My TFAW-provided pass said “Professional,” as that was the all-access pass. Or at least all access that I was willing to wait for, and as the waits for some of the big Hall H panels are ridiculously long -- I heard later about people waiting between four and eight hours for Kevin Smith’s panel, and I like Kevin Smith, but I’m not going to wait that long for him -- I intentionally didn’t use the pass as much as maybe I could have.
I didn’t want to present myself as something I’m not. So if anyone had asked me about it, I was prepared to give the answer “I’m pretending to be a professional!”
(There’s a whole Larry King thing about being a professional I could recite right now. But I won’t. To some of you, it’d be fall-out-of-your-chair hilarious. For most of you, it’d make you go “Huh?” But I digress.)
My neckband was red, provided by Showtime and with the Dexter logo repeated on it. Those red bands made many people at Comic Con look like they had the V graffiti on their chests.
At the Eisner Awards Friday night, I got turned around a bit because of the Professional pass. The Eisners are named for Will Eisner, who figured out a lot of the tricks that modern comic book writers and artists now use when writing and drawing comics (he figured this stuff out while writing and drawing the offbeat, cliché-tweaking superhero comic The Spirit and also while drawing how-to comics for the Army during World War II). Eisner’s ridiculously influential, and these awards, the comics industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, are named for him because of that. It’s a big deal ceremony. Professionals had one entrance, closer to the front stage. Everyone else entered from near the back. One assistant pointed me towards the pro entrance. Another assistant turned me around because she asked me “Are you a presenter or nominee?” and of course I was neither, so I got sent back. Entered from the back. SO DID BERKELEY BREATHED. Yeah, that Berkeley Breathed. It’s not like it was a punishment to enter that way.
Never did get mistaken for a professional. Didn’t even get mistaken for Simon Pegg. I did get to see the amazing and theatrical Jill Thompson pretend to faint when she won an Eisner. (She’s worked with wrestler and good guy Mick Foley. She knows how to be theatrical, how to throw herself into a performance. Literally.)