Well, it has been a good run, but all good things must come to an end. In the final part of Conpocalypse SDCC Edition, I will discuss the events on Sunday, plus the highs and lows of SDCC 2015 as a whole.
Sunday is always a weird day for SDCC. Unlike other cons, there is actually quite a bit to do, even if many of the major rooms such as Ballroom 20, Horton, and Indigo have nothing scheduled. Hall H usually runs a number of different television shows, the other rooms run a lot of kid’s programs as it is Kid’s Day, and the Exhibition Hall is well, still the Exhibition Hall, so there is plenty to see and buy. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that Sunday is still the last day, and thus there are just certain practicalities to the day. You have to check out of your room, get your car packed, and at some point make the trek back home during SDCC traffic. So generally you try not to push too hard on Sunday. I disregarded this advice last year, and it didn’t end well, as the non-stop grind of the con pushed me over the edge and left me very sick and barely able to drive home. This year I went out of my way not to allow this to happen again. Sure, I never got more than about 4 hours of sleep every night I was at the con, but I did make sure to rest when I could and try to make better decisions. That is why I slept a little later on Sunday than I had been doing, and decided that Sunday would just be a day where I went with the flow. If I could do something I wanted to do I would, but nothing was worth exerting huge amounts of effort.
So, how did this plan go? Quite well, actually. Other than one thing: if you remember, the Funko booth and I have not been on the best terms throughout the week. Part of me had wanted to get up extra early in order to take one last shot at the booth, but instead I decided it wasn’t worth it. This is also why, when I do enter the floor, and see that the booth is swarmed, I don’t even bother walking over and wasting time. Unfortunately, that proves to be the wrong choice, as Funko actually did what I wanted and switched to a ticketing system (it’s possible that this happened on Saturday, but it didn’t seem like it when I was on the floor then). Turns out that having their booth be a complete disaster for the entire con finally made them make a change. That’s potential great news for Future David, but the abruptness made it so that Present David was out of luck once again. It was a fitting end to what had been a frustrating experience with the booth as a whole.
But other than that, the day went rather smoothly. I took a shot at getting into a Dark Horse signing (I failed, but it was still fun), I raided Publisher’s Row of all the free books, and then just leisurely walked around the floor until it was almost time for the first Hall H panel of the day, Vampire Diaries (I review Teen Wolf, so is it really a surprise I also watch Vampire Diaries?). This is when the true zigging and zagging of my day began. There was barely any line so I was able to get into the panel with little waiting time. The panel was fun, and gave a good sense how the show is going to carry on now that Nina Dobrev has left. Once the panel ended, I headed back to the floor before the next panel I wished to go to came up, a Spotlight on Lev Grossman.
Grossman wrote the Magicians trilogy, and is one of my favorite authors. I have seen him speak before, though, so the real reason I went was because Grossman was also going to talk about the new TV adaptation of his books. Still, no one answers questions like Grossman, so watching him turn a question about sexual humiliation and one of his characters completely on its head was pretty cool. Not only did he reject the question as being valid, but explained quite eloquently how the situation in question did not go as the questioner described. I have never seen someone take such a hot button question and completely diffuse it as Grossman did there. It was truly impressive. Then Grossman brought up the showrunners for the upcoming show, Sera Gamble and John McNamara, to speak about the show.
Gamble is famous for taking over Supernatural after Eric Kripke left, and, well, her seasons were unfortunately probably two of the weakest for the show. Meanwhile, McNamara, while a veteran showrunner, has had little practice with supernatural shows. So whether they are the best pair to take over The Magicians is questionable, but their passion is undeniable. They both put up their own money to help give the idea a second chance after it had already failed to be developed into a show before, and both seemed to care about the material. The clip they showed worked quite well, and they seem to have found a solid Quentin, so I can say after all that I am cautiously optimistic that the show has a chance to be good. Especially considering SyFy is willing to spend to help it be the best show possible.
With that done, it was back to the floor again before heading off to Heroes Reborn. Heroes had such a rocky road during its previous time on air, so I was not really sure what to expect, but I was somewhat blown away by the panel. Tim Kring is still in charge, which could be disastrous, but he seems to have a much better handle on what he is doing, what made Heroes good in the first place, and what needs to be done for it grow as an idea going forward. When the panel finally finished, I gave a silent goodbye to Hall H, and headed off for a couple more hours at the con. That meant one last cycle around the floor, and then one last random panel, as I went to the “What’s Happening in YA?” panel, which was a lot of fun. Hearing the authors talk about their writing processes and inspirations was fun, and a nice way to end my SDCC. Then it was time to go.
