This year was my first attending San Diego Comic-Con and it was a phenomenal experience. I won’t lie; I’ve been dying to go for years, but had a difficult time finding anyone who would admit to having an inner geek. So I read up online for tips and talked to a few veterans about what I could expect. For the most part everything I learned prior to going was dead on. I stayed with a friend, who is a local, which definitely had its perks.
San Diego Comic Con 2010 Day 1 (Preview Night): Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Picked up my badge and bag (got Batman, but traded with someone for Fringe) in the afternoon and waited until opening before entering the exhibit hall. Once in, I found myself in awe. Not only was it huge, but completely filled with booths put out by publishers, artists, studios and so much more. It was complete geekdom, but in the best way possible. Pretty much hit up a bunch of booths and received a lot of swag. Poster tubes from FOX, bags from Showtime (Dexter, Californication, Weeds and Nurse Jackie), and the WB (two sided: Supernatural/Smallville), buttons, posters, pens, keychains, you name it they were giving it out. Even though Preview Night tickets were limited it was a massive crowd. I heard from many that it looked more like a regular day than Preview Night.
Arrived around 8am and got into line for Hall H and still managed to get under the tents. Not that long of a wait before we got in and received bags from Dreamworks’ Megamind which read Mega Swag and had all four characters on the bag. They were the first panel up which included the director, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and a cardboard cutout of Brad Pitt (heard they did this with other panels including True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard). You have three hilarious actors/comedians in one room and it’s just full of laughs. Ferrell came out dressed up as his animated character, Megamind including blue paint. He advised the audience to go to a craft store and buy proper paint and not spray paint like he did because it burns. Jonah Hill stated that it is a fact that the Jews killed Jesus and Tina Fey, when not molesting the Brad Pitt cardboard cut-out (she was rubbing it and saying she had always wanted to do that) said her Hollywood nemesis is Betty White. Ferrell and Fey went on to say that you can catch the fight on pay-per-view in February. A 3D Trailer of Megamind was shown and the film looks very promising.
Next up was the highly anticipated, Tron: Legacy. Director Joseph Kosinski, Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and the original Tron, Bruce Boxleitner were present at the panel. Not only did we get to see a trailer, but also an 8 minute clip from the movie. The visuals look fantastic, but I will reserve judgment on the acting until I see the film which comes out December 17, 2010. The director also announced that he had a special surprise for the audience which turned out to be a chance for us to record audio for the film. They had words on a monitor and the crowd chanted them and then there was some stomping audio. This panel was awesome aside from all the mundane questions that were being asked. SDCC said that questions would be screened prior to them being asked, but many questions were essentially repeated or were just not even worth asking. For instance, a young kid asked Jeff Bridges what he thought of the Tron remake to which Jeff said he had nothing but positive things to say and then questioned the kid whether or not he had seen the first Tron and naturally the kid said no. Not only is that embarrassing for all the fans, but seems almost disrespectful for the cast and crew who are making time in their schedules to answer questions.
Before the next panel, two video promos were shown. The first one had director, Guillermo del Toro come out to announce that he was re-making Disney’s Haunted Mansion. He promises it will be scary and may not be suitable for younger children. This had me and many others extremely excited after avoiding the Eddie Murphy version. The second promo was a video of Johnny Depp in character as Captain Jack Sparrow announcing the next Pirates of the Caribbean release.
The next two panels were continuous; however, I only stayed for the first one which was Salt. Liev Schreiber and as promised Angelina Jolie took the stage. Both were very gracious. Angelina did every single stunt in the movie and now has a small scar above her nose to prove it. She said of her injury that it was supposed to be the easiest of the stunts just rolling over and shooting a gun (really easy, huh?) and she ended up hitting a desk.
The next panel was Battle: Los Angeles. Aaron Eckhardt and Michelle Rodriguez were present, but I left the panel to get in line for the Dexter panel. But before that we decided to hit up the booths and found James Remar (Dexter, Sex and the City) signing autographs at the Showtime/CBS booth and so I barely made it into that line. He took a picture with me and I got an autograph. He was serious, but very polite. This was a distraction because we had one objective when going down to the booths and that was to find Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints) and that we did. He was a very cool guy, taking a picture with us and signing anything and everything we gave him. We were there for a bit chatting before we left to finally get in line for Dexter.
