Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fans Unite: Comic-Con 2012

A couple of weekends ago, we set out to experience the ultimate event for pop culture and entertainment: San Diego Comic-Con International!  It was quite a weekend as downtown San Diego was transformed into a mecca of all things cool and sometimes weird.  The sheer number of people walking on the streets was overwhelming, mimicking the busy crosswalks of downtown Tokyo and making driving anywhere near the convention center impossible.

I've always felt that the best way to experience a festival or convention is to work at it, and this time was no different as I secured a position at Zachary Levi's Nerd HQ demoing the upcoming Tomb Raider videogame.  Being an employee of the venue meant that I had "backstage" access which allowed me to rub elbows with the likes of RZA, Lucy Liu, Dave Bautista, Larry King and Dolph Lundgren as they were coming/going from their discussion panels/interviews.

It was interesting to watch the droves of devoted fans, waiting in long lines to attend panels and/or get autographs from their favorite celebrities.  I'm not one to get star-struck, but I tried to imagine myself in their shoes, wondering what they were hoping to take away from a fleeting, quasi-personal brush with their favorite celebrity.  While these ├╝ber-fans are usually easy targets for being made fun of (honestly, they do it to themselves; would a shower once in a while kill you?!), one still has to appreciate their existence because they are the ones who make things popular and keep things relevant in pop culture.  They're also the ones that are quick to spend money and yearn for any and all exclusive merchandise; ie, they make the entertainment economy go 'round.

I hope to one day have devoted fans of my own that keep my STARmeter rising every week.  I've always said that when I end up on some tabloid show it means that I've "made it" because someone actually wants to know about what I did on some random week night in a random part of town.

It's never too early to start building your fan base, which is why it's important to have your art or your persona easily accessible via some sort of social media outlet.  It's good to let people know what you're up to and what you have in store for the future.  You never know who's out there looking for new talent.

Comic-Con was a great experience and it gave me a new appreciation for just how important devoted fans are.  I leave you now with a few choice photos from my Comic-Con adventure.  If you're a fan of pop culture and people in crazy costumes, you've got to come see it for yourself at least once in your lifetime.  Enjoy!

The Tumbler!
Camo Tumbler
Alison Haislip and Dave Bautista
Creepy temporary tattoo!
Larry King and Zachary Levi
Halo's Master Chief playing Tomb Raider