Can’t believe this will be my 11th year attending SDCC! The past couple of weeks have been pretty rough personally, hence the lack of posts and social media presence. Nevertheless, I’m going to try to put personal life on hold this week and try to enjoy what is always a highlight of my year.
I’m always super ambitious with my schedule trying to pack as much as I can in 4 and a half days, but here’s a somewhat realistic list of where I plan to be in San Diego. I’ve also included a few things I wish I could attend – if only I could be in two places at once! If you’re also attending SDCC, let me know if you’re going to be at any of the same places by commenting on this post or on social media so I can say hi!
Keep reading for my San Diego Comic Con schedule! Also, if you’re interested, here’s my schedule from last year!
For the last three years, Hot Topic and Her Universe have put on an amazing “geek couture” fashion show featuring designs from some incredibly talented aspiring designers. Every year, I want to so badly attend the show and every year something comes up that night preventing me. This year, I FINALLY was able to make it!! Read on to see experience attending the Hot Topic and Her Universe Fashion Show at San Diego Comic Con 2016!
Yayyy!!! The last of my 2016 San Diego Comic Con recaps is here!! Despite the fact that the con happened over two months ago, I still decided to do this post. Why? You might say it’s pretty irrelevant at this point. Well, because in all my 10 years of attending Comic Con and almost 6 years of having this blog, I’ve never made it to writing about Sunday which is kind of sad. I always write about Preview Night and Thursday but then by the time Sunday rolls around, I’m all Comic Conn’ed out and Sunday is all but forgotten about. Not this year! With this post, I’ll finally have a full set of Comic Con recaps. Despite the personal reasons for this post, I hope you’ll still enjoy reading about the last day of my San Diego con adventure – it’s short and sweet, I promise! After all my venting in my Saturday recap, I thought it be best 🙂
I’m almost done with all my San Diego Comic Con 2016 recaps – yay!! This one I’ve been sort of putting off a bit because I’m still a little sore about it. Day Three aka Saturday was a bittersweet day for my group and I. It was the one day we would all be together, and we all went into the day super excited for a long day of exciting panels within Hall H. However, due to a dire mistake made my line management, our dreams were crushed, and we endured the longest wait of our lives and vowed never to wait for Hall H ever again…okay, that’s a little dramatic, but it was kind of a dramatic day.
Read on to find out what went down (don’t worry, there’s still a happy ending).
Today I am finally sharing my San Diego Comic Con 2016 Friday recap! If you haven’t already read my Preview Night or Thursday posts, be sure to check them out to get caught up on my SDCC adventures! Without further adieu, let’s jump right in!
Having turned in rather early the night before, I was super excited to get a good night’s sleep and wake up nice and early for a full day of amazing panels. As you can see on my con schedule, I had quite a full morning planned with some of my most anticipated panels (Cosplay Makeup, Geek Branding) of the entire convention. Of course, my body just had to go on the fritz that morning. For those new to the blog, I’ve had a lot of health issues over the past several months causing me to quit my law office job, stop attending classes, not drive, and for a period, unable to leave my bed. Praise God that I’m obviously doing much better now and for the most part can go back to a normal life, but I still suffer from daily (worst in the morning) abdominal pain and occasional chest pain and nausea. This particular morning, the abdominal pain was relentless, and I knew no matter how much I really wanted to see those panels or how much I tried to suck it up and bear the pain, there was just no way I was leaving my hotel room anytime soon.
Today I’m sharing my Thursday aka Day One of San Diego Comic Con 2016 recap! After an amazing Preview Night, I was super psyched for the con to officially begin. I had my overly ambitious schedule prepared with first choice and backup panels and couldn’t wait to jump right into the craziness.
The first panel on my list to check out was in the massive Hall H where the movie studios usually show all of their exclusive footage. This is also where Marvel, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead panels take place and, thus, some fans camp out to upwards 40+ hours just to get inside. Luckily, there was no need for that today. It was a pretty low-key schedule for Hall H that day so I was able to walk right into the first panel, DreamWorks. This panel would be one of the few times the majority of my friends (minus my sister) would all be together as we all had very different things we wanted to do and see – which I think is one of the great things about Comic Con – there’s just about something for everyone!
Sigh. San Diego Comic Con 2016 is officially over and now we wait another 359 days for it all to begin again. This was my tenth consecutive year attending SDCC and while I wouldn’t say it was my “best” year as it certainly had its lows (ahem, Hall H Line – you’ll hear more about that later), it was definitely memorable.
Following a (sort of) blogging tradition of mine and to fulfill one of my July Goals, I’ll be recapping each day of the con over the next two weeks (it takes me a while to go through the hundreds of photos I take) starting with Preview Night aka Day Zero of Comic Con.
