I’ve waited all year for these past few days in San Diego. It might seem strange for some, but attending Comic Con always trumps my other trips and vacations, even those to beautiful, foreign lands. Now it is Sunday evening, and the convention is officially over. Last year, I started this right after Comic Con because I had so much I wanted to say about it. This year was no exception, so here are some of my highlights and a few regrets.
1. Panels: I always say I’m going to camp out for the infamous Hall H to see all the celebrities and get the sneak peaks, but my soft bed always wins out over cold concrete. This year was the same story, choosing my pillow over Game of Thrones and Marvel. But I did see some amazing panels, just by luck and wandering in (this has never happened before!). I saw the Brave Warriors panel that featured the male leads from Sleepy Hollow, Sons of Anarchy, The Bates Motel, The Giver, and Fury (aside: it was in this panel that I realized how charming and funny Tom Mison is!). I caught the awesome S.H.I.E.L.D and Penny Dreadful panels, both shows I adore. For the first time, I did the interactive panel for Dr. Horrible’ Sing Along Blog. And finally, the panel that put the biggest smile on my face: Chris Hardwick interviewing Grover, Cookie Monster, and Murray Monster for Sesame Street’s 45th’s anniversary. They showed two hilarious, upcoming spoofs that were very appropriate for the Comic Con audience: Numeric Con and Star S’mores. They showed the entire spoofs, but you can get a quick sneak peak of Numeric Con here .
2. Offsite experiences: There are over 150,000 people at Comic Con, and sometimes it’s nice to explore the Gaslamp District in San Diego. However, some of the cooler events in Gaslamp have lines just as long as the convention, but they are worth it. I waited three hours for HBO’s Game of Thrones experience called Survive the Realm, but it was so worth that small wait (I say small because every day the line grew longer and wrapped around blocks). I was able to see actual costumes from the show, take a greenscreen picture with Dany’s dragons, and experienced scaling the Wall with the 4D Oculus Rift technology. Oh, the Iron Throne? Totally sat In it. The Mockingjay experience took place in a very Capitol like setting, where you could order a delicacy from Peeta’s bakery, drink a restorative beverage made by Haymitch, design your own tee, tank, bag, or dry erase board with District designs, and take your picture with the holograms of Peeta and Joanna while sitting in President Snow’s chair. We were also shown the world premier of the Mockingjay trailer while sitting in futuristic pods. Finally, I waited in line for one of 250 tickets for a chance to eat BBQ at Terminus. Any fans of The Walking Dead will know what that means…possible cannibalism! We were given a TWD shirt, delicious food, and photo ops with zombies. The area was decorated to look like Terminus complete with flowers, candles, ominous sayings scrawled on the wall, and the RV where Martinez and the Governor hit golf balls.
3. Celeb sightings: One of the coolest things about Comic Con is seeing celebs just popping up all over the place. It seems like every con goer has their own brushes with celebs, from quick glances to actual photo ops. I didn’t get any photo ops, but I did see Donal Logue (one of my favorite actors) and Zachary Levi (so handsome!), so I’m counting them as my celeb sightings.
4. Shopping: I know it sounds crazy, but you have to wait in line for hours to get merchandise from popular vendors, if you’re lucky. Often, you’re warned about fire code violations and told to come back in a few hours. I had a list of what I wanted for friends and family, so I sucked it up and waited for two hours for merchandise from BBC America and an hour (the shortest time from what I heard) for Marvel. Totally worth it.
I always have a fantastic time at Comic Con, and I believe that positivity goes a long way. But I have a few regrets which I look at as things I want to change the next year.
1. Failure to meet Twitter friends: I have so many Twitter friends that make going to Comic Con so exciting, including so many of the awesome female bloggers in our G+ group. There was even a Female Geek Bloggers meet up planned! But these days are crazy and sometimes the plans you made just fly out the window. I really regret not meeting my Twitter friends IRL, but I hope I do get to next year.
2. Sold Out Merch: This happens every year. I see something that I want, hesitate, and before I know it, it’s sold out. This year’s items? The Nerd HQ Nerd Army shirt, light up lightsaber chopsticks, and a Doctor Who Pandorica Yahtzee.
3. Bad clothing choices: Sure, my “You know nothing, Jon Snow” long sleeved t-shirt is super cute, but the unusually warm weather was tough on some of my fashion choices. Ditto the über cute tennis shoes that resulted in the über painful blister.
4. Not enough Nerd HQ time: Nerd HQ is an incredible offsite convention of its own held in Petco Park by Zach Levi. There are small celebrity panels with all money going to Operation Smile, photo ops, and gaming demonstrations. I didn’t get any tickets to panels (they sold out in seconds), but I should have spent more time there, especially when I learned that they were releasing standing room only tickets for some of the panels. I also didn’t get my Nathan Fillion photo op…again. Oh well, next year!
Comic Con is such a surreal time. It’s exhausting, sometimes frustrating, but always exciting. As long as I’m lucky enough to get passes to the biggest pop culture event in the world, I will always appreciate what I saw and did.