Geekiness · Media · Pop Culture · Travel

Surviving Comic Con

I basically slept for two days, but I am now fully recovered from my first Comic Con experience. An experience that I will not forget for good and bad reasons. WARNING: this is going to be a long post. 🙂

In September 2009, I bought two four day passes with preview night. That’s how far in advance you have to buy a ticket to get into Comic Con. I thought I had prepared myself physically and mentally for Comic Con, I did my research, etc… but I was not prepared for this!

We arrived at 11 am, Jet Blue was on time both coming and leaving San Diego. They did this cool feature on our way to San Diego, because they knew most of the passengers were on the way to Comic Con, they had a mist/fog throughout the cabin before we took off. Bonus points for Jet Blue 🙂  We stayed at a hotel that wasn’t in the downtown area. It was a decent hotel, a lot cheaper than the hotels downtown. In the future, if I decide to make the trip to Comic Con again I’ll stay in the downtown area for convenience.  The one glaring negative of the Comic Con experience was the trolley service. Not sure why the city of San Diego doesn’t increase service, even New York City got this down… if you go to a Mets game, you’ll have 7 trains waiting for you after the game. Not in San Diego, the trolley service wasn’t great. You’d wait a good 20 minutes between trolleys. There are thousands of people using the trolley service, that just isn’t acceptable.

So, how did I spend my time at Comic Con? I never made into Hall H, I honestly never tried to wait in line. So, no glimpses at the movies for me. I dedicated most of my time to Ballroom 20, where all the TV panels were. On Wednesday, we picked up our badges, and waited on the first of many lines to get into the exhibit hall for Preview Night. Oh, while waiting in line, Louie managed to break his enormous WB swag bag strap. Those bags were a little ridiculous. I never used mine, it was too long and it dragged on the floor, and tripped on it. It was a disaster waiting to happen. There’s no way to fully cover the exhibit hall. It’s massive! Just take a look at this piece from Techland.

As mentioned, I spent most of my time in Ballroom 20 – I discovered new shows waiting for the Dexter panel to start on Thursday. Seeing Bruce Campbell in the Burn Notice panel, that was good fun. I also discovered Matt Bomer. Quite yummy, I may need a bigger DVR to record White Collar now. The Psych panel was definitely interested.

On Friday, I wanted to get my Supernatural/Smallville swag bag – got into the exhibit hall, and waited in line to get the coveted bag.  Louie decided to play Playstation Move. We also thought we’d try and meet the True Blood cast. That was a joke.  Was told to come back at 2 pm, luckily, I didn’t wait all day like some people did. I went to the Walking Dead panel instead, and saw this great trailer, I didn’t record it btw:

The WB booth had an asinine system, didn’t involve tickets or anything. When I returned to the line at 1:45 pm, it was chaos. I didn’t get autographs obviously. Here’s the deal:  People were told to wait in line against the wall, and then all those that were not against the wall… they were allowed in. So moral of the story — don’t follow directions. .Then, we waited in line for the True Blood panel, we got in, but they somehow ran out of swag tickets… so I went to the panel, but I didn’t get any of the awesome swag. It turns out no one was watching to see if people were taking duplicate tickets. That kind of stuff annoyed me about Comic Con. You’d think after all these years, they would get these little things down.

The True Blood panel was fun, if I didn’t attempt to get autographs probably would have seen the Bones and Joss Whedon experience panel, but you can’t do everything, that’s what I learned.

On Saturday, we were going to attempt Hall H, but the line was a little much. We decided to go to Ballroom 20 again, and we basically  stayed there all day. Glad I did. Discovered Chuck, and the hotness of Zachary Levi. The opportunity to see Seth McFarland in action for the Family Guy and The Cleveland Show panels. I didn’t realize how funny The Cleveland Show was. Then, I discovered the world of Futurama. Matt Groening’s other project besides the Simpsons. I just enjoyed the table reads seeing the actors and hearing the cartoon voices, pretty cool. Then, it was the V panel, and I have no idea how I didn’t know that Morris Chestnut was on V. Where have I been? I left in the middle of the Fringe panel, and went to the exhibit hall. We met Jim Beaver aka Bobby from Supernatural. We ended the night at In-N-Out Burger, which completes any West Coast trip in my opinion… but it wasn’t the end. Sunday would be the last and final Smallville panel at Comic Con.

We woke up at 4 am, people camped out for the Smallville panel. So, we needed to get there by 5 am, and we passed the time in line chatting it up and making new friends while playing Phase 10. What’s Phase 10? Click here.

I got my seat in Ballroom 20, and was in heaven for the Smallville and Supernatural panels. Smallville has a special space in my heart. It’s what brought Louie and me together. We’d have marathon sessions of Smallville and our love blossoms 🙂 As our love blossomed, my love for Tom Welling blossomed as well.

After those panels, there were the American Dad and Glee panels, and Glee fans are pretty crazy! I wasn’t too fond of way too long highlight reel — I did enjoy hearing there will be a Rocky Horror episode. The last panel of the con for me was the Sons of Anarchy panel, what a way to end!

So where are the pictures and videos?

Check out my Facebook album and my YouTube page for all the highlights!

My final thought: Comic Con was a fun yet exhausting experience — I had no time for any Comics-related panels, besides Smallville and The Walking Dead. I wanted to check out the Geoff Johns spotlight, Gays in Comics panel, IDW panels, and I missed the Geek Girls Exist panel. There were graphic novels in the library panels that I missed, I liked the presence of libraries though! Shout out to my librarians!

Why did I miss these panels? I was in Ballroom 20… or waiting in line for Ballroom 20. That’s the thing about Comic Con, it’s kinda of a “choose your adventure” deal. If I would have stayed closer to the downtown area, I would have been able to nap and go to the Zombie Walk and Geek Girls tweetup — but my hotel wasn’t in walking distance, and I relied on the bus schedule and cabs. I would have liked to see Kevin Smith in Hall H, or the Green Lantern and Avengers panel — but you just can’t do everything, it’s impossible. I would have liked to get more autographs, etc… but I needed to spend more time in the Exhibit Hall. Everything at Comic Con involves getting a ticket or getting in line, you need to make your choice. If lines aren’t your thing — don’t bother. 🙂 My next trip to Comic Con, I will definitely explore more and spend more time in San Diego — what a great city. The weather was perfect, countless times I wanted to blow off the con, and go hang on the beach. I’ll work that in for my next trip there!

On that note, my next experience will be going to Dragon*Con next September! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Surviving Comic Con

  1. Had to click through all your pics.. on the off chance I appear in the background of any of them. 🙂 I had the same experience you did if you replace Ballroom 20 with Hall H. Spent all day Thursday and Saturday there. Most of Friday too. Wandered the main hall on preview night for a bit and Sunday. Our Hall H line experience was made significantly better than it could have been because we met up with friends that I’ve known only through revision3 forums.

    Hadn’t ever really thought about SDCC being the ultimate ‘choose your adventure’ story, but it honestly is. There were things I wish I’d have seen, but I wasn’t missing the Marvel panel on Saturday night in Hall H.

    1. That’s how i felt about the Smallville panel, I wasn’t going to miss it!

      Overall, I had a great time – I guess Friday would have been my “off” day. I’m more of a TV junkie than a movie addict. I really would have liked to have experienced more comics stuff though – since, it is “Comic” con 🙂

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