The Stan Lee’s Comikaze After-Action Report

comikaze nick and phil

Despite a great deal of scrambling that occurred in the morning hours of Sept. 16, our So You Created a Wormhole panel Sunday at Stan Lee’s Comikaze went swimmingly. It was great fun.

But the hours between 6 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. were moderately horrific.

First, I spent the morning trying to create cosplayish items that I had somehow put off completing until the last minute. This is because I am incredibly stupid.

So I was lighting things on fire, digging through laundry, smashing glass on my apartment balcony and driving around Hollywood searching hardware stores for very particular components at roughly 8 a.m. The panel was at 11 — we hoped to be there by 10. This, of course, was a scientific impossibility. We entertained the delusion anyway.

At some point, I abandoned my cosplay idea as too complex to achieve within a half hour, and drove over to co-writer super best friend Nick’s to pick him up. It was at that moment — roughly 9:15 — that Nick realized he was missing a key adapter component to make his computer work with the panel room’s projector. After 10 or 15 minutes of searching, it remained disappeared.

We headed back to my place, where I changed clothes, dug through my own pile of random computer components, and put the finishing touches on our cosplay gear (we wear custom QUAN+UM lab coats and goggles for stuff like this, on occasion). Finally, we (thought) we were ready to go, and headed over to pick up Jon Gibson, our buddy from iam8bit who would be serving as moderator. He was the most prepared of the three of us.

Jon was in the car. All our gear was in the car. We managed to locate the wayward component. And we still had a reasonable amount of time before we had to be sitting on a panel in front of people. Things seemed okay — even when we realized that Nick had left his Comikaze badge at home (the authorities were super-cool and later helped him out with a new one).

Then my iPhone flew out the car window.

I’m not really sure how that happened. Window open, lane merge completed, quick map check to determine the quickest way to get to the Los Angeles Convention Center — and it was gone.  I flipped a left turn onto a nearby street, parked where I shouldn’t have, and sprinted back to the scene of the incident. Traffic seemed to be gingerly avoiding my misplaced device, and as soon as there was a lull, I raced out and snagged the little iPhone 4 from the pavement.

It still. Totally. Worked. Thanks, Apple.

Back in the car. We finally got to the convention center, replaced badges, got inside, headed up to the panel room — and we couldn’t get the screen to work. Luckily, we had help from the convention staff, who were awesome yet again, and after much finagling with strange computer bits, we finally got the damn thing cooperating. Just in time.

The panel was in a small room and it was just the three of us, but we had a rather large turnout — probably around 75 people in a roughly 90-person space. And it seemed to go rather well: at Nick’s prompting, we stirred up the attendees to cheer for us as we ran through the doors (even though they knew we were there and we’d been talking to them for about 10 minutes before that). We played our So  You Created a Wormhole trailer for public eyes for basically the first time ever, and it garnered laughs, which was a relief. And we ended up having a long and interesting conversation with the people who attended about time travel and popular culture, answering questions and listening to theories, movies and books we hadn’t heard of before. Seemed like everyone enjoyed it. I certainly did.

Afterward, it was down to the Mysterious Galaxy booth to sign some copies, which is always a great time. If you haven’t been to their store(s), and you’re local to California, I urge you to check them out. One is in San Diego, the other is in Redondo Beach — catch the store online here. It’s like a sci-fi fan’s secret headquarters.

Also at Comikaze: I got that sick Marty McFly hat up there in the image.

I highly recommend checking out Stan Lee’s Comikaze next year if you like comics and conventions and you’re LA-local. My big issue with San Diego Comic-Con, even though it’s awesome, is that it’s a madhouse (a madhouse!). The whole area around the convention center in San Diego is streaming with people. It’s nearly impossible to see the popular panels, and you miss out on a lot of the cool stuff there because there’s too much noise.

Comikaze is a great deal smaller without being small. It was exactly the right size — enough people to feel bustling, not so many that you have to throw elbows just to get around. And there’s still lots to see and do without the necessity of cartography equipment and camping gear.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who came out and everyone who helped make our panel possible. That was fun; lets do more stuff like that.

Oh, hey, wanna see that So You Created a Wormhole trailer? It’s below. I intend to do a post all about it sometime soon.

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