Friday, July 30, 2010

Sara Goes to Comic Con: Saturday

Whew! Are you getting tired of reading about Comic Con yet? Because I know by the time it got to Saturday--which was our last day there--I was definitely feeling wiped!

But, because Comic Con is such a crazy and unique experience, I refused to sit by and let it pass by my hurting, swollen, feet and my aching, book-carrying back.

We got to the Con pretty early, so our friends and Husband could get in line for various exhibit hall related things, and I could get in line to try to snag a ticket to the Rick Riordan limited signing. I was pretty nervous about this, since he was a doing a signing on Saturday and Sunday, but we'd only be there Saturday, which meant it was my only chance to get him.

I was in line around 8:15, for a line that was supposed to start moving at 9:15. (I was in the actual line, too, the roped off part and everything, instead of Thursday, when I tried for tickets to a different session and was out the door, down the three flights of steps and then looped around!)

9:15 comes...nothing.

I have moved up some because at this point people are getting out of line for other things.

9:47...mob mentality takes over. People start chanting "Let us in! Let us in!" and become generally irate and angry. At one point I was pretty sure they were just going to through the little ropes corralling us together aside and full on flash-mob security.

(To be fair, a lot of these people were waiting for tickets to see Mythbusters, not Rick Riordan. I guess MythBusters has a lot angrier fanclub than Percy Jackson.)

Finally at 10, they let us in, and I managed to snag a ticket the first time around. Huzzah!

I had a little time to kill before my panel, so I went...where else? Say it with me, now: the
Penguin booth! And I was just in time to get in line to see Kathy Reichs, who was signing ARCs of her new YA series, Virals, which is due out from Razorbill in November and will feature a main character of Tory Brennan, Temperance Brennan's niece! (If you're not familiar with Kathy Reichs, she is a forensic anthropologist-turned-author who writes the books the TV series Bones is based off of.)

I hadn't heard much about this series before Comic Con, but I'm pretty excited about it--it sounds like a cross between Bones and Animorphs and X-Men, which are just about three of my favorite things ever.

After meeting Kathy Reichs, it was off to my back-to-back panels: Reading With Brains (Zombie Fiction) and Fang Girls and Fang Boys: The Popularity of Vampire Lit.

When I think of zombies, I mostly think of zombie movies--both the slowly, shambling zombies and the fast running zombies, and quality movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. Turns out, there's a lot more to zombie fiction than undead flesh-eaters!

All the panelists agreed--if you want to love zombies, you have to start by loving George Romero, who basically founded zombie movies, and some of the panelists argued, the modern zombie in its entirety. They were split, however, on what exactly a zombie looks like--some said the slow, shambling zombie was the only way to go, while some of them wrote running zombies. (Personally, I find running zombies a lot more terrifying, although that might be because I'm a slow runner...)

Some of the highlights of the panel included: Max Brooks (whose father is Mel Brooks!) is hilarious! I and think it's a little unintentional, which makes him even funnier. Seth Grahame-Smith explained that writing Pride & Prejudice and Zombies was hard not because of trying to insert the zombies--he felt like they should have been there all along--but trying to mimic Austen's language and rhythm. Walter Greatshell actually named his creatures Xombies, because they were so far off the traditional path. He also made them blue, because their bodies lack oxygen! And Ryan Mecum prefers to write about his zombies in haiku form.

I think my favorite find of the panel, though, was Joan Frances Turner's novel Dust, which is due out from Ace in September. It all started with the statement, "That person is somebody's mother," and she ended up with a zombie story...with a zombie protagonist! I know I'll definitely be picking this one up when it comes out.

Then, it was time for Fang Boys and Fang Girls! Featuring the lovely: Richelle Mead! Rachel Caine! Charlaine Harris! Heather Brewer!

When this crew walked into the room, you would've thought Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie were with them--the crowd went nuts. Unlike the zombie panel, I was already pretty familiar with a lot of the vampire fiction that was represented on the panel, but it was still interesting listening to what authors had to say--specifically since they spent some time talking about what's next for them!

