San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Recap: Nerds on Vacation

IMG_8707I’ve taken a few days to recover from Comic-Con before writing this recap, because it was just so exhausting, both physically and emotionally. NerdBastards.com has a great article listing 5 reasons you should be happy you missed Comic-Con, and while I’m VERY glad I did go, they are spot on. Despite the stress, Comic-Con is actually the happiest place on earth. Not Disneyland.

My seventh consecutive year at SDCC was amazing, and I’m going to go through my experiences here in detail, like a good nerd.  🙂 I went back and forth over whether I should do a series of posts, one for each day, but in the end I decided to go with one truly epic post with lots of pics!

As detailed by io9, the hoops we nerds go through just to secure our SDCC badges, hotels, etc. is already one hell of a process, and ours was no different. Because we had attended last year, we were eligible for pre-registration and got our 4-day badges last November. Yes, they sell some badges almost a year in advance! We also found an affordable flight last November so we were all set on that (nonstop flights from NY to SD during Comic-Con dates can get REALLY expensive if you wait to book).

Then when hotel registration opened up, we ended up with a hotel in Hotel Circle (despite each of us submitting our forms within two minutes!), which is a 30 minute shuttle ride from the convention center. Last year we had a hotel on Shelter Island, which was also 30 minutes on the shuttle, and we ended up using Uber at least half the time instead. However, about a month before this year’s con, an email went out saying some downtown hotels were available and I managed to snag us rooms at the Doubletree, which is only a mile away from the convention center! I felt like we won the lottery, although the Marriott Marquis and Marina would have been THE BEST (which is where we stayed two years ago when my husband and I got married).

So all that nonsense was before the con. Fortunately we weren’t renting a car so we didn’t have to deal with the parking spot lottery, which I didn’t even know was a thing until this year. Yet another hoop to jump through for some people. And now we come to my actual con recap.

WEDNESDAY

My husband, John, and I had the same morning flight to San Diego as our friend K, so we flew out there together and went straight to the Doubletree to check in. My brother had driven down from Los Angeles that morning and was already checked in. We took a leisurely stroll down Front Street (which smelled strongly of pee…but I think it might have been some kind of tree) to the convention center to pick up our badges and get our official Warner Bros convention bags. The bags are always a fun part of the con, because they produce a whole bunch of designs and give them out randomly when you get your badge. This year I was hoping for the Arrow or Supernatural bag…and I got Supernatural right away! Off to a great start:

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Not five minutes went by before someone approached me and asked me if I’d like to trade bags. Sorry, I told her, I was happy to get this bag. K got Gotham and my husband got Vixen, neither of which was too exciting. (Side note: last year I REALLY wanted the Arrow bag so John traded bags with people and did a bit of dumpster diving—no joke—to find me one!! He’s the best.  😛 )

From there John, K, and I went to grab a bite at The Blind Burro, and John’s brother met us there (he had come down from LA on Monday). We sat along the street side of the bar, and as we were waiting for our food who did I spot strolling down the street? Nerd icon Felicia Day! She was wearing a hat and sunglasses, but I knew it was her immediately. Comic-Con hadn’t even officially started yet and we already had a great celebrity sighting.

After the food and drink, we wandered over to the beginning of the Hall H line to see if there was anything going on. Hall H, the largest room at the convention center, has a capacity of 6,500 and is notorious for its ridiculously long lines full of people who literally camp out for days to get in. Just to give you an idea, the Hall H line begins next to the convention center, winds around a whole mess of switchbacks, then stretches out along the marina, onto the embarcadero, and then probably somewhere on into the ocean and/or Mexico.

The marina behind the convention center + The Strain hotel ad.

The marina behind the convention center + The Strain hotel ad.

We’ve braved the Hall H line in the past with good results, but after getting on line with K at 3:45am last year to see The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones panels, I was Hall H’d out—it completely kills the rest of your day. There were indeed some brave souls already waiting under the tents for Hall H on Wednesday afternoon. This is why SDCC is known for hordes of smelly people!

We had Preview Night passes this year, which allow you onto the exhibit hall floor from 6 to 9pm on Wednesday (the con officially opens on Thursday morning). K and I made a beeline for the Funko booth (after making a quick stop at Cinequest to check out their Supernatural goodies) because I figured I might as well try to pick up an exclusive or two before they sold out. By the time we got there there was a line that was probably an hour and a half long. Welcome to Comic-Con! Eff that. Also, Seth Green stopped by the Funko booth while we were there and the Funko guys were all “Hey, Seth! Need anything?” and let him right into the booth. Apparently all you have to do to get Funko exclusives is be Seth Green.

