This year I was only able to get one day to San Diego Comic-Con. There’s so much going on you need multiple days just to get some time to relax. I liked the way this girl cosplaying as Raven posed. Sony NEX-5N, Sigma 60mm, 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 500
The last day you get to go to a con is always a little sad, but you suck it up to try and get as much stuff done as possible.
I had to start my day off with a little Minimates fix since they mentioned on their blog before the show that if you come find the marketing supervisor between 9 and 10 on Saturday and say the phrase that pays, you’d get a free figure. This was the first place I went on my way back to the Hallmark booth to try and score another set of ornaments for a local collector who couldn’t make it to the show. The line wasn’t too long and I was able to get the 2nd set of ornaments pretty quickly. By now, I’d spent all my money and gotten all the exclusives I really cared too (or at least remembered about since I forgot to pick up the SDCC exclusive version of Walking Dead #87), so I was just planning on walking around the exhibit hall seeing if there were any video games I wanted to play and basically just killing time until the noon Minimates giveaway.
Lucasfilm hired this artist Ken Lashley to paint a 2012 Volkswagen Passat with images from the 6 Star Wars films. He’d been working all weekend and I decided to hold off on taking pics until my last day and it was more complete. It’s so awesome and the whole thing was done with a sharpie.
After checking out the cool Star Wars car, I wandered around just checking out the different booths from the other toy manufacturers and movie studios. At the PlayStation booth, I played some of the new Ratchet & Clank game in 3D, but I was at the far edge of the screen, so the 3D didn’t work too well. Then I played Resistance 3. It’s very brown. No other games really stood out to me and I wasn’t in the mood to show everybody how a pro does it on Just Dance 3 so I made my way back to the Minimates booth to wait for the freebie.
– Ashley Eckstein (the voice of Ahsoka Tano) spends some time with a fan while promoting her line of Star Wars girl attire
My phone’s internet service was slow to spotty for pretty much the entire weekend, but I was still trying it and reading the convention center’s twitter feed about lines made it seem like the Hilton’s Indigo Ballroom was getting packed before the Community panel. I figured I’d check out the Minimates panel instead and headed over there to rest during Terry Moore’s panel. This is the second time in the year’s I’ve been coming to SDCC that I’ve sat in on one of Terry’s panels while waiting for another one to start. I’ve become a bit of a fan and I’ve never read any of his stuff. He’s very entertaining in his panels and now I want to check out some of his work. During the Minimates panel I asked what is I think the first question I’ve ever asked at a convention. I’m not the type to ask questions at these shows, but they were giving away Minimates. That brought my total collection of free Minimates for the weekend, up to 5.
There were two other panels I wanted to see today and they were both over at the Hilton. My plan, before I found out about the noon freebies was to head over there for the Community panel and sit through the Legendary Comics panel until the other two started. Since I didn’t do the Community panel, my plans were now in Jeopardy and considering how lines can be at this show I figured I might be able to get into the Joss Whedon panel and stay for The Guild afterwards. Right outside of the Indigo Ballroom, the Hilton had set up a food table with hamburgers and hot dogs, so since I hadn’t eaten I considered this as good as anything. The food stand was get your own condiments and they had these little tiny bottles of Tabasco. I took some for future use and not necessarily for my burger. Once I found the end of the Indigo Ballroom line, we basically walked right in and I got into the Legendary Comics panel while I finished my lunch. Frank Miller is a very entertaining personality and it was one of those panels where you feel bad for the other people up there since everyone just kept asking questions to him. Now the Indigo Ballroom is some kind of ray-shielded cell phone blocker because I was receiving no signal in there at all and neither was the panelist who was trying to have people tweet questions in to be asked, but she couldn’t retrieve her tweets. The upside though is that the ballroom does feature the most comfortable chairs of the entire con. The padding’s nice and soft and the backs give just a little bit to help you relax. The Joss Whedon panel was my favorite of the show. He’s funny and engaging and he seems to know what his fanbase wants and plays to that. He did reveal that there will be a Dr. Horrible 2 and continued to crush our dreams for a Serenity sequel. The Guild panel was okay, nothing to write home about, which is kind of what I’m doing now I guess. With those over I really had nothing else planned for the day. I decided to head off site to try and play Mass Effect 3 at the hotel Bioware was setup at.
