On the one hand, it's the kind of place where geeky guys who seriously need to shower gather together so they can debate important topics like who makes the best Dr. Who and which Star Wars character was the coolest. It's also perfectly acceptable for people to walk around looking like this:
(and btw, that thing actually had a little motor in it to make it spin)
On the other hand, it's a book lovers paradise, where many of the big publishers set up booths and tons of famous authors come to promote their books through panels and signings. If I tried to list all the authors I met this would turn into an endless post, so I'll just touch on some of the highlights:
Rick Riordan and Michael Scott
This was the highlight of the Con for me. Rick is seriously the nicest, most down to earth guy, and Michael has the most awesome Irish accent ever (oh and he's pretty much an expert on every kind of mythology there is). Together on a panel was heaven. I could have listened to them all day. But alas, we were limited to only an hour. Good thing I got to meet them both at various signings so I could get just a little more Rick and Michael time. :)
Charlaine Harris and Richelle Mead
I'm sure you can guess what the topic of this panel was--which also included a ton of other authors like Heather Brewer--and well, let's just say vampires who sparkle were not necessarily popular in this room.
There was also an Epic Fantasy panel with Christopher Paolini--who I'm sorry to say will always be the Doogie Howser of the writing world to me, I mean LOOK at that baby face:
Also on that panel were Brandon Sanderson, Megan Whalen Turner, and Patrick Rothfuss, among others. I thought no one would be able to top how funny Brandon and Patrick were in that panel, but then I went to the Zombie fiction panel and listened to Max Brooks.
(shown here next to Seth Grahame-Smith)
OMG, he was hilarious--and pretty down to earth for a guy who's apparently had Brad Pitt sign on to play the lead role in the movie version of his book. On a side note, I also caught the tail end of another panel Max did later in the day, and one of the audience questions was how he feels about books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Max laughed and said he would have given a completely different answer before he met Seth, who he now knows is a super cool guy. Really makes me wonder what he would have said before... :)
I could go on and on--seriously, I've only covered like a 1/3 of the authors I met--but I think that covers most of the really recognizable names. So I'll just say this: if you're into books--which I'm pretty sure most of you are--and you have a chance to get to Comic Con, I highly recommend you go. Sure, there's plenty of crazies:
But it is totally a book lovers heaven. And I promise I will be holding plenty of epic contests to share my spoils, as soon as I figure out how I want to organize them.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!