It’s always a weird feeling leaving SDCC. You don’t want to go, but at the same time there is only so much you can do. Eventually you just grow tired and are ready to go home. Admittedly, last year was far more tiring, and I was not nearly as wiped this year. There could be numerous reasons for this, but ultimately a big reason is that SDCC 2015 was just a better put-together show than last year, and possibly all the other years I went (other than maybe the second time I went). Still, this year’s con worked on so many levels, and that made it a much sadder time in general to leave. But all good things come to an end, so thanks for the memories SDCC 2015. See you next year!
All that is left is some clean-up about the con as a whole, so here are some final bullet points.
- Thing I Will Remember Most: Definitely Conan, the show was a lot of fun and didn’t require Herculean efforts to get into. It was a unique experience, which is really all I am asking for at SDCC.
- Best Experience: So, Conan was great, but really what made this SDCC unique was our hotel. Due to all kinds of luck, my group and I landed in the Mariott Marquis and Marina, which is directly connected to the convention center. Generally, I have gotten hotels that are about a half mile to a mile away from the convention center, which I have always been okay with. I find the walks in the morning refreshing, but being right by the convention center is just crazy. Suddenly, returning to the room requires very little effort, to the point that if ever there was a time I didn’t feel like carrying something or just wanted a break, I could just walk back to the hotel. Plus, being in that hotel really made you feel like a part of the con, as celebrities are all over the place. Steven Moffat is hanging out in the lobby as Vince Gilligan goes by, Arrow‘s Katrina Law is scurrying off to SDCC parties, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Elizabeth Henstridge is going down the elevator at 3 AM when you are loading up the car. The hotel was a surreal experience to be sure, and really helped make this SDCC stand out.
- Biggest Regret: This is a tough one. Part of me really wishes I had tried to go to the Star Wars panel, because it would have been so different than anything else, but I can live with my decisions, and I decided that Conan and more time at other parts of the con were more of a priority. Instead, I will say it was playing around a little too much on Thursday, and thus costing myself a chance to go the Gravity Falls panel. There were only three panels I wanted to go to, and Gravity Falls was one of them. I made the decision to go to the floor first on Thursday, and if that had been what cost me going to Gravity Falls I could have lived with that decision, but instead of spending an hour on the floor then going to 6a, I spent two and cost myself a chance to get into 6a.
- Best Panel: This is kind of cheating, since the WB DC TV block is really multiple panels pretending to be just one, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a lot of fun. Stephen Amell coming out as Green Arrow (and I do mean Green Arrow in this case), and speaking to the crowd as Oliver Queen set the tone, and then the rest of the panel delivered. Even Gotham was entertaining, as the actor who is playing a young Joker hijacked the fan Q&A, and had to be carried out of by Hall H security (just to be clear, this was all an act). Finally, getting to see the Supergirl pilot completed the experience. It’s unclear how good the show will be from the pilot, especially seeing as the fact that it is a CBS show will always cause issues creatively, but Melissa Benoist looks like a fine choice as Supergirl, and if your star is good, generally a good show can be made around him or her.
- Worst Experience: Not hard to guess, given my posts, but the Funko booth was a disaster. It was impossible to get into, and then without warning the booth switched to a ticketing system that no one was told about. Making this more frustrating is this lack of information appears to be intentional, in order to make it easier on them to run the booth, even if it was completely unfair to the customers. It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for the booth. Funko fanatics are intense, but that is no reason to not tell anyone how your booth is going to be run. Add in how poorly the Bryan Fuller signing was handled, and this was not a good year for Funko. Of course, considering everything still sold out or nearly sold out, I don’t think Funko cares that much, which is sad. Still, the fact that a ticketing system came into place at all is a good sign. Hopefully, next year the booth does embraces the fact that it needs to give tickets out in Sails Pavilion in the morning, just like Hasbro, Bandai, Mattel, and Lego (starting this year) now do. This will make things run much smoother, and clear up the congestion by its booth.
- Favorite Swag/ Exclusive: While I am partial to my Flash letter opener, it is definitely the Scottie Young pins by Marvel. Scottie Young’s variant issues are always some of my favorite comic covers, and getting some of these characters in pin form is really cool. Hopefully, Marvel makes more of these pins with even more characters in the future.
- Favorite Thing I Didn’t Expect To Be Able to Do: The Hateful Eight and Legendary Pictures panels on Saturday. Both were a lot of fun, and let me do my first Hall H movie panels. The fact that I didn’t have to do much waiting to get in to see them both made it all the better.
- Favorite Cosplay: This.
- Lingering Question for Next Year: Is Hall H always going to run this smoothly? Marvel should be back next year, so it’s likely that Saturday will once again be a rough day to try and get into, but it would be nice if the crazy wait for Hall H was only for panels that are truly going to be something special. Adding to that, will SDCC program the schedule as well next year? Other than the strangeness of Gravity Falls being placed in a room with shows that could best be described as violent men punching things, the schedule mostly made sense. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue going forward.
And that’s it for SDCC 2015 coverage. Thanks for following along. Until next time!