What follows a brief break down of the last three days, I’m putting it behind a cut since it’s just too long…
Day One ended inside Reading Theater watching Serenity on the big screen with a bunch of Browncoats. This was the fifth annual screening of the picture, planned by the California Browncoats and all proceeds went to benefit Equality Now. This coincided with other screenings around the US and the world.
After hearing about a sneak preview of Scott Pilgrim VS. The World I decided to check out the movie theater first and found the line for this screening started by 8 AM.
I can say I ate in Hard Rock’s version of Eureka’s Cafe Diem for breakfast. And, if I come back next year, I don’t think I’ll do it again. The pancakes, OJ, milk and 2 biscuits does not equal a $30 bill in any universe unless it’s run by Hard Rock.
The Stargate Universe Line was too long. So off to the dealers room I went to take some photos.
One of the more interesting things that happened during this Con was CNN iReport has been pretty active with fans and posting either videos, pictures and even interviewing. I decided to give it a try and found the App Photogene was perfect for touching up some of the photos I’d taken during the Con.
In the end, one of my photos ended up in a CNN iReport Video along with other pictures from con goers. The Boba Fett photo was one of mine.
Once I get home, I’ll be cleaning up the pictures and posting them on Flickr.
Managed to get into one panel about Tanya Huff. Having seeing Blood Ties and read the Valor books it was interesting to hear about the goings on about how Blood Ties was set in Toronto but filmed in Vancouver to fake being Toronto and a new series is set in Vancouver but will be filmed in Toronto to fake for Vancouver. She read us a short story from the Blood Ties universe and took questions most of which were pretty good.
Once the panel let out it was time to head back to Scott Pilgrim preview, found out the line like all good things was dispersed once or twice by security until someone had an idea of putting the waiting line in court yard of the Horton Mall in the blazing sun. Panera and Starbucks saw $$ signs and immediately came out with food to sell.
There was a slight problem with all this: What happens when Studio Weanies are worried about bootlegs? Right, ye olde tradition of putting cell phones and recording equipment in a 4×5 manilla envelope. Now, under most circumstances this should not have been a problem instead Comic Con is not most circumstances.
I really should have held up my Canon 40D w/ battery mount and told ’em yer gonna need a big envelope but instead I went home, dropped off all my stuff and had dinner.
On paper looked to be the worst day of them all. But the length of the lines helped solve many of those problems.
I decided to grab a 4 day w/ preview night passes for next year during the day. It was $100 this year it’s $105.00 for next year. I wanna know what the $5 increase covers…?
I did managed to get into a panel or two on Saturday, I sat through Sanctuary to see The Guild which turned out to be a great panel since they showed us Episodes 3 and 4. Having missed Episode 2 (thank you Sprint/MS for making a website not compatible with an iPad!), Episode 3 and 4 was not head scratchy.
Episode 4 is a Bollywood Song and Dance number from start to finish. The only downside to both of these panel was the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s conference room was either lead lined or worse because no one got a signal in or out.
Everyone has mentioned the lines and trying to get into a few panels turned into shouting match between security and Con goers. I wasn’t here last year but attempting to direct people through Entrance and Exit Doors for panels may work well in theory but in reality that is Comic Con it can turn into logistical nightmare.
I bring this up due to the line for 6CDF for Warehouse 13/Eureka/Nakita/Human Target was a disorganized mess and when we did get organized someone had a blow out with one of the security guards loudly enough to warrant some back up.
Not wanting any part of what happened next I did a sweep through Convention Floor and found an Oasis: Poster Sleeves! The FOX Booth had the right idea with giving out Poster Sleeves. There’s only one slight problem: Poster Sleeves like the WB Bags (god send) should become standard Con going equipment. I say this because I shouldn’t have to pay $15 when a FOX Booth Person (not a Booth Babe, she was clothed head to toe) denies my request for a sleeve.
Went to East Village Tavern and Bowl (yes, you heard right: Bowling) and had a good time. I highly recommend the place if you wanna eat and then bowl.
While at dinner, some Con Goer in the Resident Evil panel in Hall H stabbed another. Supposedly over an argument over seating and not over why there’s even a Resident Evil panel in the first place. Sorry, RE Fans, when Russell Mulcahy can’t even save your franchise there’s no need for fourth movie even if it’s in 3-DDDDDDDD!
If this incident causes security to tighten for next year, the Con will be ten times worse to get into. Just Podcast the panels and we’ll all stay home. Metal detectors at airports is one thing but at a Comic Con, the lines would look like a scene out of the Doctor Who Episode entitled Grindlocked.
The day ended on a high note at least: Harrison Ford showed up in Hall H for the first time ever (in handcuffs) to promite Cowboys and Aliens and the entire Avenger cast with director Joss Whedon appeared on stage.
So, now we come to the last Day, fans are already camped out for the Castle Panel while most of us still in our rooms wait patiently for the Southwest 24hr window to open to get our seating for tomorrows flights.
The walk to the convention center is quieter than most days. Everyone is still hung over from the night before.
The line for the Castle Panel in Ballroom 20 was impossible. I went in the Center, up the escalator, out the door, down four flights of stairs to the backside of the Center and the line stretched to the end of the closest hotel.
These impossible lines brings up a great idea: How ’bout Hollywood goes home? Or maybe holds their signings somewhere else. As much as I love to see FOX Studios advertising the Aliens box set on Blu Ray with Cryo Tubes from Alien or handing out little fake alien face huggers the Con Floor has become too overcrowded. You can’t stop and gawk because security tells you to keep the aisle clear. The only way I got some shots was firing from the hip or merging with another group of photogs. The dealers are using the space to the best of their abilities but seriously there’s just too many people.
I was honestly impressed I got as close to the G4 Pavilion as I did when ATOTS went live with Olivia Munn. The good news was G4 did something smart and designed a 2 story booth. This alleviates the wall of nerds salivating over Munn’s munn but it causes major gridlock in four alley ways. Same thing happened when the Chuck Crew started signing at a pavilion, gridlock.
The booth babes aren’t the problem anymore, it’s Hollywood and trying to squish a lot of people into a Convention Center that’s already added on more space and still can’t handle it.
I don’t think moving the Con is needed, I think re-evaluating the Con’s mission statement is required. I sorry if I sound like a broken record but Pod Casting or even putting up Official Youtube Videos of the panels (this would take care of not having to house the videos yourself) is needed or else the $105 isn’t worth it.
The end of Day 4 and the bags are packed. Re-packing teaches you one thing: There should be an achievement badge for re-packing. The poster sleeve has been mailed back via Fed Ex. I’m happy to report the total came to $26 (included mailing tube and “handling fee”). I was one of the lucky ones. I heard triple digits and thanked my lucky stars I didn’t do something stupid like melt a credit card at the Sideshow Collectables Booth.
So, overall would I do it again? Yes, but narrow down my lists of panels and or have a back up panel to go to. Or in the end just sit through other panels and ninja my way up to the front of the hall.
Would I recommend it to others? No. Start small first.
I talked to a few people whose first con was this one and were a bit overwhelmed. I’d recommend get a few Cons under your belt first like New York Comic Con or maybe which ever Wizard Con is still around. Then tackle SDCC.
Now off to bed…