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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

San Diego Comic Con 2012

Last week I went to the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and had a blast. The last time I went was back in 2010, which I blogged about here. I took quite a few photos, but only post-processed a fraction of them. I may choose to post-process more of them at a later date. You can view the full album here.

I attended SDCC with a 4-day pass along with preview night. So the dates for this convention were July 11-15, 2012. We stayed at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina near the airport, and took the shuttle bus to the San Diego Convention Center.

This is going to be a big post. I have several sections to this blog with photos.
  • General Pictures
  • Statues and Toys
  • Celebrities
  • Costumes
  • Panels
  • Some Thoughts





General Pictures
Here I am all packed for my road trip from Los Angeles to San Diego on Wednesday for Preview night. The Chopper plush and hat I bought at Anime Expo a few weeks ago for my sister.


Some girls that couldn't get tickets into the con outside the convention center.


The local Ralph's nearby was all decorated for SDCC fans. All the local restaurants and stores catered to the comic book fans-- it made it seem like a huge geek festival all five days!


Some snacks we bought at Ralph's.


The next three photos are from the line on Friday to get into Hall H. I'd say roughly 10,000 people lined up for a room that could only fit 6,500. The line went all the way to the wharf and wrapped a few times there! We got there at 8:30am, and still couldn't get in!






The Jesus freaks as I call them, were also there outside preaching all day and night.








A view of the Gaslamp district from the convention center.





Statues and Toys
Here are the pictures I took of some of the sculptures and statues on the main exhibit floor.








A customized Walking Dead (WD) vehicle for getting through zombie crowds. There were quite a few booths just for WD. They had a huge presence at SDCC!







Celebrities
I spotted quite a few celebrities in the exhibit hall. I wasn't able to produce great pictures of some of them due to the crowds and how quickly they were moving with security. Here are the ones that came out okay.

Lucy Liu looks much better in person than on TV or the big screen.


Elijah Wood


Not sure who she is. Yvonne Strahovski


Orlando Jones


Star Trek TNG guys


Not sure who she is. Rachel Taylor


Vanessa Williams


Terry O'Quinn


David Hasselhoff (aka Knight Rider)


Hercules


Sarah Underwood


Anthony Bourdain


Andy Serkis, aka Gollum.


Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor from Game of Thrones.



Costumes
There were a lot of diverse costumes this year, just like in 2010. I did notice a trend with a lot of girls dressed as Loki from Thor, and a few guys dressed as female characters such as the Super Mario princesses and one slave Leia from Star Wars. Of course it was all in good fun.






































Panels
I wasn't able to attend the panels I wanted to on Friday due to the huge lines. But one of the nice things is that to get into some of the other panels, you end up going early and sitting through other panels-- which lets you discover other interesting things you may not have known about.

Avengers vs X-Men panel


The Following panel


Person of Interest panel


Director Jon Favreau introducing the panel for Revolution.


Revolution panel.


Mythbusters panel was easily my favorite. I love the show, the cast, and the content. Very entertaining and great fans in the crowd to make it even better.

John Landis as moderator.


Tory Belleci


Kari Byron


Jamie Hyneman


Grant Imahara


Adam Savage


Some Thoughts
SDCC has evolved from being about comics to being about entertainment-- the movies and TV shows. The actual comics sections is about a fourth of the main exhibit hall. This has been happening for years as more mainstream content makes its way through. It's a good thing and bad thing.

The good thing is that big money is making its way in. There's great free schwag and big stars are appearing there to promote their movies and/or TV shows. SDCC also transforms downtown San Diego into a big nerd party.

The bad thing is that it's not easy to get tickets, hotel, and the lines are very very long. I often joke that it's more of a line-con than a comic-con. I stood in line for one hour just to get SDCC t-shirts! It would make way more sense to have these available to order online before or after the con. There is a lot more mainstream demand to get into this. I'm sure that there are people in the thousands, if not tens of thousands that are upset that they couldn't get tickets.

That all said, Comic Con has outgrown the convention center there. It needs a bigger venue. It's really sad how only the super fans that sleep overnight in line are the ones that can get into Hall H or Ballroom 20, the two biggest rooms at the convention center. Also, scheduling is a big factor. On Friday I wanted to see Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Sony Pictures-- which were all scheduled back to back. You probably needed to wait at least six hours in line to be one of the last set of people to fill Hall H. SIX HOURS. It shouldn't be like that. The popular panels should be spread out across more days or more rooms, so people have to choose one or the other. It just seemed to me that more people were waiting outside to get into Hall H than it could hold.

As for deals on comic books and TPBs, it's gotten better. What I didn't like about shopping on the floor two years ago was that the deals I found weren't all that great. Same with Anime Expo. Unless what you were buying was a exclusive item or hard to find, it's just better to buy it online. This year the deals on the last day were spectacular. After my initial research, they were much better than what's offered anywhere.



I only criticize because I love. I want Comic Con to get better and make the attendees happy. I do plan to make this a regular thing every year with my sisters. It really is fun, but I think I'll avoid some of the bigger panels unless they schedule things really well. Until next year!