We spent some time wandering around and enjoying the slight bit of extra breathing room on the floor at Preview Night. At one point I was checking out the toys at the Mezco booth and I turned around and K had just found John, along with his brother, cousin, and cousin’s boyfriend. Small world, that Comic-Con.

The show floor is major sensory overload, but in the most fun way possible! Here are some of my favorite pics from Preview Night:

Terrifying statues of friendly characters.

Terrifying statues of friendly characters.

Better Call Saul!

Better Call Saul!

Zombie torso created by Greg Nicotero for The Walking Dead pilot.

Zombie torso created by Greg Nicotero for The Walking Dead pilot.

Supermanmobile (if that's what it's actually called).

Supermanmobile (if that’s what it’s actually called).

I came thisclose to buying this mug.

I came thisclose to buying this mug.

Hodor! and Bran action figure. (Sorry for the reflection.)

Hodor! and Bran action figure. (Sorry for the reflection.)

Colton Haynes' Arsenal costume + Brother Blood mask from Arrow.

Colton Haynes’ Arsenal costume + Brother Blood mask from Arrow.

K literally reflecting on Stephen Amell's Arrow costume.

K literally reflecting on Stephen Amell’s Arrow costume.

Grant Gustin's costume from The Flash

Grant Gustin’s costume from The Flash

View of the marina + Conan ad on the Marriott from the convention center patio

View of the marina + Conan ad on the Marriott from the convention center patio

After we’d had our fill of Preview Night we headed to Float, the roof bar at the Hard Rock Hotel, for drinks. Every year we try to go to this bar and every year it’s closed for a private party. Not on Wednesday night, though! Here was our view from the bar of the convention center and the comparatively light, pre-con crowd:

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There were about eight of us hanging out and we forgot to start our tabs on separate checks, so when the bill came we ended up spending about 30 minutes (no joke!) trying to figure out who owed what. Then when we were finally ready to pay, someone who shall remain nameless dropped my brother’s credit card right between the slats of the deck (WHOOPS) so the bar staff brought in the big guns: Norm, the hotel handyman. Norm used a power screwdriver to pull up one of the deck slats and retrieve the credit card. Norm is a superhero! Apparently nothing like this had ever happened there before. Needless to say, we probably won’t be going back to Float…unless we disguise ourselves in costumes.  😛

THURSDAY

First official day of Comic-Con! We took the shuttle down to the convention center and I headed straight for one of the smaller rooms to see the Hand of God panel. It’s a new Amazon show with a GREAT cast: Ron Perlman, Dana Delaney, Garret Dillahunt, Alona Tal, Julian Morris, Andre Royo (Bubbles from The Wire!), and more. Dana and Andre weren’t there, but it was a really entertaining panel and it got me excited about the show. Poor Garret had to borrow a pen to fix his name card because his last name was missing an “L.” He gave a HoG beanie that he’d worn (and sweated in) to an audience member, saying “it’s covered in my bodily fluids.” LOL. Ron Perlman was hilarious and started dropping f-bombs even though the panelists are always warned to keep it clean because there may be con-goes under the age of 18 in the audience. That guy gives zero fucks and I love him for it.

Showrunner Ben Watkins, Ron Perlman, Garret Dillahunt

Showrunner Ben Watkins, Ron Perlman, Garret Dillahunt

Garret Dillahunt, Alona Tal, Julian Morris

Garret Dillahunt, Alona Tal, Julian Morris

Hand of God poster given to all panel attendees. Very nice artwork.

Hand of God poster given to all panel attendees. Very nice artwork.

BTW, I watched the HoG pilot on Amazon Prime this week! I did enjoy it and am looking forward to watching more episodes when they’re released this fall.

When I left the HoG panel I was about to go to the art auction in the Sails Pavilion when John texted me and said there was no Hall H line so he just walked in…and Bill Murray was on stage. !!! K had just gotten out of a panel near me so we met up, went straight to Hall H, and walked right in. BILL MURRAY!!!

We came in during the audience question portion of the panel.

We came in during the audience question portion of the panel.

