Wednesday the 23rd: What should have been a simple two-hour drive to the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, ended up being nearly three. The line of cars to park at the hotel was horrendous, so I illegally parked at a nearby business, and pretended not to notice the signage clearly telling me not to do what I just did. I then Speedily hauled my considerable mass in the 80+ degree heat to the hotel to pick up my badge and goodie bag. Sweaty, yet victorious, I tackled yet more rush hour traffic to finally arrive at my hotel, the Rodeway Inn. I say hotel, but it’s more like a motel and the nearest source of food is a Jack in the Box – ew!
But I’m here, I’m ready, so it’s time to hit the event guide and create a tentative plan for the next few days. I already have tomorrow planned though, and I’ll be aiming to be in the Hall H line at 5am to eventually take in panels for Dreamworks, The Giver and Paramount Studios! Then if I have any energy left, a quick wander around the convention floor, and then off to watch a special screening of Ninja Apocalypse!*
Thursday the 24th: Today was a very long day, starting at 4am when my trusty phone burst into life signaling the start of my Comic-Con adventures with HALL H. For those that don’t know what that is, Hall H is the biggest event room at the Con. It seats 6,500 people, and if you want to see all the major artists and studio offerings, this is where you need to be. Last year (my first) I followed all the online advice, and avoided Hall H and Ballroom 20 (the next biggest room), and hit the smaller venues.
This is sound advice for a first timer, and still allows you to enjoy your trip to the convention because you spend more time doing stuff, and less time stuck in lines. I did though promise myself I would try and get into the big Hall at least once on my next visit, and I decided to take that on today, hence the early start.
By 5:10am, I had reached the convention center, and found there were already hundreds of people in line. Some of which had started lining up the night before. Keep in mind, the first show wasn’t going to start until 11:30 am!
The early start though did mean I got a nice spot in the hall pretty close to the main stage. I stayed for three full sessions I saw the latest offering from Dreamworks, Paramount Studios and I enjoyed a panel for the movie, The Giver, which is due in theaters August 2014.
Major stars were aplenty in Hall H, and during the day we got to hear from – Megan Fox, Will Arnett (seriously funny guy), Lois Lowry (wrote The Giver), Jeff Bridges, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan. Keep in mind this line up is not announced in advance, so you can image the rooms reaction to each of these stars as they surprise the crowd.
My long day ended at 10:30 pm, and as I walked by the convention center back to my car, I could already see lines forming for tomorrows events!
Friday the 25th: Keeping things light and simple today, so I decided to tackle the 4 mile walk from my hotel to the Convention center. Got there in just over an hour, and ready for breakfast, so I headed to the Convention floor, ate over priced crappy food, and then spent another two hours exploring and taking pictures (see below).
After that I attended a screening of a new Fox TV show out next year called Wayward Pines, starring Matt Dillon and Melissa Leo. To be honest, it reminded me a little of an old Fringe episode when the gang are trapped in a strange town. But other than that I was entertained. It has got a great cast and the pilot is very well made.
Saturday the 26th: Looking over the program guide for Saturday, I found a lot of the sessions I was interested in were in the same room – 6BCF. So that’s what I did today. I got in the line at around 8am, and a couple of hours later I had a great seat near the front of the room.
The first session was for Marvel Animation, and we got to watch the entire first new episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man, season 3. If you haven’t checked this show out, you should and the first two seasons are available on Netflix streaming.
After that session came too favorites of mine from last year at the Con. Quick Draw, a fun show pitting cartoonists Sergio Argones (MAD Magazine), Scott Shaw (The Simpsons) and Disney legend Floyd Norman against each other. Then Cartoon Voices, an assemblage of talented voice actors running through a short Snow White script using their varied repertoire of famous animated characters – hilarious!
After that, Marvel: Cup a Joe, an expose on everything Marvel, and then to finish off my day in 6bcf a session celebrating 75 years of Batman.
* Many thanks to Movie-Blogger.com for arranging that!