This year I was finally able to attend Comic Con International in San Diego, and I fell in love with the atmosphere before I even got on the plane to the city. While I was sitting in Vancouver International at the gate waiting for my flight to board, I looked at the people around me, and by their conversation, their dress, their excitement or the patches on their bags, discovered that many of my fellow travelers were going to the same place.
When I got off the plane in San Diego I was greeted with the sunshine, and aura of nerddom around me. The others in the airport shuttle were all here for the same event, and the city chose to welcome us with SDCC banners ‘Celebrating the Popular Arts’ and the porter at the first hotel we went to welcomed us all with ‘have a great convention’. I loved it. Couldn’t stop looking out of the windows.
Our first day at Comic Con began early, with breakfast at the hotel and a quick walk to the trolley – I’m pretty sure the Trolley to Comic Con is similarly magical to the Hogwarts Express – and got into the first line of many for the day. We got our Thursday tickets and swag bags on Wednesday, so we immediately picked up our Friday & Sunday passes.
The first panel I went to was about Battlestar Galactica, including Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek), Dr Kevin Grazier (A science advisor for many shows that film in Vancouver, and who was dressed as the 5th Doctor), Lilli Borden (Blood & Chrome) and Director Michael Nantin (Who was the director for most of the deaths in season 4.5).
It started off with a short featurette about the music of BSGand we got to see an awesome season three blooper reel (different than the one on the DVDs I believe). We ended the panel with a rousing chorus of “So Say We All” lead by Richard Hatch.
We missed the Game of Thrones panel because we didn’t line up early enough, but we had so much fun wandering around the Exhibition Floor. I managed not to buy too much, but I did splurge on a Doctor Who comic and T-shirt at the BBC America booth. I also pre-ordered my X-Men First Class DVD, they were giving away free T-shirts! And I was planning on buying it anyway! It’s hard to say what the best part of the Exhibition Floor is. It’s size is staggering, taking up Halls A-G on the main floor of the Convention Centre (for perspective, Hall H alone can hold 6000 people).
Some of the booths are gigantic, and even have multiple levels. There is an art section, poster section, gaming section, comic section, webcomics, networks, studios, and all around you there are cosplayers dressed as characters across a range of different mediums, fandoms, and times. And in amongst it all is the free swag. The Penguin Group was giving away books!
Thursday was also the day of my first w00tstock, which was everything I had expected it to be and more. It took place in the Balboa theatre, and was run by Wil Wheaton, Paul & Storm, and Adam Savage (from Mythbusters). Paul & Storm opened, (Someone give that man a sweater is the name of my Weezer Cover band). Wil Wheaton was amazing as always, he did a reading of “William Fucking Shatner” with musical accompaniment by Paul & Storm, and MC-ed like a boss. Amy Berg, writer on Eureka was there, and wrote a hilarious scene for herself, Wil, and Felicia Day, who showed up (which was great, because I didn’t get to see her at any other time during the convention). Molly23 performed (though sadly, not My Hope, which is my favourite song of hers), Hard & Phirm were also there, as was the Drummer from POTUSOA, and Dammit Liz, in the role of stage manager.
Adam Savage sang “I did it my way” in the voice of Gollum, and told a hilarious story about talking to his son about Internet Porn. Grant from Mythbusters showed up as well, and many people did songs, readings, and just general awesomeness. It was an excellent way to spend upwards of 4 hours.
All in all, day one of SDCC was incredible and left me excited and energized for day two (which was good, because I would get up extremely early).