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7 crazy and amazing things that happened to a South African at Comic-Con

2015-07-13 07:57

Cape Town - Fans and celebrities descended on San Diego for the annual four day Comic-Con extravanganza.

Local filmmaker Jean Barker was there to experience it all.

Over 100 000 fans. Dozens of panels every hour. Celebrities. Fire and brimstone preachers. One city.

Here are 7 crazy and amazing things a South African experienced at Comic-Con:

1. Seeing nearly-naked Poison Ivy riding the train.

This is when I knew, on Thursday, that I had really and truly arrived. During this day I will witness the truly amazing things that spandex can stretch to accommodate. Some people take "one size fits all" to mean really, all, and possibly "three people" if need be. Wednesday and Thursday are great for geeky panels and learning. Friday to Sunday are a fan freakshow. Check out the pictures here.

2. Meeting Scott McCloud

Don't know who he is? Don't worry, he's only famous if you're a slight comics nerd. Anyhow, seeing How to Write Comics guru Scott McCloud analyse a double page spread of his new graphic novel The Sculptor, along with a panel of others doing the same with their work, was a fantastic lesson in visual storytelling for both comic book writers and filmmakers... so perfect for me. Later I got a copy of the The Sculptor signed by McCloud. Fangirl moment alert.

3. Happy accidents, like wandering into a panel and seeing this story being drawn, live:

"In the old days of Disney, you didn't set up a meeting with Walt or get called into a meeting. He'd just wander into your cubical whenever he felt like it and unannounced. Of course, we all used to draw satirical cartoons of him, and decorate our offices with them, so when he was nearby, people would put out the word that "Walt’s coming, Walt's coming" and we'd scramble to hide the pictures." (I’m quoting imperfectly here, from memory).


4. Looking at the lines for Hall H, but not joining them.

People arrive the night before and sleep outside to queue up for the infamous "Hall H", which is where the big celebs appear. Then, they stay there all day. If you leave, to go pee, you lose your place. Some people smelled suspiciously like they decided they would rather poop inside their costumes than lose their seat. Now that’s what I call "a big fan".

5. You gotta see it. I don't wanna ruin it.

Don't believe me, just watch. This mic-dropping stinging zinger to end all slapdowns from Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.

6. Finding a use for the hellfire and brimstone Christian sandwich board evangelists.

I’m all for freedom of speech, but after the third go-round, it begins to feel like emotional assault. Luckily, there's no better way to locate a friend than to go stand next to your condemnation to hellfire of choice and text them… as my boyfriend and I discovered on Saturday.

7. The moment when you can't take it anymore and you escape to the real world.

San Diego is a very cool city and it seemed a pity to spend the entire trip smelling the arm pits of drunk zombies and rubbing up against hairy men in Lycra. It’s good to see the city. Yes, it is. And I did… But honestly, my favorite three hours was spent sitting with my manager and my boyfriend hidden in the cave-like cool of the Marriot hotel bar, talking and laughing, mostly about dating, and a little bit about movies.

PICS: 34 awesome pics from Comic-Con 2015!

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