I agree with my compatriot that Preview Night demonstrates both the positives and negatives of Comic-Con. It’s heavily commercialized, overmarketed, overtargeted, and overcrowded–and yet the entire exercise arises from celebrating the creativity, imagination and skill of hundreds if not thousands of creators.
So I stood in line at Toynami for forty minutes, cursing every otaku soul in front of me, as well as my friend for requesting a skeleton pony plush. I raced through swarming, crushing crowds of gawkers and slowpokes and probably some genuinely disabled people, frustrated at every turn. And I passed a thousand thousand people hawking overpriced wares, pumping their Kickstarters, and fleecing nerds with carefully crafted pandering.
But I also got to express real fandom love to some of the best people working in comics today–Chris Hastings (Dr. McNinja), Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), and Kazu Kibuishi (the Amulet series). I had my finger pricked so a machine could tell me an enigmatic clue to the circumstances of my own death: the word “luge.” I saw a pirate ship and a zombie-infested prison and an Ice King’s lair lovingly constructed so that ordinary people could walk through it and feel part of something extraordinary.
And yes, I got a lot of awesome loot. There’ll be a loot list after Comic-Con is over. But for now, it’s not about the stuff, the cash, or the crowds: it’s about the immense human effort that makes the impossible and the unbelievable a concrete and beautiful reality–something I can reach out and touch as easily as shaking the hands of my heroes.
The next four days will be this, only more so. Can’t wait.