Wednesday, August 17, 2011

San Diego ComicCon International 2011, Sunday

Sunday the 24th (Day 4): My Convention Buddy and I got up at 4:30 to get in line for Hall H at just after 5am - I think we got there about 5:15 and we were about 2000 people back already.  2000 people back at 5:15am.  Wow!!!!!!!!!!!  Once again, I love line buddies.  They make that 5 hour wait time just that much easier to grin and bear it.  Some people tried to seriously cut in front of us in line during a phase when we were moving up in line and I chewed them out for cutting.  It wasn't just a they were right behind me and walked in front of me, this was they got in line a good 15 to 20 minutes after we did and were trying to cheat the system.  mmm, not happy.  Also, some poor line management from several of the line attendants.  Others were fantastic.  These were some of the great costumes we were in line with   .  Sat through the Glee Panel and watched a clip of the new 3D Glee movie that is about to come out.  Honestly, I'm not sure how much of the audience was really there for Glee.   Mostly, I think people were there for Doctor Who and were really, super excited to see Supernatural. 

Supernatural Panel featuring Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Ben Edlund and Sera Gamble.  Jensen came out first  to introduce us to a trailer for the animated Supernatural TV show that will be coming out soon.  It's voiced by them and the first 5 minutes look good.  Afterwards, the panel  came out meet the audience.  Misha, Mark and Jared  ham it up - to our delight.  Jared is pretty darn adorable  ... so is Misha  and there was a general fun banter between them Jensen is more serious  .  However, Jensen and Jared play off each other really well in personality  and that translates well to the screen.  They both are able to compartmentalize their character timelines and different storylines. 

Doctor Who Panel featuring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Toby Whithouse, Piers Wenger  and Beth Willis!  eeeeeiiiiii!!!!!!  Doctor Who!!!!!!!  The Doctor and Amy Pond!!!!!  Fantastic.  Matt came out and did a little bow to the audience as thank you.  Lots of screaming, clapping and cheering from our side.  Matt said hello to us and the Moderator made the "Doctor, Hall H.  Hall H, The Doctor", introduction.  We went a little nuts again.  Matt really took control of the panel, giving props to all the costumes out in the audience and all the love and excitement from the Con.  The first question from the Moderator was did Matt or Karen know what Amy was River Song's mother?  Karen answered that one, saying they were actually given a dummy ending and they were as shocked as anyone to find out the real ending.     After the read though on the final part, Steven took Karen, Arthur and Matt out back to give them the real ending and they jump around and ran up and down the hallway in their excitement.  Alex (River) knew the real ending all along, but besides Steven Moffett, she was the only other one who knew!  Matt said, how could you possibly give River Song with even more power.   So not fair!  But Matt went on to say that they are all such huge fans of the show.  Getting the script is like watching an episode; it's just so exciting and all the twists and turns that Steven and the other writers build in make reading and acting the characters so fulfilling.   Neither Matt nor Karen watched the show growing up, because it wasn't on.  However, everyone in the UK knows about Doctor Who - it really is just a part of the culture there, it's everywhere and it's very important.  Toby said it's just like a DNA woven into society and was happy to see it so well received here in the States.  So they both knew about the show all their lives, had watch reruns, and had family members who were big fans.  Piers and Toby were huge Doctor Who geeks growing up, doing extensive research from a young age.   Beth said  it was like walking out into a toy shop every day, getting to read Steven's scripts and then walking onto the sets.  Yeah, walking into the TARDIS, or anyone of those scenes... my eyes always go big as saucers when I watch episodes.  And they really make as much of the set as they possibly can - there is so much detail and thought that goes into every scene and set.  One of the reasons I love this show so much.  Everyone is SO dedicated.   Toby said  he took his kids up to see the TARDIS inside and was more excited them they were.  As a man of a certain age, being a writer on the show and getting the write, "interior TARDIS", still gives him chills.  Beth related a short story about the script Neil Gaiman wrote.  On the first draft he sent in, scene two, the first lines are, "interior TARDIS" and the next line was, "I've been waiting my while life to write that. That felt amazing."  Loved that story.  We saw a trailer for the next half of the season.  I am so looking forward to what is coming!  And then it opened up to fan questions.   Some great questions and some impressive costumes  .  Matt made a great observation about there being quite a lot of blood on The Doctor's hands and that's why he thinks he is so bright and bubbly and always moving, always saving people and always moving forward.  If he didn't, if he ever stopped and sat down he  would have to start contemplating all the people and friends he had lost along the way and the weight of that would come crashing down on him so hard, he wouldn't be able to move anymore.  Matt loves this part of The Doctor, and is very interested in exploring it, he says so is Steven Moffett.  We should be seeing more of the dark side when the season starts up again and Karen said to remember the number one rule about The Doctor: he lies.  Expect to see some of that as well explored as well.   Oh Amy/Karen and Doctor/Matt; loved getting the chance to see you guys at ComicCon.  Loved hearing from Piers, Beth and Toby as well.  Brilliant panel.  Thank you so much. 

