Yo ho, Nightrider here!
Captain Cats and I made our way to one of San Diego’s local comic conventions: San Diego Comic Fest. Founded in 2012 by Mike Towry and other San Diego Comic-Con vets, Comic Fest serves as San Diego’s second pop culture hub. Not having to deal with the monstrous crowds, Comic Fest has a more accessible atmosphere where attendees can mingle freely with exhibitors and professional guests in an intimate setting. Attendees can experience how Comic Con’s early roots were thanks to Comic Fest.
For a local convention like Comic Fest, one would suspect that this kind of convention is lower in stature compared to the mastodon that is Comic-Con. Everything that Comic-Con has can also be found in Comic Fest, except smaller. For those who aren’t familiar with Comic Fest, this could be a let down simply because Comic Fest isn’t Comic-Con.
But the reality: it was an enjoyable experience! Yes Hugh Jackman isn’t in attendance this year, but one cannot pass on the opportunity to bump into William Nolan; Nolan is the coauthor of Logan’s Run, published first in 1967 and made into a movie in 1976. Also in attendance is David Brin, author of The Postman (published in 1985 and made into a film in 1997 starring Kevin Costner). Together with authors Jonathan Mabery and Alan Russel, Brin and Nolan were in a panel discussing how one writes scripts and getting their work adapted into TV or Hollywood; they also shared the dark realities of this process in a humorous manner.
One can have a connection with creators. Hiroshi Kanatani is a comic artist from Kagawa, Japan. He worked with Toho Studios and contributed to Kaiju monster illustrations. Mark Shultz is the creator of Xenozoic Tales; he is also an illustrator, cartoonist, and an author. The list goes on and on, and you can meet creators on a personal level!
San Diego Comic Fest is indeed not as big as San Diego Comic Con, but you can’t pass up this local convention. Unlike Comic-Con, Comic Fest is made by fans for fans. I can say that Comic Fest brought me back to when I first encountered Comic-Con back in 2001; Comic-Con was a more tranquil convention before the introduction of Hall H. Depending on when Comic Fest 2020 is happening, I will adjust my calendar so that I may attend again.