I’m here at my tenth San Diego Comic Con (I can’t believe I was only 16 my first year)! I am always pretty ambitious when it comes to my itinerary (might as well aim big) and this year is no exception! I’m pretty happy with my schedule and the variety of panels this year – I’ve got some movie, anime, cosplay stuff, a few parties – seems pretty rounded to me. Below is a (somewhat realistic) list of everywhere I’ll be during the week. If you’re also at the con, let me know if you’re going to be at any of the same places – I would love to say hi!
It’s just days before what will be my TENTH San Diego Comic Con (HOW am I that old?)! Every year it never seems to come soon enough and then before you know it, it’s there and you’re still putting on the finishing touches of your cosplay, rush ordering your business cards, and scrambling to make sure you have enough spare phone and camera batteries – or maybe that is just me.
Back when I was flying in from Florida or New York, I remember how much I would overpack because…well, you never know! Plus, well, I really didn’t know what to expect in those early years. Now after all these years, I still heavily procrastinate many things BUT there is one thing I have down – and that is my Comic Con bag essentials – the stuff you’ll be carrying each day, all day with you during the con. There were years where I brought way too much stuff with me and my poor shoulder would be aching after a few hours. Other years, I would bring too little with me and found myself having to make trips back to my hotel and wasting precious con time.
The following list is what I have found to be everything I need to get me through each con day.
THE BAG: It’s really up to you what kind of bag you use. I prefer a bag that isn’t bulky and can carry quite a bit – because besides everything on this list, you also want to take into account all the swag you’ll be getting throughout the day. My bag of choice year after year has actually been one of those free bags you get as a gift for purchasing a perfume at a department store. It’s not fancy at all, but its super light and roomy – it can be as small or as big as I want it and really, it’s amazing everything I can fit in it. That’s me though. Some people prefer backpacks, I honestly find them a bit limiting in terms of collecting swag especially posters. My dad likes to use the same reusable blue grocery bag year after year. All you have is your Warner Brothers SDCC bag – that works too. As long as it can fit everything on this list, you do you. With all that said, let’s move on to what should be in our bag…
Light jacket – While the weather outside is usually nice and warm during the day, nights and early mornings can get a bit chilly so it’s always good to have something to throw on for those times of the day. Also, they really crank up the AC in some of those panel rooms so it’s always good to have on hand.
Cellphone (no, that’s not a Gameboy) – A must for most of us any day anyway. I use my phone for way more than just taking photos or keeping in touch with my family and friends (since we usually will end up splitting off to do our own things). To me, it’s all about Twitter – keeping up with line updates, special promos, live tweeting panels…Twitter has completely changed the way I do SDCC for the better!
Portable Phone Charger/Battery – One of the absolute most essentials items next to my actual cellphone – all that tweeting can eventually run down your battery and with so much happening at Comic Con, you don’t have time to stop and wait while your phone charges at an outlet.
Phone Wall Charger and Cord – When I do have some down time (for example, during lunch), I’ll find an outlet and charge my phone the old fashion way to conserve my portable battery (which I’ll also charge up if there’s two outlets).
DSRL Camera – Cellphone pics are quick on the go and if you’re trying to be inconspicuous (you never know what celeb might walk by you), but for things like cosplay or special events like the Her Universe Fashion Show, I definitely prefer higher quality photos.
Sunglasses – You’re in sunny California – it is bright during the day!
Water Bottle – You’re going to be walking a lot and you will get thirsty!
Snacks/Food – Convention food isn’t the healthiest or the most affordable. Help your body and wallet out by packing your own sandwiches, fruit, and granola bars. There’s a Ralph’s that’s just a quick walk from the convention center where you can stock up on everything you’ll need for the week – this is what my family and I have done every year and it saves us TONS.
Cash – Not all places take credit cards!
Business Cards – Whether you’re a blogger, writer, filmmaker, this is THE place to network and meet like-minded individuals! Great for just giving out to new friends to keep in touch as well!
Makeup/Toiletry Bag – To keep all my smaller items together and not roaming everywhere inside my bag. I’m obsessed with my Attack On Titan cosmetics bag from Hot Topic but, unfortunately, it’s sold out. Alternatively, they have a new one that features Mikasa that you can bet I’m going to be getting my hands on in the near future. EDIT: That bag is actually sold out too. Boo.
My Bag Inside My Bag
Bandaids – Accidents happen. Be prepared and bring a few different sizes.
Lip Balm – Nobody likes dry lips. I also prefer something with SPF.
