Sunday, August 08, 2010

San Diego 2010: The Year I Became Part of the Problem

I'd been debating whether I should write a "looking back on this year's Comic-Con" post, given that we're almost two weeks out from the event itself. But time afforded me a perspective that I couldn't have realized that close to SDCC.

This year was a very different year for me: I wasn't covering San Diego as a journalist. For anyone. This was my eighth San Diego, and each of those was under the auspices of Entertainment Weekly's comic-book ambassador. They all required hustling from point A to Hall H, jockeying for position, lobbying for admittance -- the press-pass two-step that hundreds of other people perform every year. But this year, I was a comic creator, first, foremost, and solely. My allegiance was to myself; my time was my own.

Adam and I signed books when we were scheduled to, we took meetings when they presented themselves and did some promising business, and we hardly ever bought ourselves a meal, thanks to the generosity of those with expense accounts (ah, I remember those) and event budgets. The only panels I attended were those I was on or was moderating.

I still had a press pass, though, which secured a host of party invitations -- and being represented by one of the three biggest agencies in Hollywood secured still more, as does being a still-liked veteran of the magazine that throws the big Saturday night soiree. We drank our fill, ate like kings, and danced like Joss Whedon if Joss Whedon could dance.

It was Saturday, I think, when we were killing time in the Wired Lounge, staring around at the gathered doucheyness -- assorted B-level stars, schmoozing producers, and motley sychophants -- that I realized what had happened.

We were part of the doucheyness. We were doing all of the things that people rail against when they talk about how SDCC has forgotten what that first "C" stands for. We were having a Hollywood Con...and loving every minute of it.

Because it's easy to love, spending four days being treated a little better than the lion's share of the 120,000 other attendees. It's easy to understand why "Lounges" are popping up all around SDCC, catering to Los Angeles douchebaggers that see San Diego as a short vacation full of free shit and laughing at the geeks. And my SDCC, I'm almost ashamed to admit it, was wonderfully douchey.

I have become part of the problem. Sorry about that.