and hosting at our booth every day, I learned:
-- Wear comfortable shoes. It's a must. Concrete floors aren't forgiving and people will step on your feet. Forgive them. It's not personal.
-- It pays to be tall. The rumblings are true about the showering habits (or lack thereof) at Comic-Con. Let's just say that the fresh air is higher up.
-- Bill Amend, creator of FoxTrot, is a rock star at Comic-Con. People of every make and model stopped by, asking if he was there, what's he like and if I knew him. His characters really resonate with this group.
-- If you're really polite, anyone will let you take their picture. Some costumes/"cosplay" is better than some small-budget movies.
-- Be cool with the security that mans the gates. They can make or break your experience.
-- Ain't no party like a Comic-Con party, 'cause a Comic-Con party don't stop.
-- You truly never know who you'll see walking by you. Within a few hours, Matt Groening (The Simpsons creator), Anthony Bourdain and actors Thomas Jane (Spawn, HBO's Hung & 61*) and Lou Ferrigno were within an arm's reach.
Check out our entire Comic-Con experience in photos on our Tumblr: http://gocomics.tumblr.com.
Our next big event will be at New York Comic-Con in October. We'll report back on the differences and our preparation to head to the East Coast from the mighty Midwest.