The final day of San Diego Con 2009 was the longest day of the show for me. I haven't stuck around on Sunday before, and after doing it once, I don't think I'd do it again. Not that there weren't some high points, but in general? Huge pain in the ass.
I woke up late (which in San Diego translates as 8 AM. That sound you hear is the laughter of my friends and family, who know that I usually don't wake up before 11 AM at home - usually after) and decided to get on the Internet for a bit before going down to the convention hall. Packed up my bags, got ready to go, and then checked in on Faceook, Twitter, email, etc. This meant foregoing the Spectacular Spider-Man panel, but I figured I probably wouldn't be able to get into the room anyway.
So I went over to Anthony's Fishette at around 10:15 to grab a lunch of clam chowder, and then headed out to the convention center. I had really intended to see either the Comics & Graphic Novels For All Ages panel or the Kids Write Comics panel, but a variety of things cropped up and I couldn't make the time work. I did, however, get to say hi to Carla and Lance Hoffman, which was something I didn't think I'd get a chance to do, and also got to check in and do some graphic novel recommending with Alan Sepinwall. I'd always rather catch up with Internet friends in person rather than do almost anything else at Comicon, so I don't regret the trade-off.
After that, I picked up my sketch from Chris Giarrusso for Katy's sketchbook, went and got her sketch from Thom Zahler (I would have gotten in trouble if I hadn't gotten it, and it's beautiful, she's going to love it) and then just kind of wandered for a while. Bought Dustin Nguyen's Batman Beyond print and thanked him for helping out when I was a sponsor of Project: Rooftop's Batman contest, then bought Ryan Kelly's X-Women print. I left these prints and my poster tube in my friend Paul Benjamin's room, but hopefully he's bringing it with him to the airport.
Went out to dinner at The Field with Paul Benjamin and Alan Porter, which was a delight, and we helped Paul brainstorm off the gem of his *genius* idea for one of my favorite obscure Marvel characters. It was a lot of fun. Oh, and I got the "Boxty Sampler" at The Field, which was delicious but way too much food. I definitely liked the Rasher and Cheese Boxty best.
The girl next to us, part of a couple, asked where we were from, and when we told her Austin, she said something like "I thought so. You're too nice to be from L.A." We thought that was kind of hilarious, and had lovely chat with her and her boyfriend, and found out they were thinking of moving to Austin. Exchanged some info in case they needed any help with the move.
Oh, also at The Field? Irish folk dancing on the bar to various comic/geek songs, like the Imperial March, with the girls and guy dressed up in comic book/videogame t-shirts. It was a lot of fun, and maybe my favorite meal of the convention.
Of course, as we were getting ready to pay, the power went out. It was kind of dark and the A/C very noticeably had shut down. I felt really bad for the folks working there, but our hard-working waitress got our bill divided amongst our three credit cards manually, and we headed back to the Hyatt.
Or rather, Alan and Paul did, I went to get my luggage so I could leave in in their room, which is how I managed to lose my poster tube.
Short version of the night is that I wound up going out to La Puerta for their half-price drinks night with the Spill crew, Geoff Sebesta and Tom Galloway. Long version? Ask me in person and I'll tell you a little story.
Walked a few miles with Geoff out to his place, long walk but it was a nice night, crashed out on his couch, woke up early (8 AM) and headed to the airport via bus. Figured I'd check my luggage, hang out and write using wi-fi, maybe head back into town to meet up with Paul and grab a meal before we both headed back to the airport.
Except that apparently Southwest only checks baggage two hours before a flight, and my flight wasn't until 2:45. And then some kind of fire somewhere outside or in the terminal caused them to evacuate my portion of the airport. After some hassles, though, I managed to settle into the Yan-Can asian restaurant near a power outlet and fire up the wi-fi, and catch up on various things, including writing this Con report.
It was, overall, a pretty good Con. Got to spend some time with friends I rarely see, made a couple good plans for store events with some creators, met Felicia Day (!), Jim Shooter (!!) and some of the cast of Chuck (!!!), picked up a few sketchbooks and graphic novels (much more restrained this year, though) saw a few good panels and had some good meals.
I also experienced huge frustration with the lines and the crowds and occasional dick behavior, and generally realized that when I'm not reviewing, the Con is a very different experience. It was fun, but it was expensive and a bit of a hassle, and I think that on balance, it's probably time to give it a rest for a year or two. I've been dying to go to Heroes Con, and it really sounds like I missed a great one in 2009. Of course, I've been saying for the past two or three years that I'm going to skip San Diego next year, and I always change my mind, so we'll see what happens.