It's one of those Comic-Con clichés that (sadly) turns out
to be true. That -- when you cram 135,000 people into the San Diego Convention
Center and then make them stand in line for hours (Or -- in the case of those poor
people who began camping out alongside of this enormous bayside structure on
Monday, just so that they'd then be guaranteed a seat at Thursday's "The Twilight
Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part Two" presentation in Hall H -- days) -- the
place can get kind of ripe after a while.
A few years back, I can remember walking into the Con with
my daughter on Sunday morning. And the acrid sweat smell which was coming off
of a few of the cosplayers (some of whom had evidently been wearing the exact
same outfit since Preview Night) was so strong that it actually made your eye
water. As the two of us hurried to get
downwind of some particularly rank Stormtroopers, Alice
turned to me and asked "Why does this entire building now smell like
chicken soup ?"
Why indeed? But when you combine too many things to do with
not enough time to do half of them ... Well, something has to give. Me
personally? To make sure that I'm able to cover Comic-Con as well as regularly
file stories for this site from that show, I'll cut back on sleep. But for some Comic-Con
attendees, the thing that they ultimately decide to let slide for those 4 1/2
days that these people will be in San Diego is personal hygiene.
Photo by Jim Hill
Well, the folks at Focus Features ... They're Comic-Con
regulars. So they know how rank & ripe the San Diego Convention Center can
get sometimes by Saturday afternoon. Which is why -- with the hope that they can someone help
to make this year's event a little less odiferous -- Focus Films actually began
sending out toilet kits.
FedEx delivered mine yesterday. And given that Focus Features is
distributing "ParaNorman" later this year (More to the point, given
that "The Walking Dead" is one of the hottest shows on television right
now), this packet of mouthwash, toothpaste, Purel and other sundry items was
zombie-themed. Right down to the undead toothbrush which was tucked into a
black, zippered pouch.
Now some folks might have been offended to be sent a box full
of toiletries. Not me. I view this all as ammo which I can then use while I'm
battling the crowd at this year's show. That's why I'm going to toss a lot of
this stuff in my computer bag and then carry it with me as I walk the show
floor. That way, when I'm stuck in close quarters with some hygenically-challenged
Comic-Con attendee, I can then say
"Can I offer you a breath mint? Better yet, complimentary use of this
entire stick of deodorant?"
Yep, thanks to people producing "ParaNorman" (FYI:
This new stop-motion film hits theaters on August 17th), I'll be doing my part
to make this year's Con a little less offensive to the nose. Hopefully convincing
a few Comic-Con attendees to just say "No" to B.O.
By the way, it's not just toiletries that Focus Features will
be giving away at this year's show. If you're wandering around San Diego's
Gaslamp Quarter over the next 5 days, you may encounter a
"ParaNorman" -themed ice truck. Which will then be giving away free
zombie-green ice cream as well as other cool promotional items.
Just be sure that you brush after eating that ice cream,
Copyright Focus Features. All rights reserved
See you at the Con!
One of my co-hosts and myself recently conducted a series of interviews for my podcast about conventions and the overwhelming consensus from our interviewees as advice was for convention goers to implement proper hygiene. As a regular convention attendee, I simply must agree. Kudos to Focus Features for this cleverness!