Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: Saw some stars. Got some migraines. Gained 7 lbs in 4 days.

For anyone contemplating going to Comic-Con next year, my advice to you would be don't. Overall, I had a decent time in San Diego--saw actors from some of my favorite shows, got tons of free junk, purchased a few irreverent t-shirts, consumed a lot of thoroughly badass Mexican food--but a good portion of the fun was eclipsed by the massive crowds. 

Fact: "Comic-Con" is Latin for "there's hella people up in here, yo."

Although originally conceived as a celebration of comic books--hence the "comic" in "comic-con"--the convention's biggest draw nowadays is that "celebs" come to promote their shows, movies, latest bowel movements, etc. Yes, I do read comics--in fact, as I write this, there are copies of The Walking Dead and Batman on one side of me and a Green Lantern backpack on the other--but I don't lie and I don't hate: I love celebs and TV and movies. I'm completely entranced by it all. (As someone who's reading this blog, I'm assuming that you have a little of that going on as well.) But the very thing that I love about the convention is threatening to destroy it. Well, maybe not destroy it, but at the very least suck all of the lighthearted, nerdy good times out of it. 

As the convention has received more and more coverage in the media, more and more people are showing up every year. There's also a huge influx of "norms" (as opposed to geeks). The night before the first official day of the convention, people were already lined up to see the next morning's panels. 

I'm a sci-fi nerd, I lined up to see The Phantom Menace way back when, but there's no way that I'm going to camp out on some dirty, sticky sidewalk in San Diego (especially when I've paid hundreds of dollars for a hotel room) just to see the cast of Psych. That's ridiculous, right? Who loves Psych that much? It's almost enough to make me start watching Psych, because clearly it's the most amazing show in the history of TV.

Fact: At Comic-Con you stand in line to stand in line.

The absolute worst line was for The Big Bang Theory panel. With at least 1,500 people in line before me, I was able to get into Ballroom 20--which holds about 2,500 people--and saw Mayim Bialik and Johnny Galecki (2 of my fave former 90s teenagers) along with the the rest of the cast. 

There were 7,000 unfortunate souls who stood in line for hours and didn't get in. 
I took the above picture of the massive line for that day's panels. It went out of the convention center and across the harbor. And here's a picture of the convention center to really drive home the point.
The doors didn't open until 9:30 or 10:00am but I got there every morning at about 6:00, which was early enough to get into every panel that I'd planned to see. But even when you are fortunate enough to get into Ballroom 20, you have to contend with body overflow aka the large gentleman beside you, essentially, sharing your chair.
Sure, it could have been worse, but sitting scrunched up next to some stranger for, like 4 continuous hours is not awesome. 
All griping aside, on Thursday I saw my love Bruce Campbell who was hysterical and condescending in a very charming way. Though his entire ensemble was quite stunning, I was most impressed by his pocket square. Rather than listening to what he was talking about (Burn Notice?), I spent the time wondering if he'd folded it himself. 
Later that day was Game of Thrones--a show that has really become my obsession over the past couple of months, and to which I give my highest, most enthusiastic recommendation. Not only was I able to see one of the raddest Peters ever (Dinklage), but the moon of my life, Khal Drogo was there. 
Jason Momoa is clearly psycho--as you can see he was wearing his Khal Drogo eye makeup--but psycho in the most endearing way possible. I didn't think it was possible for me to love this man any more than I already did but alas, it looks as though I'm going to have to see his (potentially god awful) Conan movie this summer. Also, Emilia Clarke is basically my idol.

So, if you leave Ballroom 20, there's absolutely no getting back in--unless you've gotten a bathroom pass from a security guard at the door and even then you have to be back in, like, 45 minutes. As a result, you have to sit through a lot of panels that you don't really care about just to see one that you do care about. Because Game of Thrones was near the end of the day, I was forced to sit through Covert Affairs... 

which, as it turns out, wasn't so bad because Christopher Gorham (probably my biggest crush of 1999) was there...

...the illustrious Psych
...which I still don't get...and Ringer
...which, from the clips they showed, looks like it's probably going to get canceled in its first season. Nevertheless, it was cool to be in the presence of the slayer.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I went to panels for:

...where my love for John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and the studly Bill Pullman grew exponentially. Eve Myles is hilarious and you could tell that she and John are really close.


Every year I go to this panel hoping that Joshua Jackson will lead us all in one giant Mighty Ducks quack, but it never happens. Lame.

True Blood

American Dad
Seth MacFarlane and the rest of the cast were there, but I was really just jazzed to see the guy who does the voice of Reginald. If my mom ever does buy me the koala that I've been asking for, I pray that the CIA will have replaced it's brain with that of a homeless man.

Some TV Guide thingy
Matt Smith is so cool, no? He's my favorite Doctor, for sure. 