Apparently this panel had been listed as “Open Road” on the con schedule, with no guests or details. My guess is the con folks called up Bill Murray and were like “Hey Bill Murray, you wanna come down to San Diego for the day and talk to 6,500 people?” and he was like “Sure, man, I’m in.” This was his first ever time at Comic-Con, which I was surprised to hear, and I’m so happy that I was able to experience it. He was absolutely hilarious in that deadpan Bill Murray way, and he got huge cheers from the room when the panel ended. And after the panel he actually left Hall H by walking the perimeter of the room, allowing people to take photos of and with him, and signing autographs. Celebs usually leave Hall H via secret passageways and/or teleportation, so it was cool to see him go out like that. Comic-Con lesson: if there’s a panel with unannounced guests, GO! Because it will be awesome. If I remember correctly we ended up in an open panel last year that ended up with Sam Raimi on stage, where he announced that he was working on an Evil Dead TV series. That was pretty big news, and that show (Ash vs. Evil Dead) is premiering this Halloween!

After Bill Murray was The Hunger Games panel, which I had wanted to go to—and Conan O’Brien came on as the surprise moderator! Seriously, Hall H is as full of surprises as Gretchen Wieners’ hair is full of secrets.

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Even though I haven’t seeing Mockingjay Part 1 yet it was cool to see the first full trailer for Mockingjay Part 2. Jennifer Lawrence is unfiltered and full of awesome, and she and her co-stars truly seem to be tight with each other.

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One of the best, most unique things about Comic-Con is experiencing the enthusiasm of other nerds. Everyone there has different interests, and someone else may practically pee their pants over something you may not be that into. For instance, when Liam Hemsworth came out on stage, the girls sitting in front of us pretty much lost their minds, and it was kind of awesome.

For my money, the best moment of the panel was near the end when Conan announced that there was no more time for audience questions. Jennifer Lawrence looked at the next person waiting to ask a question, and said “but she’s wearing a full-on Katniss costume!” so they let the girl ask her question:

Button Lady is on the left. Google her. She's a Hall H fixture.

Button Lady is on the left. Google her. She’s a Hall H fixture.

How happy did Jennifer make this cute fan?! So very kind of her.

After Hall H, I spent some time wandering around by myself. Here’s what the crowd looked like outside the convention center:

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I saw some GREAT cosplayers:

Excellent Starbuck, right down to the tattoo.

Excellent Starbuck, right down to the tattoo.

Probably my favorite costume of the year: Barbara Maitland from Beetlejuice!

Probably my favorite costume of the year: Barbara Maitland from Beetlejuice!

Peter Venkman and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man

Peter Venkman and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man

I stopped at the snack bar inside the Marriott for a small bite and I saw Tricia Helfer (Number Six from Battlestar Galactica!) arrive with her handler. She was wearing sunglasses inside and I wasn’t totally sure it was her at first, but then her handler ran into someone and I heard him introduce them to her: “Hey, this is Tricia.” She was tall and gorgeous with not a speck of makeup on. Then I checked out the autograph area in the Sails Pavilion and saw Tahmoh Penikett (Helo from BSG/Gadreel from Supernatural) and Sam Witwer (Crashdown from BSG) doing signings. A solid day for BSG! Then when I went to walk the show floor I saw Heather Graham walking around; she was fully made up so she may have been there for some sort of appearance or signing.

Some cool stuff on the show floor:

Arrow vs. The Flash at the WB booth

Arrow vs. The Flash at the WB booth

Zombies like taking selfies too, guys.

Zombies like taking selfies too, guys.

I think The Walking Dead writers were like "hey, what can we write into the show that would be a really cool booth at Comic-Con next year?" Hence the revolving door scene.

I think The Walking Dead writers were like “hey, what can we write into the show that would be a really cool booth at Comic-Con next year?” Hence the revolving door scene.

Super creepy NECA Pamela + Jason Voorhees action figure.

Super creepy NECA Pamela + Jason Voorhees action figure.

Very cute Home Alone action figure set (NECA).

Very cute Home Alone action figure set (NECA).

Nightmare on Elm Street action figure set (NECA).

Nightmare on Elm Street action figure set (NECA).

Texas Chainsaw Massacre action figure set (you got it: NECA!).

Texas Chainsaw Massacre action figure set (you got it: NECA!).

McFarlane toys Game of Thrones Khaleesi + Unsullied miniature building set.

McFarlane toys Game of Thrones Khaleesi + Unsullied miniature building set.

