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Jul 222014
 

by Karina “Cinerina” Montgomery, contributing writer

If you’re just now joining this series, we have already discussed tips for out-of-towners, tips and tricks to make things easier, and attitude and manners. As you know, Preview night is TOMORROW and then it’s four wonderful days of action, adventure, spending, crowds, lines, and fun. Find a meet-up for your favorite group of folks, be it Marvel or DC cosplayers, Trekkers, Browncoats, Twihards, Steampunks, Homestuck, Furries, Night Vale, Sleepyheads – there’s something for everyone. Or rove the con like a leaf on the wind – sometimes that leads to the best accidental discoveries.

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I’ve said a lot before about pacing yourself but this is Comic-Con! You can sleep Monday when you call in with nerd flu. Live it up – you have no idea how many people could not get tickets to this event.

HowYouFeelMOnday

Uh oh! Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!

Wireless access at SDCC

A con-goer’s best friend

Communications Officer

Wireless access: It’s there! A booster antenna is planted every few feet in the convention center, but your fellow nerds have a LOT of tech, so it’s pretty glutted. Your batteries will drain faster than normal no matter how good they are. Post responsibly. That said, if you get a picture of yourself with Nathan Fillion giving you a high five, POST THAT IMMEDIATELY! The 4GB video of the cast of Falling Skies talking about script revisions: that can wait until you get back to wherever you’re staying. Public transportation in San Diego does not have wireless access. This means using Twitter to let people know where you are will be time delay nightmare. Text, or better yet plan ahead.

Don't let this happen to you.

Don’t let this happen to you.

 

Quiet offsite places and/or good places to set pre-determined rendezvous points: Nerd HQ, Petco Park, the Sails Pavilion, the Mezzanine, the patio, the big steps on the front of the convention center, or one of the bars and restaurants nearby.

Your badge is a treasure coveted by many: keep an eye on it, and when entering restricted areas, have it out and ready to scan, even if you tuck it inside your costume to keep your cosplay pure. Badge access gets you into a lot of things, but there is a lot that goes on around the convention center that does not require a badge. Explore downtown and see all the fun stuff going on outside the convention center. Catch a concert or a show!

 

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Julie, Your Cruise Director says plan, but don’t over-plan

By now you should already have looked at the programming schedule online. So now you are probably going “OK, at 2 there is this and at 3 there is this…” slow down, partner. Definitely add everything you want to do into MySched or on your iPhone/Android – it’s a phenomenal tool to use when the schedule is as varied and packed as SDCC’s is – but be sure to allow for travel time, bathroom or food breaks, and just be realistic. When will you even get to the vendor floor, where all the good people watching is? There is a ton of stuff to actually do down there, too, it’s not just shopping.

 

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Fill up your schedule with stuff you want to see, and then pick out the ones that you really don’t want to miss. Or things that you are cool with seeing that are right before the thing you MUST see. And then line up some alternates in case the room is full or you get waylaid. Flexibility is key. You don’t want to Hulk out and ruin your own day.

 

Rest. Sit. Eat. Hydrate. Mints.

Walking around talking and snacking all day, cheering your fan favorites, or just gaping at all the wonders will give you sewer breath. Bring some mints and don’t be shy about sharing with those in need. It’s all about getting along.

Don’t make me call security.

Bring sunscreen! Sharing is caring.

Most true nerds come with a “Keep out of direct sunlight” label affixed to them somewhere, but at San Diego Comic Con, especially if you wait to get into Ballroom 20 or Hall H (or any offsite location), you will be in the sun, and it can burn you pretty quickly. I go into some additional detail about things to pack in part 2 of this series, but really, sunscreen cannot be dismissed.

When in line: keep a small footprint, keep the line tight so they can fit as many as possible without interrupting foot traffic flow around you. A gap means someone might not get in. Would you want that to be you? Be cool and help your compatriots out if they are alone and need to zip away for a bathroom break. Buy a loyal line buddy a snow cone if they hold your place.

This is the best place in the world to interact with fellow fans and chat with folks. Don’t just hide in your phone! You can tweet later about how you wish you had a hat or sunscreen right now.