Went to the BBC America Booth after the Doctor Who panel and bought their ComicCon exclusive comic issue about The Doctor and Amy at ComicCon  then we went and tried to fulfill all of our last minute, didn't get to wish list for booths and ComicCon experiences all while fighting the crowd that doesn't ever stop.  Some of my loot =>    After about 3pm, we decided that food was in order and we both really wanted to check out Cafe Diem aka the Hard Rock Hotel's Hard Rock Cafe redecorated and re-menued into a SyFy Channel extravaganza at twice the price   Walls are decked out in Syfy show theme   Even the chairs, tables, menus and kitchen doors are decked out in Cafe Diem style .  Got some nifty purple pens out of it though ^_^

Convention Survival Tips:
#1 Bring meal bars with you.  Not chocolate bars, but actual fruit, nut, veggie bars to give you a balanced nutrition intake when you need it.  Like when sitting though a panel or standing in that 5 hour line.  It'll cost $2 at Whole Foods (or wherever), but it's far, far cheaper then Convention Food and honestly, those soft pretzels are not good for you and are not going to give you a long term energy boost.  There's a good selection of organic, whole food bars out there now, although it might depend on where you shop what your selection is.  If nothing else, you should be able to find Cliff Bars somewhere.  I ate food bars almost breakfast, lunch and snacks the whole convention with the occasional dinner supplement.
#2 A bottle of water is key.  Dehydration will sneak up on you.  You will be sitting, standing and walking a lot. 
#3 Know where you are going and when you need to be there!!!!  For ComicCon International this tip is especially relevant.  It's so huge, that wandering around is not going to get you anywhere, and getting into that panel you want to be part of might just mean you have to queue up in line first.  Room 9 is probably one you can just walk into, but Hall H is a different story.  Legends abound that BR 20 and Hall H are the two ungetable into rooms.  Not true, but you better be willing to queue up at 5 or 6am to get a decent seat first thing.  Especially if you want to see that first panel of the day.  Also holds true for the Exhibit Hall - what booths and artists are you wanting to see?  Better make a list of who and what number.  Always reacting for the Big Book of Events and Maps is cumbersome, so reaching for a piece of paper for a quick glance is much easier and faster. 

#4 Pay attention to people and costumes around you!  Don't trip or rip and try not to cause others to do the same.  Also, strollers?  Nightmare.  Double wide strollers?  Good way to not get anywhere in that crowd and make everyone around you start crying in frustration try to get around you!
#5 Shoes.  Costumes are awesome.  Wearing costumes is great!  But be realistic about what your body and feet can take.  Intermitted walking for 5 miles and standing for another 5 hours is a standard day at ComicCon.   Costume or no, make sure your shoes are going to stay ON your feet and won't kill them or otherwise get you hurt. 

Other costumes: Silk Spectre  Vintage 40's Spider Woman