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(This is a spoiler free essay about my experiences covering Supernatural at Comic Con. Spoilerphobes need not worry, no season five giveaways here.)
Sunday morning as I waited outside press room 1B at the Comic Con, sitting still was a little tough. Sure, blaming the extra large (sorry, Venti!) Starbucks could have worked, if I had one. Yeah, I skipped the java that morning. Who needed caffeine when I was coasting on a pure adrenaline rush? In a half hour, I was going to be part of the Supernatural press session. 
Sure, I traveled 2200 miles primarily for this one hour event, but getting through this would be easy, right? It was another thrilling moment in a long line of others I've had since I started blogging about this amazing show 16 months ago. This would be just another press event, another chance for me to talk with brilliant minds about their magnificent creation, right? RIGHT?? I asked myself again when my inner voice failed to answer.   
So why the nerves? I'd already done four press rooms in the last two days and wasn't this riled up. I met the casts and producers of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Fringe and The Vampire Diaries, and even gushed to Robert Duncan McNeill what a huge fan I was without falling apart. A wealth of awesome material was in my possession, ready for sharing on Blogcritics and Anything else would just be a bonus to an already incredible weekend. So why was that stabbing pain coming from my mid-section?
The only other person there, a cameraman from a local TV station, was cool as a cucumber. This was just another day at the office for him. He was certainly familiar with the history of Comic Con. Yes, he agreed it had gotten too big, too out of control, and too many fans got shut out of events, but the main idea still stuck today. It was all about the fans. It was all about letting the fans mingle with talent from all genres and share mutual admiration.    
Holy shit! That's when reality hit. I wasn't going into that press room as a journalist/blogger. I was going in there as a fan!   Not just that, a total fan girl! My nerves changed to near freaking out. Oh my God, oh my God, this is a fan girl's dream! I'm going to have access like no other. I'm going to meet these people that I've been idolizing ever since finding this show through channel flipping. I'm going to actually discuss everything Supernatural with them face to face! I'm going to learn what's new about season five before anyone else! I'm going...I'm going to be sick! 
After several deep breaths and intense screaming within - being together enough to know letting it out loud was going to get me tossed - a sound mind won over. I checked in, took my place at the back table in the corner - my trademark spot of the con - and tried to sit still while waiting. I don't remember that working. 
The other nine people at the table were from all sorts of media outlets and unlike other press rooms, we talked and got to know each other. We even exchanged business cards. Theirs had nice professional logos touting their outlets while mine was a homemade job on the laser printer that read, "Freelance Writer," with and penciled in. Oh, but they didn't know the crude card was a really cover for my secret identity. At home, my secret abilities allow me to code functional SQL scripts on an Oracle database faster than the speed of light. Okay, faster than the speed of someone taking a coffee break. Hey, not all superpowers are glitz and glamour.   
That thought of my day job provided distraction while waiting. When I took vacation time from work to be there, naturally co-workers asked where I was going. "San Diego." Oh, friends or family there? "No, Comic Con." Yes, that triggered the strange looks. "On a full press pass." The looks went from strange to skeptical. "I'm a TV blogger. I primarily write about a show called Supernatural." The looks went to disdain, for they'd never heard of it. Surely they were being had. Finally, the explanation changed to "family vacation." Our strained relationship went back to normal.  
Heck, explaining to my parents and siblings why I was going wasn't easy either. Why do that? Blogging isn't a real job. Isn't that what newspaper and magazine reporters do? I tried to explain Comic Con embraced the blogosphere as a buzz worthy medium that effectively spread the word to the common man, but all I got was those blank stares. The line "family vacation" worked again, which was exactly what my hubby and kids were doing nearby while I was sitting in this press room feeling like I was going to barf.
That harrowing thought process made me ignorant to the fact that the panelists had entered the room. Before I knew it, sitting at the head of our table was none other than Eric Kripke! Eric Freaking Kripke, the master genius himself! He sat down, ready to take on our questions.  What now? Somehow, in a well timed three seconds of clarity, I remembered how aggressive these press rooms had been thus far. Out of my mouth stumbled the first question. "What does that mean, God has left the building?" Just like when I asked Jared Padalecki my question about Sera Gamble at the Chicago con last fall, I completely zoned out during the answer, still blown away by the fact he was maintaining eye contact while answering it. Yes, the answer was really great when I played it back later. 

