With Wizard World coming up this weekend in Chicago and due to my own procrastination, I am finally posting my Comic-Con report with many pictures goodness!! Check it out after the break!!
This is the largest convention in the United States with over 140,00 paid attendance in addition to the 50,000 – 70,000 that come down to the Con for everything outside of the convention center. So this makes for about 200,000 people around for Comic-Con. Crowded is an understatement. This con tops all my lists for lines, excess, size of booths, and events. I am going to review day by day and then give a review at the end. Here we go!
I arrived Wed morning to get acclimated and explore the city to scope out where things would be for the con. I also found out I was able to pick up my badge wed at a remote location in Mission Vally. They had shuttles running to different hotels all day for the con. So I hopped on the one to get my badge. When I got there I found out it was about a 2-3 hour line to get your badge. Since I had nothing else planned for that day I waited. There is a picture below of a hall just filled with people standing, that is the line for the badges. It would have filled the hall ACen uses for exhibitors and artists. Compared to ACen, this line moved very very fast for the number of people. They were getting about 12 people badges every 2-3 seconds so the line was always moving. (Take note ACen!) I would say there were about 20,000-30,000 people in line. This was the only thing I did this day as it was late by the time I got back to my hotel and it was time to eat. On a side note, Hall H is where they have the premier previews for the big new movies coming out over the next year so this hall is always a big deal. On Thur at 10 they were showing the new Eclipse trailer with some of the cast there. The line for this started MONDAY!! That’s a 4 day line! You can see pictures below with the white tents. By Thur morning there were at least 17,000 people in line. The hall only seats 10,000.
The first day of the con! I wanted to see a panel with Stan Lee (the founder of Marvel), Todd McFarlane (Creator of Spawn), and Yoshiki (X-Japan). The panel was at 11, the first panel in that room started at 10. I got in line at 8. Good thing I did because by 9 there were already 500 people in line. I quickly learned this was going to be a normal occurrence at the Con. I have some pictures up below of the room and then of the panel members. The girl is a character from the new comic book that those guys came out with called Blood Red Dragon. They gave us all a preview issue. It plays an original X-Japan song when you open it and the main character is, no surprise, Yoshiki.
After that panel (which was in one of the neighboring hotels) I walked over to the other side of the convention center to where my friend Nick had waited in line to get into Hall 20 (this had all the popular TV shows for panels and they would have the cast and show a preview for the next season), I will get back to this in a minute. As I walked over they had a ton of guys dressed as dogs for Wilfred (a new TV show on FX) which was cool to see. Then I walked through the exhibit hall. This place was huge and could have easily filled up the whole Stevenson convention center where ACen is held (they only use 1 room in the convention center). This was just the exhibit hall, artist ally was in another part. The booths for the major exhibitors such as FOX, Universal, Nick, XBox, all the major players (TV, Movie studios, Video Games, Comic Book issuers such as DC and Marvel, and Toy makers) were huge! It was like nothing I have ever seen. There was sooo much to see in there. Also soo many people, meaning more lines even for free stuff they were giving away. See the pictures below. By this time it was time to make it over to Hall 20. I get there and the line is at least 7,000 people long going outside in tents similar to the Hall H line. My friend was already inside and managed to get me in without waiting. This was the only time I ever made it into 2 different halls in a single day! The 2 panels I saw in this hall were for Dexter and TV Guide (they had a single cast member from 5 popular shows, Dr Who was one of them) see the pictures of them. After these panels we left and decided to walk around outside the Convention center more in the city. We saw a South Park town, some Marvel monster trucks, tons of banners and ads for new media (TV, movies, Video Games) that were going to come out over the next year.