DO NOT PUT YOUR BAGS IN THE CHAIR next to you unless you are for real saving a seat for a real person who is really coming. If you must sit on an aisle, put your stuff in your seat and stand up so everyone can squeeze in.

 

 

 

Cheap and awesome!

Cheap and awesome!

Darsek, Spice, GIL, Kalganids, Galleons, Crindars, Septim, and Credits

I’m here to tell you, if you aren’t tightly disciplined, it’s very hard to not spend more than you planned at Comic-Con. Whether it’s a chance to buy an autograph unexpectedly to the perfect t-shirt that sums up your personal philosophy, you’re going to buy stuff you didn’t intend to. Thanks to the future, many (but not all) vendor floor merchants can accept Square or a few similar phone-based payment services. Bring a bunch of one dollar bills for buying things like pins or stickers; using your debit card for that is just mean. Get registered with Square ahead of time (choosing email receipt by default) and you can make your transaction faster for everyone. You can also get into their system by using Square with your intended card at a restaurant or some such before you come to SDCC.

Exploration Achievements

Despite the masses of humanity surging around you, enjoy it! It’s always an adventure but it doesn’t have to be miserable if you prepare. Being in a place with a trillion like-minded people who love what you love can be a unique and wonderful experience. Even if you are a person who is not into crowds, once you pick up your badge and actually enter the event, there is a place for you to enjoy yourself.

Do enjoy all the crannies, even if they might not appear to be your thing. The comics aisles are quiet and relaxing after all the crowds, and you might find the most unexpected things. Small Press is my favorite section of the vendor floor – it’s artists selling their wares directly to you, often self-published, or crafts/toys/art they have made themselves. It’s a great way to find exciting new titles or just awesome buttons. And meet Eisner-winners who are just sweet guys!

Final tip

Don’t forget your towel, and be awesome!

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Jun 252014
 
Krypton Radio's RJ Ryan-Seutter and Hatch from Steam Powered Giraffe at Steampunk LA 2014

Krypton Radio’s RJ Ryan-Seutter and Hatch from Steam Powered Giraffe at Steampunk LA 2014

by Robert Seutter, columnist

Krypton Radio visited the Steampunk LA event, Saturday June 21, 2014, in downtown Los Angeles. When we say downtown, we literally mean downtown. The event was held at 333 Live, in a multi-level building, the interior of which hearkens back to the days of disco, and it’s right next to the skyscrapers downtown.

Steampunk LA is the brainchild of four motivated people, Peter Coro, Patty Garcia, Sketch, and Deadmundo, and this was their second annual event. Most steampunk events have a theme (Old West, Queen Mary, etc.) and this one was no exception. Steampunk LA focused on art and expression in a variety of mediums. And in this regard, they did really well. Sketch and Deadmundo work in a variety of artistic circles and produce other events as well. Peter and Patty (of SteamCat Evolutions) helped bring their Steampunk connections to the mix as well. One of their goals was to get the various artistic communities they know from other cultural events to create with a Los Angeles steampunk vibe, and they were very successful. In particular, there was a lot of new Latin-influenced art, Day of the Dead, Goth, Rockabilly, and other maker-style elements infused in many of the displays and merchant wares offered at the event.

On the stage, the first band up was Sammy and the Addiction, who did a great job of bringing the energy. Their music was a nice driving fusion of Americana-rock (think Squirrel Nut Zippers meets The Pogues) and Sammy brought some great vocals with a lot heart. Their drummer, David Cisneros, had a drum solo that had the whole room cheering. I hope we see them again.

There was an interesting magic act by Pop Haydn, who was officially steam punk before there was steam punk. In the fact that according to him, he’s from the year 1910, and just doing a bit of showmanship here and there just to get by. It took a bit for the crowd to focus, but by the time he got out his matter transmitter and some of his other tricks, the audience was enthralled by a great display of classic showmanship. He’s got a newfangled website that displays some of his ingenuity, or look for him at the Magic Castle where he is a regular.