He went on, talking about how he'd never dreamed the show would make it this far and shared a bunch of juicy teasers for season five. You want to know how hard it was to keep "SQUEEEEEEE!!!" to myself? I managed, but it almost killed me. What act of God would be required for the CW to start airing Supernatural tomorrow?   I wanted season five now! Visions flashed before my eyes of me gathering a band of warriors to storm the castle, aka Dawn Ostroff's office. Yes, I'd been hanging out with the geeks too long that weekend. 

Most of the press conference was a blur. Thank heavens my recorder was right in front of them the entire time, capturing every detail for later. I recall Ben Edlund of all things comparing Supernatural villains to plate tectonics. It strangely worked. I got to share with Jim Beaver how fans bought his book on my site (through Amazon Associates) and the proceeds went to the Dog's Life Rescue. He was so humble and gracious to the fans for that. Sera Gamble, after indulging my quick fan girl introduction before she sat down (she actually remembered me!) talked with delight about the endless ways there were to psychologically torture the Winchester boys and now Castiel too. I adored her wicked mind more than ever.
Finally, poor, poor Misha Collins came over gingerly, telling us he was terrible because he was in a bicycle accident and banged himself up pretty good. While he answered his questions with his usual dry humor, I just wanted to give him a hug and make it all better. Heck, it always worked for my son. Hurting or not, he was very easy on the eyes. I got to meet and talk with him at his first con in Cherry Hill a few months ago and he was even more adorable here. He had this show star thing down pat by now. 

Honestly though, it was even nice to meet the folks from Warner Brothers that I'd been dealing with via email over the last year. They were every bit as pleasant in person. I saw the same assistants in many of the press rooms maintaining order and keeping things moving. For a simple blogger that had no exposure to this strange environment before, they certainly made things bearable for me. Given some of the press behavior I saw that weekend, the tiny glimpses of my inner fan girl was the least of their worries. 

Thanks to a few connections, I did get into the Supernatural panel after that. In the massive room of fan girls and boys, I finally felt at home. Just like with all the other conventions, being in a vast room full of love for your favorite show is an incredible experience that cannot be described. You have to be there. Part of that magic comes from the special guests from the show sincerely sending the love back. Fans appreciate that gesture more than anything and that's why we're always there Thursdays at nine for our appointment television. Either that or for the hot eye candy, I'm not sure which. Probably both. 

That room reminded me why I not only fell in love with the show, but got sucked into this fandom. I've read all sorts of studies where online fan communities have become surrogate social networks for many of us. It happened to me.  I've made so many online friends since openly declaring my love for Supernatural via the blog. Despite meeting many wonderful people though, this still isn't the easiest fandom to be part of. Fans are passionate, easily offended in some cases, often out of control and these online communities aren't short of the trouble makers determined to ruin our bonding. 

Despite all the complaints about him online though, Eric Kripke still spoke positively of the fans and he, Ben Edlund, Sera Gamble, Jim Beaver and Misha Collins were very happy to be there with us. They were accepting the fandom for who we were, dysfunction and all. Heck, avid fans were even lampooned in a great episode, "The Monster At The End of This Book." Satire is a sincere form of flattery. How could we not feel special being a part of that?    

Once the panel was over I rushed out of the convention center, not even thinking about the long trek back to Ohio that had to start in an hour. Instead I euphorically walked through the Gaslamp Quarter, lost in a daze, the day's events still running through my mind. I felt like I'd just won the lottery. The prize came in fan girl dollars, and it was worth its weight in gold.   

Whoa, how corny was that? Fan girl euphoria makes one's brain soft. So what did I take away from my first experience at Comic Con, as a member of the press nonetheless? Aside from the disbelief that I managed to convince them I was worthy enough for media access?   I'm the luckiest person alive for I got to witness first hand the best of my fandom, aka, my surrogate social network. There is plenty of mutual admiration between Supernatural producers, actors, fans, and now bloggers too. The only thing missing was the group hug.

Reality did set in eventually though, for I flew back with over two dozen interviews to transcribe and plenty of articles to write. Where would I begin? It didn't take long to figure out, the Supernatural press room interviews. This fan girl had some spoilers to share, now!   


