Comic Con 2014

San Diego Comic Con is the biggest convention of its kind in the world. 130,000 nerds converge on the San Diego Convention Center for four days of solid geeking out. This year, Mark Greig and I were two of that 130,000.


Thursday was our first day and also our easiest. We lined up for Ballroom 20 (Comic Con’s second biggest venue) in the morning and stayed in the room all day. There we saw the panels for 24, Under the Dome, Reign, Community, Teen Wolf, and Hannibal. We also got to see the pilot for Scorpion, coming to CBS this fall. I enjoyed it even if the premise was tired and the action sequences were fantastical. Mark was a little tougher on it, calling it, “silly, clich├ęd, and dull.”

24 was okay. I’ve never watched the show, but I have to agree with Mark when he said the panel “could’ve done with more people.” It was just Kiefer Sutherland, who was well spoken, but a little more subdued than the typical Comic Con interviewee.

I totally tuned out Under the Dome, but Mark was apparently conscious and says “The only good thing about the Under the Dome panel was Rachelle Lefevre and Alexander Koch cosplaying Starbuck and Daryl Dixon, respectively.”

Reign was fun. Even Mark, who doesn’t watch the show, enjoyed it. Adelaide Kane in person is just adorable and Tony Regbo was funny, despite his apparently terrible taste in shirts.

Community was hilarious. The lineup included cast members Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs, creator Dan Harmon, and Jim Rash who writes for the show and also plays the Dean. Yahoo Screen was a presence at SDCC. There were posters for the next season of Community everywhere. Nothing on an air date yet, unfortunately.

Teen Wolf was up next. A lot of the cast was present; Holland Roden, Tyler Hoechlin, Shelley Hennig, Dylan O’Brien, Tyler Posey, and Dylan Sprayberry were all there. We got to see some footage from upcoming episodes and were gifted Teen Wolf bestiaries with information on the TW mythology. The bestiaries also made great fans (after so many hours in the same room, it was getting warm). Mark says: “The Teen Wolf panel revealed how immature a lot of the cast are and how sweet Dylan O’Brien is.” (He hugged a sobbing fan).

We finished the day with Hannibal. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson were both unable to attend but had recorded messages to their fans. There was a blooper reel and Bryan Fuller (wearing a cherry red suit) was full of information about next season. For a lot of spoilery tidbits, check the official Doux Reviews Twitter feed.


Friday we got to the Convention Center around 5:30 to line up for Hall H and actually managed to get in. Hall H is Comic Con’s biggest room and most famous. Last year during the Marvel panel in Hall H, Tom Hiddleston showed up in costume as Loki and demanded the entire audience of 6,100 bow to him. We saw The Walking Dead panel and the Game of Thrones panel.

The Walking Dead was fun, even if I’ve never seen the show. I’ll hand it over to Mark for a minute: “The Walking Dead was probably the best panel of the whole event. It was certainly the best structured panel with the producers and writers first and then a Q&A with the cast. The roar when Norman Reedus entered the room made it clear he is everyone’s favorite.” Other cast members present: Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, and Danai Gurira.

Game of Thrones was great. My one complaint about GoT was that so much of the cast was ignored. There was so much of the cast present but most of the questions both from moderator Craig Ferguson and from fans were for show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R.R. Martin. Even if they were ignored, we got to see Pedro Pascal, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie, Rory McCann, Maisie Williams, Natalie Dormer, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, and John Bradley in person. If only we weren’t about a mile away from the stage... At least we got the to see the debut of the gag reel.

