Comic Con Saturday: Lines, Lines, and More Lines

Let’s talk lines.

As you’ve probably heard, San Diego Comic Con is a very crowded place. It definitely feels like every year more people are attending. Every single person who goes wants to see panels for their favorite pop culture icons, so the lines for these panels can get pretty intense.

Here’s the way lines work at SDCC:

Panels are scheduled by room, so each room has a pre-assigned collection of panels that are going to appear in it. If you want to go to a panel and you think there is the slightest chance a lot of other people would want to see it too, head to the room to make line at least an hour early. The lines for the room are staggered and will zigzag all over the place so as to not crowd the hallways or block any emergency exits. Luckily, the SDCC guide that they hand out to you comes with diagrams that show you where lines end up.

Once you make it to the room where your panel is going to be, STAY THERE. No one empties out the room after every panel, which means it’s possible for a person to stay in a room all day until the panel they want begins.

This is perhaps one of the biggest issues I’ve encountered while attending Comic Con.

On Saturday, I wanted to attend three panels: a Family Guy one, a My Hero Academia one, and a Batman: The Animated Series one.

I was only able to see the Family Guy one after standing in a line for more than two hours.

The biggest problems that can happen when you try to see a panel is that popular panels will be scheduled in the same room consecutively.

So, if, let’s say, you’re trying to see a panel about Batman: The Animated Series and a Harry Potter panel is before it, those Potterheads might decide to stay in the room and take up all the seats for the Batman panel.

Danny and I getting into Family Guy was pure happenstance. I had gotten my period that day, so instead of walking the Exhibit Hall with Danny, I decided to get in the line for Family Guy extremely early so I could just sit around in a room. Because of that, when Danny eventually joined me, we were just barely able to make it in to see the panel.

Even though we only got to see one panel that day, Saturday was still a fun day. Danny and I went to a party in an office building that overlooked Petco Park. The view was amazing. Some of the guests there…not so much. Nothing is worse than millennial roosters and hens who think that the world should fall at their feet and worship how suave they are. They scoffed more than they smiled.

This is what I heard some of these lame-brains say: “We have the tickets to go in. We are good to go; we are Gucci.”

After the party, Danny and I went to The Whiskey House, had a few drinks with some associates, and then left.

And thus ended my latest sojourn to San Diego Comic Con.

Comic Con Friday: Guilty Pleasures

I have a potentially embarrassing confession to make.

While pet-sitting for my sister with my friend Mia, we decided to binge-watch all the episodes of a show that had caught both of our eyes on Netflix. The show is computer animated, and I’m kind of self-conscious about the fact that I like it. It’s called Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, and it’s about these two super heroes who pal around the city of Paris. It’s cute, absolutely corny, and both Mia and I couldn’t help liking it. (Who wouldn’t like a show with a melodramatic villain who constantly fails and says NEXT TIME I’LL DEFEAT YOU FOR SURE, LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR at the end of every episode?)

When I found out that Miraculous was going to have a panel at Comic Con on Friday, I thought to myself, ‘Hey! That’s great! This will be a nice little panel that Danny and I can attend while everyone else goes to the more popular ones.’

I deeply underestimated how popular this “little” panel was going to be.

Danny and I entered the room without too much of a hassle. We had shown up pretty early, so early, in fact, that we got to sit in on the panel prior to Miraculous’. 

It was a My Little Pony panel.

Surprisingly enough, that was a fun panel to attend. The voice actresses for the show are all hilarious, and since the room was basically filled with little kids and bronies, the audience was suitably enthusiastic. And when the line-up for audience questions began, a bunch of four- and five-year olds got to go first. Their questions were superb forms of entertainment.

After that, the Miraculous panel started, and holy shit, there are a ton of fans of the show. I seriously did not see that coming. Apparently, the Miraculous fandom is so huge, they even have a name for themselves: Miraculers. (If you felt yourself want to gag or roll your eyes, you’re not alone.)