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I'd barely even heard of this show last year, but now I own every season on DVD and have watched each one of those DVDS 4 or 5 times. I'm pretty sure Danny DeVito was stoned or drunk or something. 

Yo Gabba Gabba
Sadly, DJ Lance didn't do the DJ Lance Dance--which I live for.

Allen Gregory
This is Jonah Hill's new animated show. French Stewart is in it, which was already enough to entice me, but then they screened scenes from the pilot episode, and it looks like it's going to be super funny. Also Jonah Hill is so svelte now, don't you think?

On the comic book tip, I saw Stan Lee and Jim Lee.
Despite the last name and overall resemblance, they aren't related. I don't think. Jim Lee is one of my favorite artists and Stan Lee is so fuggin old but seems super sweet and grandpa-y.

On the stalker tip, I took these iPhone paparazzi pics of Fred Savage: 
I saw him when I was walking back to my hotel. He was practically begging to be stalked.

And here are some miscellaneous photos:

I saw Paul Scheer from Human Giant, Best Week Ever, NTSF:SD:SUV, etc. walking around and he was really nice about taking this picture with me. He said my camera was cool. Admittedly, it is rather cool.
Standing awkwardly in front of the TARDIS.
Taken at the CBS booth in front of a green screen. Upon close inspection you will notice that I am groping Jim Parsons.

Outside the convention center, there was this art gallery, I guess sponsored by TBS, devoted to Conan O'Brien art. 

The one good thing about standing in super long, 10,000-deep lines is that sometimes people will let you try on their authentic Captain Jack Harkness coats. And your hair will look really weird.

Amber + Prince Adam = Best Friends 4 Eva

Back to the Future memorabilia. Yes, that is a Flux Capacitor on the left.
A Mexican Pizza that I had at this restaurant in Old Town called Cafe Coyote. So good, man. If you're ever in San Diego, you need to go there.

So that's it in a nutshell. Even though I told you not to go to Comic-Con at the beginning of this post, on Saturday morning of the convention, I got in line at 4:00am to pre-register for next year--probably a sign that I'm some sort of masochist.


Roxanne and Lorraine said...

So jelly. I mean, people in large crowds make me itchy, but all of the panels sound like a good time. That picture where you are groping Jim Parsons? AWESOME. It looks like you are going for a really hardy swipe. Nice.


nikki said...

I hate large crowds, but I'd be tempted to brave them for a trip to comic-con.

And OMG! An authentic Captain Jack Harkness coat? Yes, please. I watched the Torchwood panel online. Swooooooon.

You know what? I love Matt Smith as the Doctor too, but I seem to be surrounded by David Tennant fans. :/

Jay Amabile said...

I'm happy that I live on the east coast because the NYCC isn't anywhere near the cluster F that SDCC is. I can't deal with crowds lol. Nice review! Great pics!

MJenks said...

I'm sorry that you're not going to get any more Jason Momoa love in Clash of Kings. Unless they do flashbacks.

I don't feel like being a dick and telling you about all the other people who die, but Peter Dinklage does manage to make it through the season. Maybe. We'll see.

Eleni said...

Haha, I have to remember that your blog is NSFW (laughing out loud tips people off that I'm not actually working), or at least NSFL (almost spat my lunch onto my keyboard at the Mighty Ducks line).

I'm sorry, but you haven't convinced me not to go to Comic-Con. Some day, hopefully soon, I'm gonna go :)

Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Covert Affairs (Christopher Gorham is adorable), Fringe, True Blood <3 <3 <3 Especially Game of Thrones and Fringe. I so wish I could have been there. Glad you had a good time, in spite of the crowds!

Nicki said...

I wish you could have seen my face when I realized YOU WERE AT THE GoT PANEL. I lived vicariously through all of you lucky kids on Twitter...I can't believe we have to wait another year for Clash of Kings. It's intolerable cruelty. At least we have Dance of Dragons to tide us over. I guess.

I adore Always Sunny and now I want my future groom to get married in Charlie's yellow suit. And I want to wear Dee's pretty pretty princess look. And our first dance will be to "Day Man."


LadyJ3000 said...

I simply adore Bruce Campbell. I would have loved to hear him speak.

Amiee said...

I love how Stephen Moyer still looked sufficiently moody on the panel too. I'd love to go but I think ultimately the crowds would annoy me too much. Just have to live through your blog again next year!

Missed Periods said...

I've been on the fence about whether or not to commit to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but if you say so, I'm in. But just know that when I start slacking at work because I stayed up till 2am watching "just one more episode, it's your fault.

Emily said...

I'm going to Comic Con next year. Any tips for a first timer? I need a cheap place to stay. I'm mainly going for the panels, the memorabilia and the feel of being surrounded by people who are just as nerdy, creepy and weird as myself.