Monday, July 29, 2013

Comicon 2013: Part 1

Comicon.  It certainly was an experience unlike any other. The four days we were down there is a constant blur of "what's going on" and "what's that line for, eh, stand in it anyway!"

Even though we bought our tickets six months in advance (since they sell out in like five minutes), I had no pre-convention excited jitters like I usually do.  It probably wasn't until we got to the badge pick-up line that I started to get interested.

I think it's because I didn't know what to expect.  I've only been to anime conventions, and I know them pretty well by now.  I felt kind of like a fraud going to a comic convention - I don't really read comics, know zilch about American superheroes, and haven't even watched Iron Man yet. I felt we posers would not fit in.  However, my mother assured me that I'd still be nerdy enough for a comic convention since I do have a Star Wars fandom, afterall.  Between that and anime it'd be enough. Haha.
Is this not the coolest car shade ever? I want!
Anyway, it turned out that all my worries were for naught, since the main theme of the convention seemed not to be extreme fandoms, inside jokes and references, but rather Hollywood marketing and whatever the latest thing is on theaters and TV.

But let's start at the beginning.  We drove down to Friend E's house in Camarillo Wednesday morning, and he drove us to San Diego.  Along the way, we saw a girl driving a Smart car with one foot and arm hanging out the driver side window. @_@.  We checked into our hotel (Four Points) which was a mile away from the main con center.  Luckily, there were free shuttle buses the whole weekend, and they were pretty nice! We checked out the main con scene before switching buses to go to another hotel to pick up our badges.
Sak and Friend E, on our comfy buses!
I am super impressed with their badge pickup.  20 minutes was all it took (and you have to remember that this convention is the largest comic convention in the US - 130,000 people. (For reference, the largest in the world is Comiket in Japan, with over half a million!).  The badge itself wasn't so impressive, just a slip of paper shoved in a sleeve. But I guess that's the trade off for being fast.
Reg line
No frills badges.
After getting our badges, we were handed our swag bags, and you couldn't see the design until you opened it up.  There were 12 designs in all, and the retro batman bag was the coolest.  Sak and I both got Godzilla bags, but I traded mine with poor Friend E who didn't want to get stuck with the Vampire Diaries, haha!  Anyway, the bag is super cool.  It's huge, and has two straps so you can wear it like a backpack. Inside there is a rolled up, detachable cape! So fun!

We ate dinner and wandered around downtown, marveling at how everything from the transit signs to the sushi menus had been changed in honor of the convention.
Train signs in Game of Thrones language?

Friend E got the Naruto roll! It was very orange.
The first day we grabbed some breakfast to go and headed to the Battlestar Galactica 35th Anniversary panel line, about 2 hours early.  These would be the best line spots we'd have all weekend. The panel was very nice, with Captain Adama and Zarek/Old Apollo being in attendance. Edward James Olmos is hilarious.  There were many fan questions regarding the real nature of Starbuck, haha.
First line! All the hallways are super long @_@
Bad phone pic, but we were very close to the front!
After our panel we parted ways with Friend E, who wanted to try for the Pysch panel.  We went down to check out the dealer's hall, which was coupled with the artists alley into one gigantic hot mess crowd situation.  Especially in the middle, where all the major network booths give our freebies, it was impossible to get through! So much pushing and shoving.  I had wanted to buy one of the convention exclusive DBZ scouters, but they ran out every day.  Maybe I'll get one online later :P
The Walking Dead booth had a fenced area you could go in an take pictures with zombies!
Ice King from Adventure Time!
Post lunch, we walked into the infamous Hall H (which for whatever reason, was easy to get into that day).  We saw a panel by Entertainment Weekly with some directors, and then a panel for the movie Divergent.  At that point, Sak realized his badge was missing! We freaked out, and the guy behind us said he saw a badge on the floor and that someone had picked it up and walked away with it. :(  So we ran out to check Lost and Found, to no avail.  Being that it was a $150 badge, they aren't returned too often.  Luckily he was able to get a replacement badge for $25, and we made it back to Hall H in time for the Ender's Game panel with Harrison Ford!  A stressful 30 minutes, for sure.

Mr. Ford is a very grumpy man, at least in these types of events.  I suppose I can't blame him since after all this time, he is still only associated with Han Solo and Indiana Jones.  He was pretty sarcastic to the fan questions, which ironically only makes fans love him more.

After Ender's we lined up for the South Park panel with Matt Stone and Trey Parker.  They were talking about their upcoming videogame, which I didn't know was going to be RPG! Kinda makes me want to play it.  I know South Park is really disturbing/bad sometimes, but they are pretty hilarious guys.  Of all the stars we saw that weekend, they seemed the most down to earth and comfortable with their fans and questions.

Before boarding the shuttle back to the hotel, we grabbed some pizza and went through the Ender's game tent, curiously sponsored by HGTV.  Inside were many of the movie sets, which was pretty cool.  I loved the book, so I hope the movie is good!

