Ryan came down from LA this morning, and we spent the day wandering around the con. I was really looking forward to hanging out with him and getting our geek on, but I think we were both disappointed with the day.
It was sold out today, so by two in the afternoon, it was incredibly difficult to walk around and enjoy the main floor: if you wanted to stop and look at something, there were people pushing around you. If you wanted to get somewhere in less than a year, there were all these damn people stopping in the aisle to look at things.
We did have some good times, though, including Ryan's first ever con food experience.
"You haven't really been to a con," I said, "until you've paid too much for food you really don't want, but feel compelled to eat so you don't die."
"Mission accomplished," he said.
I finally got to meet Neil Gaiman in person today, and thank him properly for writing the introduction to Just A Geek. After standing near him for about thirty minutes today, surrounded by people who love and admire him to an extreme that borders on worship and mania, I think I know what it must have been like to be close to the Beatles in 1969.
"I feel like I'm standing next to John Lennon," I said to one of his friends who was there to keep him sane, which could not have been an easy feat; the attention he got would have made any mortal absolutely crazy.
I can't quite find the words right now to express how patient, kind, and generous Neil in with his time and energy, and how impressive it was to me. Every single person who got close to him treated him like he was a god, and he took time for every single one of them, even when it was clear to me that he was exhausted. When I thanked him, he told me to hang around for a moment after he was done so we could talk, but I saw how wiped out he was, and knew that he still had other panels and signings to do, so I thought it was better to sneak away and leave him to what little bit of peace he could get before the mob started following him with shoes and gourds again.
I gave Warren Ellis a couple of Sharpies from my backpack when there weren't any available for him at his signing this afternoon. It was a pretty cool moment.
Biggest surprise of the day? I didn't buy a single thing except one fifty-cent button of zombie jesus. There are some awesome T-shirts here, but the company selling them wants $35 for 2 of them. Are they out of their fucking mind? $10 for 1, maybe, but $17.50? And $85 for 2 hoodies? What planet does this company live on? It must be the "we have three booths at Comic-Con so we're charging you up the ass" planet. How about you get none of my money, then? Does none work for you? I'll give it to indie designers who live on planet Earth, thank you.
Tomorrow is going to be insane. When I talked with Scott Kurtz today, I could tell that he was more than a little freaked out about the record-breaking crowds they are expecting tomorrow. I must admit that I'm right there with him.
Ryan and I had dinner with Luis, my editor from Tokyo Pop, and we got to nerd out about comics and manga. That was totally cool.
Overall, it was a good day, though I didn't get the ultra-geek-bonding day with Ryan that I'd hoped for, which left me feeling sad. I think that's just a consequence of Comic-Con's overwhelming size and the massive crowds that were everywhere.
We did count nearly-naked cosplay babes together, though. If that's not geeky father/son bonding, I don't know what is.
We stopped at 7, for those of you scoring at home.