Jelmer and I made our way to Comic Con for the first time this year. I had read many blogs about how to survive the whole experience and make the best of it, so we were somewhat well prepared. The adventure was still full of surprises (most of them pleasant) and just to make certain my half-senile mind wouldn’t forget it all, I’m recording a few of the highlights.
There were pedicabs decorated with motifs of everything from Once Upon a Time to Family Guy, and their drivers were similarly garbed. I felt particularly sorry for the man trying to cycle in a near complete suit of armour. Every restaurant we sighted had either taken on a comic or movie related theme or was so full of badged attendees that it might as well have been. That corner of the city was a haven for our species and it was glorious. If you thought the hotels would retain their sense of dignity, you would have been mistaken. The bellboy at ours had a yoda strapped to his back.
On the streets, early arrivals were already toting their massive WB loot bags, which at first glance looked more like enormous posters. At first I thought they were so ungainly I’d never use one. By the afternoon of day one, vanity had been thrown out the window and I was a true convert. It helped that the volunteer in charge gave me the Hobbit version. I saw an unfortunate soul with a Twilight bag. Poor diddums.
Preview night at San Diego Comic Con is rather similar to Siggraph… at its most packed, and on its most popular day. The difference is, preview night is supposed to be relatively uncrowded and easy to navigate since only a limited number of passes are sold for it. I thought this meant I would have some sort of chance at obtaining limited exclusives.
All you SDCC veterans are probably laughing at me right now.
My advice is, unless you desperately want an exclusive to the point where you would line up before the exhibition floor opens, forget about it. I did, and found much to see when I would otherwise have been waiting in line twiddling my thumbs and staring at my fellow nerds’ growing sweat stains. To be truthful I only queued up to get into my morning classes, and otherwise wandered the exhibition floor, which was so massive I still did not see everything despite having a four day pass.
Our first stops on the floor were to visit friends at Satellite Soda and the extremely talented Allen Williams (ijustdraw.blogspot.com). Shortly after both parties lightened my wallet, we continued our exploration and realised there was simply too much awesome in one place to be sensible about anything (as if the word ‘sensible’ belongs anywhere in a discussion about Comic Con). We had arrived late and the floor was closing, so other than our complimentary WB bags and several art prints, we were relatively lootless.