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A Musician’s Guide to Comic-Con

In 2003, I was invited to attend Comic-Con in San Diego. I had sort of heard rumblings about it over the years but I really didn’t know what it was all about.  I guessed it was just a bunch of people selling comic books.

Comic Con EntranceWhen we arrived at the show, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  Yes, there was some comic book stuff but there was so much more. The show is held in July every year in San Diego at the Convention Center in downtown. As you know, I attend and perform at many trade shows through out the year including NAMM and AES to name a few. Well Comic-con is a whole other world. The show is open to the public but it sells out within minutes of when the tickets are put up for sale. I have been attending the show ever since that first time and it’s crazy how much it has grown over the years.
For the uninitiated , even though the show is called Comic-Con, comics are only a small part of the show even though that was the original reason for the show. Now-a-days it’s where all the latest TV shows and movies are promoted and there is tons of great Sci-Fi related merchandise for sale.  There are also lots of great panels and signing events where you can meet your favorite TV and movie stars and ask questions of the cast of your favorite TV shows and movies. They even have panels on how to get your music into video games. They have video game company representatives on hand to give info and answer question on what they are looking for and how to submit your music. There is literally too much to take in in one day at the show (this year I was there for 3 days and still didn’t see everything).
I have even run into many music industry peeps as well as a few rockstars over the years. Did I mention the Cos-Players? A Cos-Player is a person who dresses up like their favorite TV, Movie, Comic book or Video game character. Some of the costumes you see are so detailed and could be used in the movies for sure then you also see the ultra low budget ones too. It makes for a great people watching experience for sure. They even have Cos-Play competitions at the show as well. Some of the players have huge followings and make a living doing the Cos-Play thing for a living.
Uncle Sam With SharkA lot of toy and merchandise manufactures also use the show to release and debut special limited edition collectible toys. Some people wait in line for days just for a chance to get a wrist band just for the chance to possibly purchase a limited edition toy. This year everyone was trying to get the limited edition Star Wars stuff. As much fun as the show is inside you can also have a blast outside the show if you couldn’t score a badge. There are many displays and attractions that are free admission to check out. I have spent the day in the past outside just doing all the cool stuff outside many with free giveaways. They even do some movie and TV cast meet and greets out there as well.
The show definitely takes over downtown San Diego . Once the show ends at 6pm every night, the parties begin and it’s not unusual to be standing next to a random Sci-Fi character or two when you’re ordering a drink or getting dinner atthe bars and restaurants across from the convention center.
Then there’s the music.  There are always various concerts going on during the show.  They’re usually sponsored by one of the companies at Com-Con. This year One Direction performed a free concert (Last year Metallica played). Conan O’Brien did his show live from San Diego the entire week of Comic-Con.  There was even a cool Star Wars concert on one of the nights that was open to show attendees where the original orchestra played the music from the Star Wars movie. Even Harrison Ford was in attendance. If that wasn’t cool enough all attendees received a cool free light saber.
Comic Con Zombies
The show is definitely fun for the entire family and I can only imagine the fun I would of had there as a kid if my parents would have taken our family to the show. I look forward to attending every year and yes, it definitely gets my creative juices flowing.  Comic-Con has also been a great networking opportunity over the years. When I return home from the show, I’m very inspired musically and creatively. If you get to San Diego in July I strongly recommend you check out the show. I’m glad I did.
 
For more info on Comic-Con check out www.comic-con.org 

 

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Ronny North

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