San Diego Comic-Con 2008, Day One,
Wednesday July 23, 2008
By Al Desmadre
San Diego, CA.
The first thing that strikes me about coming to Comic-Con in San Diego, is the stark human contrasts one sees in everyday settings during this week. Generally speaking, San Diego is a conservative, laid back, kind of military oriented type of town. At my hotel, mainly you see a lot of old white guys smoking cigars and talking about golf and boats.Â Itâ€™s really funny to see the looks on all those Arnold Palmer types when theyâ€™re suddenly sharing space with the Freaks, Geeks, Goths, Klingons, Jedis, and other assorted characters arriving from all over the world for Comic-Con. And the really amusing encounters occur out on the streets. Riding the local Trolleys or buses, the costumed Comic-Con attendees stand out like a Chuppie at a Cockfight. And the local Paisanos you see on the buses are usually quiet, modest and conservative working class types who look at the invading Con freaks with looks that say: â€œMira nomas a esta Bola de Pinches Locos!â€ then they look at me with a look of seemingly further disbelief, as if saying: â€œI can believe anything from these crazy Gringos, But youâ€™re a Paisano, and youâ€™re one of them too??!!!â€
Yes, I am one of them too. And damned proud of it. And this is our week to come out of our fantasy dungeons, and yell: â€œI AM NERD! HEAR ME ROAR!â€
Today was Preview Day, so I decided to drop in at the Convention Center and pick up my credentials. On the walk from my hotel I spotted this local joint so I decided to give it a try.
All I can say is that if you love delicious, fresh, un-greasy Mexican food, then do not go here. The staff was a bunch of Latinas who might interrupt their Hen Session to serve you, or maybe not. They did remind me that Iâ€™ve always been amused at hearing women call each other â€˜GUEYâ€™.
Thanks to the convenient and surprisingly clean Trolley, I soon arrived at the Convention Center ready to face the crowds & chaos. As I was surfing the Sea of Humanity, I suddenly caught a glimpse of an extraordinary being standing calmly and waving at the confused passerby. I was drawn to his happy and inviting aura and without thinking, I fell out of my place among the human flotsam and approached this magnetic figure. I managed to capture this image just before the authorities pounced upon him and ordered him to relocate. As he was being led away, a confederate quickly pushed some sort of ad flyer into my hand. â€œWhat is it?â€ I asked, pointing at the lumbering round figure, â€œA Donut!â€, came the answer. For the rest of the day I was gripped by the enigma of a Mexican Donut handing out ads for a movie called: â€œSEXDRIVEâ€.
I managed to pick up my credentials with less hassle than I had expected, and I made my way back on the return Trolley. A hotel sponsored pool party BarBeQue was in full swing when I arrived. As I lounged by the pool enjoying the complimentary hot dogs and beer, I began to psych myself for tomorrowâ€™s full day on the convention floorâ€¦â€¦.