After Hall H, we went straight over to the Orphan Black panel only to find the worst line of the entire weekend. Three hours (most of it in the sun) and zero certainty we were going to get in. Orphan Black was squeezed in at the end of the day in a room not sufficient to house the insanity that is Clone Club, Orphan Black’s rabid fanbase. We were two of the last people they let into the room. I was so relieved I cried a little bit. Most of the cast was there, unfortunately missing Evelyne Brochu who had to pull out of the panel at the last minute. When Tatiana walked in the room, there was the only standing ovation we saw at Comic Con. It was the panel I was most excited to see, but also the most disappointing. The questions weren’t prescreened like they were in the bigger venues so a lot of the audience questions were variations on “Tatiana I love you so much!” Also, while most of the other panels showed blooper reels or previews for next season, Orphan Black showed clips from the previous season. We’ve seen all that before. Mark agreed, “Couldn’t they have shown a blooper reel instead?” In any case, Tatiana Maslany is even more adorable in person. And we got to see Catherine of Aragon (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) in one day. Awesome.


Saturday’s docket sounded absolutely awesome. Marvel, Warner Brothers, Person of Interest, Once Upon A Time. Unfortunately, Saturday was the only day we couldn’t get tickets for.


By Sunday we were so exhausted we just couldn’t get up to make it to the Supernatural panel first thing in the morning. Instead we decided to stroll around the Exhibit Floor and randomly happened to see the Supernatural cast there signing autographs. It helps that they’re absurdly tall. Also, I’m convinced we saw Daniel Radcliffe. He was roaming around the Floor dressed as Spider-Man and we saw a short Spider-Man. We walked by Supernatural’s Osric Chau on the street in a metallic silver onesie I am sure he had a reason to be wearing.

It was a fun but exhausting weekend. Lots of waiting in lines. Lots of cheering super loudly at distant celebrities. Lots of bumping into people in superhero costumes. Were you there? Have you seen footage online? What did you enjoy? What would you have wanted to see?


Josie Kafka said...

Thank you, Sunbunny and Mark, for your report! I was thinking about you guys all last week.

So, a stupid question from someone who has never gone to a fan convention but has gone to innumerable professional conferences: do you have any tips?

For instance, you mentioned you were in the sun for three hours. If you did it again, would you bring an umbrella? What was the food situation? Did you wind up sitting on the convention center floor very often? Did you wish you'd brought a blanket, beef jerky, an android servant, Bengay, gum, liquor?

sunbunny said...

The only thing I think I'd really do differently is the stuff in between. We just tried to squeeze in too much extra stuff. The beach, the zoo, Disneyland. It was just too much. A lot of people did have those folding chairs people take camping and that seems like a smart thing to have, especially if you're doing the Hall H line. As it was, we just sat on the ground, which was fine with me.

As for food, the convention center had food for sale inside. Plus we brought in stuff with us (me: protein bars, Mark: candy). Definitely bring water, sunscreen, and (important) an external battery for your phone/mobile device. With the constant pictures, tweeting, and game playing while in line, your phone battery goes down FAST.

Most basic advice: just get there early. Very early. Early as you physically can. And be prepared for crowds. I'm slightly claustrophobic and there were times I was not having a good time. Mostly leaving the convention center at the end of the day.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, basic con advice is get there early, be prepared to spend a year in line, know where you plan to be, go with a buddy, and take supplies. Pretty much good for any con, even a much smaller one than Comic-con.

On Sunday morning, Misha Collins was tweeting that the Supernatural panel line started forming *the afternoon before*. OMG.

Josie Kafka said...

A lot of that advice is appropriate for going on an Artic adventure, too.

Billie Doux said...

Except for the heat, they're quite similar.

Juliette said...

Boy. this is reminding of all the stuff I'm *not* looking forward to about Loncon in a couple of weeks... maybe I'll just hang around in the academic bit! But there aren't many celebrities there I don't think so it should be less mad.

sunbunny said...

Billie - it really wasn't that hot. Low 80s the whole time. I was just terrified of getting sunburned, which happens to me kind of a lot. And the Supernatural line wasn't truly terrible. A lot of the people who camp overnight really want to be close to the celebs, which I get, but do not really care about for myself. There were huge screens everywhere so even if you're in the very back you can totally see what's going on. We could've made it to Supernatural if we wanted to, but our alarms went off and it was just…no.

It really was an AWESOME time and I totally want to do it again.

Lesley said...

Lee Pace and Andy Serkis were wandering around the hall h line at 2:30 in the morning.