My very first San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) was in 2011, but my life didn’t really start to take on the annual pattern of convention season and off-season until about 2013.
My trip in 2011 was an odd one. I bought my Sunday badge on a whim entirely to see the Supernatural and Doctor Who panels (both shows that, six years later, are still running but I’m personally no longer watching either ). I’d been vaguely interested in SDCC for years, but had never really had the means to travel to it. I lived up north in Santa Cruz, a good 7-8 hour drive away. But my life was drastically changing in 2011 and I found myself living just a couple hours away from the world famous convention looking for something fun to lift my spirits. I’d recently moved into my aunt and uncle’s house after my break up with my partner of five years, which meant I had to move from the Bay Area down to Lake Elsinore. My 7-8 hour drive was now only 1-2 hours. It was all within reach, so I took the plunge, had a friend luck out and grab me a single day badge, and headed into my first SDCC ever.
The experience was life changing. It was a geek paradise and nothing would ever be the same.
And yet… I skipped 2012.
And wow that was hell. Watching all the panels play out via social media was torture. I vowed to return again in 2013, but this time for the entire convention, and from that point on I became a loyal SDCC attendee for life.
I can’t imagine July without the con. I can’t imagine a world where I’m not suffering through post con blues in August and September, working through a quiet holiday season, and then have the energy start hyping up again in the new year with pre-registration (now called ‘returning registration’). Then the hype keeps going with general registration, hotel hell, and then the quickly accelerating build up in the spring and early summer as news about panels and off site events starts to get put out by studios. Then it’s July again (typically the week of my birthday, though not always) and I ride on a 5+day geek high only to crash again through August and September.
And around and around we go. Year after year. And I fucking love it.
This year will mark my fifth consecutive year, six year over all, as a San Diego Comic-Con attendee. It’ll be my fourth year as press due to my work at The Geekiary. And, if things go my way, it’ll be my fourth year staying in a downtown hotel (never again, Mission Valley, never again).
I don’t see myself giving up the convention any time soon. SDCC makes me feel alive. I’m so glad it exists.