Musings of an Englishman who literally quit his life in Devon in mid-2012 to move to Tijuana to love a girl.
They ended up in San Diego where he became a TV anchorman (yes really...), they got married, and now they're living in England together.
Simple as that really.
Follow your heart, who knows where it will lead.

Crazy. Beautiful. Madness.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Comic-Con - home of the brave (and the geek)

WHEN you glance up from performing your, um… business... at the men’s urinals at Comic-Con, I can tell you that the immediate view takes on an almost Mos Eisley Space Port-type feel.
Momentarily forgetting where you are, you’re suddenly reminded when you realize you’re standing next to Darth Vader, Boba Fett, an ewok, and other familiar faces from your favourite sci-fi and super-hero films.
All have moved their plastic cod-pieces to one side to pee, and stand silent conducting their call of nature.
One can only imagine the scene in the Death Star canteen – as comedienne Eddie Izzard pointed out… there “MUST” have been one right?
My first ever experience of the world’s largest comic book, video game and movie expo has been one to remember for countless reasons – the bathroom experience of course being one.
Being new to the U.S. and of course San Diego, a lot of things are new to me – Comic-Con being one.
I now live a stone’s throw away from the Convention Centre where’s it’s staged.
I’m sure 10 months out of the year the venue is quiet and largely ignored. But for these four days while Comic-Con is on, it’s the home of the great and good, the geeks and of course, their ‘geek-chic’.
It’s the one time of the year when a casually or smartly dressed person looks out of place, and looks like the ‘weirdo’ in the room.
Of course, being a die-hard Star Wars fan, when I discovered that I had been assigned to cover the event, I rubbed my hands with glee.
This was my moment; this was my magic moment.
You see, I see life as a giant tick list.
I’ve been lucky enough to land a Latin fiancée; a TV career; I live in California; and now I get to dress as a Storm Trooper – and get paid to do so.
Okay, yes I’m smug and I'm wearing my chufty badge with pride.
Rather than take the piss out of me, Jacks encourages such behaviour.
“You’ve never done that before?!” Jacks asked me genuinely surprised.
Not until now.
For four days I can dress like a complete pillock, and I have the pleasure of my boss congratulating me for doing so.

Let's not let the silly little Galactic War get in the way of our new-found friendship...

Chef Vader - Sith Lord of the Barbecue

Geek-chic is definitely the underlining theme of Comic-Con.
In a three-hour stretch I saw enough make-up, hair extensions and plastic to rival Pamela Anderson’s wardrobe.
Batman, Poison Ivy, Thor, Captain America, Mulder and Scully, a ‘hot’ Sherlock Holmes, Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Boba Fett and Darth Vader of course, Jedis and even Transformers were all represented in a big way.
The Americans are not known for holding back, and this is the moment for these geeks to shine.
When asked what they look forward to most at the annual show, most say they look forward to dressing up, and being the ‘geek’ they usually hide away from view.
One mentioned he was just pleased to show off his mum’s talents making his Viking costume – said Arnold, aged 37.
The stars of the big screen also endorse and encourage such behaviour.
The first day of Comic-Con saw appearances from Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) from The X-Files; and Data (Brent Spiner) and Worf (Michael Dorn) from Star Trek: The Next Generation, among others.
They largely turn up for signing sessions.
No photography allowed, and a ticket to meet and gain a signed picture of Scully for instance set you back $60 (£40).
Pretty harsh for someone to pay so much for someone who was a star 20 years ago.

A Warner Bros signing event at Comic-Con

Some big-hitters are also in town tonight.
Arnie and Sylvester Stallone are hosting a night previewing their new movie ‘Escape’ at a downtown cinema.
Bizarrely funds for marketing the movie appear to have dried up as invitations for the ‘special fan screening’ were printed on photocopied red A4 paper.
Not quite the mass PR campaign of their heyday.

Not much of a marketing budget then...?

Apparently George Clooney is in town tomorrow or Saturday, as well as Simon Pegg, and cast members from Dexter, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and other huge HBO shows.
Red carpets are appearing all over town, as well as stretched limos and the security guys who walk round with one finger constantly in their ear almost like they've been the victim of a joke involving super glue.
The actors, producers and directors host a series of special ‘panels’ at Comic-Con which are open to ticket or ‘badge’, holders to attend.
Often 10 or 15 minutes of the big blockbuster releases are previewed during for the event.
Last year audience members saw 15 minutes of the new Superman movie.
Pity it was shit really.
These panels are apparently the events to be at during Comic-Con.
We’ll be hoping to catch one or two tomorrow. And we'll see if we can snag an interview with a star or two.
However, we won’t be paying $60 for the privilege.
Of course alongside the panels and celeb meet-and-greets are the booths and stands where the geeks can have their picture taken next to a piece of plywood which featured somewhere in Thor.
These booths also offer the chance for people to spend $500 or some insane amount of money on a shiny piece of plastic or a mask.
And these geeks queue - sorry, line up - for hours... literally HOURS.
I have to admit I have spent a fair bit of money in the last few years on nostalgic pieces such as Generation 1 Transformers, but these geeks are something else.
I dare you... engage one in conversation about why a My Little Pony is worth $350, or why a bobble-head doll is worth $100.
Seriously, these guys are onto something. Apparently these things can sell for three or four times the original amount in just a few years.
Who would know?

Comic-Con in full flow

Alongside all that are countless exhibits and stands from the likes of LucasFilm, Warner Bros, Sony, Hasbro, Marvel, 20th Century Fox, Lego, and DC Entertainment.


In a carbon-hydrate cage of emotion
It’s fair to say that this city, national and indeed international event, is not so much a big, but MASSIVE deal.
"It's bigger than the Oscars," a local photographer told me last night.
"The Oscars is one day, this runs over four."
The 130,000+ tickets to this year's event sold out in one-and-a-half hours. Apparently tickets for next year's July event - which has already been booked and confirmed - go on sale this weekend.
I get it now. And I’m not going to waste a single second enjoying myself - even if someone asks: “aren’t you a little short to be a Storm Trooper…?”

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