San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Extravaganza 

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Comic-Con International was yet another memory-making event with both exciting and unexpected moments! The thrill of the win and the anguish of defeat had clearly made its way. Changes in popular culture and trends were also evident here. However, just like in years past, a fantastic time was had (always at the expense of sleep).
In order to maximize the full potential that SDCC has to offer (keeping in mind that there would be many people from all over the world in attendance; and that time, resources, and exclusives would all be limited), I had compiled a mission and a list of wants utilizing my own scheduling chart. Suffice to say that a certain amount of planning went into preparing for this year’s coveted and popular event. At the same time, I kept things loose in the event that the unexpected happened.
I had four days of Comic-Con this year including Preview Night. Though this may sound exhausting and intense (it definitely was), a lot of reveling had ensued. In years’ past, I would always look forward to TV/film panels and signings. However, my mission this year was to focus on the social aspects of the event as well as find a few exclusives to call my own. Onto the fun-filled happenings!

Wednesday Preview Night:

The crew and I headed to Downtown San Diego mid afternoon. Parking was horrendous and so we parked several blocks away (but a good walk never hurt anybody anyway). Badge attainment and lining up for the exhibit hall went smoothly. I picked up my official Comic-Con 2015 t-shirt at the Marriot Hotel. Preview Night also offers special screenings from TV shows in Ballroom 20, however I had opted to explore the exhibit hall instead; do some reconnaissance, and find items on my wants list. There was an air of excitement as hundreds of attendees were in line and when they roamed the exhibit hall floor. I was successful in securing a Batman luggage tag, a special edition Comic-Con library card, and a an exclusive Legend of Korra print. I had felt a sense of accomplishment! SDCC was off to a great start. Dinner was had at Lolita’s at the Park. A great Mexican eatery with reasonable prices.

Attendees waiting in line!
Attendees waiting in line!
Thursday:

My people and I arrived early for the first official day of Comic-Con. I wanted a statuette figure from the Legend of Korra at the Nickelodeon Booth and will simply say that with the limited amounts of this item, I was not successful in obtaining said exclusive (I tried Friday through Sunday and so no win here).

However whilst standing at the Nickelodeon Booth, I got to see a friend from a past art show event. I was pleased as it’s always a good feeling to see wonderful friends. Speaking of which, I met up with a college friend at the Autobiography of James T. Kirk panel in Ballroom 20. It was my first time to see William Shatner live. He was very entertaining with his hilarious readings as the crowd roared with laughter. Afterwards, I did a bit of walking around the convention center. For fun, I got into Hall H (known for being “Line Con”) with little difficulty. I saw the Dr. Who panel moderated by Chris Hardwick. I then went on to see 30 minutes of movie trailers. Next, I saw the Con Man web series panel where there were many stars including actor/creator Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, Seth Green, Nolan North, Alison Haislip, Tricia Helfer, Casper Van Dien, Mindy Sterling, and Felicia Day. This is a very entertaining web series and I cannot wait for its debut!

The Dr. Who Panel moderated by Chris Hardwick
The Dr. Who Panel moderated by Chris Hardwick 
The cast of Con Man
The cast of Con Man
I met with my crew and we attended the 2015 MTV Fandom Awards taking place at Petco Park (which airs July 12th). This was definitely a fun-filled event with free food, drinks, a mini-concert by All Time Low and Flo-Rida. There was even a Unicorn! I enjoyed this as it was a chance to partake in evening festivities (which in the past I do not normally do). I even got a small folding chair as a giveaway.

MTV Fandom Fest 2015
MTV Fandom Fest 2015
Friday:

In the early morn, I got ticketed signings for the creators of Legend of Korra (which were to take place Saturday afternoon). And after, I knew that I definitely wanted to see the panel for the BBC America series Orphan Black (which would not start until 5:45 and so I had time to kill). The show has been well-received and has quite the cult following (also known as Clone Club.) So to secure my attendance, I had visited the first panel of the day in Room 6BCF. Rather than staying in this room all day, I used the re-entry (bathroom) passes throughout the afternoon. By doing this, I could leave the panel at the moment and explore the convention but I had to be back before the panel ended (which was within the hour). I would do this about 5 or 6 times throughout the day until Orphan Black happened.

While on the exhibit hall floor, I got the chance to meet the cast of Syfy’s Dark Matter. I have seen the pilot episode and this series has the potential to be a smash hit! The cast took their time to speak and take photos with fans. Speaking with actors made for a fun time.

