Talk to just about anyone who’s been to Comic Con in the last five years and you will hear the same word crop up: crazy. And it is. And if attending it as a fan is crazy, press is more so. You have to be at a certain place at a certain time, or you don’t get the story. My mantra during Comic Con was, “It’s Comic Con, shit happens.” If Murphy’s Law wasn’t quite in action, it was hovering around my head pretty closely. There were interview cancellations, there were run-ins with security, Friday morning I couldn’t find my badge for half an hour before I left the hotel. You just can’t take it personally, because it’s not just you. This is happening to everyone, to one degree or another.
The other odd thing about going as press is that it opens as many doors as it closes. Yes, you get closer to talent, but at the same time you don’t get the chance to be a fan with them. Not to the same degree. When I was in the roundtable with Mark Hamill, I couldn’t allow myself to say, “Bloody hell, you’re the Joker! Luke Skywalker! The Guyver!” Well, maybe not the last one. He shook my hand, and it wasn’t until half an hour later that it struck me just how big a thing that was for a fan but miniscule for a press opportunity. It’s fairly standard to shake the interviewee’s hand. But…it’s Mark Hamill! Those thoughts were going through my head all week.
Some of my favorite moments of the Con were just fan moments. I got to tell the creators of Tiny Titans how much their little kids book had meant to me, standing in line to get Caroline Skinner’s (Doctor Who producer) autograph, taking funny photos of myself with a statue of Gollum. These are the things I will take away with me. Running into folks I knew in high school or college, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade, that’s huge. Comic Con is crazy, yes, but Comic Con is also an opportunity. You don’t get to do half this stuff anywhere else. There is no other convention in North America like this. So you learn to live with the crazy and look forward to starting the madness all over again next time you return to Never Never Land.