SAN DIEGO — Comic-Con International is an annual event celebrating all things comic and pop culture, and where geeks from all over the world unite. The mega convention draws thousands from actors to writers, artists to video game programmers, and of course, the faithful nerds and geeks who flock to the San Diego Convention Center to bask to in the glory of everything SDCC has to offer.
Comic-Con also drew the attention of a handful of Imperial Valley residents willing to make the drive west to experience the opportunity to meet their favorite celebrities, comic book writers and artists, look for new collectibles to add to their shelves, or to simply to have an excuse to dress up as their favorite characters- when it’s not Halloween.
One such person is Luis Herrera of Calexico. For Herrera, it has been five years since he last attended Comic-Con, and he has seen the change from the first visit.
“Well it was a great time. (It has) been five years since I’ve been there and it has grown crazy in popularity and I’m loving the attention and all the events going on. Just an amazing time,” added Herrera.
Herrera was excited to see what Marvel and DC Comics had in store at the Con, as well as the popular Game of Thrones TV series. What really interested him the most, however, were big announcements from Marvel Studios regarding the upcoming Dr. Strange film. Overall, Herrera’s SDCC experience was a fun one.
“Just being there with friends and my loved ones having a blast, enjoying what we are all there to do, enjoy comics, games, TV shows, and show the love that we have for all these things that make Comic-Con such an amazing experience,” said Herrera. “Everyone that enjoys any of those, should experience it once.”
Herrera was not the only Valley native to attend SDCC. Jill Kennedy of El Centro made her fifth year attendance. This year, however, was different from the previous four. She attended as a regular badge holder whereas in the past, Kennedy attended Comic-Con as a volunteer worker.
As a volunteer, Kennedy was required to perform several tasks in an almost security-like manner.
“There are several things that happen, actually, once you get into the volunteer pool, so to speak,” said Kennedy.
“You kind of wait for them to give you an assignment, and it can be anything as crappy as what they call ‘crowd control,’ essentially telling people which direction to head to to get into the line, to more involved things such as guiding a panel speaker back and fourth to the right room that they’re going to be holding a seminar in,” Kennedy explained.
While the idea of attending Comic-Con as a volunteer to get a free pass sounds like fun, at times it is far from that. Kennedy spoke of her past experiences as a volunteer at the event.
“It’s hard to be unappreciative when you’re getting a free day at Comic-Con. However, you don’t often have control of your schedule, you know, it’s kind of up to them — they try to give you as best of time that works for what you want to do, but they can’t always guarantee that. So that can be kind of a drag, and then the second thing is they require three hours of your time.”
Time commitment and lack of control can damper the experience, but for Kennedy, it was still a neat opportunity that offered its share of positives such as a free t-shirt, a whole day completely free to come into the convention without having to purchase a badge to gain entrance, and best of all, the chance to meet all kinds of people.
Next year’s Comic-Con will once again be held at the San Diego Convention Center July 20 – 23, 2017. As long as there is a Comic-Con is San Diego, Imperial Valley geeks will continue to make that pilgrimage to the drink in the glory of all things nerdy.[envira-gallery id=”81409″]