The Cast of Syfy's Dark Matter
The Cast of Syfy’s Dark Matter
To try something new, I attended the Diversity in Gaming Panel. Diversity remains a hot topic in the media and the year in gaming is no exception. Discussion included how new gaming platforms are giving a voice, if any, to underserved groups of players. Also discussed was the role in which minorities have to play in an industry that doesn’t reflect its audience. Not a gamer myself, but I found it interesting to hear various perspectives in the rapidly changing media, including the gaming world.

Eventually the Orphan Black happened and it did not disappoint. The cast starring Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Dylan Bruce, Kristian Bruun, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Ari Millen was moderated by the funny Retta. I was tweeting during the panel and one of my tweets gained many retweets and favorites! It was very exciting. Nothing like this has happened to me before. The crowd and I loved the panel, and the cast could not have been more lovely answering their fans’ insightful questions. Another fun highlight of the panel was the spoof trailers of the character’s lives and situations. It had the audience laughing with tears. Here’s the Top 5 Orphan Black SDCC moments.

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Together with our crew united, Lolita’s at the Park was once again had for dinner and off to the Blind Burro where we had a couple of drinks and laughs.

Later, I went to the Adam Savage party at Fluxx nightclub to hang with my social media friends. The decor of the club was very science fiction with film props of R2-D2, C3PO, the Rancor monster, Indiana Jones, Han Solo frozen in carbonite, and screens full of scifi film clips. The music was very EDM. But I had a great time. I got to show off my talented skills on the dance floor and take pictures in a photo booth. Then like Cinderella, I booked for home. I’m not 21 anymore. Apparently DeadMau5 made an appearance. So that was fun.

Partying with fellow SDCC attendees
Partying with fellow SDCC attendees
Saturday:

The most popular of days, Saturday saw many attendees. It was jam-packed crowded, especially at the exhibit hall. I once again tried to obtain my exclusive figurine but was unsuccessful. Moving on, I atteneded the Avatar  the Last Airbender Legend and Legacy panel. For over six years, Avatar Legacy has been hosting panels celebrating the fans’ love and loyalty. Panelists included voice actors Dante Basco (Hook’s Rufio), Jack DeSena, and Darcy Rose Byrnes.

My next event was a meet and greet with the Legend of Korra creators Mike Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko. I met these gentlemen last year but this was still exciting! They signed my Avatar Generations print and took a photo which was a lot of fun. The high quality poster given at this signing was a definite highlight here.

Meeting the Legend of Korra creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike Dimartino. Again!
Meeting the Legend of Korra creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike Dimartino. Again!
Later in the evening, I attended DJI’s Saturday Night Mega  Party featuring DJ Earworm. The party was on a barge out on the marina. They had drones, free drinks, and good music. Next I attended the ever popular Masquerade Ball presented by HBO! Free food was available and being able to see cosplayers with their intricate costumes was a delight. The final event of my night was going to the NERD HQ party. Zachary Levi was there partying up with the fans. A fun time was definitely had here.

Actor Zachary Levi directing my bro to put away his device.
Actor Zachary Levi directing my bro to put away his device.
Sunday was the final day of Comic-Con where I decided to spend a few hours and cut the day short (having only 2.5 hours of sleep). I didn’t get my exclusive but at least I tried.

Analysis

Ballroom 20 and Hall H are the largest rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. Over the years, industries have put forth their films and TV for promotion purposes and allow fans to interact with favorite stars and creators. However, it was interesting to see what the trends were like this year. Ballroom 20 was hardly difficult to get into (with few exceptions). Hall H was relativley easy to get into on Thursday (but still extremely difficult on Friday and Saturday). With so much going on in and outside the convention center, industries are having a difficult time marketing to the general population. That is to say that social and on-line media are diversifying audiences. I rarely watch anything on broadcast network anymore and I might see a movie every four months. With netflix, hulu, and youtube just to name a few, everyone can find something of their interest (regardless of popularity). So what does this mean for the future in celebrating the popular arts? San Diego Comi-Con might mean just celebrating diversity within the arts. From gamers, cosplayers, bronies, comic book readers, tv/film fans, steampunk afficianados, the list goes on. It’ll be exciting to see how the media and entertainment industries address how the audience itself is now taking control of preferential content. This year, we saw movie studios like Marvel, Paramount, and Sony not in attendance. This is an example of a trend worth watching for years to come.

Conclusion

Overall I had a great time at San Diego Comic-Con 2015! The highlights were meeting and talking with fellow fans in lines, connecting with friends and making new ones.  SDCC has always been a place where  people can come together and feel safe. In a stressful and work-driven society, it’s nice to take a few days to conect with others and learn about what they geek out over. I can’t wait for SDCC 2016! Mission accomplished!

With Patrick and Spongebob Squarepants!
With Patrick and Spongebob Squarepants!
Post SDCC Swag!
                 Post SDCC Swag!

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