Alright, let’s talk about this year’s critter drops. Forty-nine. Forty. Nine. Drops. The most I’ve EVER brought on my own was fifteen, so this was quite literally over 3 times more than my heaviest haul in seven years. But dammit, I was determined. I didn’t get the 100% response rate that I wanted (I knew it was ambitious, but dammit, I TRIED), but I’d say it went pretty damn well! Here’s the breakdown:
TOTAL NUMBER OF PIECES BROUGHT TO SAN DIEGO: 49
I flew into San Diego with a duffel bag (a freaking DUFFEL BAG) stuffed with 44 critters, and upon landing I tacked on an extra 5 pieces as a last minute addition. Forty-nine critters in need of good homes!
I wanted to put this at the end of the post, but I felt like it would be better to put it up front before people start zoning out and they miss it at the bottom. THESE GUYS ARE UNACCOUNTED FOR! Britt’s Wonder Woman, Marcy’s Skeksis, Pam’s fleeb, and my Deadpool, Penguin, and Dr. Strange were all taken from their hiding spots, but I never received a confirmation message! If you or someone you know has any of these critters, it’s never too late to check in! Remember that if you have a private twitter account I can’t see your tweets, so if that’s the case then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to let the guest artists know that their work is safe and sound! 🙂 I’m not going to add these to my lost list quite yet, so hopefully I’ll hear back on these little guys!
You guys, dropping 49 critters was HARD. I had to break some of my own rules and do a few things I don’t normally do. I did drops after dark because I couldn’t get my day’s stash out before sundown, I personally handed off a few critters when I normally drop ‘n run (which actually turned out awesome, but more on that later!), and I ended up doing Sunday drops for the first time because I just couldn’t get through all of my stash by Saturday! A lot of it also had to do with me staying in Hall H all day Saturday, but it was still a constant drop train the whole way through. I split up the work between friends, family, and the good folks over at the SDCC Unofficial Blog which helped IMMENSELY, but since I was acting as the primary point of contact for all the drops I was still keeping a constant eye on my phone for tweets and/or text messages to let me know a critter had been dropped or that a critter had been found. Many of the drops also felt rushed and I could have hidden some of them better. I had help (thank you thank you THANK YOU to everyone who helped me drop!), and with all of our efforts combined, I’d say we had a pretty successful hunt!
Before heading out to SDCC, I had a few followers ask if I could sign their copies of Literary Yarns while I was there. Since I had a decent number of people ask, I thought I’d do an informal offsite book signing and scouted out Berkeley Pizza as a location. I also still had one Superman critter left to drop for the day, so I thought I’d hand it off to the first person to find me there. I set up shop on Wednesday evening and waited.
I’ll admit I was a little nervous. What if no one shows up? What if too many people show up and I get overwhelmed? What if it turns out that none of my followers were real people, but all one giant trollbot who’s been TAKING ALL THE CRITTERS ALL ALONG AND NOW IT’S COMING AFTER ME OMG PANIC PANIC PANIC?? Turns out I didn’t get overwhelmed, nor was I stalked by a giant trollbot (that I know of). The first people to show up were a pair from Hawaii and I got to hand off my little Superman to a longtime hunter! And I get to add Hawaii to my critter map! Woohoo!!
We chatted for a while, and then I noticed the following tweet alert on my phone:
WAIT WHAT. I wasn’t about to interrupt my conversation, but HOLY CRAP I WAS BEING STALKED BY A TROLLBOT AFTER ALL. Except not really. Turns out Satoru, a longtime hunter who was doing drops of his own this year, decided to do a drop RIGHT BEHIND ME like a creeper without saying hi first. 😛 Once the kind folks from Hawaii took off I turned around, found my creeper, and invited him to sit with me. 😀 We exchanged stories about our drops for the day, and I got to hear about how he found one of my critters last year! I had a fantastic time meeting hunters and droppers and it was a great way to kick off my first evening of the con. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about putting myself out in the open like that because I’ve managed to keep myself under the radar for so long, but I had such a great time I might consider doing this again in the future. Thanks to everyone who came out!
