San Diego Comic Con

Shay and I went to San Diego last week and had an absolute blast with roughly 180,000 of our closest friends. There was epic cosplay everywhere you looked, perfect weather, the chillest vibes, and nothing but happy people. We played games (Shay trounced me at Street Fighter, winning every single round), bought books and comics, and ran into so many friends.

On Thursday, I had a signing window so weirdly long that I brought my laptop to get work done and a book to read. Seriously, four and a half hours for signing? I figured I’d be done in fifteen minutes and so I even set up a couple of meetings during that time to sign bookplates for publishers and catch up with colleagues. Boy was I wrong.

We got to the signing area to find a massive queue of folks holding various versions of WOOL. There was a bit of confusion and chaos as we waited for my signing table to clear, so I chatted with people in line to see how their con was going. Once the signing started, it felt like it would never end. I tried to balance giving each person as much time as I could while recognizing that lots of folks were patiently waiting in line. When we got to the last person of that initial line, I looked at my watch and two hours had passed!

Shay made a short video of the experience:

It was cool seeing fans that I’d met at my first SDCC a decade ago! And there were lots of new fans from the TV show who were eager to see where the story went from there. Someone walked up with an original paperback of the first short story (super rare), and there were even folks with I, ZOMBIE and THE PLAGIARIST. Seeing my first Molly Fyde book was a special treat. Everyone was so pleasant. Took a lot of selfies, and on the second day of signing the bookstore at the con told us they’d completely sold out of everything.

The real star of the weekend was Shay, who cosplayed as Wonder Woman (the OG Lynda Carter version).

I warned Shay that wearing this would make walking anywhere a stop-and-go affair, and boy was I right! She must’ve had a thousand pictures taken of her. The best were the little kids who would stop and stare, slack-jawed. They would hug her knee and smile at their parents. Some would just whisper “Wonder Woman” as she walked by.

At 5’10” barefoot and probably 6’3″ in the boots, she towered over the crowd like a true Amazonian warrior princess. Shay just exudes that superhero goddess vibe all the time, but once she put on the stars and stripes and donned that cape, the transformation was mind-blowing. I kept looking at her and trying to process that this was my wife!

A highlight of the entire con for me was when a Green Arrow in fantastic cosplay (I mean, this guy could easily play the role in a feature film), walked past us and just nodded at Shay and said “Diana,” like he’d see her later at HQ. It was such a boss move. And really captured the vibe of the con, where adults get to be kids and kids get to believe anything is possible.

Because of the strikes, there were very few actors working the con. Hall H – where the studios normally do the big reveals for their projects – was very quiet. The only reminder that Hollywood existed were the big ads around town and the banners hanging in the convention center (Apple had a huge SILO banner right over the front entrance, which was surreal to see). But if anything, the move back to comics, artists, toys, and books was amazing. And San Diego was its usual awesome self.

It was only my second SDCC, but we totally get why so many people we met have been coming every year for decades. When we weren’t in the convention center, we were strolling through the incredible farmers’ market in Little Italy, or walking the waterfront, or having the best Mexican food ever. We even hit the beach on Wednesday before the show started and took a swim, then sat at the bar at Hotel Coronado. Walking the streets full of con goers and locals was a blast, and we could see fireworks from our hotel bed every night.

Thank you to everyone who waited in line or stopped to say hello. And for all the kids who hugged Shay’s knee and made her feel like a superhero.

5 responses to “San Diego Comic Con”

  1. Well done and congratulations on your success.

  2. Sounds like a blast.

  3. Great share, thank you! And your wife Shay is a very convincing Wonder Woman! I have enjoyed many of your books and wish you continued success!

  4. Hi Hugh,

    I was wondering if you can settle a matter of debate amongst my friends: Are the Sand series and Wool set in the same universe? Without getting spoilery: My argument is that if they were, there would be a lot less things to find under the sand. Also those things Brock was looking for would likely have been used already. However my friends seemed convinced otherwise.

  5. Comic-Con is amazing! Glad you had a great time. So did I as I had a panel this year. I’m convinced I should come more often! Yes, Hollywood had a low profile this year and it was wonderful to focus on the core values of Comic-Con: comics and community.

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