Following Pop Haydn, Noah and the Megafauna took the stage. It took a while for the sound check, but they had an eight-piece band with a wide variety of instruments. A bit hard to describe musically, but try “gypsy-jazz-swing-meets-retro.” It was music that pulled you into a groove that spoke of torch songs and hip bars long ago. While I loved their ballads, I think the audience was hoping for more energetic numbers. Still, great stuff and all and all.

All throughout the night, there was face painting, plus the audience was treated to a lovely fan-dancer demo. Finally, the evening was capped off with a Steam Powered Giraffe Concert. The SPG crew did a solid show, complete with a funny serenade to James of GeekShot Photography by Rabbit. By the end of the evening, the SPG fans were clustered around the stage and enjoying every minute. One nice thing about this event was that the SPG folks were wonderfully accessible, and had plenty of time to chat and take photos with their fans, who truly appreciated it.

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The down points of the evening were the 333 Live staff and facilities. The security people refused to let  people with stamps come and go as they pleased. This was bad mojo for the Steampunk crowd, especially for an event that lasted eight hours. Steampunk players often have costume changes, and they need to come and go. Instead, customers were treated like people trying to rush a concert, which is unusual since the Steampunk community is extraordinarily polite, and it put a cramp on the whole evening.

Likewise, the small food service table they had was not capable of handling the large crowd, and the upstairs was open to the street. While this may have been scenic, the upstairs temps ran up into some very humid 80s and 90s, and the cosplayers were melting. The merchants and artists endured stoically but not happily.

Later on, the problems were compounded by the 333 management deciding to rent another room upstairs out to an 80s DJ. So while the SPG performers were moving through a lot of their spoken-word comedy bits, there was a steady thumpa-thumpa hammering down from on high. The Steam Powered Giraffe team soldiered on like the veterans of busking they are. If you are an event producer, I would think long and hard about using 333 Live as a venue.

Overall, I would like to give a shout-out and kudos to the Steampunk LA team and their volunteers. They did a great job with all the art and entertainment. I think there might be many opportunities for breakaway entertainment in other rooms, classes, and so on. But L.A. needs events like Steampunk LA to help many Los Angeles artists and Steampunk/Alternative Culture aficionados to bring what is wonderful about their community to the rest of the world.

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Jun 192014
 
elementalAllInTogether

If you’re a geek, one of the most important things to remember is that we’re all geeks together.  You don’t have to feel like an outsider in the very subculture that you help define.  To remind us of this, Professor Elemental has created a new song, the music video of which was shot in a very large hurry at the Wild West Con at Old Tucson Studios, Arizona.

In the video, look for the following people: Brian Kessinger, the Nathanial Jonestone Band, Steampunk Boba Fett, Kato, Brute Force Studios, Sarah Hunter, Steam Powered Giraffe, Steampunk Green lantern and the Flash, The league of S.T.E.A.M, Shay Gilbert, Steampunk Abe Lincoln, Dianne Givens, Poplock Holmes, The lady who got bustle, Steampunk Wolverine.

All In Together appears on the teaSea records double album The Giddy Limit.  You can get it at www.professorelemental.com and the usual internet emporiums.   And of course, you can hear this cut and many others from Professor Elemental here on Krypton Radio.

We think All In Together should be the new Geek Anthem.  What do you think?

Enjoy.

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Jun 092014
 

by Aly Runke and Zoe de Lellis, contributing writers

Everyone fondly remembers those popularity contests your senior year of high school right? Right. Well despite our feelings about those past traumas, we thought we’d give a few Cosplay Superlatives for Phoenix Comicon goers that caught our eye and our camera!

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Jun 072014
 
Jun 072014
 

by Aly Runke and Zoe de Lellis, contributing writers

 Today was a little taste of sugar and spice and everything nice at Phoenix Comicon. Besides being able to learn a lot about Miyazaki and his world building, or attending a Steampunk Ball we filled our day with many amusements. Mark Sheppard who has acted in various television shows from Battlestar Galactica to Doctor Who to Supernatural to Warehouse 13 had a spotlight panel. We sat rapt in our front row seats as he told how “the geeks have inherited the earth.”

We also wandered the premises looking at the thousands in attendance most in wonderfully geeky attire or cosplay. We two little correspondents enjoyed our day! Check in again for more as the Con weekend continues!

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