The Dexter line was immensely long and so it was a good thing I got in line three panels before Dexter began. I got into the Anti-Heroes Panel which was right before Dexter’s. At the Anti-Hero panel was Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Mary Louise Parker (Weeds), David Duchovney (Californication) and each one was accompanied by a writer from their show (including a writer for Nurse Jackie). Out of all the panels, the questions for this one had to be the worst. Someone asked David and Michael what the difference was between going from TV to Movies. Michael and David decided to collaborate on their answer and have one start and the other end. Which turned into: Michael: It’s David: pretty much Michael: the same. Both: Yeah!
The Dexter panel was packed and featured Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall again. We saw a trailer and were told of a few guest stars including Julia Stiles. Jennifer admitted to cursing more in her real life just like her character and Michael nodded his head in agreement. An interesting question that was asked was whether the writers noticed the similarities between Dexter and Batman. Though the girl who asked the question had some interesting points, you could use that argument with many different characters. Everything ended in a good note and that was actually the last panel in Ballroom 20 for the day.
Thursday was my only “panel” day.
On the way to the convention center, which was across the street, we ran into Jon Cryer (Pretty in Pink, Two and a Half Men) who was there with friends. He graciously obliged to a picture and was very good natured.
Today, the objective was to get into the True Blood signing at the WB Booth. I figured since the WB has been at the Con for years they would be organized with such an event. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way. It was the worst experience overall that I had at SDCC 2010. Security and WB staff were conflicting in their answers. There was no official line even if one was started. In fact, if you were ever in an organized line at the WB booth chances are you didn’t get in to any of the big signings. I was in line for four hours to not have the line move at all and suddenly the True Blood line was closed because they had reached its capacity. Apparently, if you had formed in the mass down aisle 4700 you were pushed in or chosen. Seeing as how I missed the Bones panel and the True Blood panel (no way to get into it so late) I was extremely disappointed because I had wasted more than half the day to get nothing.
I later heard that the cast of Bones (David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel were present) were going to be doing a signing at the FOX booth. A FOX rep informed me that tickets were given in the morning for this and they were no longer available. But after talking to another rep, I was told I could wait in the back of the line on standby. There were maybe 15 non-ticket holders in front of me, so I was somewhat hopeful. A security guard even attempted to persuade us to leave guaranteeing us 100% that we would not get in. We told him we would take our chances and waste our time. But really, it paid off in the end because we were able to get in. After a small fiasco on my part (in not being able to find the ticket I was given), I met David, Emily and creator Hart Hanson and they signed a poster for me and we even took pictures. All were great. Emily is so convincing as Dr. Brennan that you almost think she would be somewhat like her character, but she is the complete opposite. Super friendly and chatting it up with everyone. Hart was also all smiles and David was extremely polite. Being a huge Bones fan, this definitely lifted my spirits after the disastrous True Blood experience.
I want to thank FOX for being organized in their signings and knowing what to do and what not do and for allowing pictures with the cast and crew. You made the experience of meeting our favorite celebrities an enjoyable one that we won’t forget. WB please take note on what FOX does because you have many disgruntled viewers. Someone needs to take charge over there and set the ground rules otherwise, many people are going to continue to be disappointed. Also, next year allow picture taking even if it’s one of your representatives taking our cameras and taking the picture. FOX had no problem doing it for Bones and the line went quite fast.
