I arrived in San Diego at 2:30pm on Wednesday. It's been so long since I've experienced that intense temperature differential you get in hot cities when stepping in and out of air conditioning. It felt like I was back in Miami. My friend Desmond swung by with his Comic Con crew, which included his partner, Paul, and friends Joe, Rose, and Randy.
Ka-Blam has been *awesome* when it comes to shipping orders. UPS not so much. With the delays to Issue 4, there was a high chance that Pride High would arrive in San Francisco after my flight to San Diego. Talk about a nightmare! However, my friend Josh, who used to work for Zephyr, lives in San Diego and kindly offered his work address as a shipping point. As luck would have it, the Coldwell Banker branch where he worked was only a block away from the hotel where I was staying. The comics arrived on Tuesday, but it was still great to avoid hauling those to the airport and checking them in!
Though I was really excited to get Issue 4 in, I was also seriously hungry. My appetite won out. I left the boxes in the room and we all went out to the City Deli in Hillcrest, the Castro equivalent of San Diego.
The menu was pretty hefty, with plenty of veggie options. I ordered chili fries and was surprised when the food for our whole table was delivered in what seemed like only 5 minutes. And it wasn't just a fluke. City Deli was the place we went to the most for our SDCC stay, and each time they really churned out the food!
Instead of heading back to the hotel, we went to the San Diego Convention Center for preview night. I was amazed at how large the convention center was. It was almost twice as large as Moscone Center South, where WonderCon was held. Once we actually reached the convention hall, we still had a long walk to the pre-registration/professional entrance which was all the way on the opposite end.
At 6pm, the doors to the floor opened. This was my first time at the convention, and I heard that preview night wasn't that big of a deal in years past. This year however, there were tons of people chomping at the bit to get inside. In mere minutes, the floor was thrumming with activity.
Prism's booth was 2148, located near the Marvel and DC sections. There was a large rainbow flag above our booth, which served as a beacon for gay geeks throughout the convention.
Last year, when Pride High was still just a concept, I kept daydreaming about what it would be like to be at Comic Con with my own comic. Actually being there, a year later, with four issues of Pride High, a spot on one of the panel discussions, interviews with LOGO, Time Warner Cable, and Pink Mafia Radio... it felt like one of those movie cut-scenes with a big "ONE YEAR LATER" on the screen.
The two biggest moments for me actually happened during the LGBT panel I wasn't on. Moderated by Andy Mangels (Star Trek author, comic book writer, 80's documentarian), it had Alison Bechdel (writer of Fun Home), Zan Christensen (founder of Prism Comics), Megan Gedris (YU+ME, I was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outerspace), Chuck Kim (writer for Heroes), Alonso Duralde (101 Must-see Movies for Gay Men) and Paul Levitz (President of DC Comics).
During the question and answer session, an audience member asked if there were any comics out there with queer heroes of color front and center. Zan Christensen answered with, "we have a writer in the audience, Tommy Roddy, who has a comic book by the name of Pride High. Tommy, please stand up." I was blushing as Zan went on to give a quick summary of Pride High and it's multi-ethnic, multicultural cast.
Another audience member, Misha D. Clive, went to the mic and said the following (paraphrasing): "It's awesome to have you all here on the panel, to have Prism Comics, and to know that there are great books and comics out there, like Fun Home, Pride High..." Omg! To be named in the same sentence as Fun Home!
I could go into more detail about the convention itself, but there's a great, day-by-day diary by Zan Christensen of Prism that's got it all.
Spanky and I going over the pencils of Pride High 5
Lynx and Spanky showing off their work on Pride High 5 (preview cover by Greg Narvasa)
Katherine Keller of Sequential Tart
Katie, Trina Robbins (of Go Girl!), Erica, and Pearl from Girl-wonder.org
Joe and pal (I'm bad with names!)
Bill, who gave me really extensive feedback on Issues 1-4.
Zach and Ed
Justice and Leawyn from www.LuckyLegendary.com as Wonder Woman and Supergirl
Local San Diego high schooler, Chau, was the most awesome volunteer ever! We got her randomly through the Comic Con volunteer program. During all the hustle and bustle, she managed to keep the Prism Booth orderly. Once, while talking to a visitor, someone misplaced one of our pamphlets. Without even looking or breaking the conversation, she reached to the side, picked up the errant flyer and put it in the right place. I hope we see her again next year!
Zan (left) and his fiancé, Steve, who proposed to Zan in the back cover of Finder 30. Best. Proposal. Ever.
Katherine, volunteer Randy, and Joe Palmer from The Gay League of America
Joe Phillips, the artist responsible for my adoration of flannel-wearing lumberjacks! I got to see an incredible preview of his animated feature "Witch Kids," produced in collaboration with Pride High fan Paul Timm (creator of Epsilon).
Jenny Breeden and Megan Gedris at the first of two LGBT panels
Hmmm... now what was that question? Steve MacIsaac (adult profile, NSFW), Sean McGrath, Lynx Delirium, and Terrance Griep
So space age
Ted, Prism's point man for Comic Con. A common refrain for questions from volunteers and visitors was "Ted would know about that!"
Marcel and Andrew from LOGO's Alien Bootcamp
Lining up to see Alison Bechdel, author of Time Magazine's Book of the Year, "Fun Home"
She was so awesome in person!
Jeff, Sean-Z (adult profile, NSFW), David (Lynx's partner and Prism Treasurer), and Justice
Randy, Spanky, Ted, and Tauren from www.LuckyLegendary.com
Captain Lucky from www.LuckyLegendary.com and Tony Lawrence. Holy package, Batman! Stay tuned for the big Pride High / Lucky Legendary crossover event coming Spring 2008, entitled "Lucky Break!"
Dave Davenport (adult profile, NSFW)
Chau, David, fellow yaoi fan Ludick, Steve, and I breaking everything down. *Sniffle*