LOVE the dirty Carol action figure, kinda wish I'd bought one (McFarlane).

LOVE the dirty Carol action figure, kinda wish I’d bought one (McFarlane).

Everyone's favorite redneck: Daryl Dixon action figure with his bandanna mask (McFarlane).

Everyone’s favorite redneck: Daryl Dixon action figure with his bandanna mask (McFarlane).

Rick Grimes + Bob Stookey (RIP) action figures (McFarlane).

Rick Grimes + Bob Stookey (RIP) action figures (McFarlane).

Jason Voorhees at Sideshow Collectibles.

Jason Voorhees at Sideshow Collectibles.

K and I met up and went to one of the small rooms to see the Ghost Asylum panel, which was a bit of a random choice but still fun to see. They showed a bunch of clips from upcoming episodes and I’m definitely skeptical, but it looks like an entertaining show. The guys also announced that they’re going to be doing a live exorcism from the location in which The Exorcist story is based, in St. Louis (my hometown!). I’d be curious to see how they pull that one off.

Ever wonder what it looks like when you try to leave the convention center around 7pm at the same time as 130,000 other people? It’s good times:

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Thursday evening was Supernatural Wiki‘s #WaywardCocktails party at Analog Bar, so K and I headed over there. We had to wait for about 30 minutes to get in, but that’s just part of the Comic-Con experience. We arrived and checked out the special cocktail list:

Fave drink name: A Single Man-Tear

Fave drink name: A Single Man-Tear

K and I had speculated as to whether any of the cast members would show up; we knew there wouldn’t be any major appearances but thought maybe a guest star or two would pop in. And as we were taking a spin around the bar, we saw Curtis Armstrong, who plays the angel Metatron on the show. I immediately texted John and my brother to say “OMG YOU GUYS BOOGER IS HERE!!!” Seriously, out of ALLLL the people who have appeared on Supernatural, Curtis Armstrong would have been my last guess as to who might show up. And it was great to see him there! Revenge of the Nerds is a childhood favorite of mine so to be in the same room as Boogertron MetaBooger Booger was a cool surprise. We didn’t talk to him at all, but he was courteous and took selfies with fans who did approach him.

Sam and Dean puppets also came to the party. Here’s Puppet!Sam with a pink-haired fan’s hand up his bum:

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And of course, we took pics with the Sam, Dean, and Castiel standees:

Doing what I do when I see cardboard cutouts.

Doing what I do when I see cardboard cutouts.

The perspective on this one cracks me up.

The perspective on this one cracks me up.

Hannah and Hilly Hindo, creators of the amazing Supernatural parody, were the party’s official special guests and spent some time answering questions about their video. Which, if you haven’t seen, you should watch right now because it is perfection.

Hannah and Hilly answer questions from fans.

Hannah and Hilly answer questions from fans.

We started chatting with some folks and ended up exchanging information with two ladies who were attending SDCC for the first time. This is one of the best parts of SDCC: meeting like-minded nerds.  🙂  It was a fun party and very well done, so thank you to Supernatural Wiki for throwing it (and for the goody bags)!

After the party K and I met up with John and my brother (who had gone to the Nerd HQ party but were not impressed) and went to the Marriott Gaslamp’s roof bar, Altitude Sky Lounge. We were joined by K’s co-worker and his friends who were also attending SDCC. Some drinks, a tequila shot, and dancing around with light-up foam sticks later, we rolled home in a Uber and pretty much passed out after a looooong day.

FRIDAY

Tired and a little hungover, John and I took our sweet time getting to the convention center in the morning. K got up before us and headed down there to take a pass at the Hall H line just in case, considering our experience the day before. Friday was an EPIC day in Hall H: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Entertainment Weekly’s Brave New Warriors, Star Wars, and Kevin Smith. I would have loved to see those panels but really wasn’t up for the line-waiting that I expected. As John and I were getting breakfast, K texted and said the line wasn’t long at all and that she was trying for it…and then she managed to get in! She said that the woman she sat down next to inside had waited on line for TEN HOURS the day before to get a wristband that would ensure she got in for the first Hall H panel on Friday. Meanwhile, K waltzed in after about 40 minutes of waiting. I’m surprised she didn’t get nerd-rage assaulted with a costume weapon!