Despite my utter shock at its popularity, the panel was great. I know I’ve been ragging on the show, but if you like campy good fun, Miraculous is a pretty nifty kids show to watch.

Both Danny and I were hungry after that panel, so he dragged me to this nearby barbecue restaurant/bar that is famous for being the location where that bar scene in Top Gun was filmed. I had a chili dog, and Danny had ribs. I’d give the food a fairly-adequate-for-lunchtime rating, but the atmosphere was top-notch.

Top Gun poster

After our hunger was sated, we returned to the Convention Center to catch a panel about Mexican dubbing voice actors. We got to meet the voices for Marcus Fenix, Spider-Man, and Zelda. The neat thing about this panel is that the panelists (aka the voice actors) seemed genuinely grateful to see us. Often, panelists at Comic Con throw out their gratitude from their stage on high and then rush off once the panel is over. (Understandably so, since some very eager fans try to bum-rush the stage.) But these voice actors just seemed so happy to be there, it’s like they wanted to linger. They asked if they could take a group picture with us (the audience).

Danny and I capped our Friday with Star Wars. We went into a panel specifically for the 501st Legion, which is a group of uber-dedicated fans who make realistic Stormtrooper armor and wear it to special events as a group. After that, a special panel about vacation tours you can take to famous Star Wars-related locations made for the perfect end to our evening.

Stay tuned for my last day at San Diego Comic Con in the next post! (I did not stay for Sunday! Had to vamoose!)

Comic Con Thursday: GO SPEED GO!

Second day of Comic Con!

Boy, public transportation can give you a real appreciation for the smell of sweat. Danny and I went to the Convention Center together on the trolley. Turns out, everyone and their mother, brother, uncle, cousin, and great-great aunt had the same idea. I now know what a sardine feels like.

Once we got to the Convention Center, Danny and I had to rush to get in line for our first panel.

Note: If you’re a first-time Con-goer, make sure you go to your favored panels waaaaaay ahead of the posted starting time. Especially if you think it’s going to be a popular one.

We had pre-selected three panels to go to. (And by pre-selected, I mean that I circled the ones I wanted to go to in the Convention guide book and Danny agreed with my choices.) The first was a panel regarding the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey. That was a total trip to go to. Both Danny and I were expecting the geniuses behind the film’s cinematography to show up, but the actors who played Frank Poole and Dave Bowman were who we got instead. The two of them have gotten up in years, but I could listen to them talk about things all day. I’d also give up my left ovary to hear Dave (played by Keir Dullea) say, “Open the pod bay doors, HAL” one more time.

The second panel we went to was about Bobcat Goldthwait’s new show called Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters. This was more Danny’s choice to go to than mine, but it was definitely a riot to attend. Goldthwait throws out jokes the same way a shaggy dog shakes off hair. What was super funny to me about attending this panel is that we got an unexpected surprise when we decided to show up to the panel early. Danny and I entered the room before Goldthwait’s stuff was going to show, so we walked into a panel about some vampire TV show. (Yikes, I know, another one.) We were very lackluster in our enthusiasm for this panel, but that all changed when we noticed that one of the dudes on the panel was none other than Owen Teale, the guy who plays Ser Alliser Thorne in Game of Thrones! 

The last panel we attended was one about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. (Shout out to Andreya for introducing me to that show!) Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna are two fantastically witty women, and it really shows itself when they’re joking against each other. I can’t wait to watch the fourth and final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

Just so you guys know, I have never attempted to get into Hall H, which is notorious for being the gigantic room where all the big-time panels are held. Too much of a hassle for my below-average person.

And yes, before you ask, I did dress up.

Drum roll please.

I was Speed Racer!

Me as Speed Racer SDCC 2018
I don’t know what my legs are doing

I’ve been fond of Speed Racer for ages it seems like, and I finally got to display it at Comic Con this year. With the help of my local J.C. Penney, Marshall’s, and hand-me-downs, I was able to cobble together an adequate Speed Racer outfit. I did have to buy the helmet and the driving gloves online though.

