Sunday, July 28, 2013

A First Comic Con Experience

Comic Con!  Oh god, it was amazing and it is what inspired me to start this blog.  To all my fellow geeks out there, if you have never been to Comic-Con, I tell you, make time for it.  It's made of awesome.

I am new to blogging, so on the off-chance that anyone actually reads this, and decides they want to follow, I ask that you bear with me as I get the hang of the whole, "managing a blog" thing--because even though Blogger makes this ridiculously easy, I'm a bit of a tech-phobe, and so am still figuring out how to add pictures and what-not.

But anywho, back to the point of this post: COMIC-CON.  For a person who's never been, the whole experience was super fun, completely overwhelming, and also very exhausting--I'm pretty sure I died at some point, it's hard to remember through the haze of utter joy that surrounds the convention.  For as long as I've been aware of Comic-Con, my fellow geeky friend (also my former college roommate) and I have wanted to go--this year we finally both had the time (working for a school district rocks, btw, when it comes to summers) and the money.  Yay for being responsible, hardworking young adults!  Comic-Con was our dream, our holy pilgrimage for the sacred land of Geekdom, and we finally made it, starting at the unholy hour of 4:00am Wednesday morning. Armed with the soundtrack to "Once More With Feeling," and assorted pop songs, my friend and I drove down to San Diego, squeeing like the fangirls we are all the way.

IT WAS AWESOME!!  I just can't say that enough.  I was somehow lucky enough to get a pass for preview night.  Instead of watching the pilot episodes for new shows, I went to the Exhibitors Hall (or as I like to think of it, Heaven's Marketplace)--there I was able to switch out my "I Heart Dexter" lanyard for a "Doctor Who" lanyard, which that alone made preview night worth it.  Yes, I am a rabid Doctor Who fan.  I recently discovered the show last April, just in time for it to celebrate its 50th Anniversary at Comic-Con.  (I camped out overnight to get into Hall H to see its panel.  So much fun.)

As I wandered Heaven's Marketplace, with my newly purchased Tardis earrings, and Tardis bathrobe, I happened to come across a booth where I encountered my second highlight of the convention--Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner! (That's Worf and Data, respectively, from Star Trek, for those of you who may not know.  Like I say, this blog is for casual geeks.)  Brent Spiner sang to me, I think I passed out, and when I was revived, we bumped knuckles.  I gushed at them both like an absolute moron, but I couldn't help it.  I grew up in a smallish town, and can get overwhelmed by starpower--especially when it's geek starpower.

I was turning to leave the booth when the ninjas attacked.  Friggin ninjas.  That's when Data tossed me a phaser, shouted at Worf to go get backup, and charged into battle.  Yes, I fought ninjas with Brent Spiner.  And one point Ian McKellen showed up and shouted, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!"  and I shared a passionate kiss with Hugh Jackman.  (Okay, so the whole ninja battle might be a lie, but it totally happened in my head.  At the end of the battle, when the ninjas lay defeated before us, we rode off on a Pegasus.  It was great.)

I focused more on the television panels than the movies, and I managed to see every one that I wanted to.  Psych panel?--saw it.  Sherlock?--saw it and footage from season three (squee! It looks fantastic).  X-Files 20th Anniversary panel with cast?--check.  Matt Smith?--be still my beating heart.  I'm still riding that high.  And that was just Thursday.

Friday saw me and my friend watching the pilot episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."--which it looks pretty good, fun and entertaining.  And Friday evening we were six rows away from Joss Whedon, who is a god in geek culture.  He was hilarious, and smart, and if I ever figure out how to post video, I will share what I filmed of his panel.  This one man filled a ballroom with 5,000 people just to hear him talk.  If you have never heard of Joss Whedon, go watch his shows.  Seriously, they're awesome, and I definitely plan to blog about them in the future.

One of the lesser known Greek Gods--Joss, God of Awesome. 

Saturday, we woke up early and got in line to see Felicia Day and Will Wheaton.  Also, the entire cast of How I Met Your Mother.  Just when Comic-Con couldn't get anymore fantastic, an audience member went to the microphone for questions and requested that Neil Patrick Harris give him a high five, to which NPH answered, "You got it, Bro!" leaped up from his seat, jumped off the stage, ran up the aisle and gave a running high-five to the audience member.  I think it's safe to say that everyone wanted to be that guy right then.  The audience and the security guards both went nuts.

We returned to Heaven's Marketplace for Saturday afternoon, where I spent more money.  Two magnets, a license plate decor, another bathrobe (this one for my brother), and a John Barrowman sighting later, we left the Exhibitor's Hall and returned to our hotel to nap, because, frankly, we were exhausted.  Who knew that fangirling could take up so much energy?

Good thing we napped too, because Saturday evening at 9:00pm saw me meeting up with some people for the iconic Comic-Con experience: overnight camping in line for Hall H.  It was fun and absolutely miserable. The fun parts were earlier in the evening, when I talked with another girl in line about Supernatural and fanfiction for three hours straight, and in the morning, when our entire section of the line played "Head's Up" for two hours while waiting to be let inside.  The miserable part was in-between that, when the temperature dropped and I only had my hoodie, my backpack, and my pillow to keep warm, and so I spent the night shivering on concrete, absolutely failing at getting any sleep, and listening to the nearby clubs blare Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams."  Ah irony.

But it was worth it, because I got into Hall H.  Hall H, I believe is roughly the size of the Coliseum.  That's what it felt like to me, and because we camped out, my line buddies and I actually had decent seats where, not only could we see the stage, but also the people on it.  That was the best part of the convention, getting to see the Supernatural and Doctor Who panels.  Both of them were hilarious, both showed exclusive footage (the 50th Anniversary special episode looks amazing!), and Craig Ferguson moderated the Doctor Who panel, so yay!  It was worth getting no sleep, to be with fellow Doctor Who fans gushing about our favorite show.

I'm still coming down from the rush of it all.  To top it all off, my friend went back and got me John Barrowman's autograph.  (He's Captain Jack from Doctor Who, for all you who don't know.)

She got a pic with him.  Yes, I am insanely jealous.

I had so much fun!  I say, if you have time and money to go, it's definitely worth going at least once.  I certainly want to go again in the future.  Also, ignore the blogs that say you don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting into big panels--as long as you get in line early enough, you can get into the big ballrooms.  We got in line for Ballroom 20 (the second largest room at the Con) around 7:00 am and made it in the room easy.  Just wake up early, know where you're supposed to be, and double check that you're in the right line. Waiting in line was actually very fun because you get to chat with your fellow geeks, admire some really good cosplay, and pretend that you're a cow being prepared for slaughter (or was that just me?).

I plan to sign off each blog post with a fun fact, so here is the first one: Comic-Con draws annually around 130,000 people each year.  I'd say it's fair to declare Comic-Con is crazier than Disneyland.

TTFN! Ta Ta For Now!

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