So John and I decided to swing by Hall H and see if we could get in, too. We waited for an hour and when The Walking Dead panel started it didn’t look like they’d be letting anyone else in for a long time, so we gave up and took a stroll by the TV Guide yacht instead. Every year, TV Guide rents a yacht where they interviews the stars; con-goers have caught on and there’s now a pretty sizeable crowd that hangs out by the marina entrance where celebs have to pass through to get to the yacht. It’s become a big enough thing that there’s a lot of security, and celebrities will even stop to take selfies and sign autographs for fans on their way on and off the yacht. When John and I went by, the Sharknado cast was heading onto the yacht so I snapped a couple pics:

Lookin' good, Ian Ziering!

Lookin’ good, Ian Ziering!

Oh hai Tara Reid

Oh hai Tara Reid

Then we walked the show floor some more and I found these awesome figures, I think at Sideshow Collectibles (which, BTW, kills it every single year):

Beetlejuice! Can you tell I LOVE this movie?!

Beetlejuice! Can you tell I LOVE this movie?!

Ash!

Ash!

Heath Ledger Joker: this one was almost life sized.

Heath Ledger Joker: this one was almost life sized.

Back to the TV Guide yacht. Along the way we passed by the looooong Next Day Badge line for Hall H, which literally turned into a tent city—people built makeshift tents all up and down the marina!

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At the yacht we saw the cast of MTV’s new show The Shannara Chronicles leaving, and I was surprised to see Manu Bennett (with a shaved head!)! I hadn’t realized he was on a new show…unfortunately I didn’t get a pic because I didn’t recognize him right away. We also caught the cast of Ash vs. Evil Dead leaving and I got a pic of Ash himself, Bruce Campbell:

I seriously cannot wait for this new show.

I seriously cannot wait for this new show.

The Bruce pic only shows a fraction of the craziness that is the TV Guide yacht. This year, there was a group of young guys, who clearly were not Comic-Con attendees, camped out every single day to get autographs from the celebrities. They seemed to be working for an older man who sat there in a camping chair. I imagine he was probably paying them for each autograph they got. The guys had folders full of celebrity photos to get signed and they were INCREDIBLY aggressive about getting autographs. Every time a celebrity came by, they’d literally shove other people (including myself) out of the way to get to them, shouting their name and thrusting their photos and Sharpies at them. And some of the celebs actually signed for them! The shadiest thing about these guys was that we also saw them getting autographs on blank pieces of paper, which means they’re going to scan then and then photoshop them onto photos of celebrities so they can sell them. These guys are garbage. The TV Guide yacht experience is usually kind of fun, but those guys made it feel so dirty and gross. They were like paparazzi without cameras; I was sort of amazed that the security people allowed them to stay there. I hated them so, so much. If you’re ever thinking about buying an autographed photo of a celebrity, please look at it carefully, because it might be faked.

Back to SDCC. After that whole mess, my husband and I needed to recharge our phones and bodies, so we found places to sit near outlets at the Hilton Bayfront and rested there for awhile. Then we headed back to the convention center and saw this PERFECT Spock in the Sails Pavilion. For a second I thought it was actually Leonard Nimoy, which was jarring, to say the least.

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Then on to room 6A for the Colony panel. We entered the room during the panel beforehand (how to break into the video game industry) and randomly found my brother, so we sat with him through the rest of that as well as the Colony panel. Colony is a new USA show from Carlton Cuse (Lost exec producer) starring Josh Holloway (Sawyer!), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori from The Walking Dead), and Peter Jacobson (Dr. Traub from House). I love the cast so I was interested in seeing what this show is all about. It’s set in a near future in which Los Angeles is occupied by some unknown element (probably the Canadians, the panelists joked). They showed a trailer as well as the first 11 minutes of the show, and while I felt like the clip went a little fast I do think the show has potential and will check it out when it premieres this fall. I love seeing Sarah Wayne Callies at Comic-Con panels, because she’s so well-spoken and seems like such a lovely person—which means she’s a good actress, because everyone really hated Lori.

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Oh, and before the Colony panel started, I spotted Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis hanging out together, so it looks like they’ve patched up their differences. GREAT costumes. Bravo!

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Once we left the Colony panel John realized that he had lost his badge. OH NOES!! It was really shitty, because they charge a fee to replace your badge. We went back into 6BCF and looked around in both places we had sat, but his badge wasn’t there. He went to lost and found but no one had turned it in. He ended up spending $85 to replace his badge the next morning and was told that if anyone turned his original badge in he’d get a refund, but the badge never turned up. 😦 We figure what happened was that someone found it and either gave it to a friend or kept it for themselves. If you had a one-day badge and found a four-day badge it’d be like winning the lottery…but you’d be an asshole if you kept it. Seems like someone out there is an asshole. So that was a bummer, but we soldiered on.