# Narcissus 2009-08-03 09:30
Beautiful Alice, beautiful. Somehow I feel very zen after reading that. Glad you had a great time. It must have been amazing to be there.

(Btw, sorry I haven't been commenting on everything else lately...I'm too scared to read because I'm massively anti-spoiler)

Back to the point at hand...your descriptions of the "strained relationships" caused by fangirlshness is hilarious, and very accurate. Sometimes, when I'm squeeing to people who have no idea, I wonder how they can glide so smoothly back and forth between the 'glassy-eyed' look and the 'wtf this girl has issues' look. I reiterate, they just have no idea :D
# MCM 2009-08-03 21:49
Hi Alice, this article is adorable. :D
Are you attending the Vancouver Con?
# Elle 2009-08-03 22:50
This is such a great piece, Alice. I had to laugh, because I imagine that it's probably how I would be in that close a proximity to SPN writers/cast/et c. Except I probably wouldn't have been able to contain the Squee! :mrgreen:
# det_coverdale 2009-08-03 23:54
Thanks so much for all your work with the Con. You know we all greatly appreciate it. And you've convinced me to go to the next SPN Con in Australia (fingers crossed it's gonna happen). I've been a little reluctant, previously, as it sounds to be a hive of screaming fans and silly questions, and I'd be uncomfortable being amongst that, thinking that the guest stars assume I'm 'one of them'. Buut...I also realise there's more to it, so I'm gonna take the leap.
# Tigershire 2009-08-04 01:04
I am so sorry you won't be making it to Vancouver. I was so hoping to be able to meet you. I can still hardly believe that I'm going! GRIN

Thanks for these great reports from San Diego!
# Karen 2009-08-04 14:50
Hi I thought I would venture out of my “Lurking” world for a moment and just say thanks for sharing your time at the Con. I love your witty take on your experiences, including the reaction from your family and co-workers. I have seen similar reactions myself when I get talking about the show. You know the blank stares and or the glazed eyes. They just don’t get it. I do have to pity them though missing out on the greatest show out there.
Good thing you have a reliable recorder. If it had of been me when Kripke sat down I would either of melted into a puddle or I would of lost the ability to speak coherently
# MCM 2009-08-04 15:58
Hi again,
I'm sorry that you won't be attending VanCon but you know this fandom -- there will be LOTS of reports, and quick, too! ...on the other hand, I'm glad to see that you're now employed. Perhaps Chicago, then? ;-) (In response to your question, yes, I am attending VanCon.)
# Suze 2009-08-05 12:25
Sounds like you had a great time, lots of juicy spoilerific niblits to share too! ( I know I said I was going spoiler-free, that lasted really well right up to the point where there were some actual spoilers in view and went totally to pot thereafter ... )

Well done on resisting the Fangirl Meltdown Moment of Shame ...
# Supernarttu 2009-08-05 12:36
Hi Alice,
thanks for these amazing reports, sounds like you had a really great time (I know I would have melted to a puddle on the floor just by seeing those guys *g*) and I love your inner-fangirlin g :D *squeeeee*

I was on a non-stop-squeee e-fest when I read these spoilers ( I have reduced my spoiler-free -mentality to just avoid sides 'cause I simply just can't stay away from these juicy bits... maybe I'll tighten the reigns when the eps start coming out but I won't promise anything... *grin*)

But thanks again, these are great and I love the way you write :-)
# MCM 2009-08-05 19:50
Alice, ITA about the Chicago con (seems that all the Chicago cons are rushed due to the size and the boys having to catch their flights) - I was not delighted with last year's hotel as well (heck, I was bathing and showering at the same time, our tub did not drain, ick) and was sorry that it's at the same place (probably due to budgetary constraints?).. .although I suppose it's at least close to the airport - much better than Chicago 07's 40 minute taxi ride.

I wonder if both boys plan to attend NJ 2010?
The June con in Spain also sounds nice; I understand Jared and the Sexmobile are scheduled to appear! :D

Great, if you do attend LA, I look forward to meeting you, as I've been a fan of your blogs from Day One.
# daniella 2010-07-13 07:47
omgosh your so lucky! but how do you find out about these comic cons? and where was this one that you went to, and whens the next one!