The next morning (Friday), Sak and I woke up early to walk down to the panel lines.  Friend E had other plans, and Cousin T and her crew were in line for Game of Thrones in Hall H, so it was just us again.  We stopped at Ralphs along the walk for some breakfast and lunch to-go, and I grabbed a coffee from a Lions shop! (I am excited because this is a Hawaii brand coffee, haha).  The line was dauntingly long by the time we got there, but after a hour and a half wait we got in for the panel starting at 10.

It's interesting how the panel and lines work. While they move the line, they block regular foot traffic so no one can cut (LOVED that).  People were all very well prepared to stand in line, with mini chairs and DSes and card games and books.  And food of course.  Once you get into a panel room, you can stay there all day if you like, as they never clear the room between shows.  If you need to use the restroom or get food, you can leave and get a ticket to return within an hour.  It's quite nice if you can get in!
Anyway, that day we stayed in ballroom 20 from 10 AM to 4 PM.  The first panel was for Big Bang Theory.  I don't watch the show regularly since laugh tracks bug me, but we knew enough to follow the panel.  Bernadette was the moderator for the writers, and then when Q&A happened this guy got up in a Boushh costume and asked a simple question.  After the panel gave their answers, he said it was an unacceptable answer, to which the audience started thinking, who does this guy think he is?! Lol.  Turns out it was a cast member, Leonard, wearing the costume! Big surprise, it was pretty funny.
The second panel was for Avatar, Legend of Korra!  This was the one we went specifically for, I am so ready for the second season already >.>".  The voices for Korra, Mako and Bolin were there, and then! They showed the first episode of the new series :)  There were a lot of very happy fans in attendance. My prediction is that the Korra x Mako pairing won't last. I'm team Bolin, lol.
L-R - Bolin, Mako and Korra!
Third panel was for Bones, on it's 9th season now.  I hadn't watched Bones before the panel, but since the end of con that's all Sak and I have been watching lately. Haha. My mom and aunt are big fans, and I guess I can see why, it's not a bad show. Kinda gory though.  Anyway, Booth's actor is hilarious, and he started the panel with a proposal.  I guess that's a good sign, if you can find a panel thoroughly funny and enjoyable despite not having seen the show >.>"
And finally, the last panel was for Agents of SHIELD, the post-Avengers Marvel TV show.  Though I'm not big on superheroes, I want to watch the show (starts in sept) since it's a Joss Whedon :P. He was there, along with most the cast and writers, and they also showed their first episode! It was pretty good :3
After panels, we went through the exhibit hall again and got signed comic prints from Bill Amend, creator of Foxtrot! One for Sak and I and one for my brother.  Since we were little we'd always read the comics page in the newspaper, and Foxtrot has always been one of our very favorites. So I kinda freaked out and rambled/gushed/fangirled embarrassingly. It's not everyday you get to meet someone whose work you've admired for so long! Now I just need a frame to hang it up!

With nothing left on the agenda for the day, we stood in line to go on the Assassin's Creed pirate ship docked just outside the convention center.  Originally a maritime museum, I was kinda amazed that they opened all the exhibit cases and "rebranded" everything so it'd fit with the game theme. Marketing money is no joke! I still haven't played Assassin's Creed (I know!), but I will eventually :P I hear nothing but good things about it, and of course the costumes are pretty cool looking.

After all that we found Friend M for a little bit, and sat around resting our old people feet. You need a lot of stamina for comicon cause the place is HUGE. After Friend E had found us they decided to go out to dinner with some other friends, and we parted ways since we were more tired than hungry. :P

Downtown Gaslamp Quarter.
 And that wraps up half the trip! This is already quite a long post, so I'll break it into two. :3


  1. Nice review so far! :) Can't believe you guys saw the first episodes of Korra and Agents of Shield already! XD I really hope she ends up with Bolin too. lol. The Ender's Game pics are pretty cool. I was wondering what was in that big tent!

  2. LOVE Foxtrot!! I love that you got them autographed (and the little iguana is peeking in the corner)! I have friends that go every year, and this year, one of Evie's toddler-room daycare providers went! She always has geeky stuff like Autobot earrings and stuff, so it wasn't a surprise, just really cool. =)

  3. That's so crazy San Diego changes signs for the Con?!?! Wait wait wait - do they all have a cape or just the Vampire Diaries one? :oP Those are REALLY neat bags. Oh to be on the marketing/creative team that comes up with these things! :oP

    Wow, staying in the ballroom from 10am to 4pm?? That's a long time. It's like... working a full day! hahah. YAY BIG BANG THEORY!!! :D Oh man Agents of SHIELD is by Joss Whedon??? We saw the preview at the movie theater.

    OH MY!! BILL AMEND!?!? Man, I think we need to sign up for this next year. ;) Love Foxtrot! Did you bring/make those cards? Or they provided?

    1. all the bags had caps! The batman one was the best cause it was a traditional bat sign on the cape!

      We bought the prints at his booth! I had to hold it carefully all day so they wouldn't get bent, lol.

      You should go next year! Just once for the experience!


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