Then I spotted both Left and Right Shark!

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Also, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are still cooking:

When I asked if I could photograph them, Jesse responded "Yeah bitch." Gotta love cosplayers who stay in character at all times!

When I asked if I could photograph them, Jesse responded “Yeah bitch.” Gotta love cosplayers who stay in character at all times!

My brother and I headed over to room 6A to try to get into the Ash vs. Evil Dead panel, but whaddya know, the line was really long. It baffles me that they put Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Lucy Lawless in one of the smaller rooms, because each of these people has a serious following. This panel could easily have filled Ballroom 20, which seats 4,000. Apparently the line for the Ash panel was one of the longest non-Hall H lines this year, and I’m not surprised. I watched the trailer for the show the other day, and it looks like SO MUCH FUN!

John had organized a Friday evening get-together for drinks at the Marriott’s Tequila Bar, by their beautiful pool. At this point K was in the throes of the Star Wars extravaganza in which JJ Abrams announced to the 6,500 people of Hall H that they were all going to walk to an outdoor location together (escorted by Stormtroopers, obvi) to see a Star Wars concert. I imagine the crowd’s reaction to his announcement looked very similar to this, only with more dudes:

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Poor Kevin Smith and his Yoga Hosers panel got totally hosed by Star Wars. SW emptied the biggest room at Comic-Con right before his panel! Somehow, Kevin Smith still managed to get about 2,000 people in attendance, so I guess it wasn’t too bad.

While K was enjoying the concert, the rest of us grabbed a spot by a fire pit at the Marriott pool and relaxed…until we realized that there were roaches crawling around. One of them creeped up onto my brother’s leg, and one of them ended up in my hair. IN MY HAIR!!!!!!!! BLEECHHHHHHHHHHHH. I switched seats after that and couldn’t shake the feeling that I had roaches crawling on me. More wine, please! Our new friends from the #WaywardCocktails party showed up right before fireworks started going off, and K texted to say that the fireworks were for the Star Wars concert! When she finally showed up she was wielding a sweet blue light saber—everyone at the concert got one. JJ Abrams basically blew everyone’s’ mind to bits while setting the bar ridiculously high for big ticket movie panels next year.

SATURDAY

I didn’t really have much planned for Saturday until later in the day, so I spent some time walking the show floor yet again, with K this time. I had seen Jensen Ackles’ tweet that he was costumed up and ready to mingle, so we kept our eyes peeled for a cosplayer with handlers, which is a dead giveaway that a celebrity is under the costume. No dice, though. (I wonder what he dressed up as?) But we did see some more awesome stuff:

Monty Python cosplayers.

Monty Python cosplayers.

The Lego booth created a fantastic Hulkbuster.

The Lego booth created a fantastic Hulkbuster.

Poop emoji dog waste bags, anyone?

Poop emoji dog waste bags, anyone?

This made me laugh so much.

This made me laugh so much.

If you don’t know the NOT THE BEES! reference, please watch this video.

The Hindi sisters were in the Sails Pavilion in full Supernatural parody costume

The Hindi sisters were in the Sails Pavilion in full Supernatural parody costume

Around 1pm we decided to jump in the Ballroom 20 line, because there were three panels we wanted to see in there starting at 3pm: Grimm, Outlander, and Hannibal. The B20 line can get pretty long, but at that time the line was the shortest I’ve ever seen. The line definitely started growing not long after we got in it, so we got there at the right time. Our line mojo was holding steady! We still waited for an hour and a half before we got in, but in Comic-Con time that’s like the blink of an eye. While we waited K opened her Funko Mystery Mini boxes, and the Game of Thrones one yielded a very cute Hodor!

Hodor.

Hodor.

The Grimm panel was fun—it was the show’s first time in Ballroom 20, apparently. I went to a Grimm Conversation for a Cause at Nerd HQ a few years ago, but I’d never been to an official Comic-Con Grimm panel before. For the past two years K and I have run into the cast in various places around the convention center, so I’ve actually seen them up close quite a bit. I was expecting Bitsie Tulloch to make a surprise appearance at the panel (she wasn’t on the list of expected guests) but she didn’t, and (SPOILER ALERT, sort of) the producers flat out said that Juliette is dead. They even showed us a sizzle reel of Grimm clips that led into new footage: Juliette’s funeral, complete with an open casket. The producers did make a comment about how we’ll probably see Juliette in flashbacks. They were a little weird about Juliette’s death, actually, so I wonder if there was some behind-the-scenes drama over Bitsie leaving the show. Who knows. But this cast seems like a really fun group and it was great to see them onstage.

