In the SDCC Retrospective section of the site, we have featured classic video clips the we’ve recorded at San Diego Comic-Cons gone by – for this first look back at this years SDCC, however, we have no such footage (the only ‘legitimate’ video recorded in the room in question was made by CCI themselves – we may have to ask if we can get a copy!). Instead, if you’ll indulge us, let us paint the picture with words…
For the last couple of years, I have been honoured and blessed to be given the opportunity to work alongside CCI as a Volunteer Staff Member for the Artist Alley department of the Con, under the wonderful supervision of dept. head Clydene Nee. I was allocated to the room I did my first ever volunteer shift in, Room 2 ‘How To…’, the panel room given to Artist Alley to showcase practical presentations in the creative fields, such as writing, storyboarding, scripting and art.
I was asked if could help run the room on the first shift of the Friday and to close the room, last panel, on Sunday – ‘running the room’ entails administrating the volunteers assigned to the room, keeping an eye and a record of seating volumes, making sure the panellists are all happy and settled, and addressing the assembled audience of the rules of the room.
This meant I was given the privilege of introducing the last panelist of the weekend, an artist who seemed rather popular with those in what had filled into a capacity room (with a patient line outside in the desperate hope that some might leave mid-panel): some bloke by the name of Jim Lee. Everyone was very anxious to see him, Jim was running a little late, so, when he made his way into the room in an unannounced manner and took his place on the stage, ten minutes after we were scheduled to start, everyone was understandably very eager to see him get underway. But rules are rules, so…
“I know you want to get started, Jim, but I’ve just got a little bit of housekeeping so, while you get yourself settled with your materials… Ladies and gentlemen! So… San Diego Comic-Con 2014! How’s it been for you guys, yeah?? [massive cheer, round of applause] I think it safe to say, they promised us an epic event for the age and it’s certainly delivered! [clapping]
A couple of house rules, if you’ll permit me: one) if you need to use the restroom at any point, please exit by the rear left door, they’ll remember who you are and let you back in. Two) if you are wanting to leave this next panel for good at any point [makes pained, confused face, laugh from the crowd] …I know, right? Insanity! …you may leave by the rear right hand door, head outside and promptly kick yourself for your decision. [laughs] Remember, there no video or flash photography in this room so please if you could make that safe on your phones or cameras, please. Thank you.
Right, then! This has been Room 2, the ‘How To’ room for Artist Alley – we hope you’ve enjoyed the content we’ve provided over the weekend in here – if so, please take the time to send a note to CCI, using the email address at the front of the Events Guide, letting them know you’ve enjoyed what we’ve brought you so it’ll allow us to do so again in the future. We’ve had a dazzling array of outstanding creative talent join us here this year, some truly incredible guests… But it’s safe to say: we’ve saved the very best for last, ammiright? [crowd, nicely pumped up, gives massive cheer, clapping]
Of our last guest in Room 2, I can say only this: frankly, if you don’t know who this man is, you’re in the wrong goddamn room! [massive laugh] Ladies and gentlemen… JIM LEE!!” [audience goes berserk, incredible round of applause!!]
The cheering doesn’t die down by the time I have walked from the stage, over to the room admin table, to stand off to the side. Everyone quietens, leaving Jim to start his panel.
“Before I get started, can I just say: that was the best introduction I’ve ever been given at Comic-Con! My cap off to you, sir!”
Cue: me, grinning, with the self-satisfied grin of a guy, job well done. The years of personality DJing had paid off.
Give me Hall H in 2015. You’d have to peel them off the ceiling by the time I’d be done!
Do you have any favourite memories of Comic-Con that you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be of this years Con, either – we’d love to hear from you if you have a story you’d like to tell, especially if you have photos or video to go with it. Drop us a line in the comments below!