I got in line to play and the Bioware staff started tossing out inflatable weapons from the game and chanting “Destroy the Reapers”, which is a reference to the game. Apparently they had planned some sort of march at this time after which they would have some sort of reveal. I had been talking to someone else in line who already played the demo and they said it wasn’t on PC, so I was kind of disappointed and thought what the hell, I’ll join this march. It was a lot of fun just acting a fool as this huge crowd of people with inflatable blades on their wrists all walking around the block. I totally lost my spot in line to play the game though and the reveal really didn’t amount to much. By now they closed off the line to play the demo since the number of people that were already in would put them past closing. No big loss, I really wanted to play it on PC anyways and I don’t even want to see any media for this game so it’s all a surprise to me when it comes out next year.
With that my 2011 San Diego Comic-Con experience was ending. We got some food and walked around some more and while my mom and cousin went back to the room I made my way to the Sega arcade and played some games. The Captain America game wasn’t completely crap, so that was worth it. I ended up leaving there about 9 when they closed and made my way back to the room to rest.
Sunday we drove home in the morning and nothing exciting happened.
With the hassle of getting tickets to this year’s show and with Celebration VI next year, I was wondering if I would be concerned with going to San Diego next year. As much fun as I had this year, I know the answer is definitely yes.
Like Rebecca Black said, it’s Friday and you gotta get down on Friday. Today my mom and cousin were going to the show. For my cousin it was her first time and my mom went once during the first year I went, way back in ought 4. My mom has taken a liking to this doll series called Monster High and they had an exclusive last year, so she wanted to go this year and get the exclusive.
After my seemingly never-ending trek to the back of the line to get my badge Thursday morning, I advised them to come by Thursday afternoon and pick up their Friday badges. They didn’t. So I filled a couple canteens with water, found a local Sherpa to guide us and prepared to explore San Diego’s borders as we walked to the back of the line. When we got to the convention center we were able to walk right in with no line. Huh? Reluctantly, I let the Sherpa go, but his mule made an awful mess in the bus lane.
Seeing as how I thought we’d have a long wait we had arrived about an hour before the show opened, so we joined the queue to enter the exhibit hall and waited. Somebody was handing out some paper fans with Admiral Ackbar on them, so naturally I kept saying everything was a trap; because I’m mature like that.
They let us in about 9 am and the girls wanted to go directly to Mattel and see the Monster High stuff. In a strange twist of fate, I had now become the Sherpa and I used my years of experience and remembrance of the fact that Mattel is always in the same spot on the show floor to lead the way. My mom had pre-ordered the Monster High exclusive so we wouldn’t have to deal with anything getting one, but she decided she wanted a second one when we found out the creator and designer would be there later for a signing. Plus my cousin wanted to get one too. So we stopped by the Mattel store booth to pick those up. They went crazy for all the new Monster High toys, and I was able to get a glimpse of what I must look like when I first visit the Sideshow booth every year.
With the important stuff out of the way, they just wanted to walk around and see everything they could. It was a lot of seeing what was for sale and gawking at people in costumes. After a break, we walked through the Sideshow booth and all three of us were giddy with joy at the cool stuff they’ve got there.
After walking around some more and heading towards the far end of the convention center where most of the retailers booths are at I realized it was getting close to noon and I had to walk all the way back towards the center to get my free Minimate for the day. Me and my cousin went and left my mom at a table to take another break while we worked our way through the mass of people. After getting our Minimates my cousin spent the last of her money on a Battle Bears t-shirt and plush bear whose head comes off and rainbow guts spill out. It was adorable. We went back to my mom and found her with a group of other ladies at the table talking about how massive and ridiculous this show has become in the past few years. It was like Sex & the City but about comics and didn’t have Jimmy Chou shoes or martinis.
Since it was just past noon, we decided to leave and get some lunch. As usual during Comic-Con everything around there was packed, we passed by one restaurant with some grab and go sandwiches, so we just got those and headed back to the room for yet another break until the Monster High signing.