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Outlander was up next, and while I haven’t seen the show yet I’ve read the first two books. I already had the show on my to-watch list, but after seeing the panel I’m even more excited to dive into it! The crowd went NUTS over Sam Heughan, who is a pretty pretty Scotsman. The panelists brought a bottle of Laphroaig onstage and played a drinking game that involved reading silly lines while keeping a straight face. Apparently, Sam had lost a bet with Colin O’Donoghue (Hook from Once Upon a Time) that resulted in Sam having to dress up as Colin’s character. I made a bathroom trip during the explanation of the bet, and when I came back into the room Caitriona Balfe was drawing pirate makeup on Sam’s face. Just another day at Comic-Con! Sam is a pretty pretty pirate:

No one could take Sam seriously after he got Hook'd up.

No one could take Sam seriously after he got Hook’d up.

Next up was the Hannibal panel (Pannibal!). Apparently a good portion of the people had been in Ballroom 20 for Outlander, because the room emptied out quite a bit afterward. I was surprised because Hannibal has such a crazy loyal following and we’d seen Fannibals wearing flower crowns everywhere! Bryan Fuller came out wearing a truly excellent Star Wars blazer, and a fan supplied the panelists with flower crowns of their own. And Richard Armitage, the new Francis Dolarhyde/Tooth Fairy, placed a stuffed red dragon atop his flower crown.

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Because Hannibal has been canceled and there was no forthcoming trailer to show, they treated us to some extended footage of the remainder of the current season. The footage focused mostly on Francis Dolarhyde, and it looks beautifully creepy as always. I can’t wait to see it, and I really hope they’re able to continue on with the show in one form or another (Bryan Fuller mentioned the potential for a film).

After the panels, John, K, my brother, and I got dinner at The Blind Burro. I got cranky hangry while we were waiting for our table and I thought that food would cure my mood, but it really didn’t. I realized that I was in PMS mode, ugh. By that point I was pretty tired of being around people—as an introvert, being around people saps me of energy—but I wasn’t quite ready to call it a night just yet. I was experiencing FOMO, which is not usually a thing for me! I decided to head over to Nerd HQ because they were having one of their dance parties, which we’ve gone to in the past and have had a lot of fun at. Along the way, I saw this spot-on Kimmy Schmidt cosplayer, which temporarily cheered me up (thanks, Kimmy cosplayer!):

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Also, the Gaslamp District is very pretty at sunset, even when overrun by millions of people that I really just wanted to escape from:

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John and I got to Nerd HQ and waited on line to get a drink, only to find out you had to buy drink tickets near the entrance. Foiled by Comic-Con again! So we got our drink tickets and then our drinks, and found a spot to sit and wait for K and my brother to show up (they had gone back to the hotel briefly to change). Then John left to go meet his brother at the big Warner Bros three-hour showcase in Hall H, and the rest of us basically just sat and sipped our drinks while Nerd HQ got more and more crowded and the lines for the bars grew exponentially. I was so tired, so cranky, and so done with being around people that I was just a big grump, and around 10pm I ended up taking an Uber back to the hotel by myself. It was actually really great to get away from it all by that point. Comic-Con had started taking its toll on me physically, which began to affect me emotionally—not to mention to the fact that it was almost over. The end is the roughest part of Comic-Con, but it’s all still worth it, in my opinion.

SUNDAY

Again, I didn’t really have much of an agenda for the day except for the Supernatural Conversation for a Cause at Nerd HQ at 2:30pm. The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural panels were in Hall H in the morning, which would have been fun to go to, but I just couldn’t summon the energy to try getting in (though I did read a little later on Twitter that there was no line and you could just walk in). I walked the show floor by myself for a little bit and bought my Arrow Pop! I also managed to catch The Vampire Diaries cast signing autographs at the WB booth:

Not a great pic, but these people sure are pretty.

Not a great pic, but these people sure are pretty.