Travel Size Sunblock – Protect yourself from the sun! Especially important if you plan on waiting long hours in the Hall H line!
Rubber Bands – For all those free posters you’re going to receive. A poster tube is ideal but a rubber band works in a pinch.
Hair Ties – For pulling your hair back when it gets too hot or the con just gets too crazy. Can also be used like a rubber band to secure rolled up posters.
SHOES: I didn’t include this on the list (because it doesn’t go in a bag), but hopefully it goes without saying. You’re going to be walking A LOT. Wear comfortable shoes, whatever that is for you, whatever it is that you can walk MILES and MILES in without your feet cursing you. I’m a Florida/Cali girl so to me that means flip flops because my feet are not accustomed to things with backs so, yes, I’m that crazy girl wearing flip flops in the Exhibit Hall. I know the risks, and I’ve always survived.
WHAT NOT TO BRING: Leave the laptop, iPad, and books in the hotel room! I’ve brought them all at one point and usually regret it – UNLESS it’s a situation where I know I’m going to be camped out in one room all day and won’t have to worry about lugging all that extra weight around with me. Then by all means, bring the laptop and get some extra blogging done! Bring a book to read between waiting for panels – although really you should be talking to people and making new friends, but I’m shy so I understand. If you have one of those Macbook Airs that might be a different story too or if you’re a strong guy. Me – I’m a rather small girl so I’d rather not deal with it.
That concludes my Comic Con Bag Essentials! Hope you found this list helpful in your last minute preparations! If you have any questions or think I left something out, feel free to leave a comment below!
Day Two of San Diego Comic Con 2015!! Before I start, I was able to get a replacement badge so yay! Crisis averted! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my Day One post first.
Today I decided I wasn’t going to miss out on the awesome panels lined up in the Fan Culture room (like yesterday) so I lined up outside the room nice and early as soon as the convention doors opened up. I was planning on camping out in the room for a few panels once I got in so I brought my laptop with me to do a bit of blogging while in line and in between panels.
First up was the Geek Wars: The Nerd Awakens panel moderated by the awesome Tony B Kim aka Crazy 4 Comic Con. Panelists consisted of Chris Gore (comedian), Amy Ratcliffe (writer), Andre Meadows (comedian), Ivy Doom Kitty (pro cosplayer), Sam Maggs (writer), and Ali Mattu (clinical psychologist). The panelists were divided into two teams of three (Jedi vs Sith) then took turns answering trivia questions that covered various geeky topics while discussing issues such as objectification, online bullying, and casting decisions. I really enjoyed the friendly and intelligent debates and discussion. So much good stuff was being said I didn’t want the panel to end!
Next two panels were Advanced Cosplay and Star Wars Steampunk. I was really blown away by the talent and passion of the cosplayers at these panels. I do a little cosplay here and there myself but nowhere near the level of creativity and skill of any of these people. I’ve always wanted to learn how people do certain things or where they find their materials and these panels answered those questions and many more. After the steampunk panel, I was so ready to get my notebook out and start sketching some cool steampunk Leia/Padme outfits.
My last panel in the Fan Culture room was The Business of Geek Fashion. My degree is in Fashion Merchandising and Product Development and I have minors in Business and Communications so I was very excited to see this panel. Lisa Granshaw moderated and the panelists were Jed Seigel (ThinkGeek Solutions), Ed Labay (Hot Topic), Ashley Eckstein (Her Universe), Sara Scargall (WeLoveFine), and Arthur Gibree (Sanshee). The panel offered a really insightful look into how geek fashion is made, how it has evolved over the years, and the latest trends. What I actually found most interesting was the topic of licensing and how that works.
I probably could’ve stayed in that room all day and enjoyed myself but I had made plans to meet up with Luke for lunch in my hotel room. After lunch, I took a brief nap then met up with my sister at the iZombie panel in Ballroom 20. Amazingly, there was no line and I was able to join her in the fourth row! The panel included the whole cast (Rose McIver, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka, Rahul Kohli, and Malcolm Goodwin) and executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright. During the panel, they revealed the first 3 brains of Season 2: 1) grumpy old man, 2) frat guy, and 3) Real Housewives of Seattle. All 3 sound awesome, and I can’t wait to see the new season coming back in the fall!
Luke and I met up in Room 8 for the “Beauty in the Beast” panel. Friends joined us, but after waiting almost 20 minutes after the scheduled start time, we were told that the panelist – entertainment designer and director Neville Page – wasn’t showing up. At that point, we weren’t sure what to do next. Checking Twitter, we found out about the Star Wars concert that was happening and ran outside. While I got lost trying to figure stuff out, everyone else in our group somehow got into the concert. My sister got her and two friends VIP passes and Luke even got a lightsaber! Of course, I was frazzled from everything and feeling left out and sad that I couldn’t be having a good time with my friends. Eventually, Luke left the concert so I wouldn’t be alone which I still feel terrible about since it was the highlight of his Comic Con experience. We walked over to the Next Day Line to join our friends Holli and John. From there, we listened to the rest of the concert and enjoyed the incredible ending fireworks finale.
