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FBOTU at San Diego Comic-Con 2011

Saturday, July 22
You know it’s going to be a good day at Comic-Con when you start the morning running into the Man himself, Stan Lee. I was wandering around the Marriott, looking for the elusive Matty Collector room, when I encountered a cluster of very excited people, all snapping pics crowding around someone. The someone, of course, turned out to be Mr. Lee. After posing for a few pics, he was whisked away by his handler. Thinking he may be going to the Mattel room, I decided to follow him. First of all, he moves pretty fast for a senior citizen. I really had to move my stubby little legs to keep up. Second, it’s kind of amazing how well-known and beloved he is. Everyone who passed by waved or said hello to him, and he responded to each one, in that unmistakable voice and seemingly endless source of fanboy enthusiasm. They ditched me at the elevators, though I was tempted to run up and say, “Oh, there you are! Marvel sent me to assist you.” Then I would just hang around him all day and ask stupid questions, like, “Does great power really come with great responsibility?”

I also saw Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and the cast of MythBusters. Not bad for a Saturday morning. And speaking of MythBusters, I’m mad at myself for not snapping a pic of the guy dressed up as Jamie Hynamen. It was such a simple costume, but instantly recognizable. Of course, Saturday is the big costume day. While I’ve never had the patience to wait in line all day to get into the masquerade, I do really respect and appreciate the cosplayers. I’ve always said they are the heart and soul of any convention. I did manage to snap pics from the Prism booth of various costumed folks as they walked by. You can check those out on Facebook.

My favorite part of actually exhibiting at Comic-Con is chatting with site members and attendees. Being at the “gay booth” is incredibly fun, yes, but it’s also a very eye-opening experience. It still breaks my heart to encounter closeted fans who really have to work up the courage to approach the booth. And I’ve developed a new appreciation for fangirls of all ages, who really seem to be the most fearless demographic ever. The flip side, though, is that I also get to hear the occasional homophobic comment throughout the day. To the credit of the Comic-Con crowd, it’s never intentionally hateful. It’s usually that playground sort of homophobia, found most often among groups of teenage or college-age boys. One such group passed the booth on Saturday, and one of them pointed us out to one of his friends. “Look! Gay comics! That’s what you need!” They all laughed, and I just smiled and nodded at them, because, frankly, I agreed. In fact, I think that should be Prism’s new slogan: “Gay comics! That’s what you need!”

For the first time in about a hundred years, I didn’t make it to the “Gays in Comics” panel. I stayed at the booth and chatted with the LGBTQ crowd who must not have had a schedule with them. By all accounts, the panel was a big success. I retweeted some highlights from other attendees on Twitter, if you want to check it out.

FBOTU will be at the Prism Comics booth on Sunday, from 9:30AM to 1:00PM. It’s your last chance to stop by, say hi and get some swag. See you there!

Friday, July 22
If there was ever any doubt that I’ve become miserably, inextricably dependent upon technology, Friday proved it. First thing Friday morning, my phone asked me if I’d like to update my software. I said, “Sure.” Big mistake. The upgrade crashed my phone and sent it into some sort of shock. There’s not a whole lot you can do with a dead phone. No texting, calling, Tweeting, photographing, Facebook-ing, nothing. So, after my shift at the Prism Comics booth, I spent the afternoon at the Sprint store and tried to have my own mini-con in their lobby. Since I didn’t get to Tweet throughout the day, here are a bunch of highlights from Friday!

I got to have lunch with Jon Macy, the recent Lambda Award-winning creator of Teleny and Camille. We chatted about the state of LGBT comics and the impact of Comic-Con on independent artists, versus other cons and venues.
Chatted with writer Gail Simone a bit and reminisced about FANATICON, where she was a special guest. Such a class act and always so supportive of LGBT characters and creators. And the creators who are characters.
I also got to meet, in person, our very own True Blood correspondent, Robb Pearlman! Robb is at Comic-Con promoting his upcoming book, Spoiler Alert. He was witty and charming, and it was a pleasure to put a face with the name and the awesome recaps.
Met and spent some time chatting with Robert, the owner of Fantastic Foreskin. We speculated about which superheroes were likely cut or uncut. Well, I speculated. Robert was 100% positive about his identifications.
Scoped out the BBC booth and decided not to get the River Song/Pandorica chair exclusive. I’m sure I’ll change my mind, though. I do love me some River Song.
Had dinner with beloved Comics Load contributor Brian Andersen (So Super Duper) and his super duper partner Preston. Brian is appearing at the Prism Comics booth all day on Saturday, so be sure to stop by and experience the wonder that is Brian Andersen.