I was really struggling on Sunday and felt quite crappy. At one point I ended up just sitting on the floor outside some ballrooms on the second floor of the convention center, feeling terrible and anxious and worrying that I wouldn’t even make it to the Nerd HQ panel because I felt so bad. An Ativan helped (hey, it’s there if I need it) and I managed to rally, and I am SO glad I did. As I mentioned in my Friday Five, the Nerd HQ panels have a reputation for being raw, unfiltered, and totally hilarious, and the Supernatural panel lived up to it 100%. Unfortunately, Misha Collins couldn’t be there, but Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Mark Sheppard showed up and gave 200 of us fans a great time. (This is the panel at which The Great Unicorn Incident of 2015 took place.)

Mark Sheppard came over to give a woman a hug because her husband dragged her to the panel on her birthday.

Mark Sheppard came over to give a woman a hug because her husband dragged her to the panel on her birthday.

A VERY tall Dr. Who cosplayer (whom Aisha Tyler mistakenly thought was Bill Nye the Science Guy) made Jared feel super short.

A VERY tall Dr. Who cosplayer (whom Aisha Tyler mistakenly thought was Bill Nye the Science Guy) made Jared feel super short.

Photo opp at the end of the panel (Zac Levi showed up near the end too).

Photo opp at the end of the panel (Zac Levi showed up near the end too).

Another pic from the photo opp. Love Jensen's shirt.

Another pic from the photo opp. Love Jensen’s shirt.

The Supernatural panel totally cheered me up, so thanks for that, guys! I am so, so glad I pushed through my doom and gloom and made it there. After the panel K and I went back to the convention center, and on the way we spotted Manu Bennett (again) just standing outside the center on his phone. We were so tempted to ask him if we could take a pic, but he was occupied so we left him alone. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be famous and to go to Comic-Con and be surrounded by fans who want things from you all the time. K and I strolled the show floor for a bit before closing time, and that was kind of depressing. The end of Comic-Con is so sad, and I hate to say goodbye to it every year…but there’s always next year! A bunch of us hung out in the Marriott lounge for a bit after the con closed, and when I got up to put something in the trash I saw Ron Jeremy. Really? I couldn’t have ended the con with a great Manu Bennett sighting—my final celebrity sighting had to be The Hedgehog? Better luck next year.  😛

Sunday night, my husband and I got pizza at a place in Little Italy near our hotel, then went to the Doubletree’s pool area for some MUCH-needed hot tub time. Another couple joined us and they had of course gone to Comic-Con too (it was their first time!), so we chatted with them for awhile. They had come down from Vancouver (where some of my favorite shows film!) and only had Sunday passes, so they had walked the show floor all day. As we headed back to our room, I said to my husband, “You know we’re going to run into them next year,” because that’s how Comic-Con works. It’s magic.

Speaking of magic, while we were waiting to board our plane at the airport the next morning, I started browsing the shops and bought a signed copy of The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman. The author had been at Comic-Con and had done signings, and I’m sure there had been a hell of a line for him to sign books, but all I had to do was pick up a copy at the airport. 🙂

Also? Our plane’s TVs were having issues so they let us watch movies for free. I chose to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron (I hadn’t seen it yet), and that was probably the most fitting way to close out our trip.

In case you’re interested, here’s a photo of my SDCC 2015 haul, including the goody bag from the #WaywardCocktails party (which included a glittery pink flask and a Destiel ‘ship, LOL!):

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But what about SDCC Bingo, you ask? I did not get bingo, nor did any of us who played. To be honest, we kind of forgot about it at points because Comic-Con is such a whirlwind, but I marked things off when I remembered. Here’s where I ended up…not too shabby:

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Comic-Con has actually come to mean a lot to me over the years. I mean, I got married right before my fifth con! Even though I’m an introvert and being surrounded by massive crowds all day long is draining, I still find that I feel very comfortable in my own skin while I’m there. I initiate conversations with strangers (usually to ask if I can take a pic of them in their costume, but it still counts) which is not something I typically do. Most everyone is there because they are passionate about something, and there’s something very special about the vibe and atmosphere that results when you gather that many geeks together in one place. Simply put, Comic-Con is AWESOME.

If you’ve read this far, you get an A+, a gold star, and a cookie. I was not kidding when I said that I was going to write an epic blog post about Comic-Con; I may as well have just written a novel. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures and looking at my pics. Thanks for reading. That’s all, folks!

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2 thoughts on “San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Recap: Nerds on Vacation

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