Today marks a month until I once again make my way down to San Diego for their annual Comic Con. I’ve decided to post each weekend prior to the event on things I’ve experienced with the convention in the past, and also what to expect for this year. My first post in this series will be about my first time at SDCC.
I attended the convention for the first time in 2009. Back then, 4-day badges were only $75, even with Preview Night included. Being the newcomer that I was, I went ahead and bought the 4-day with Preview Night badge. A friend was traveling with me as well, but unfortunately was only able to get a badge for Sunday. So I’d only be attending 2 out of the 5 days I paid for. No big deal. Although, that surely wouldn’t apply now since you’d really have to get your money’s worth due to the steady increase in badge prices.
I finally headed to the Convention Center on Saturday, my first day ever at SDCC. I had been in contact with a friend to meet up once I got there since I’d be by myself. Not planning too well ahead of time, I drove to the Convention Center thinking that I would be able to find parking. Wrong. There was the expected traffic alongside the CC, and the parking garage was already full. I eventually had to drive over to a nearby residential area to think of a Plan B. I opted to park at the trolley station and instead took the trolley to the Convention Center. Cool! This would also be my plan for Sunday when my friend would be with me. The friend I was meeting up with had mentioned that he and some other friends would be in line for Ballroom 20. Another newbie moment occurred when I jumped in a queue inside Sails Pavillion, assuming that I was in the right place. I called up my friend and was told that I was not. Luckily, I was already looking at my event guide and was able to locate where Ballroom 20 was on the map. It didn’t take long to head over and spot my friend with his group, even though I hadn’t seen him in almost a year. I was relieved to finally join them in line and start my day at the convention.
So what exactly did I do on my very first day of my very first SDCC? Panels. Lots and lots of panels. I was semi-wired from 1/4 of a 5 Hour Energy drink, and I had 1 good eye (long story short, I somehow lost a contact while removing them after partying the night before). Good thing we were sitting pretty close to the front, so seeing the celebs during the panels wasn’t difficult. Some of my panel highlights came from Family Guy, Fringe, and True Blood.
Once all the panels were over, I was almost ready to call it a day until a few of our group suggested checking out a True Blood off site event. Glad my friend and I decided to go!
Sunday was my exhibit hall day since I didn’t really get to see it after all those panels on Saturday. My voice at this time was nearly gone from all the laughing and yelling. I bought my first SDCC exclusive, the Transformers 25th Anniversary edition Soundwave, at the request of a friend back home in SF. Standing in line at the Hasbro booth was so easy compared to the bum rush that now happens during Preview Night. Otherwise, you have to go through their wristband system, which requires lining up early every day of the convention if you’re seeking to get one. After a good hour or so of taking photos and walking around inside, my friends, new found friends, and I spent the remainder of the day hanging out in the Gaslamp area.
These were the humble beginnings of what would eventually snowball into several years of attending this annual event. Our SDCC group has grown from a core of 4 to nearly 50 from the addition of other friends made throughout my years of attending, and their connections as well. I’m happy to see how far we’ve come in terms of preparing ourselves for these 4-5 geek filled days, and the effort put into it never ceases to amaze me. I’m beyond excited to see what this year brings.