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First Person: I Moved To San Diego To Be Closer To Comic-Con

July 16, 2018 2:52 p.m.

First Person: I Moved To San Diego Be Closer To Comic-Con

GUEST:

Nathan Donovan, fan, Comic-Con

Related Story: First Person: I Moved To San Diego To Be Closer To Comic-Con

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Our First Person series features the stories of San Diego and told in their own voices. Nathan Donovan says he is first and foremost a Star Wars fan but he'll also geek out about Marvel comics and movies. He loves to cause play as Han Solo as well as Zapp Brannigan from Futurama so comic Comecon seems like the perfect place for him so perfect that he decided to move to San Diego to be closer to the pop culture convention as part of our First Person series. Nathan begins by telling us how he came to his first comic con.

I was living in Brooklyn in 2005 and got a call from my grandfather who was living in San Diego at the time and asked if I ever heard of this comic con and if I ever wanted to go and I said Of course since I was 12 years old I was 21 at the time.

I'm not the type of person that likes planning first stuff so getting an airfare ticket and finding a place to stay and getting out here every year just seemed like too much work so I just decided to move out here so I would never miss another one and four months later I became a San Diego resident. When I came out here it was just paradise. It was just everybody it was the Mardi Gras of comic book conventions. I had been you know Wizard World Chicago many years I've been to many comic book conventions in New York City just none of them compared whatsoever to comic con and the feeling you get there just the energy just from everybody around it's electric and everybody's your friend and it's just amazing experience and you don't find that out anywhere else in the world you know.

And that's what drives me to come back every year. I just want to have a great time with my friends. And 130000 people there are my friends. It's a great time.

When people come into my house they usually say oh wow yes I understand you moved here for Comecon completely by the front door. Have a life size Infinity Gauntlet.

I have a Luke Skywalker lightsaber next to me. Darth Vader Nutcracker next to an assortment of little R2 2s.

And last but not least I have a life size Spiderman wherein all 13 years of my Comecon badges shining side of the sky. Just like my account is only three days away.

I am prepping my costumes and making sure my boots are polished my blasters are loaded. Probably try to do some crunches make our cast fit a little bit better. I've always been first and foremost a huge Star Wars fan and Han Solo was my guy. Everybody tells me I look like Mark Hamill but I feel more in-line with Han Solo. I love dressing up as him playing for anybody that's ever thought about it. Just just do it. It's so much fun. You get invited to so many more things you can just walk by a door and if they're having an exclusive party they invite you. And that's happened many many times. And it's just it's like Halloween on crack. But yeah you can get stopped all day long. It's part of the fun though you know expect that if you have a good costume you need to start factoring in how much time it's going to take you to get from one panel to the other. Because if you're doing it right you're going to get stopped. And it's a great feeling. Ansarullah.

Used to be. Plan plan plan plan get out that way. Looks like you managed to only escape if you like it back in your mind. Cannot plan enough. You're going to have to make sacrifices. There's going to be cool things going on at both times. Unfortunately we can't be in two places at once. They're going to have to pick which panel is more important. Don't take all the swag. You don't need every single poster. I think that was my big mistake my first year as. I tried to take him back to New York. Every single penny every single T-shirt every single poster every single flyer for sale at a comic book store. I just wanted to take it all home you don't need it.

It's definitely changed it's more hectic it's a lot more planned out. You know when you first came it was OK Go buy your tickets at the door. And I think it was 2007 maybe 2006 was the first year that they sold out at the door. And that kind of changed everybody's mentality and we've got to start buying them online. And then the first couple of years that everybody started buying them online they would come out with the little thermometer to show you how much tickets were left and you could have like a week or so before you purchased your ticket. Now to get tickets you need to have a pool of friends that are waiting at 9:00 a.m. one the morning that they send that laid out and you have to register to buy tickets five months before. It's not as chill of a process as it used to be just walking up and he'd like to go to Comic Con. OK here here's your ticket. Go on in. It's military style planning sometimes to get your tickets. And yeah it's stressful it is just it's part of the it's part of the fun now. Wake up early with your friends. You get to click that link right at that time wait and the virtual waiting room and everybody constantly texting each other. Yes. Yes. And you know it adds a fun adrenaline rush to the process. Now I haven't become disillusioned with the con I know a lot of people have the year I don't get tickets probably that will happen to me.

For somebody that's never been that never experienced it. It's you know. It's Coachella or Mardi Gras for nerds.

Part of being in line is the fun it's the camp out it's the sleep over effect of Comecon and it takes a certain amount of fandom to do that and you rarely find that just in your everyday life. So having that just concentrated right there in that line. It's great. About 10 people ahead of you and 10 people behind you are going to become best friends for life. You're going to meet some great people that just love the same things as you. You're going to have great conversations. I think it's a blast and I love people that do that. You know. The way I sum it up is it's the most important five days for me a year.

That was Nathan Donovan. That first person feature was produced by Beth Accomando.