I think this was one of my more successful costumes over the years. It got a lot of recognition, and I got asked plenty of times to have my picture taken, which is always fun and terrifying. I had no clue how to pose for these things since I’m not a professional cosplayer. Still, it was cool, and people didn’t mind when I posed like an utter fool.

This one guy was so thrilled to see my costume, he asked for a picture, and then rolled up his shirt sleeve to show me a tattoo he had on his shoulder of Trixie. That right there is some major Speed Racer fandom.

Now, I don’t know for sure if this next bit is true, but Danny swears up and down that it happened. So, he and I were walking in front of the Convention Center, on our way to the Marriott hotel to watch a short film one of his friends had made. (It was a really good short film, called “The Invisible Border.” If you want to check out them and their work, here is their website.) While we were walking, a large group of people were passing us on the sidewalk. I heard one of them say something (Danny later told me it was, “Now that’s cool”) and gesture toward me.

I was distracted with holding onto my helmet, and they walked past us so fast, I could not get a good look at them. As soon as they left, Danny started laughing. I asked him what was so funny, and he told me that it was Seth Green who had said that.

Seth Green, as in the Seth Green who made Robot Chicken, one of my all-time favorite shows.

And I missed it.

Thursday was a real blast for me. Danny and I got into some great panels, walked around the Marriott a lot, and went to a laid-back after-party made by the organization Music Saves Lives. (There was a raffle at the party, and Danny and I won a bunch of stuff by pure luck!)

Stay tuned for Friday’s events in the next post!


Comic Con Preview Night: Oodles of Sweat

The day was hot and humid. Knowing what I was planning to wear for the next couple of days, I was filled with trepidation. I’m going to lose so much weight during Comic Con thanks to the buckets of sweat pouring from my body. 

Well, I wasn’t wrong.

San Diego Comic Con has this aura of glamour from people who know of it but have never been to it. The way the news always talks about it makes it sound like a blast with no consequences.

A lot of SDCC is being shuffled around the convention center by harried volunteers trying to control massive crowds. You spend inordinate amounts of time standing in line to get into panels or to buy merch. Wednesday was only the first day of my latest SDCC adventure, and my calves were already killing me.

The collective excitement makes it worth it though.

You know how when you’re in a crowd, it’s like you all pick up on the same vibe as the majority of people there? If people are pissed, you feel pissed. If people are shocked, you feel shocked. And if people are pumped, you feel pumped.

It’s the same for Comic Con. At Comic Con, you’re surrounded by some of the nerdiest people in the world, and you’re one of them.

On preview night, not many panels are available to attend. (Maybe like one or two.) The only place open is the Exhibit Hall, since preview night has always been intended for those wishing to purchase exclusive items. If you’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con before, the Exhibit Hall is the place that will awe you the most. (I know it awed and pleased me my first time there.) It’s huge! And it’s filled to the brim with displays, stands, and booths all devoted to some of the best pop culture icons ever.

I saw a $9000 miniature version of the Starship Enterprise.

Miniature Starship Enterprise

Steven Universe, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl all had giant balloons of themselves dominating the center of the Hall.

Steven Universe and friends

There was an adorable statue of Goku that I absolutely had to pose with like an idiot just because it was there.

Goku and me

The atmosphere in the Exhibit Hall is intoxicating. (In more ways than one. It can get pretty crowded in there, so I suggest you try and inure yourself to the smell of sweat.)

You should expect all the aisles of the Hall to be packed to the brim. I felt like every person in there was a red blood cell flowing down a vein superhighway. (There was an occasional blood clot by particularly popular booths.)

My goals for preview night were to purchase a few gifts for friends and see if I could buy myself an exclusive figurine of my favorite character from the graphic novel series Saga. (His name is Ghüs, and the figurine had him wearing his little red jammies.)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get myself a Ghüs. The line was just too huge. But I did succeed in getting my friends some things! So hooray for small victories.

Expect a few more posts about my Comic Con adventures. But I guess they’re not really adventures. More like a bustling walk-a-thon.

My SDCC lanyard and pins