We stayed in line for several hours waiting for a wristband. We used Twitter to stay up to date on the handout progress, but the process was very slow and discouraging. I hadn’t wanted to stay in line to begin with, but after all those hours I was pretty stubborn about staying in it until I had gotten a wristband – we were soooo close. I’ve been rained on while sleeping out in line alone with nothing on me (gotta love Hall H), so I had definitely been through worse, but my friends got cold and tired and left. My sister stayed with me and less than half an hour later, we had our D section wristbands and finally went back to our hotel to sleep for a few hours.
Definitely a roller coaster day of highs and lows. I didn’t go to the Star Wars panel or get into the concert, but at least we were guaranteed now to get into tomorrow’s Warner Brothers panel.
I have soooo many photos from Day Three so it might take a while, but it’s on the way!
Yay! The first official day of San Diego Comic Con 2015! After a wonderful night of much-needed sleep, I woke up, threw on one of my new We Love Fine Star Wars tanks and excitedly headed over to the Wrath of Con Bloggers panel to see some of my favorite Con bloggers. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, there was quite a line outside the room and it didn’t look to be moving at all 🙁
I called up Luke to see what he was doing since my chances of making it into the panel looked slim. He said he was actually in Hall H with our friends John and Holli (often referred to as “Jolli”). He said there was currently no line and they had just walked in! I didn’t waste anytime in booking it over there and, sure enough, he was right – no line, I just walked on in, found them and was able to enjoy the Open Road panel with Bill Murray (promoting Rock the Kasbah) – awesome!
What really excited me was that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 panel was up next! It opened with a cool presentation of live drummers before the panel’s moderator, the hilarious Conan O’Brien took the stage. He introduced the panel starting with director Francis Lawrence, followed by producer Nina Jacobson, then cast members Willow Shields (Prim), Liam Hemsworth (Gale), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), and Jennifer Lawrence (QUEEN, ahem, I mean Katniss). Personally, I was very surprised but super psyched to see the main trio there. I don’t fangirl much anymore, but it definitely came out seeing JLaw and JHutch being adorable together (I’m hardcore Team Peeta). They showed the first full-length trailer of the movie which looked awesome then answered some questions both from social media and the audience. A few snippets I wrote down…
To Liam: “If you could meet Gale, what would you say to him?”
Gale: “It’s alright, mate, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”
To Jennifer: Which of Katniss’ outfit would you keep?
Jennifer: “The wedding dress…because it’s understated.” Love her. She says the wetsuit would be pretty cool to have and wear to the beach then adds that she misses her orange backpack and she used to hide her phone in it.
When asked if the ending was going to be the same as the book, Francis Lawrence says things can change in adaptations but if fans liked the ending of the book, they’ll love the end of the movie. I hope he means the epilogue…
After the Hunger Games panel, I headed to NerdHQ which was located just across the street from my hotel. My sister, Melissa, met up with me to register and check out the venue before going back to the Exhibit Hall. I didn’t have anything planned for another hour so I went back to my hotel room to charge my camera (which I forgot to do in my exhaustion the night before), upload photos, and eat lunch.
Fully recharged, I met Luke at the Manchester Grand Hyatt (which is absolutely gorgeous) for the Hollywood Location Scouts panel. I love these industry panels and find them so informative and insightful for anyone curious about the film industry. I went to one on Casting Directors a couple years ago and it’s definitely up there as one of my favorite Comic Con panels ever (I might be biased though since casting is my dream).
This panel consisted of Moderator Scott Trimble (Terminator: Genisys, Jurassic World), Nick Carr (Spider-Man 3, Enchanted), Stephenson Crossley (Fear the Walking Dead, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Stacey McGillis (Guardians of the Galaxy, Tomorrowland), Kei Rowan-Young (Django Unchained, Chef), and Steve Woroniecki (Star Trek Into Darkness, X-Men: First Class). Talk about credits! These people are obviously some of the top in their field so it was fascinating to hear them talk about a job that is so vital to the production of a film but yet so often overlooked. The panel began with this cool sizzle reel that shows various films the panelists have worked, showing location stills and then clips of what it looked like in the finished movie. Pretty nifty.
