The Magic, The Madness: 2013 San Diego Comic-Con Part 2

Written By: DonnaKeeley - Jul• 26•13


So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, Friday.

It’s taken me a couple of days to get back into “non-con” mode. Sorry for the delay.

Saturday, July 20
Compared to Friday, Saturday was rather sedate. I really was excited for the panel about Kickstarter funding because I may be looking into starting one to get the second book done. Since that panel was at 5pm I had plenty of time to wander the dealer floor, shop for Christmas presents (yes, I’m one of those people), and see what I could see.

While I’m not a video-game player most of my friends and my two boys are all big gamers. I enjoy the storylines for many of these games, especially Assassin’s Creed. To promote the launch of the latest in that game series – which takes place during the Golden Age of Piracy – the company rented one of San Diego’s historical ships (the Star of India) and used it as an outside venue to promote the game. Absolute genius on the part of the marketing people at Ubisoft. The line was about an hour long since they only took people in small groups aboard, but once we were on the freebies were great: a plastic water bottle with the game logo, a free printed/digital picture with pirate dress-up, demos of the game both single and multi-player. They even had people dressed as some of the characters of the game. Totally and completely worth the wait.

When it finally was time for the Kickstarter panel I was amazed at how many people were packed into the room. However, looking at the list of panelists I think a lot of the audience just wanted to see the high profile names on the roster. Unfortunately the panel had very little to do with discussing doing a Kickstarter venture and was more about “here’s my video clip – fund my project” which was disappointing.

The one person who wasn’t promoting a video project barely got time to talk – she was cellist Erica Mulkey. I wanted to hear from her because like a book, music is not a visual medium. She was very kind and chatted with me after the panel; we traded stuff (I gave her a book and she gave me a CD). Please visit her site and check out her music.


Sunday, July 21
Last day of con is always the hardest. Late nights (midnight or after) and early mornings (4:30am one morning) leave their mark. Some of my older son’s friends were able to attend so I drove the “party bus” with 6 teenagers aboard. After the young people scattered to the winds, I found the buffet breakfast at the Marriott next door to the convention center. Eating becomes problematic when you’re rushing around. I’m so glad I took the time to eat because on my way out I saw John Ratzenberger in the lobby. I approached him and thanked him for his work (I loved Cliff on CHEERS). He was very kind, accepted my book as a gift and gave me a specially made Hamm PEZ dispenser. I love trades.

The dealer floor was actually walkable and I was able to grab my last-minute purchases and pass out a few more copies of the book. I was especially excited to give one to artist/animator Bill Plimpton, who I’ve been a fan of since the early 1980s with this “How To Stop Smoking” film. That afternoon I attended my last panel “Fiction That Thrills”. Like the Kickstarter, it became a contest to see who could promote themselves/their book the most; very disappointing. All the authors were Young Adult, which seems to be the trend now, so a lot of what they were saying didn’t apply to my work.

After the panel I tried to talk to some of the authors and ask if they would like a copy of my book for free. Two of the three ladies brushed me off rudely, the third made tracks after the panel along with one of the men, Brandon Mull (The Beyonders) at least talked to me saying he was busy (which is legitimate and better received when said kindly), and James Dashner (The Eye of Minds) said he would like to read it and noted some authors forget that they were once in my position. To both those gentlemen – and I use the word in its full definition – thank you for being courteous. I understand it’s a mad rush during con but kindness to another costs you nothing and often brings its own rewards.

Another year, another con but from a very different perspective. Looking forward to next year and hoping I have more than one book to offer.

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