Friday, March 6, 2015

Pictures from the 2014 Comic-Con International, part 11: the aftermath

Last week, I got confirmation that I will be attending Comic-Con 2015.  So we can look forward to another seven months of these Comic-Con pictures.  This batch takes us to the end (!) of Comic-Con maybe we can talk about other things (probably not).

I was lucky to be able to see both the buildup and the teardown phase of Comic-Con.  It's a different atmosphere, obviously, and it has a very workmanlike feel to it at the end of Sunday.  Everyone is tired after five days of revelry and is ready to pack things up and leave.  But there's also an appreciation, I think, for what Comic-Con is and even some looking forward to next year.  It's a never-ending cycle.  You hear the phrase "I'll see you next year!" said a lot between exhibitors and attendees.

The Tick booth stays open until the very last second every year, and they do quite well with their last-second sales.  I'm happy to say that the Tick 2014 Comic-Con Special sold out of its print run.  With about an hour left in the show, a retailer came over and bought the last 25-or-so remaining copies, which was nice.

And here's a picture of me, I guess.  Note the "I get to stay in here" badge.

End of the day.  The signs come down soon after.  We left the exhibit hall within an hour of its closing and went to get some dinner.

BUT!  There was still costuming going on outside.  Some people were still into it.  Here's the Ice Queen from Adventure Time!

Jon Snow knows nothing about when Comic-Con closes.

I really think that, in years to come, the Tuesday before and Monday after Comic-Con will have offsite events related to the show.  I'd like to create something for the Monday after and call it "Comic-Con Hangover".  I really think that people will come, especially those like me who don't leave right after the show ends.  For now, we'll enjoy the fact that we all still have a few hours to ourselves that aren't co-opted by Comic-Con.  Starting on Monday, I got something resembling an actual vacation, which was nice.  The first stop was the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Then it was off to La Jolla, paradise on American soil.

Another angle.  We stayed in San Diego only one more day after the show, and then took a ride to Tucson, Arizona.

If you ever find yourself near Tucson, you must - MUST - visit the Kitt Peak National Observatory.  It is absolutely incredible.  As we went during "monsoon season" (I thought this was a joke at first), we didn't have an opportunity to use the telescopes at night.  But it was still a fascinating trip.  I had no idea this place even existed before the trip, but it was one of the highlights of the trip.

But this is a comic blog (I think).  What comic stuff did I see?  Well, I met Batman...or at least a painting of Batman...outside Tucson's Fantasy Comics.

It was a nice shop.  I was pleasantly surprised to see several volumes of FUBAR for sale inside!  FUBAR contributor Matt Smith's Barbarian Lord was in stock, as well!  Very cool.

We stopped at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum to see...the desert.

I'm assuming that there are a million pictures of this floating around.  I don't care.

Just outside of Tucson is the San Xavier del Bac Mission, with all of its iconography.

We flew home from Phoenix, so the day before we left, we drove from Tucson to the capital city.  Along the way, I just had to see Rooster Cogburn's ostrich farm, where I met and fed ostriches.  I learned from this trip that ostriches are terrifying.

I'm a big fan of the book True Grit, so I had to ask the attendant why the farm was named after the title character.  I was told that the owner was related to Cogburn.  This flabbergasted me as I had previously thought that Rooster Cogburn was a fictional character.  After about five minutes, I came to the realization that of COURSE Rooster Cogburn is a fictional character.  The attendant either had no idea what she was talking about, or she was trying to buffalo me.  Either way, I was confused for a while.

That night, I went to Chase Field where, as luck would have it, the Pirates were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The Pirates staged a late-inning, dramatic comeback.  There were a lot of Bucco fans in attendance and they got rowdy when the away team came out on top.  I had never been in a domed baseball stadium before and it was a strange experience to see the game indoors.

After the game, the roof opened and we were treated to a fireworks display.  You can see in the picture above that the game was not by any means sold out, in contrast to games in Pittsburgh where fireworks means people pack the stadium in order to see things explode in the sky.  And you'd expect to hear some kind of up-tempo pop music in Pittsburgh, whereas in Phoenix they played, I'm not kidding, television show theme songs, like M*A*S*H and Seinfeld.  Weird.

It was a great way to end the night and, the trip just in general.  Comic-Con is exhausting but thrilling.  I'll be happy to go back in July and see what it brings me.  Every year is different, but every year is exhilarating.  Can't wait to do it again.

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