TOTAL NUMBER FOUND: 43
Here’s the breakdown of where they went! A large majority ended up in California, and we had a few international adopters! Slightly jealous that none of the international adopters picked up my stuff, but such is the nature of the hunt. 🙂
California got a whopping 31 critters, my home state of Texas got 2 critters, and Arizona, Oregon, New York, Washington, Missouri, and Hawaii each got 1 critter that found a new home. 1 was found with an unknown location – I think it might be Washington, D.C., but I’m still waiting on a double-check first! For international adopters, 2 are going to Seoul and 1 is going to Mexicali, Mexico!
Breakdown by artist:
Amy: Amy contributed the most critters, and all 11 of hers were found!
New homes were found in California, Washington, Missouri, Texas, and Korea!
Gina: All 3 of Gina’s critters were found! They came a long way from the Czech Republic, so I was glad that these guys were all accounted for!
All new homes for Gina’s critters were in California!
Tina: Tina pitched in 4 critters for this year’s hunt, and all 4 were found!
New homes were found in California and Arizona! And LOOK! Her BB-8 was found by a hunter who previously found my Captain America! They’re critter roommates! 😀
Windi: Windi’s pokeballs were a last minute addition to the lineup, and all five of them were found!
All of Windi’s pokeballs found new homes in California!
Britt: Britt pitched in 6 critters, and 5 out of the 6 were found! Wonder Woman still hasn’t been checked in, but I’ve received photographic proof that she was taken!
New homes were found in California, New York, and Korea!
Marcy: Marcy threw 9 critters of her own into the pot, and 8 out of the 9 were found! The Skeksis still hasn’t been checked in, but I received a tweet that it was no longer in its hiding spot.
New homes were found in California, Oregon, and Mexico! I also LOVE that her Poe bunny found a home with other literary monsters!
Pam: Pamela brought in 4 critters and 3 out of her 4 were found! I received photographic proof that the fleeb was taken.
New homes were found in California and I think Washington D.C. Still awaiting firm confirmation of Kuchi Kopi’s new home, please correct me if I’m wrong! 🙂
Me: I brought in 7 critters this year, and 4 were found. I’ll admit I’m a bit bummed that 3 of mine went missing, mostly because it broke my personal 100% response rate streak for the last three years, and also because it’s the most that I’ve had go missing since 2014. But I would’ve been more bummed out if there was a higher concentration of missing critters that belonged to any of the guest artists! Four out of seven still ain’t bad, and there’s still hope that people will check in! 🙂
New homes were found in California and Hawaii!
And if you liked some of the work by the guest artists but couldn’t find one out at Comic-Con, many of them have etsy shops and many of them do custom orders! Check them out!
Whew. There was definitely a lot to be learned from dropping so many this year. If I were to collect guest art again I’d have to set limits, but man, I’m still blown away by how much people were willing to give to this little project of mine. When I put out a call to collect guest art to drop, I was expecting maybe one or two pieces from a handful of people, so it never occurred to me put limits of any sort on the submissions. So when I ended up with a flood of pieces to drop off, I had a double “holy shit” moment. In that I was thinking “holy shit, these people are crazy generous and awesome” and “holy shit, how am I going to get all these out in San Diego?!” Turns out in addition to having plenty of people volunteer to contribute critters to the hunt, I had plenty of people volunteer to help me with the drops as well. I didn’t want to take away from anyone’s time at the convention so I tried to refrain from recruiting any more people than I needed to, but I was just as surprised with how enthusiastic everyone was about helping with the drops! Time is such a precious commodity at Comic-Con, so I felt bad taking that away from anyone, but everyone who helped out seemed to have fun looking for a hiding spot and they seemed to have even more fun watching people find the critters! Other people also decided to drops of their own this year, and I had a blast following along with their hunts as well, hoping that every single one of their works were also accounted for. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned this year from my drops, it’s that there’s a lot of good people in the world, and you don’t have to look very far to find them. The number of people who volunteered to contribute their work to the drops, the number of people who offered to help me with the drops, the number of people who decided to do drops of their own this year, all the fantastic people that I’d met throughout the whirlwind five days that was San Diego Comic-Con: you guys rock. Thanks to everyone who joined the hunt, thanks to everyone who helped with the hunt, and dammit, just thanks to everyone for being kind, generous, and all around awesome. Comic-Con is usually a fun geeky time, but this year was a little different in that it gave me a little boost in my faith in people in general. ❤ Thanks for another great year of critter drops, and here's to hoping that I'll be back to do it all over again next year!