(This was initially posted in July 2013 after San Diego Comic Con on another blog of Keith’s. Keith will be shutting down that blog soon so can migrate the posts over to Kodoja.com!)
It’s three days afterward and I’m still going through an annual event of mine – the San Diego Comic Con Detox. I table frequently at Comic Conventions to promote my (independently released giant monster) comic Kodoja – but this is the only convention a year where I walk through the main doors on the fan side.
This is my third year attending SDCC and I’ll probably remember this year for two things: (1) it was the year my tastes were actually mainstream, with both Pacific Rim and Godzilla having a large Comic Con presence and (2) it was the year I feel I became a Comic Con ‘veteran’.
For the first item, the experience of having my (Giant Monster / Tokusatsu) tastes was both rewarding and frustrating. Rewarding to look around and see Pacific Rim props / posters / t-shirts, Godzilla posters and prints peppering the convention floor, having an actual Godzilla panel (!) for the upcoming film, and of course the viral/marketing off-site event The Godzilla Encounter. Frustrating for those very same reasons – by those things being current movie properties AND being visible to the public, that means there are way more people that know about them and way more demand. Meaning, I actually have to fight people to get to events or get stuff! It was (and still is, after the fact) a bit of culture shock.
For the second item, I don’t know what it is but the third time around the Con flicked some sort of switch in that I felt I knew my way. I know the quickest way to get across the floor in minimal time, I know how to get to the panel rooms quickly, I know good places to eat downtown…but even more importantly I know how to make my own schedule. I’m sure there are cyborgs out there that can do it, but for me it’s impossible to stay on the Convention Floor for too long without getting exhausted – you need breaks from the floor and from the SD Convention Center. It’s the Circadian Rhythm of Comic Con, and it took me a few years but I finally mastered it. But the main attraction while I was there was….
THE GODZILLA STUFF
As you probably know by now, the Godzilla panel was great and included a nice Gareth Edwards anecdote, as well as some teaser footage that revealed a Mantis-Meets-Alien monster and some pretty impressive destruction, as well as the tease that this Godzilla will be HUGE in terms of actual creature size!
As for The Godzilla Encounter, it was as good as it gets (when you consider it was a free, viral-marketing event created by the studio). Part living, breathing Godzilla museum and part interactive ‘ride’, the first part of the exhibit recreated a Tokyo City block and peppered it with all kinds of Godzilla stuff – a Godzilla suit, overturned police car, gorgeous wall murals, special ‘code puzzle’ clues you solved with your phone to reveal Godzilla concept art for the film, and – the point of most discussion – a room with all kinds of Godzilla toys and a few one-of-a-kind Godzilla concept art statues that may or may not look like the final monster in the film. Unfortunately the time there is limited – sirens went off and everyone got ushered to a control room where actors / scientists were tracking Godzilla. The situation worsened and everyone was ushered onto an ‘elevator’ that began it course to the roof only to experience a massive wave (presumably from Godzilla stomping around nearby). Everyone is ushered out on the ‘25th floor’, a recreated office building floor looking out into a rainy city. After a brief few seconds, Godzilla appeared and stomped right to left. Just when it seemed he was gone, Godzilla proceeds to slowly raise his head and look right at you before stomping off to the right again. Crisis averted! The best things in life are free, and this definitely qualifies – it was the most enjoyable thing about Godzilla’s presence at Comic Con.
ABOUT THE DETOX
San Diego Comic Con is the closest thing in reality to a Twitter feed, only it bombards all of your senses instead of just one. Information is updating every few seconds, everyone’s vying for your attention, everyone’s promoting themselves, and no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you get the weird feeling you’re missing something out there that’s better than what you have going on. Even if you acknowledge this and try to manage your intake, after a few days it starts to feel natural. Again, there is *always* something going on. Even if you don’t act on information when you find out about new events, they are going on regardless and they affect you in terms of how you think. And when you’re heading home Sunday night and all of that just stops after four days of it, the effect is jarring. It’s almost like everyday life is trite. Now of course this isn’t the case, but for a brief period you have to recover from the insane pacing before you resume the normal pacing of your life.