In the morning I walked around the Exhibit hall more and got to stop at every both and take more pictures. Enjoy for your viewing pleasure below They had people dressed up as characters for the booths (not amateur cosplay, these were official costumes from the company and these people were paid) so of course they were awesome costumes! We went by Artist Ally where they also had autograph sessions going on for different people from the industry. you had to win a ticket in a drawing for these. I won a ticket to get autographs from the cast of Attack of the Show on G4. I am a big fan of this show so that was really exciting. I got to meet them and talk a little to them. After that we made our way over to the Nintendo Gaming Lounge (they also had a Sega Gaming Lounge that was the same concept but for Sega games, we stopped at this one also). The gaming lounge pictures are below. They had demos of new 3DS games coming out such as the new Mario, Star Fox, Zelda, and Kid Icarus. They also had Wii demos for the new Zelda game Wind Wakers, Kerby, and some others. This place was really cool. Not too many people and was a fun place to relax. Plus I brought my 3DS with me and got exclusive Con content for it which was exciting and unplanned. After this we walked around outside the con more and met the cast of Dexter, Andrew WK, and saw Stan Lee again. My friend also won passes to the Red Carpet premier to Cowboys and Aliens, which I will cover under Sat. We went to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Party, a bar that was themed out to Cowboys & Aliens, and ran into some cosplayers. The last thing we did on Friday was stumble onto a panel for Sushi Girl (we were wanted to go to the Hall H replay that was after it). This movie looks awesome. So the panel starts coming out and all of a sudden Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) comes out, he is in the movie. They talked about how he would fit this bad guy in the movie because of his experience with voicing the Joker for the Batman cartoon. This was a pleasant surprise and we even got to see some previews for the movie. DO go and check it out, http://www.sushigirlmovie.com
So not many pictures for this day because this is the day we went to the World Premier of Cowboys and Aliens. They would not let you bring cameras with you. They even did a pat down and had metal detectors. They let you have phones, so I have some pictures with my phone but they are of very bad quality. I also have a 5 second video, I will work on getting that added to here in a format that can play. We did not get to go to the con for this because we had to get there at 11 am, they seated us at 6 pm and the movie started at 8. But it was well worth the wait and is one of the coolest things I have ever been to.
At 11 we were checked in and put in this holding theater (like opera theater) with some soda, water, and this terrible jerky (that had the movie ads all over it). My friend ran out at 2 to the mall that was a block away and got some better tasting fast food. That held us over till after the movie. At 6 they started taking us out of that holding room and walked us out onto the Red Carpet where E! was filming the stars come in and interviewing them. This was really cool. They had a life size replica of one of the alien ships over the red carpet. So we went in and were seated in the front few rows. The cast and other movie stars started to come in to the theater. Harrison Ford was 4 rows behind me, along with the other stars a few rows behind me. They marched out Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Jon Favreau, Steven Spielberg , and Ron Howard on stage in front of us. I got a blurry picture of this. They said some stuff, Favreau gave a speech to us. Then they played the movie. Side Note: People clap too much when the stars of the movie are in the same theater as them. The audience was hamming it up! After the movie I walked out to the after party and got to meet most of the cast, talk to them, and shake their hands. This was really cool. There were so many famous people there. They did not stick around long as they had a sponsored after party by E! and syfy networks at another restaurant in San Diego. For us commoners, they did have a big after party outside the theater that lasted till 11 with great food (tons of variety), and most importantly free drinks. They had beer, wine, soda, tea, deserts, as much as you wanted. It was a blast. We met many people in that waiting hall at the start of the day so we met up with them again after the movie and drank and danced. It was very good times.
This was the last day of the con. We were so burnt out from lines (the average wait time for a panel, toy, autograph session was 2-4 hours!!!) that we didn’t go see anything besides walk around the exhibit hall some more and then go relax at a pub and eat some food. I took more pictures of the exhibits this day. By this point we were so frustrated with lines, people, and running around San Diego that we were burned out. So at the end of the day we went to Outback restaurant for some drinks and snacks then went to go see Captain America that just came out that weekend. We though it fitting to go see a comic book movie at a Comic Convention After this it was the end to our long journey.
Recap & Review:
Since I talked for so long above, Ill keep this short. This was something that I had to do in my lifetime, but I don’t think I will be doing it again anytime soon. There were just wayyyyy tooo many damn people. EVERYTHING was crowded all the time. The convention is huge and a big event. It spills out of the convention center to hotels, restaurants, and bars all over the down town area. There was more to see outside the convention center than at it, although all the best stuff was in the con. There were also a ton of private after parties at night like a private cartoon network party at a bar, another one for E!, one for Showtime, one for just about everything. They were all private and you had to be on a list. Going into it, I did not know soo much happened outside the con and I knew nothing about all these private after parties. It was a big learning experience as to how big this con actually is. The wait time for anything went like this, get in line at 7-8am for the first panel that started at 10am stay in that hall all day because you are not getting into anything else! The lines are too long and most people don’t get in! So we learned to pick the hall that had the most we wanted to see in it. My friend sat in Hall 20 on Thur from 10 am till 6 without leaving! That is just how it works since they don’t clear the rooms between panels. If you don’t sit in the room all day you will never get to see the panel you actually wanted to see in that hall. There is constantly something going on or something to go to all day long from when you wake up till about 8. We ended up only finding time at the end of the day to eat. This didn’t bother us since you end up being sooo busy all day you don’t even think about it and the time really flies by. So with that I leave you with it was one of the best experiences of my life but will NOT do it again anytime soon. Enjoy the pictures below!