It’s hard to miss news about this weekend’s San Diego Comic Con International. I have to admit that it totally cracks me up whenever I see it.
JM and I used to go to Comic Con way, way back in the day when it was just a normal comic book convention. A GOOD comic book convention, but a normal comic book convention. It was held at the original convention center in downtown San Diego, and we didn’t even fill THAT to capacity the first year or two that we went.
It was a fun way to get together with old friends and meet new ones, and for newbies and wannabes in the biz, as we were then, it was a terrific opportunity to make connections and hopefully get a foot in the door. I’m talking about the early 80’s here and the entire world was a different place back then.
By the time we did our last Comic Con in 2004, we already had realized that we no longer fit into what was by then a massive media convention. Small publishers and writers like us and Black Coat Press were just lost amidst the major studios and film promos. Even in 2004 it was starting to get difficult to find comic books at the comic book convention.
So, yesterday morning, instead of struggling bleary-eyed to spend yet another day at a booth in a massive convention center, surrounded by hordes of zombies looking for freebies and swag what were JM and I doing? We got up at our usual 6:30, same time we would have gotten up in San Diego, but instead we took the dogs over to the gardens for a walk along the river. Peaches romped in the grass and chased the birds that she knew she would never catch. Shmoo pulled JM into the field to sniff the alfalfa that is growing towards the sky.
Then, I looked into the misty morning river and saw a magnificent blue heron standing there fishing for his (or her) breakfast! It was a moment frozen in time; an instant as far away from Comic Con as it was possible to be. I saw the heron; the heron saw me and then spread its massive wings and flew into the dawn sky.
I wouldn’t trade that experience for all the comic book conventions that ever were or ever will be.
Ciao for now.