Eventually we got up and headed back to the show so they could get their dolls signed. We got in line and learned we were supposed to get tickets earlier in the day for the autographs. The tickets were just like a fastpass and those with tickets would get to go first. We were only a couple people back of the first people without tickets so we decided to wait it out and see what happened. The writer and designer were nice with everybody and taking time to talk instead of just signing and waving them along, but this led to the wait being longer. Lots of people had the dolls to get signed, plus they were giving out copies of the book and signing that, and I saw the designer do a quick little sketch in one little girl’s book. By the time we got to the front of the line, they only had 10 minutes left to get through the line so we were the first group of people who were only able to get one thing signed by each of them.
By now it was around 4:30 and my mom was ready to leave but wanted to pick up her pre-ordered doll before she left. This was over at the Marriott, so we headed that way. After getting the doll, we stopped and had a soda and watched the people walking by. My cousin said she was too tired to go back and was going to head back to the hotel with my mom. This had been an easy day for me, but with them not being used to conventions like this I guess it was taxing.
Alone, I made my way back to the exhibit hall and walked around the Star Wars pavilion checking out the stuff there. The line to play The Old Republic was pretty short, so I decided to wait and ended up being in there until the show closed at 7.
With the show over I made my way back to the hotel and decided to check out the Marvel Monstergeddon exhibit & Sega Arcade that were set up across the street from our hotel. The Marvel one was an advertisement for a Marvel related monster truck show going on next year during Comic-Con. They had versions of the monster trucks set up in this foggy room and you could buy tickets for the show next year. Sega’s arcade had a couple of upcoming Sega games set up to play. I was kind of tired and knew my mom and cousin were probably waiting for me to get back so we could eat, I decided to not play anything then.
We called for the car and made our way through the pedestrians to find some food and ended up at a Panda Express. When we got back to the room we discovered what the construction was for. A Camp Playboy party! You had to sign up before to get on the guest list otherwise this post would end with a bunch of photos from the party. As it was, I just took some from the room.
We hit the road about 6 am and headed to San Diego. After an uneventful and uninteresting drive, we reached our destination. Since my mom and cousin only had badges for Friday, we separated here and they went off to have their own adventures. If this was a comic-book this is where an asterisk would be to tell say something like “to find out what they did read, this other comic #something”. This isn’t a comic-book and neither of them has a blog or anything where they would post their activities so I’m not going to link to anything. I headed over to the convention center and started walking towards Hall A so I could get to the back of the line to pick up my badge. Once I reached Hall A I continued walking towards the Marriott since the line stretched over there. I then walked behind the Marriott and past the Hyatt to Seaport Village. From there I followed the line as it curved onto this little peninsula where I finally reached the end of the line. I would’ve had a direct line to the con if not for the body of water between me and it. The line moved pretty quickly and after about an hour I had my badges for all three days. – so far away they needed tables with Gatorade along the way to keep people hydrated
First things first, I headed to Hallmark to get their exclusive IG-88 & Dengar ornaments. I was able to get them pretty easily and without too long of a wait. I wasn’t too concerned with getting any other exclusives, so I just meandered about the exhibit hall checking out the new stuff from Gentle Giant and Sideshow.
Sideshow’s Legendary Scale figures – looks like these’ll be around 27-30″ tall, probably end up being ~$1000, but the Obi-Wan is a fantastic likeness
– Hot Toys Iron Man 2 Suit-Up Gantry with Marv IV Iron Man, looks so cool; I just don’t want to pay $50
At my first SDCC, I was introduced to a line of toys called Minimates by Art Asylum. I bought the exclusive figures from that year’s con and have been buying at least the exclusives every year since then. This year, they were giving away a free Pirate Raiders minimate everyday at noon. Each day was a different figure, so you had to keep coming back to get the whole set. The time was right around 11 and I knew that the rest of my day was gonna be pretty busy with panels and I probably wouldn’t get a chance to eat until after 5 I decided to head over to 1st St where I heard some of San Diego’s gourmet food trucks would be parked at so I could get something to eat. I chose Super Q since it seemed the most normal. I ordered some fries covered in BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, pico de gallo, jalapenos, & cheese – so as normal as that is. It was delicious. I ate on my way back to the con with my glass bottled Coke open in my pocket.
