As you read this, I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con for the first time in three years. (I’m writing this ahead of time, because at the show itself, I’ll be writing up… well, a lot of other things.) I’m genuinely nervous about returning, for reasons that have nothing to do with my very real fear of getting COVID from a convention center filled with 150,000 people; I’m nervous about returning to the show and the exertion required to cover it across its five-day span, and whether I’ll have aged out of being able to do that without getting too exhausted and overwhelmed on a regular basis.
My editors, bless them, have been particularly generous about building in time for me to relax and not lose my mind. There’s an official schedule, and on it, there’s a note that repeats in all caps, telling us to RELAX; there are even asterisks surrounding it for emphasis. We’re all seasoned Comic-Con veterans, and yet, we’re also all aware that it’s been three years and we’re all a little older and a little bit wary at this point. We all need reminders in capital letters, putting our health and well-being on the schedule just in case we lose track of the important things.
I am excited about it all; I should say that. As nervous as I am, I’m excited to get back to this thing that I really have been missing for all this time. There’s something about a convention (and, especially covering a convention for work the way that I’ve been doing pretty continuously for the last decade-plus) that is an experience unlike any other, and it’s something that I’ve surprised myself by missing to the extent that I have. So, yeah: I’m glad to be going back, all things considered… I’m just quietly expecting disaster at any given opportunity, because, well, given the past couple of years, why wouldn’t I?