FBOTU will be at the Prism Comic booth from 2:00PM – 7:00PM. I have t-shirts and calendars to give away, so come say hi! See you there!

Thursday, July 21
First and foremost, I’d like to thank all the FBOTU kids who emailed, Tweeted and texted me words of encouragement prior to the LGBTX-Men panel. Up until showtime, I was still checking Google maps for the quickest route to Tijuana from the Convention Center. I’m really not usually that nervous about these things. Ordinarily, I’m drawn to a microphone like Roy Harper to heroin, but there was something about the venue, the con audience and my fanboy respect for all the panelists that had me shaking in my boots. Not to mention this odd hetero crush I’ve developed on Marjorie Liu. I just want to sip cosmos with her and go shoe shopping and talk about Daken’s inner turmoil. (That’s what hetero couples do, yes?) Well, it turns out I needn’t have worried so much. The panelists (Peter David, Phil Jimenez, Chuck Kim, Marjorie Liu, Scott Lobdell and Zack Stentz) were so professional, warm, engaging and genuinely interested in the topic, they made my job extremely easy. Hearing each of them talk about their work, their dedication to their craft and the respect and fondness they have for their LGBT fans was truly inspiring. We had some really funny moments and got some really fascinating insights into the world of the X-Men, both in comics and on screen. My thanks to everyone who attended and for the good vibes and energy from the audience.

The rest of the day leading up to the panel is kind of a blur. I did get to hang out at the Prism Comics booth and chat with site members, gay comics fans and any passersby who had the misfortune of making eye contact with me. There were a LOT of first-time attendees, which really surprised me. I’m trying to figure out what inspired this sudden trip to Geek Mecca, but everyone has such diverse reasons for finally making it. I always enjoy talking about the site with new people and getting feedback from our existing members.

Because of the panel, Thursday felt very much like the big climax of the week for me, which is crazy, because it was really technically only the first day. So now I’m free to enjoy the rest of the week and delight/horrify the crowds with my usual brand of goofy/inappropriate charm. I’m also on the hunt for a couple of exclusives for friends. As a reformed toy hoarder, I thought it would be really difficult being around so much plastic goodness. The only thing that might possibly undo my resolve is the ridiculously gigantic Star Wars Hasbro exclusive, which is in this almost life-size Death Star display box. When I saw it, I totally froze in my tracks, creating a traffic jam of Comic-Con proportions. It’s so large that it defies transport or shipping of any kind. It dares you to buy it and carry it around in a U-Haul all day. It will truly be a miracle if I don’t have one by the end of the week. Must keep away from the Hasbro booth. But, good lord…it’s awesome.

FBOTU will be at the Prism Comics booth (#2144) on Friday, from 9:30AM until 2:00PM. Come by, say hi, share your con experiences. See you there! Thanks again for all the love!

Wednesday, July 20
When you haven’t slept for about 40 hours, and you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a crowd of 100,000 people and some of them are in masks, sh*t gets real, real fast. You know you might be a big ol’ mess when a guy wearing a cardboard box on his head stops to ask if you’re all right. Yes, I’m fine. I’d just like to lean here against this giant Lego statue of Batman for a few minutes more, if that’s all right with you. In hindsight, maybe I should have taken a nap on the plane.

But what would Comic-Con be without the exhaustion, starvation and dehydration? My Comic-Con warrior training will kick in anytime now, and I’ll be primed and ready for the week. Just so you know, I’ll be hanging out at the Prism Comics booth every day of the con. Here’s the schedule

Thursday, July 21
9:30AM – 2:00PM

Friday, July 22
9:30AM – 2:00PM

Saturday, July 23
2:00PM – 7:00PM
(On Saturday, I will be joined by none other than November 2010 Fanboy of the Month Frank, who WILL be in tights, no matter what his lawyers say.)

Sunday, July 24
9:30AM – ?

It’s going to be an action-packed week, but what I’m really looking forward to the most is meeting all of you! Since I’ll be at the booth A LOT, I’m depending on you all to stop by and fill me in on what you’re seeing and doing. I’ll have my mic and video crap there, too, so we can do some high-tech chattin’ and recordin’.

You can follow our exploits at SDCC via Twitter or Facebook, or tune in here every single day for a recap. Photos are also up at Facebook.

More to come! Pray…for…Mojo.

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