Day 1 – Wednesday July 17th (The Flight)
After waiting at my gate for a few minutes, I could tell something was going to be different about this flight. I was surrounded by a lot of different people that were freely allowing their geek flag to fly. I saw a variety of hats, shirts, bags, and shoes that were plastered with movie, comic, or video game properties. My flight was going to get me to San Diego a few hours before preview night started. Preview night is (explain preview night). Our flight was overbooked, as is often the case, and when the airport staff made an announcement saying this, it was no surprise that the masses of SDCC fans who were hoping to attend preview night did not budge.
This feeling continued when we boarded the plan. I heard one conversation in first class about Walt Simonson and another about GLaDOS and when I got to the regular seating, I hear even more conversation about Marvel movies in general, what autographs were most sought after and which “off-site” SDCC events people were looking forward to attending. I was finally amongst my people. Normally, I am not much of a “talker” on plane rides, but the woman I was sitting next to changed that on this flight.
Her name was Janna and she is a massage therapist from Dallas. After I sat down, she asked if I was going to “the con.” When I told her I was and that it was my first time, we talked for about an hour about SDCC and geekdom in general. She told me she has been attending cons for the past ten years and this is going to be her 5th time attending SDCC.
It was a really cool conversation and laid out the first seeds of just how huge this was actually going to be. I think she told me a few times, “it is alright to be overwhelmed.” Although I believed her and everything, I did not know quite how true those words were going to right true before the day ended.
Day 1 – Wednesday July 17th (The hotel and Preview night)
Upon landing, I got my bags and headed to the hotel to meet up my friend Brian MacDonald who works up at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He spearheads their amazing Geek Week (https://geekweek.rutgers.edu/) and does some really awesome stuff up there for their students. This past year, they even had the Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick as their keynote speaker. Check out their site to get a sense of the amazing things happening up in New Jersey. Once I got settled in our room and met his brother and soon to be sister in law, Brian took me to the convention center for registration and preview night.
One of the coolest moments of my entire life was seeing my nametag with one amazing word written below it. PROFESSIONAL. Well mom, I finally made it…I am a professional geek and I have the nametag to prove it.
After that, we headed to the exhibit hall. With it being preview night, I walked in knowing that there were not going to be too many people with passes that could get them into the exhibit hall that night.
So, I was wrong. The first thing that struck me was the size of the exhibit hall. There were rows marked off by the hundred (100, 200, 300, etc.) going all the way to five thousand. 5-0-0-0. Sheesh there was a ton of stuff there. I was legitimately overwhelmed (and I mean that in the best possible way). I wanted to split myself into a thousand different people so I could go try everything. I also wished each of those versions of me were rich so I could go buy everything. Seeing booths of products/companies I had only ever seen online was amazing. Seeing the intricate cosplay on display was breathtaking. It was just…amazing. I spent about 3 hours walking around looking at stuff. I was experiencing such sensory overload that I do not think I took a single picture for the first hour or two. The exhibit hall was pretty spectacular.
From there, I headed up to the preview screenings (in Ballroom 20, the second largest room after the legendary Hall H) and caught the last half of Almost Human and the first ¾ of The 100. Almost Human was pretty awesome. A good mix of action and humor while still be extremely intriguing regarding where the story will go. It is not too much of an original story (honest cop in the future who doesn’t trust machines), but it is a very interesting take on this story. I will definitely be watching this in the fall. Check out IGN for a full review of the premiere (http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/07/18/almost-human-premiere-review-comic-con-2013).
That was followed up by a few short trailers for new shows and then the premiere of The 100. This was a show that is very much a CW show. If I end up watching this, it will be one of those “guilty pleasure” shows. It wasn’t good. There were a few parts that you could tell were not meant to be funny, but the whole Ballroom was laughing at together. It was still fun and a little interesting. We will see on this one I guess. Check out IGN for a full review of the premiere (http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/07/18/the-100-premiere-review-comic-con-2013).
After that, I was pretty much exhausted, so I headed back to the hotel and met up with my roommates. Who knew that spending five hours being a professional geek would be so exhausting?