Where in the World is Carmen? San Diego! Day 1

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  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We have counted down the days in our own nerdy advent calendars to this, the magical week of San Diego Comic Con 2011. We all huddle around outdoor lounge fires, sipping restorative drinks, taking in the aroma of fanboys roasting on an open California day and singing cherished holiday songs about Boba Fett’s financing options. It really is “Christmas in July!”

    While there is definitely a magical, escapist quality to SDCC, it is also a mecca of commerce, generally attracting about a quarter of a million people. As such, much like the winter holiday season, there is an enormous amount of stress both in working and attending this show of shows.

    Where do I pick up my MattyCollector items that were sold out within 2.5 minutes of being posted online? Do I need to leave an hour early just to cross the street to get to the convention center? How long is the wait at the bar? Holy-shit-is-that-the-line-for-Hall H-ALREADY? ( I have to say that as of Monday, there was already a line at Hall H for a Twilight panel that is happening on Thursday. Yeah. Leia is not the only one who has discovered amazing smells).

    I am fortunate enough to have an exhibitor’s badge, which means I had entry into the Emerald City itself today. While it is admittedly like looking at the man behind the curtain, I am fascinated by the process and seeing the show come together in stages is enormously cool. By this time on Thursday, every bell

    and whistle will be in full effect, but as of today, it is a sea of boxes, cherry pickers, forklifts and people in golf carts all bustling around like Doozers.

    Unwinnable Fact: for those of you who enter when the con opens, or even on Preview Night (Wednesday evening), you need to know that there is no air conditioning in the convention center while the setup is happening. That only goes on when the general public comes in. A lot of blood and even more sweat goes into making this show happen.

    I am looking forward to the many amusing cosplayers, the free giveaways, the SDCC specials and limited editions, as well as seeing the new statues and toys for the upcoming year and the mountain of artistic talent in attendance. I know that Ethan Sacks is here as well, and I am sure that between us we will maybe be able to cover 30 percent of the show. There is simply no way to see and do everything, but check in at Unwinnable to find out what I have been up to from day to day. Today was consumed with helping set up, and tomorrow (after a Hard Rock spa treatment) will be Preview Night.

    I leave you now with some pictures of the calm before the storm so that as additional pictures filter in to Unwinnable, you can truly grasp the feeling of being here. Like it, hate it, call it sell-out or even “Worst. Con. Ever.” (an exclusive Simpsons Hallmark ornament this year), SDCC is a Juggernaut (bitch!) and you have to at least respect its sheer Newtonian ability to stay in motion once nudged.

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