I was finishing up right as I was about to enter the exhibit hall and saw someone leave from one of the benches that are right outside some of the doors, so I helped myself to a seat. Finished off my amazing lunch and remembered I had a soda in my pocket. Looked down and noticed the bottle wasn’t sitting upright in my pocket. Of course it had spilled and there was none left. I got my free minimate and made my way up to the mezzanine level to get an autograph for a friend of mine. A couple years ago, Hideo Kojima (creator of Metal Gear Solid) was at the show and I tried to get two things signed, I wasn’t able to get my friend’s item signed. A few days before the show I saw he was going to be there again so I figured I’d surprise my friend with an autograph. I haven’t given it to him yet, so he still doesn’t know about it, unless of course he reads this post before we meet up.
When the schedule came out I had planned on going to Room 6BCF to sit through the Street Fighter X Tekken panel (I was interested, but not enough for a whole panel) to get a seat for The Old Republic and then Star Wars: Clone Wars season 4. By the time I got the autograph it was about 3:15 and I didn’t think I would make it to The Old Republic on time to get a seat; but I did. They showed how killing this one character or not killing him could play out and affect the later game and we all got pre-order codes and I don’t really understand what good they are since my pre-order from Amazon gave me a similar code that I have to enter the same way. I’m not sure if the code is just to get the early access that they talked about. Either way I had to go to the fulfillment room over at the Marriott to get the code, but not until after the Clone Wars panel. We saw a trailer for season 4 and they showed a couple clips of future episodes. It’s looking really good. The season starts with an arc featuring the Mon Calamari with Kit Fisto & a young Ackbar. They mentioned another animated project coming out that’s more comedic and Seth Green is involved, since he came up on stage when they mentioned that. He just sat in on the panel for the rest of the Q&A and they didn’t say anything about this other series. I hadn’t heard about it, but apparently it was announced last year. Someone asked about Ahsoka’s death and Seth Green said he had talked to George about it, but George said he wasn’t quite sure what her fate would be, and Dave said he’d been thinking about it recently. A couple minutes later Seth interrupted someone’s question to say someone had already posted his and Dave’s responses about Ahsoka on Twitter. With that panel over and me not having anything else planned I figured I’d head over to the Marriott for my pre-order code, whatever that meant. On my way to the fulfillment room I saw that Nintendo had set up a gaming lounge in one of the Marriott’s ballrooms. So after getting my code I stopped in there to check out some 3DS games and see what else they had going on. I played a small selection of games and then decided to head home since it was getting close to the con closing for the day
We stayed at a new Residence Inn Marriott on 6th & J St. (Marriott should pay me for all the mentions in this post, Marriott, Marriott, Marriott). I’m in the elevator with someone who looks vaguely familiar, but I can’t quite place it. Not until he gets off and I’m able to read his badge, it was Tom Hodges the artist. As he was exiting the elevator I didn’t get a chance to say anything. When I got back to the room my mom and cousin were fascinated by some sort of construction project going on outside our window. There was a giant screen set-up and I was thinking could it be for some screening or party. I didn’t really care, maybe we’d find out later. Maybe you will too.
First post of my trip to this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. As usual, I had an amazing amount of fun and can’t wait for next year already.
This year my mom wanted to take a kid with us, so we took my 13 year old cousin for her first convention experience. We left on Wednesday to go to Anaheim so my mom could go to the Build-A-Bear at Downtown Disney, since the ones here don’t have the “pretty” clothes as she puts it. This also put us closer to San Diego so we don’t have to get up at 1 in the morning to get there when the show opens Thursday since we didn’t have a hotel in San Diego for Wednesday night. The plan was to also visit with some family, but by the time we got into the hotel room, it was getting late and we were too tired to go. We did go to Downtown Disney for some shopping and potentially food. I’ve been wanting to get down to the D-Street store and pick up some Star Wars Vinylmations, but it was not to be as they were sold out yet again. I guess I’m just going to have to order online. They did have some of the Simba combo-toppers in stock though so I was able to get that at least.
– the happy couple
We walked around the various shops, but didn’t want to pay the price of any of the sit-down meals there, but did end up eating at the Cheesecake Factory so I don’t know if we really saved much.
On Wednesday’s in the summer (or at least this summer) Downtown Disney’s main stage near The ESPN Zone is used for swing dancing with live bands playing old music. We didn’t know this would be going on and stopped to watch the festivities since my mom loves that old big band sound. Who am I kidding, I do to. It ended up being a nice surprise, and the band, The Wiseguys Big Band Machine, was really good.