Yeah, I know, Comic Con is SOOO 2 weeks ago. But what with Dim moving to a new flat with no internet yet, and me catching up on a lot of sleep, we've not had the time to post about it until now.
This year was incredible! While last year was a lot more about hanging out with the Newgrounds staff, this time we met up with a load of NG artists. I'm pretty sure we met everyone on Ross' list. Just like last year, I was struck by how great everyone was. Every single person I met, I would love to hang out with again.
We arrived in San Diego on Monday evening, after a 15 hour flight. We thought about finding a cinema to see The Dark Knight, but in the end, we just went to bed.
The next day, we headed downtown to the shops, since everything is so cheap out there. I don't think I bought anything, but Dim loaded up with clothes, having not brought many in his suitcase. Then we went to see The Dark Knight and Wall-e. Both were amazing by the way, go see them if you havn't.
Hans called us up on my newly aquired mobile, needing a place to stay for the night until Dan turned up the next day and we were happy to let him kip on our hotel room chair. Super comfy! I think we all got to bed at about 4am in the end.
The next day, after tearful goodbyes with Hans, Dim and I cheered ourselves up with a trip to the zoo! There were big amnimals and lions and tigers and polarbears and pandas and everything! Our little sister is/was a big fan of pandas so the panda-themed gift shop supplied all our gifting needs. We didn't get the notebook made from recycled panda poo though.
We spoke to Hans again after we got back and he was downtown with Ross, Kira, Dan and Chris in his hotel. We walked forever to reach it (yeah, only 7 blocks Hans!) so when we arrived, we were out of breath and perhaps even a little sweaty? We all zipped across town to the airport, since Arin was flying in. Dim, Hans and I made it there first. I was great to finally meet Arin in person, Dim's worked with him via the power of the internet for quite a long time.
We all agreed we were hungry, but that going back into town was too much hassle. I can't remember who it was but some smart person suggested going to the food court at the airport. MacDonalds was the only thing open when we arrived but I think everyone was just so tired and hungry, we let our standards slip and enjoyed (hah!) some quality traditional American food. Jake started ringing everyone with us from wherever he was, I think at one point he managed to call everyone in order from left to right. He didn't have my number yet, so I felt left out.
After the tasty food, Dan and Hans invited us all back to their hotel. Kira had a Wii and SSBB, so it's not hard to guess what happened next. I got my ass kicked lots (I didn't have brawl yet at that point), Dim did well though. Arin was far too good, as was Kira. And Hans. Ok, everyone but me. Eventually the humiliation became too much and we went back to our hotel to get enough sleep for the first con day.
Dim and I did the same thing as last year when we got into the con center - a slow, methodical sweep from one end of the hall to the next, looking at everything and buying lots! This year the NG/Behemoth booth was at the very far end, which was handy - we were ready to just stand around chatting with people by the time we got there. Tom was there of course, as were the Behemoth guys and some familiar NG face. Thats when we bumped into Jake, who was really cool - I hadn't had the chance to talk much with him last year.
Wanting to do something other than wandering around the con floor, Dim and I spotted in the guide that they were having Pokemon card tournaments upstairs. Dim still plays, but I hadn't played for quite some time! After a quick translation from Arin (turns out he loves playing too) we figured out that we needed to take along our own decks and so quickly found a booth selling theme decks, picked random ones and ran upstairs to register. We didn't do too well, but I got hooked just like old times, so whilst I stayed on to enter another 2 tournaments Dim wandered back down and randomly found Laura, who we knew from last year.
After the con, we went with Laura and her brother Lewis (of nearly-killing-people-with-a-stick fame - not Luis though) to Fred's, where we'd gone with the NG staff last year, for some food. We walked back to the con center, and went with everyone to watch films in one of the showing rooms. I promptly fell asleep while watching AvP2. When I woke up, my instincts kicked in and I searched out the nearest bar and had a drink with Lewis. Dim STILL can't drink in America (seriously guys, sort that out) so he had to mill about. Still being tired, I finally decided to go back to the hotel and sleep.
