Friday, September 22, 2017

Attending Comic-con 2017 and what the Con is like

It's been just about two months since the Comic-Con Convention 2017 took place in San Diego and I finally feel like I have returned to the world of the living. I braved it out, but way overdid my time there which led to becoming sick as soon as I got home with Bronchitis. 

It took a week to discover that I didn't just have a cold and was much worse. After lots of codeine and antibiotics from the doctor, now I'm finally well and want to share my experience of this past year's Comic-Con representing I was there for one reason only, to see the panel for Fox's new show, The Gifted.

First, for those of you who don't know what the Con is like, watch this great video below which really shows a lot about it and how vast and amazingly big this convention is. Each year, over 130,000 people attend and it virtually takes over San Diego and it's the largest Con there is!

Let me start off by saying that San Diego is a great city that is very walkable, but when you are walking all day throughout the convention center, which in itself is probably about 4 blocks long, having the ease of taking their very convenient Trolley system from your hotel is just wonderful. My hotel was about 2 stops away from the convention center and taking the trolley saved my poor feet a good deal.

San Diego Trolley adorned with The Gifted promotional wrap.

I stayed in a "not so great, but OK" hotel in the Little Italy section which was good enough for me meeting my needs quite well since I didn't spend much time there.

I've been to Comic-Con four times now, always going for True Blood except in 2015 when I went with my sister for fun and to see the outside exhibits for The Bastard Executioner.

The best year for me was in 2014 when I got a special pass from HBO to see the True Blood panel. I always have had a regular press pass to comic con, but all that gives you is free admission to the Convention. This special pass from HBO meant I didn't have to stand in the daylong line to get into Ballroom 20 and then sit there all day just to see True Blood. Unfortunately, this year, I didn't have that access, so I had to wait with everyone else. The Gifted panel was scheduled for Ballroom 20 at 3:45pm Friday.

I arrived on Thursday, I checked into my hotel and then immediately took the trolley to the convention for the purpose of signing in. They sent us our ID's in the mail this year, but you had to pick up your lanyard and big bag in the Sails Pavillion to officially sign in. I did that and then scoped out where the outside area was for The Gifted. Then, I checked out where to get in line for ballroom 20 the next day. I was scheduled to have dinner with friends at about 5 pm, so until then, I went into the Exhibition hall to see where the autograph session for The Gifted would take place after their panel on Friday.

The crowds outside the Convention Center
Misty and me after dinner with her and her daughter
After dinner, I took the trolley back to my hotel as I planned to be in line by 6 am. Rumors were flying around saying that if you wanted to get into Ballroom 20 you had to sleep overnight in line, but I took the chance since I was alone to not do this. It turned out later that I could have shown up at 10 am and still gotten into the Ballroom, but who knew?

Lines from previous Comic-Con's to get into the events including Ballroom 20

Getting closer, in line outside Ballroom 20

Getting closer, in line at the door of Ballroom 20 waiting to be admitted
Ballroom 20

YEA, I MADE IT into the room!

Once I got in Ballroom 20, I was in there for the day. The way Comic-Con works is that they don't clear the rooms after each panel because it would take too long. People do leave, but as they do, everyone moves up the room to get closer to the stage as they let new people enter, so all day I slowly moved up to the second tier which was behind the "reserved seating" which is where I sat in 2014 for True Blood and didn't have to stay in line.

The panels all day were of no interest to me except for The Gifted. I sat through each of them. Finally, I asked someone I had paired with to watch my seat while I went out to take a restroom break and get something to eat. You are permitted to leave the room, but only with a pass and you have to return during the time of the same panel you left.

Big surprise for the last panel of the day.  I'm a big Outlander fan, and so I stayed for their panel after The Gifted was over.  Woo Hoo!  After the panel discussion, they showed us the first episode of Season 3.  As there were many Outlander fans in the room, you can imagine how thrilled the audience was; me included.

After leaving Ballroom 20, that evening I spent hours with a group of people outside the Convention center trying to find out where to get our special "The Gifted" prize. A ticket had been handed out during the event to use to redeem it but no one seemed to know where to do so. After walking around with a group of people looking, we finally found where the location was and we got our prize.  It was an 11" x 17" poster for The Gifted.

Actually, while I'm glad I have it, the walking all over to find it made it less exciting when I finally learned what the prize was.  And, I was sort of expecting something similar to what True Blood used to give out, backpacks full of stuff, see what I got in 2010 after the True Blood panel at Comic Con below:

I auctioned it off at a charity event in Venice, CA later that year.

Once my prize was redeemed, I decided that I was probably halfway to my hotel, so I decided to hike it back there since it was such a lovely night. BAD IDEA! It was much further than I thought and it started getting dark while I was walking. Then, I took a wrong turn and went south instead of north. UGH! By the time I finally found my hotel, I was utterly exhausted; too exhausted to even get dinner. I fell asleep immediately. When I woke up the next morning I realized that I had walked over 25,000 steps that day. When you couple that milestone with getting up at 5am to go stand in line, I was really tired.

I got up the next morning and walked to the local store to get coffee and some breakfast fruit and muffin. Then, I packed and drove out of San Diego for the three-hour trip back to LA.

Then, I got the awful bronchitis sickness which left me out of commission for about a month. Was it worth it? Yes because each time you go to Comic-Con you learn more about what not to do and where to be to get the best. I won't kid, it's an exhausting time, but it's also quite fun. Will I go back? Not Sure, we'll have to see how it goes. Still, I have now got 5 times under my belt, maybe that's enough. We'll see if Comic-Con can draw me back, yet again!