Two the YA authors up there--Richelle Mead and Heather Brewer--both have series coming to an end this fall (Vampire Academy and The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod), but both assured us we have plenty to look forward to, including some spin-off series. Heather is working on two series right one--one is totally new, called Slayers, and the other is set in the Vlad Tod world and will take place in the summers in between the school years of the Vlad Tod books.

(To the left, a pic of Heather Brewer and Rachel Caine!)

Richelle has another 6-book VA-world series in the works with Razorbill, in which side
characters will become main characters, and she told us that Rose will have cameo appearances. (She also confirmed that she has no plans to write a companion novel, showcasing the events of the VA series through Dimitri's eyes.)

(To the right, Charlaine Harris in black and Richelle Mead!)

Oh yeah, she also told us about how Vampire Academy is being made into a graphic novel...and then world-premiered the cover!
(image snagged from Richelle's blog, go there for more info!)

Isn't it gorgeous? I love how bad-ass Rose looks, and the way they've placed all the characters. Not to mention, uh, Dimitri's totally hot. Yum.

After the panel, I went to the autograph signing, where I snagged a omnibus of Rachel Caine's first two Morganville books, and had Heather Brewer sign two more Vlad Tod copies (for you guys!).

After the vampire signing, I had a little time to kill so I went to (of course) the Penguin booth. And I'd gotten up my resolve. I was going to ask for any other free books they might still have about that I could give away on the blog. (And deep down, I hoped that meant a box set of the Penguin Five!)

My experience at the booth went down something like this:
Then, it was finally time to stand in line for Rick Riordan! I, of course, had managed to forget my copy of The Red Pyramid back at the hotel. Figures. I carry around dozens of books every day, and I manage to forget thebook for one of the most exciting signings there! No worries, though--I bought another one. Plus, maybe one...okay TWO...copies of The Lightning Thief.

If you're looking at this picture of Rick Riordan and going, "gosh, he looks so nice!" then you would be right. He was totally sweet and willing to sign three things for each person. You could tell he was genuinely excited to be there, which was awesome. Plus, there were TONS of kids in line, which made me really happy to see them jumping up and down and getting so excited to meet an author they like. Personally, I was really happy to finally get a chance to meet him, since the past two times he's been in Philly I missed him.

After the Rick Riordan signing, I scuttled over and got in line for my last signing of Comic Con--China Mieville. He was on the Twisting Genres panel on Thursday, and I was excited to meet
him and have him sign my books for me. I got Kraken and UnLunDun because both of them have a turned-on-their-head London as the setting, and me and London are likethis. We're very tight. You might say we're exclusive.

(Also, China has the most gorgeous accent ever. I wish he would just follow me around and talk..about anything...all the time. Mm.)

(Isn't he sexy as he fiddles with something in his hands?)

So, that was where my official Comic Con journey ended. At least, the book part of it did. I actually ended up waiting in line for 4 hours after this (and by "waiting in line" I mean "sleeping like a vagrant sprawled on the line") to get into the main hall--Hall H--where are all the big movie stuff premiered. And I would've gotten in way sooner, had there not been a stabbing in the Hall! Husband was inside when it happened, and relayed the blow-by-blow to me through text message. It turned out that there was some issue between two guys over seating, and of course, the logical reaction to something like that is to stab the other person with a pen NEAR THE EYE.

Because of what happened, some of the panels ran back to back and they didn't let anyone, so I waited, cold and hungry and alone, in the dark, until I finally got in to see Kevin Smith (and Husband gave me his sweatshirt.)

So, that's it. I hope you enjoyed hearing all about Comic Con! If you can make it, it's definitely a pop-culture-lover's paradise, from books to TV to movies to comics to anything else you can think of!

Also, like I kept mentioning, I have SO MUCH SWAG AND FREE BOOKS. Which means you should be on the lookout for multiple awesome giveaways coming up in the near future!

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