I learned a lot about what it takes to be a location scout (such as how much managerial work and liability comes with the job) in this panel and loved hearing the panelists give advice and recall stories from their projects. One of my favorite tid bits from the panel was from Nick Carr, a New York-based location manager, who recalled working on Steven Spielberg’s Munich. They had cleared the streets for shooting when in the background they heard a lone saxophone playing somewhere – they had to track the guy down and pay him to stop playing for a few hours while they shoot. A little while later, they got a call informing them that Spielberg actually liked the saxophone playing in the background and to actually go back and pay that guy again to keep playing.
Once the panel ended, the panelists hung around outside the room to take extra questions. Luke went up to Steve and chatted with him for a bit. Afterwards, we headed back to the convention center. I was going up an escalator when I realized the worst had happened (at least at Comic Con) and my badge was missing! We quickly retraced our steps back to the previous panel but found nothing. And even though I had just been in the convention center, when I came back, they wouldn’t let me in without my badge. Fortunately, NerdHQ was next up on my schedule and since it was an outside Comic Con event, no badge is needed. I was panicking quite a bit but Luke’s calm presence and support along with some prayer calmed me down. We walked to the MTV Fandom Awards line outside Petco Park and hung out a little bit before it was time for me to leave for NerdHQ.
My dad, sister, and I had front row seats at the Julie Plec & Friends NerdHQ panel which was pretty awesome. The friends included Gabe Sachs, show runner of Freaks and Geeks (a show I love), and Zachary Levi, star of the tv show Chuck and who you could call the show runner of NerdHQ. Julie is my sister’s writing hero (she LOVES The Vampire Diaries) and she so wanted to speak to her and ask a question, but right when she finally overcame her shyness and decided how she wanted to word her question, they were taking their last question and while Zac noticed her (she being front row center and all), he looked at her and said they had had enough questions from girls and called on a guy instead. Even though I don’t necessarily keep up with her shows, I have a lot of respect for Julie and found the discussion very interesting. It’s not every day you get to hear from such a successful female show runner!
Afterwards, my dad went back to the hotel and Melissa and I went to join our group at MTV’s Fan Fest and Fandom Awards. MTV has put out this big event for the last few years at Comic Con, but I have always passed on it because well, MTV isn’t really my thing and I always expect it to be way crowded. Walking over there, we didn’t even know if we would be allowed in – maybe the venue would be capped or there would be a huge line or the event would almost be over. Luckily, there was nothing to worry about – there was no line when we arrived so we just walked right in, got a lanyard that allowed us one free drink and food item (I see now why Luke comes each year), and found Luke and John sitting on a grassy hill while All Time Low played on stage. We hadn’t even sat down for a minute when someone came over to us and asked if we wanted to be in a commercial for a chance to win…something (I can’t remember). Melissa and I decided why not. Not sure what they meant about a commercial, but they placed us in line to take a series of pictures with an MTV popcorn statue in front of a backdrop that made it look like we were “backstage” at the awards show.
I was starving when we finished with the photos and quickly made use of my free food and drink vouchers and got a Coke and hot dog before joining our friends back on the hill. The awards show continued with young stars Bella Thorne and Tyler Posey hosting. I missed it but at one point Luke said they showed the reaction clip of the The Force Awakens trailer at Star Wars Celebration where I am pretty much front and center during the whole thing – so apparently I was there on the screens which I thought was pretty funny.
Around the time Flo Rida took the stage, John had left so Luke, Melissa, and I walked around the area picking up more freebies (thank you Neutrogena and Kit Kat!) and seeing what else there was to do. Luke and I took a silly prop photo (above) and went through one of those dizzy spinning tunnels that make you feel like you’re moving. On our way out, we each got a free sitting stool which alone made coming to the event worth it. Between the free goodies, food, music, and activities, I’m definitely planning on coming back to MTV’s Fan Fest next year!
We next headed to the NerdHQFan Dance Party, but I was carrying quite a bit of stuff and honestly too exhausted to dance so I just watched (shout out to the awesome raptor dance crew) then walked upstairs to find a place to sit (I know, I’m lame). Before we headed back to the hotel, Luke and I got a picture with a great looking Chewbacca similar to our one from Star Wars Celebration – except with a nasty flash glare. Oh well.
I must be getting old or boring because even though it was still before midnight, all I wanted to do was soak my feet in the hot tub with Luke, go over the next day schedule, and go to sleep. Which is exactly what I did and I have no regrets!
That concludes my official first day of Comic Con and what a first day it was! Even though I didn’t go to a ton of panels and even lost my badge (cries), I still had an incredible and fun day!
San Diego Comic Con 2015 Day Two post coming soon! Until then, enjoy these Lego raptors!