Comic-Con Summary: Paolini, Panels, and Signings! (Day 0)

Comic-Con is best described as four solid days of pop culture, geek culture, fantasy/scifi/horror culture awesomeness. The convention had us on our feet for nearly six days as we set out to cover as much of the convention as we could to report back for you all! This year we were lucky enough to be joined by a whole host of amazing authors and industry leaders, including Christopher Paolini himself! This first part of our Comic-Con coverage talks about what Comic-Con really is and our adventures on Day Zero (Preview Night), including wandering the convention halls with Christopher Paolini!Ah, Comic-Con… you were a blast. Again. This year’s San Diego Comic-Con was my fourth year attending and the website’s sixth year covering the event. The tradition started with a mind-blown-and-overwhelmed 17-year-old (me) walking into the convention center for the first time to heading out in 2010 finally able to discuss my own upcoming book. Bizarre!

As usual, Comic-Con was full of delightful and shocking events and experiences. The four (and a half, technically) day convention had over 140,000 attendees this year – a record for the 41-year-old comic convention. The print, movie/TV, and gaming industries have embraced Comic-Con more than ever in recent years and this surely showed – from the giant advertisements covering entire sides of 30-story hotel buildings to the True Blood-clad elevators and hotel room keys. However, despite the increased commercial presence at the convention, the true sense of community, the little guys, and enjoying each others’ company still exists.

This editorial will highlight what I found to be some of the key points of each day at Comic-Con. If you’re looking to only read about Inheritance-related events, you’ll want to skip day two and day four. However, I highly recommend reading each day; the events may not be Inheritance-related but they’re appealing to all fantasy and science-fiction fans for sure!

Day Zero – Preview Night at Comic-Con 2010 (July 21st)

Preview Night offers lucky convention goers a chance to enter the convention hall for three hours prior to the first day of Comic-Con. The convention runs just about as normally as the other days on Preview Night with the only notable differences being vendors and major booths withholding limited edition items from sale and giveaway until the convention officially launches. It’s quite a treat to be able to check the convention out before the mass of convention goers arrive on day one.

The Inheritance Almanac is officially announced

The most personally exciting event on Day Zero of the Comic-Con trip was finally being able to share the news of my book with all of you. I had coordinated with my publisher to receive a final copy of the book cover prior to taking off for San Diego. The wonderful folks in Random House’s publicity department had let me know that they would be featuring the book on an easel at their booth during Comic-Con, which officially meant that the curtain was being lifted on the project. I was stoked.

Not being able to contain my excitement, I immediately called Robert shortly after my plane touched down in San Diego to hit the post button on a news post draft that had been sitting in our news system for over a day… and thus The Inheritance Almanac was officially announced!

(Curious as to what The Inheritance Almanac is? In short, it’s Mike Macauley’s official companion guide to the Inheritance cycle. That’s just the brief run-down! Want to know more? Check out The Inheritance Almanac’s page here on Shur’tugal!)

Christopher arrives at Comic-Con

Christopher Paolini made his arrival to the San Diego convention center shortly after touching down at the airport. Christopher is almost as seasoned as I am when it comes to times attending Comic-Con. However, as you’ll realize, the pre-Comic-Con excitement never truly dies off. Christopher met up with us (myself and the Random House staff) at the Random House booth (1515!) and off we went to explore the convention hall before the doors closed.

We had a blast wandering the convention and eying out the booths that looked most exciting. My personal favorite was the AMC’s Walking Dead booth, which was a movie set from the channel’s newest zombie thriller. Christopher favored the art section of Comic-Con, where we ran into many fantastic fantasy and sci-fi artists. We managed to evade the glaring eyes of security for nearly twenty minutes after the convention hall officially closed before being ushered out for the night. It was then off to dinner before calling it an early night. Thursday was to be our busy day!

Shur’tugal will offer a summary of Day One of Comic-Con tomorrow!