Thursday, July 22, 2010

San Diego - Day 1

In which my feet are already rendered down to inoperative slabs of meat and muscle.

One thing I am struck by in my 20 year absence is how much the downtown has transformed itself. The Gaslamp District was a bit sketchy in places back in the day, but now is a line of eateries and pubs stretching halfway up the hill. Horton Center looks like it has seen better days, though, surviving best with its top floor eateries and movie theaters. And there is a lot more of a skyline, and those buildings closest to the Comic Con have full-size billboards painted over them for Red Faction and Skyline, which can literally be viewed by aircraft coming in on approach. Add to that mobile trucks with huge HD screens playing trailers. I almost expect to see blimps floating by, blaring how a new life awaits me in the off-world colonies.

The day itself started with a relaxed breakfast, an interview with MMORPG, and a panel with Stan and Hunter Freberg (for the younger folk, he made comedy albums back when vinyl was cool, was the voice of Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent, and brought the funny to commercials, including a Geno's pizza roll commercial which probably needs its own blog entry to unpack what it says about America in the 60s). My big disappointment was among the younger friends who say "Who?" when I said I was going to see Stan Freberg. I, on the other hand, was delighted, because like so many young creatives of my era (who are no longer so young), I grew up on Mad magazine and Stan Freberg.

I tried to remain paper-free for the day, since I didn't want to schlep around anything or have to take it back to my mile-away room. Unfortunately, I found the Source (out of Minnesota), which carried a huge amount of Call of Cthulhu material, including some German stuff I had never seen, Ken Hite's Dubious Shards, and a lot of bound monograms from Chaosium. So I ended up schlepping around some stuff.

Sat in on the 38 Studio/Big Huge reveal for Reckoning, in support for Bob Salvadore and Ken Rolston (both of whom I remember from the days back when). Went looking for the supposed protesters, but found only one guy holding up a sign saying "HAVE YOU SEEN MY KEYS?". Have a nice interview with Neoseeker and a surprise video interview with Had I known I would be on video, I would have worn a louder shirt.

By this time my dogs were starting to go out, so I walked back to the hotel, which in my absence had been moved further uphill. Now they are in a little pain and I'm not sure the ankles work anymore. So I'm going to take it easy for the evening, have an early night, and read some of my swag.

Oh. and if you see the guy with the sign, tell him I found his keys.

More later,