Before I start off this post, I just wanted to say that San Diego has a really strong Pokemon GO game. It is seriously a way of life out there.
Every year after I get back from San Diego Comic-Con, I always get the comment: “I totally want to go to it next year” or some variation of that. Typically my response to that is “you should” and then something along the lines of “are you a glutton for punishment?” That’s not meant to scare anyone away or pull the rug out from underneath them but to shine some light on the painstaking reality of going to SDCC. It’s not all fun and games unless you enjoy standing hours in line with the high possibility of still not accomplishing anything (some people just call that “living life”). When I post pictures, it’s all the fun parts; so it looks like it’s a non-stop party. I’m not going to be posting anything about standing in line for three hours to shake Dan Harmon’s hand, or spending the night on the convention grounds for a chance to sit in the Game of Thrones panel in the infamous Hall H, or even how I fought to the front of the crowd to take pictures of Chris Pratt. So it’s very much like the media where you’re only getting half the picture (except it’s the more positive half instead of the half where everyone dies).
Now that I have downplayed Comic-Con (and you have decided not to try and get badges which will increase my chance of getting badges next year), let’s look into some of the things I was able to check out at this year’s SDCC.
Preview Night is the best chance to check out the Exhibit Hall and buy exclusives before the crowd multiplies by the thousands. It is literally a sea of people for about twelve hours a day in downtown San Diego for the duration of Comic-Con except for refreshing splashes of water you get overpowering hints of body odor (or Hodor…am I right? High five!). And much like the rest of Comic-Con, it starts with a line.
I flipped off Iron Man and gave Captain America a thumbs up.
And then it got weird…
I started the day off right by waiting in a line (Line-Con) for four hours to get wristbands for the Silicon Valley signing…except when I got there, they ran out of wristbands and that didn’t start my day off right at all. It took every part of my being not to throw myself down five flights of cement stairs. Shortly after damning my existence, I joined up with friends I met at Comic-Con two years ago who were waiting in line (Sili-line Valley) for a chance to win an exclusive Conan O’Brien Funko Pop figure. My first victory of the show.
We proceeded to the Game of Thrones off-site experience for the Hall of Faces. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, cool, you’ll understand what that means. If you’re not, the Hall of Faces is a room with shelves of faces (there, you’re caught up with the show, and winter is here). While we were in line (The Game of Lines), we got to play a rousing round of “Would You Rather” with Buzzfeed and Syfy. I have many goals in my life. Making it onto a Buzzfeed article is not one of them. But I did, so I guess I’ll have to deal with it for the rest of my life.
I ran back into the Exhibit Hall after the experience, because I was adamant about getting a Stan Lee exclusive figure. Fortunately, his collectible store had a booth and they were selling Stan Lee DORBZ figures with his signature on the box. This is where I ran into Michael Rooker of Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy fame. I look goofy in the picture below, because that’s just how my face is 90% of the time.
With Day One coming to a close, I met up with my friends again who were already in line (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azka-line) for Hall H. Hall H is synonymous with Comic-Con at this point. More than likely you’ve heard of the dreaded hall and how people spend nearly 24 hours in the line (Star Wars: Attack of the Lines) just to get into the panels for the next day. One of my friends that I go with is a “Hall H wHore.” He loves the ever-living crap out of Hall H and, in fact, spent the majority of his time at Comic-Con there. So once we got our wristbands, we headed to the overnight line (Star Trek: Deep Space Line) outside of Hall H and started our shift. It was quiet for the most part. We sat there and tried to start conversations with people around us just to simply pass the time. Suddenly a black Suburban drove up and out popped two actors from Game of Thrones: Isaac Wright who plays Bran Stark and Liam Cunningham who plays Ser Davos Seaworth. After recovering from a short hear-attack, I was able to get a picture with Liam.
The Hall H panels start off strong with Con Man, a show starring Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion on Comic-Con HQ which essentially parodies their lives after Firefly (a show if given the chance would have continued to be amazing like its first season which is similar to the pickup line I give when I date someone).
I gave Fear the Walking Dead a legitimate chance. It just didn’t quite hook me as well as other shows have. It’s not a bad show by any means. It’s just not as interesting as it’s predecessor. Granted The Walking Dead had very good source material to go off of which helped with character development and story progression. Fear the Walking Dead is just kind of flat. There are maybe two or three deeply-layered characters while the rest seem fairly one dimensional. But after the preview of season 2, I may need to rethink my position and give it one more shot. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures during this panel.
The Walking Dead left us with a cliffhanger for its season finale. It’s a gimmick that I get fairly tired of, and that sentiment is shared within the Walking Dead fanbase. I felt like the producers and even the actors understood the viewers’ disappointment of the season finale with the apologetic tone of the panel. Oh, they also revealed that Rick took Negan’s bat (no they didn’t).
I was excited to see that the Game of Thrones panel was being moderated by Rob McElhenney from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia who added a nice touch of humor to the interviews. What’s so great about these panels is seeing everyone interact with each other. You can tell this is a group of actors and actresses that are as devoted to the show as much its fans. If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones, you need to do yourself a favor. Quit your job, tell your loved ones that you’ll be gone for awhile, find a cheap hotel or somewhere secluded where no one can bother you, continuously fill yourself up with pizza, Red Bull, and caffeine pills, and marathon Game of Thrones before the next season comes out next summer. If you die in the process, just know that you will have a soldier’s burial.
After being in Hall H for almost six hours, I needed to do some more exploring. Comic-Con is no longer restricted to the Convention Center. It’s become so big that it has spilled out into the surrounding areas of downtown San Deigo. This is where I found this gem: The Peanuts off-site experience. It’s good to have balance. So after sitting on panels about shows with lots of death and whatnot, it’s good to relax with bright and colorful images of Charlie Brown and the gang.
I waited in line (Wolver-line) to snag a wristband for the Rick and Morty signing. During the signing, I was super excited that Chris Parnell was there. He was one of my favorite actors on Saturday Night Live, so it was a pleasure to take a picture with him. These signings are kind of awkward, because I never have anything to say to these celebrities except “you’re awesome.”
Comic-Con 2016 was a little bit more stressful than previous years (probably because I’m getting old), so I took every open opportunity to grab a drink. I stopped by the sushi shop set up in the Mariott next to the Convention Center, Komic-Kaze Sushi, which was also serving the 50th Anniversary Star Trek beer and the two Game of Thrones beers: Valar Morgulis, a dubbel ale and Three Eye-Raven, a dark saison.
During my meal, one of my friends had messaged me that the Guardians of the Galaxy cast was going to be at the Marvel booth on the floor in the Convention Center. Needless to say…
That last day of Comic-Con is very bittersweet. On one hand, you’re sad to see it go. On the other hand, you’re dead. So it doesn’t matter how you feel anymore. So to save you and me some time, here is another picture collage of my friends and myself during the trip.
It seems like everything about Comic-Con gets harder and harder every year, but I would say it’s definitely worth the effort you put into it. I hope by this time next year, I will be able to share my experiences once again. And maybe next time, I will see you there.
San Diego Comic-Con 2016: 7 out of 10
Now, for the moment everyone has been waiting for. My last post, I had uploaded a picture of the exclusive giveaway I got during Comic-Con from UCC Distribution. Here it is again.
To enter, you must like and subscribe to my blog (that’s how I get you); and then comment below with your response to this question:
If Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were each Pokemon, what would they be called, what type of Pokemon would they be, and what would be their special move?
I will pick a winner next Monday, August 8th.