Friday was filled with finishing off the rest of the con floor I hadn't covered the previous day, looking at some booths in more detail, being stopped by random cosplaying girls because of my accent, meeting more NG folk - including Luis, Matt and Shawn - and drinking a lot of water.
I don't remember it all that well and I'm quite certain that's because of the amazing party that night. I'm sure you've read a lot about it being the highlight of people's trips - its the same for us! I was able to sample the very tasty Catle Crashers cocktails, chat with some of the guys and girls I hadn't found yet, like Rog, David and Chase, play some Mario Kart, watch the epic pinata fun, have more girls talk to me about my accent (I have a personality too you know!) and generally have an amazing time with everyone.
After the party, there was some bar action. Dim had to retire to the hotel, since he wouldn't be let in anyway. So a sizable group of us went to the bar down the road from last year. When we got there, they were just ringing it for last orders (while you're sorting the age problem, you might want to take a look at that too?) We go some drinks in though. Once they were done, most people disappeared off into the night. A core group of us stayed on - myself, Ross, Arin and Tom Fulp himself. We tried to find a bar that was still open, but no luck. Ross and I entertained ourselves for a short while flirting like crazy with the very lovely Amy in an England v Australia hit-on-off - I have to bow to Ross' ever so slightly superior skills, on that night at least! Tom suggested his hotel bar might be open, which is when we found out that Tom 'moneybags' Fulp was staying at the Marriott right next to the con center. The bar wasn't open after all but that didn't stop us from staying up until after 4am chatting and having a D+M (Ross' term, ask him)
We didn't have passes for Saturday at the con, so the next day Dim and my very tired self caught the trolley to the out of town mall for the afternoon for a bit of retail therapy. Dan from Armor Games arrived in town that evening, along with Tony and fiance Lucy, and Ido. We just about made it back into town to meet them for dinner at TGI Fridays. Dan and I had talked about getting a friendly poker game going before the con, so I rounded up some people who wanted to play and we went to Dan's very fancy hotel room. The poker was fun, and I just lost out on first place, being eventually crushed by Arins huge stack. Arin wanted to play Dim at Pokemon cards, so the rest of us ordered up drinks and watched the devastation - Dim only had his theme deck from the tornament after all. Dan and Hans were having a party in their hotel, so Arin, Dim and I got a bike-taxi-thing over there, only to find things winding down and all the beer gone! Arin suggested a game called Munchkin, which turned out to be loads of fun - probably because I won, beginners luck perhaps? In the first hand, I literally got a card that gave me a big advantage just for being called Tom! Meanwhile, Hand was showing off his ass to the NG webcam, and licking Dan's sleeping face.
The final day of the con was a little more relaxed. Dim and I met our official number one fan - Joyce! She was the first one to send us fan art, and the first to buy a shirt from our store - she wore it that day. I went off to go buy a bunch of stuff from various booths that I'd had my eye on, and when I got back, there were loads of the NG guys around the booth. We all decided to grab some food, and for lack of a better idea, I took them to the food court at the downtown mall.
Kira wanted to do some post-con video interviews, and I suggested that we use the lobby of Dan's hotel, where we'd been the previous night for poker. We mingled our way there, with brief stops for Wendy's and cigs. Dan, Tony, Lucy and Ido could only stay for a short while before leaving to drive back up to Irvine, so Kira got their interviews done and we said goodbye. That left about 15 of us sitting about in the lobby of the hotel which now, no-one from our group was staying at! Ross and I went for a beer or 5 at the hotel bar, Kira did her interviews, some other guys turned up, including Ryan and everyone just wound down from a really hectic few days. We all stayed until around midnight before saying our final farewells and taking cabs back to our respective hotels.
Dim and I caught another reeeeeally long flight home and then slept. A lot.
Special thanks to Dan (of Armor Games) who payed for everything for the second year in a row. We owe the whole thing to you! Also to Tom for having such amazing users on your site, and whoever organised the Behemoth party (I think Tom said it was Tim?). Oh, and everyone we met too!
Here are some lovely pictures from Dim and I
And some from Dan too