Like last year, and the year before that, we are again packing our Honda Fit and heading down to San Diego for Comic-Con! Now that we’ve gone to a couple, we have a pretty solid idea what to expect, and our increased understanding of the ebb and flow of the convention hasn’t diminished our enthusiasm; indeed, it only increases our enjoyment of it!
We’ve learned, for example, that if we want to go into the Exhibit hall Wednesday night (which is “preview night”) when it opens at 6pm there will be a long, deep, claustrophobic line. However, if we aren’t concerned with being first into the hall, we lose our chance at some of the rarer “exclusive” products to buy, but we can also walk in at our leisure, no line at all. We’ve learned that if you want to catch one of the major movie or hit TV panels, plan on waiting in line and spending half the day in the ballroom or hall or you might not get to see what you want; if you’re going to the comic panels, there may be some lines and crowds but everyone will get in. And we’ve learned that sometimes, the smaller panels you might not have intended to catch but just happen to fit your schedule can be the best, most rewarding of them all.
When you find yourself with time, the people watching is awesome. God bless cosplayers, the people who love their hobby so much they devote time and energy to making sometimes absolutely breathtaking replicas of outfits and armor that took teams of professionals and thousands of dollars to do for hit movies. Sure, there are some costumes that aren’t at that level (and some people who perhaps show a bit more skin or whose costumes are a bit tighter than their level of physical fitness would warrant) but no matter; their enthusiasm is always contagious and I applaud them all. Of the 125,000+ people who go to comic con, maybe only a quarter of them will dress up, but it’s incredibly fun to see them. And those in costume love to be photographed, and are happy to pose with or for pictures—after all, that’s why they are making the effort, to be acknowledged as the superfans they are! Even the custom t-shirt slogans and art of convention goers is often fun and funny.
San Diego is a beautiful city, and the fact that the San Diego Convention Center sits right on the harbor is a definite plus. The lovely Gaslamp district is across the street, and while convention center food is always poor a quick walk into San Diego proper promises good food and a fun downtown vibe. Not that there is often a ton of time to eat, depending how busy your schedule is, but we always try to make time for at least one or two good meals in between grabbing crappy snacks.
Finally, we’ve learned that attending some of the non-official, Comic-Con adjacent events are part of the experience and the fun. This year we’re catching two events in the Balboa Theater in Downtown San Diego, W00tstock and The Nerdist live show, both of which are geektastic events that we’ve caught before and wouldn’t miss.
We’ll be busy, but I’ve set up apps on my iPhone to allow me to “micro-blog” throughout, so I’ll hopefully have some amusing posts, tweets, and images throughout. Of course, everyone else there is tech-savvy and has the same idea, so connectivity can be spotty. But it improved in 2011 over 2010, so I’m reasonably optimistic that this year will be even better.
So that’s what’s going on with us. More soon!