Comic Con Blogger: Tony Kim

This marks the true start of my Comic Con coverage (don’t say I didn’t warn you!). In preparation for my first Comic Con, I’ve been reading up on blogs such as Crazy 4 Comic Con for advice, news, antidotes and all things Comic Con.

Pastor by day and proud nerd by night, Tony Kim has taken the time to answer a few questions about his experience and expertise. He runs Crazy 4 Comic Con and is also a contributor to Babble on 5.

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What year was your first Comic Con?

2006 was my first Comic-Con. Since that time I have not only returned to SDCC but visited many other comic book conventions over the years.


This year the tickets sold out in record time, were you surprised?  Are nerds gradually taking over the world?

I am not surprised the tickets sold out so fast. Since 2007, the demand has skyrocketed. Last year, I bought my 4-day at the con but all the 4-day with Preview Night was already sold out (for the first time). It was then I knew it would be the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Hollywood, the internet, and social media have all contributed to 'nerds taking over the world'. Geek IP (intellectual property) has driven and reigned supreme at the box office. Websites have given nerds a platform to express. Social media has allowed the 'tribe' to organize and communicate with each other. It's an awesome time to be a nerd!


Which panels are you looking forward to attending this year?

Actually this year I'm working with Comic-Con so I will be busy behind the scenes for most of the convention. However, if I was a regular attendee, I would be super jazzed about Chuck, Community, The Guild, and The Walking Dead.


Comic Con has obviously evolved and is much more than just Comic books, how do you feel about the shift to having more Pop culture panels?

I know the purist are a little distraught over the shifts in Comic-Con but I think the evolution is a good thing. The mission statement of the organization says that it exists for 'the awareness of, and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms...' So I think it is being true to itself. However, it hasn't been till recent that the popular art forms of movie and TV have caught up to creativity of comic books so now we are experiencing it. Change is painful, but a lot of positive can come from all this.

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Your blog provides a lot of tips (for newbs like me!), what’s the biggest mistake you made in your first Comic Con? And what’s your solution to overcome it?

I think the biggest challenge is effective planning. Just 5 years ago, I didn't know of any blogs or sites to help con newbies like myself. Now, there are a lot of resources other than my site and Twitterers that can help you get ready. So if I was new, I would take advantage of all the great help out there. My specific advice would be for a newbie to meet as many people as possible. Take initiative, make connections, and follow up after the con. You never know how one relationship can change your life.
   

What’s the longest you’ve ever waited in a queue at Comic Con and for which panel? Was it worth it?

Last year, I waited about 3 hours for the TRON: Legacy panel. We made it all the way to the doors and they closed room! After a few minutes they allowed our group in- we barely made it. The hype, footage, and crowd participation made it the best panel I had ever been to. I even asked Jeff Bridges a question which was really memorable.

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You’ve met a fair few Con icons through your blogs – who has been the ultimate highlight so far?

Hands down it was meeting Stan Lee. My blog (and a little begging) allowed me access to his press conference. When 'the Man' was done, I darted to the front hoping for a moment. I ended up thanking him for his incredible contributions and asked for a picture. It was awesome and one of the biggest thrills of my life. Excelsior!


Most prized souvenir from Comic Con and why?

I am not a huge SWAG or collector at Comic Con but I do have a couple of prized goodies. In the fore-mentioned TRON panel, the only negative thing that happened was that I broke my wristwatch. No watch at the con is a bad thing! As an avid Trekkie, I decided to match wits against other Trekkies at the Paramount Booth (promoting Star Trek). I outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted my opponents at Trek trivia. To my surprise, the prize was a sweet Star Trek watch!!! The con gods were blessing me! How amazing it that? The other was my Star Wars belt buckle that I bought. I have worn it almost everyday since then.

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What does your wife think of your love of comic books & Comic Con?

My wife is not a nerd like me but she gets it. She knows that Comic-Con is so much more to me than just enjoying nerdy stuff. It's about experiencing creativity. Everything we see (comics, TV, movies) started out as just an idea in someone's mind. Great opportunities are around every corner and sometimes we just need some inspiration to seize it. You don't have to be bitten by a radioactive spider or develop a mutation, you just have to form an idea and work your tail off- and great things will happen. Sure it might not be exactly what you imagined but good always comes after great effort. After I go to Comic-Con, I always challenge myself to go in some new directions and take risks. Its the best 4 days of my year.




A very gracious thanks to Tony for not only taking the time to take part in this interview but also the countless hours invested in his blog which has been a valued Comic Con resource for newbies and veterans alike.


image credits - crazy 4 comic con

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