It is a sad, sad day. E3 as we know it is gone.
That’s right, the multimillion dollar convention of video games, pro athletes, gorgeous models, movie stars, live concerts, and free giveaways is now a thing of the past. In its place will be a series of small, quiet, and professional business meetings. Bummer.
While I’m grateful to have been able to attend for the past six years, I will be really sad to see it go. Not only was it one of those times of the year that I always looked forwards to, but now that I’ll be moving to work in the Japanese gaming industry it means no annual trips back to California; each and every time I want to see my family it will come straight out of my own vacation days, and my own wallet. Bummer.
In my sadness over the loss, I attempted to compensate by for the first time attending another similar “nerd convention,” Comicon – the world’s largest comic convention.
Actually, that’s a lie. The real reasons I attended were because (1) one of my stepfather’s film/TV projects had a booth, and (2) Nick wanted to go meet up with a potential publisher for his novel (he wrote a novel about mythological Japan, and it kicks ass.)
Comicon was very different from what I’d expected.
First and foremost, even as a child I never had much of an interest in comics (I know, what kind of a kid was I, right?). This obviously took away a bit from the “omg, I just went in my pants” feeling that I felt the first I first stepped out onto the E3 floor. But the largest difference was more in the style of the convention than the content itself.
While E3 is technically a “trade-only” event, Comicon is for the consumers. It’s not about inspiring million dollar distribution agreements by putting on the most amazing show with the biggest booth, brightest lights, loudest stereo, and hottest models. When you get down to it, it’s really about selling comic books. So rather than walking around and running into Snoop Dogg, Anna Nicole Smith, Vin Diesel, Tony Hawk, Elijah Wood, and Gary Coleman (!), I was running into pimply-faced teens scurrying about in an attempt to get their hands the last copy of Superman #1.
However, there was one thing that I found stunning about Comicon: the cosplay. Fans young and old, male and female would show up dressed as their favorite anime, comic book, movie, or television characters. And these weren’t your ordinary “cut some holes in a sheet and you’re a ghost for Halloween”-style costumes; these were truly the real deal. Everything from authentic stormtroopers to 9-foot tall robots to scantily-clad Xena Warrior Princesses. Quite a sight to see.
Nick and I spent most of the day wandering around and gawking at the outfits until the event started to wind down, at which point we attended a brief Simpsons seminar before getting ready to head home.
Unfortunately, he never did manage to meet up with his potential publisher, so it appears that his cycle of waiting continues.
The process of getting a book published seems curiously similar to that of getting a Japanese work visa: lots and lots of waiting 😛
Since I’ve run out of things to say about Comicon, fill up the space next to my last photo by saying a double-congratulations to Jeff: first, for his wonderful engagement party last month (God, I still can’t believe he’s getting married!) and second for getting an offer for his dream-job: associate producer at the NFL Network here in LA. He’s been paying his dues by working at ESPN in Connecticut for the past couple of years, and at last he’s been given the opportunity to return to the land of sunny, snowless winters.