Another San Diego Comic Con has come and gone. For the first time in 8 years, I didn't stand in a single line; I didn't walk the floor until my blisters had blisters; I didn't 'ooh' and 'aah' as celebrities crowded onto a panel to introduce exclusive footage.
"Dang, Collin," you say, "sounds like you went and missed everything!".
But I just slowly shake my head. Because for the first time, I wasn't at SDCC as a fan...
This year, I was a Creator. This year... I was BEHIND THE BOOTH.
With HACKTIVIST coming out in hard cover just two weeks ago, the fine people at Boom!/Archaia decided that it would behoove sales to trot Jorkstone and I out to the con, and shackle us to the booth. A prison with golden cuffs, let me tell you. They set us up at opposite ends of the Archaia table, the short end of the Boom! Booth rectangle. Between us were some of the greatest creators on Archaia's slate, which is a company known for the stunning quality of their publications. Here I was, standing right next to creators who I am legit in awe of, and who I can now call friends. Yes, my feet weren't blistered from walking the floor, but by the end of con my voice was raw from pitching, and everything from the thighs down was an aching mess (Con Tip: You can't sell books if you're sitting in a chair!).
The upside? We sold out of HACKTIVIST! Wait, let me try that again...
EVERY. SINGLE. COPY. OF. HACKTIVIST.
Yeah, that's what's up. Yes, we were loud. Yes, there were two of us. Yes, Alyssa was tweeting up a storm, and she has more fans than a Burlesque Academy. Yes, it didn't hurt that we were right next to the Marvel Booth, which lead to many people just kind of loitering as they waited for this or that celebrity to show up, which gave us the perfect chance to sell them their new favorite book (Con Tip: If you see Paul Rudd in person, yell that he is handsome, because then he will smile at you and everything will be right in the world). But also, people were just interested, because unlike most books out there, what we were selling was real, grounded, and topical as all get out.
But the best moment? The best moment was when a girl came to the table - she might have been 20 years old. I go into my normal spiel, and she stops me -
"Oh, you don't have to tell me, I love Hacktivist. I have all the issues." I blush, and smile, and make the kind of humble banter that comes so easy when someone tries to hit me with praise. But then she says something that stops me cold.
"Hacktivist made me fall in love with comics."
This girl had tried comics, but she didn't care for flights and tights and magic and BS. She wanted real, she wanted grounded, and she wanted character. Now, she was buying everything... and it was because of us.
Look, every comic fan has that moment when it clicks. For me, it was Mike Mignola's HELLBOY. For this girl, it was our HACKTIVIST. We were her gateway drug, and I couldn't be happier to have gotten her addicted. In the smallest of ways, we changed her life - which is why why WHY we write at all. Full stop.
Did it really happen? It's all such a blur.
Friday Afternoon we did a thing. We had a meeting. It was amazing. But I can't talk about it.
Friday Night we went to a "nerdcore" hip-hop show, where the most awesome and charming MC Lars shouted out that HACKTIVIST was his new favorite comic and that everyone should check it out - that was pretty rad.
Saturday Morning we did some interviews, including a sit down with the Electronic Freedom Foundation (or EFF), who are basically the front line of defense for all hacktivists who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. They gave us stickers, and their friendship.
Sunday, most excellent cousin David and ConWizard Charles were kind enough to hook me up with my most desirous of SDCC Exclusive Toys: Pacific Rim All-Black Jaegers.