And now for the finale of my Comic-Con adventure. There were ups and downs, and a proposed daily blog that became a two-post recap, but here we are regardless. So let’s wrap this up.
Talk about a comeback. As enjoyable as the first four days of SDCC were overall, things have definitely been all over the place—ups, downs and the less said about Friday the better. Fate seemed to smile on me this day, however, as everything went exceptionally well. After one final day of getting up in the early morning, I arrived at the autograph line to try my chance at getting a wristband for either Doctor Who or Community. Good thing I got there when I did, because as soon I arrived, the line behind me just got longer and longer, lending a grim amusement to watching person after person try to get in line only to be told to keep walking, keep walking. There are always lines, lines, and more lines at Comic-Con. But eventually the signing drawings opened and our line started moving.
As a rule, the limited autograph signings are actually run rather well at Comic-Con (well, aside from Warner Bros. and Fox). You get in line for whichever show you want, and at the front of the line, you grab a ticket from a person holding a bag of them. If your ticket has a stamp on the back, congrats, you get a wristband. If it doesn’t… well, you just go to the back of the line and eventually you will get to try again. And you will get to try again, as the line moves very quickly, and enough stamped and blank tickets are in the bags that it takes a while for all the tickets to be drawn. You may not get the show you want if you draw a blank, but you will probably get an autograph from someone. It’s a pleasant surprise to find something that so well run here at the con.
Decisions, decisions—Doctor Who or Community? I love both shows, but as it is Matt Smith’s final Comic-Con as the Doctor, I’m leaning towards trying for Doctor Who…. Until I walk in and see that the line is packed, with probably only a few tickets remaining. But Community’s line is rather light. Strategy would seem to dictate that since I could just get back in line, I should take a shot at Doctor Who, get back in line and try for Community if I had struck out. At the time, however, I didn’t realize the system actually worked like that (sensibly). I’m thinking I have one shot at this, so I have to go with the safe choice, Community. I walk up, put my hand in the bag, and pull out a ticket. On the back… a duck! Success! Feeling giddy, I went and got my wristband, and then went out to enjoy the rest of the con.
In the Exhibit Hall I went around getting as much free swag as I could and buying gifts for others. Then I made the choice to try and get a t-shirt from the Lionsgate booth, so I trekked upstairs to get in line. I barely got in before they cut it off. Then the waiting began. I had nothing better to do until the Community signing, so I was game for this terrible test of what humans will endure for a free t-shirt.
I found amusement where I could, reading the Phantom Tollbooth (favorite book ever!), talking to my line mates, and watching the line grind to a halt. In fact, security shut down Lionsgate’s entire booth at one point—poetic justice given how, so far during the con, the Worst Run Booth Ever was finally punished for being terrible. Of course seeing as Comic-Con couldn’t resist one more twist of the knife, the booth was shut down when I needed it to be open (typical). Eventually, the booth was re-opened, but now I was up against a clock as the Community signing inched closer and closer. This day, however, I would not be denied, and after a final line push I got through. With little time to spare, I rushed down to get my shirt. Luckily, the shirt part of Lionsgate’s booth was run extremely well, and soon I had my hard earned shirt. No time to rest, however, as I rushed off to the Community signing. Soon I was in line, able to take a breath, and prepared to enjoy the ultimate capper to the Con.
And what a capper it turned out to be. The cast (minus Joel McHale and Donald Glover), Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna were there, all of them chatting happily with each person in line. Each one of them was very nice and pleased to talk with me, even while security glowered behind them, wishing for them to just sign the poster and move on. It was a great way to end the con on a positive note. All that was left after that was to eat dinner and then begin journey home. Exhausted, I finally arrived back in Los Angeles after another successful Comic-Con.
This year’s Comic-Con was simultaneously exhilarating and frustrating, and proved that each year there is different than the last. The first year I went, I mainly did panels and didn’t see much of the floor, last year I managed a pretty even split between the two, and this year I hardly went to any panels at all. Every year was a blast in its own way, though, and I am so glad to have gone. Still, while I’m excited to go back next year, I’m glad this year’s con is over. There is only so much of the grind one can handle, and I am ready to rest, relax, and enjoy my hard-earned swag.
So is there anything I would differently next year? A couple of ideas:
- Preview Night seems like the best time to explore San Diego. It’s the least tired you’ll be all con, which makes it a perfect opportunity to see the city. Get your badges and explore the floor for just long enough to make Thursday less stressful in terms of getting exclusives, but after that it’s best just to leave. There is plenty of time to explore the floor on later days, and the Con isn’t going anywhere.
- As for Hall H, it’s clear that the time for camping has come. I’ve resisted for as long as I could, but to get into certain panels you just have to bite the bullet. There really is no difference between arriving at 6 AM after a brief nap in the hotel and just going straight to the line at 1 AM and spending the night there. The quality of sleep won’t change, and this way you can definitely get into the panels. Plus it’ll make a great story for after the Con.
- Finally, I always tell myself this, but next year I really will try to explore the little aspects of the Con. There are so many interesting panels that are overlooked but still awesome—like the Best and Worst of Manga panel, which was probably my favorite panel this year. I really want to try and go to more of those next year. Also, I want to spend more time exploring the smaller booths in the Exhibit Hall. I certainly did a lot of that this year, and was constantly rewarded with the discoveries of awesome artwork, books, comics, and more.
This concludes my Comic-Con 2013 blogging series. Things didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped, but hey, it’s a start. Look for more posts to come over a variety of subjects. The Drunken Thieves are back, and this time we are here to stay.
Now I will leave you with some pictures that best cover my Comic-Con experience:
Loot From Preview Night:
Rocket Punch Ahoy:
Dracula’s Tomb and Me
More Pacific Rim
Mega Bloks and Me
Doing the Mega Man
Hanging out with Marc Guggenheim EP of Arrow
Fullmetal Alchemist for the Win!
How to Train Your Dragon 2 with 100% More Signatures from Drew Struzan and Dean DeBlois
The Capper: Community Signatures!