Again, like Friday, Saturday was an autograph day. But first I went around to some booths including the Showtime/CBS, FOX and WB to check for swag and then checked out a couple of other surrounding booths and got an advance copy of Virals by Kathy Reichs, the inspiration for the Bones series. A couple of more free books and bags later we started forming into the line for the Green Lantern signing and directly after that was the Tom Felton (Draco in Harry Potter films) signing. Again, we had not discovered yet that if you were in the line you would not get in. So we ended up not getting into either signing because WB was taking people who were not even in the line. We did get to see Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Skarsgaard and Tom Felton walk by. Before that Zachary Levi came through the crowd after his Chuck signing. So the next signings were for Sucker Punch, V and Vampire Diaries. I finally made my way into the unorganized mound on aisle 4700 and people were chosen for V, then Sucker Punch and finally the remaining (which was the majority) was for Vampire Diaries. Somehow we made it to the front of this mound and figured out that once security recognized you, acknowledged you as a patient person, you were a shoe in. So I got into the Vampire Diaries line and met the full cast including, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, Steven R. McQueen, Michael Trevino and Matthew Davis. All were very nice especially Ian who made it a point to ask you questions and actually have a conversation with you.
After that signing, I went directly back into the unorganized mound to get chosen for Fringe. Now that I was a familiar face with security it was much easier getting into this signing. I met the full cast of Fringe including Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown and Jasika Nicole. Anna said that so far they had read two scripts and they were very good. Josh was hilarious and joking around a lot (he drew a mustache on his face on my poster and he was nice enough to personalize my poster). My friend did the unthinkable and called him Pacey Witter and he took it in stride and told her it was Pacey-Con today. Little did we know that hours later he would be outside staging his own Pacey-Con equipped with a boombox playing Dawson’s Creek music, reading his own fan fiction and taking pictures with fans. Totally bummed we missed that, but it shows you how cool he really is. This signing was pretty late, so after making a couple more rounds at a few booths it was the end of day 4.
Comic-Con Day 5 (Final Day): Sunday, July 25, 2010
So on Sunday there was one signing I was looking forward to and that was for Supernatural. I absolutely love this show and after having success with getting into the Vampire Diaries and Fringe WB signings I was pretty hopeful for this one. I cannot stress enough how bad I feel for all the people who continued to stay in the unofficial line that never went anywhere. All I can say is, if you were assertive and seeked out information you would have eventually made it into the unorganized mound.
I got in at 9am and filed into the line for the WB bag that I had been trying to get every day and finally succeeded. Then I went to go find the mound on aisle 4700 and was shocked to find it empty, so I started it. Soon we had a fairly big group and a security guard came and had us pushed back into a corner and promised he would try his best to get us in first as he knew we were waiting first. He did good on that promise and after we identified cutters, he capped the line at 10am. The signing was at 12:45. In the meantime, Tom Welling from Smallville and others from the cast stopped by the WB Booth to thank fans for coming, but they did not do a signing. After the long wait, I met the full cast of Supernatural including Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki, Misha Collins and Jim Beaver. This signing felt a little bit more rushed and the cast seemed a little more distracted, but I had Jensen and Jared both personalize my poster and they were pretty nice guys. But I must say that Misha Collins is quite the character totally cracking me up after we told him what time we got in line for the signing, he responded wide eyed with Oh-Em-Gee.
To all the WB security guys (especially Verne and Sean) thank you for trying to help those who continually bugged you for answers you didn’t have. To all the friends I made in line, you guys are awesome and I’m glad we all made it in. We gave “Hole” a whole new meaning.
After, I decided to check out the Glee signing that I had to miss out on because of the Supernatural signing. I was mostly okay with this because the main stars were not present and I would like to have a complete cast signing. But I did get to see Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Dijon Talton and Naya Rivera walk by. I got a few pictures of them before the crowd got chaotic. This was basically the conclusion of my SDCC 2010 experience. I did another round of booths and then tried to see if there were any more official SDCC bags left and didn’t find any. I have to admit, I was sad to realize that SDCC 2010 was coming to an end. Overall, it was an amazing experience; I got to meet the cast and crew of some of my favorite shows, see some cool footage and interviews of upcoming films and receive freebies from the best shows.
As of right now, I have converted five people into becoming believers of SDCC and they will be attending next year. Comic-Con isn’t just a geekfest, it has something for everybody and the people you will meet will be awesome. Even though SDCC 2010 has wrapped up, I am already getting ready for SDCC 2011.