Comic-Con International 2010

Cardboard Facehugger Masks

I was in San Diego from 21 – 25 July for Comic-Con International 2010. I had some free time during the con to go off and do my own thing. Here are my personal highlights:

  • July 21: Preview Night. Got to roam the Exhibit Hall before it opened to both those who paid for Preview Night and the rest of the attendees who would start arriving on Thursday. This gave me the opportunity to not only grab some swag, but learn the layout of the hall, which would come in handy throughout the week.
  • July 22: Checked out the Threadless Everywhere Tour. Got my Threadless Everywhere Tour badge on Gowalla and was given a free Gowallazilla Threadless shirt. I also got a bit of swag there.
  • July 22: Dragon Age II sneak peek. I was first in line for the first player look at the game. According to the BioWare blog, I was the 11th person in the world who had seen it outside of EA and BioWare, which is kind of cool.
  • July 22: Wesboro Baptist Church counter protesters.
  • July 22: Massive group of Doctor Who cosplayers gathered all in one spot. Pictures on my Flickr.
  • July 22: Whilst walking through the Sails Pavilion, saw Virginia Hey (AKA, Farscape‘s Zhaan)
  • July 23: Geek Girls and Friends Tweet-Up. I met a bunch of people and friends, and generally had a great evening.I won some prizes during a trivia competition for answering who the protagonist of the Metroid games is, and for correctly naming the BBC television show that John Barrowman (AKA Doctor Who/Torchwood‘s Captain Jack Harkness) is hosting. I felt doubly chuffed that no one shouted out the answer to the second question except for me.
  • July 24: Ate breakfast Syfy Channel’s Café Diem. Saw Aaron Douglas (AKA, Battlestar Galactica‘s Chief Galen Tyrol).
  • July 24: Acquired the final piece of friends-requested swag. Honestly, trying to get swag that some of my friends asked for was one of the more fun bits of Comic-Con.
  • I quite enjoyed looking at how all the various media properties marketed their IP, whether it was fully wrapping buildings with brand images, to large balloons tethered to staff handing out swag, to giving out giant convention bags, to Foursquare check-ins, and more, it was all very interesting to me.

Booth highlights:

  • Alien Anthology booth – This booth had four ‘cryogenic stasis pods’ in which attendees could lie down in to watch a promotional trailer for the new Alien Anthology on Blu-Ray. After watching the trailer, you received an Alien shirt. They were also giving away paper Alien facehugger masks.
  • AMC’s The Walking Dead booth – It was an incredible booth that was built to look like a house. You queued up to have a picture of your face captured by a television (computer web cam) so you could get a personalized video that shows you zombie-fied in a Walking Dead clip.

Lowlights:

  • The crowds. I expected it to be crowded, so I wasn’t surprised. Knowing what to expect doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck. Crowds hindered me from almost everything: getting from place to place in a normal amount of time, going to the bathroom, finding a place to sit so I could rest my feet, getting swag, buying merchandise, etc.
  • The queues. Ditto the first point. One of the most frustrating experiences was being required to get into a queue, to get a ticket so that I could get into a queue to purchase a toy, and then upon reaching the booth to queue with my ticket, finding that no one freaking checked my ticket anyway! So me queuing to get the ticket so I could queue was utterly pointless! What comedy. Thanks a lot, Hasbro! (BTW KC, I hope you appreciate your Marvel Super Hero Squad figures, because this is what I had to go through to get it! ;-)) Secondly, the thought of queuing for long periods of time discouraged me from attempting to attend panels I was interested in (Caprica/Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead)
  • Time spent on feet. Likewise, I knew this would suck. Doesn’t mean I can’t list it as a lowlight.
  • July 22: Being stuck on a shuttle bus whilst some extremely loud homophobic guys went on about “fags” and “faggots” and how certain people or fandoms were “faggy” and so on. They also talked about people or things being “raped” because those people or things were defeated by someone or something else that was more powerful. They weren’t actually talking about rape, but rather how something like being defeated (at a game, for instance) is exactly like being violently sexually assaulted and forced into sex against your will and without your consent. They also made sexist jokes about women, and openly and loudly mocked other passengers for getting excited about fandom things said passengers saw outside the window. I wish I had said something to them, but I was intimidated and a little afraid for my safety, considering all the violent and homophobic language they were using and the fact that they had no qualms about disrupting other passengers. I couldn’t trust that other passengers would back me up if I said anything, and I really dislike drawing public attention to myself in situations like this, so I stayed silent. I felt really bad afterwards about not doing anything, but I just felt trapped and powerless there.

I took quite a few pictures, and created a photoset to hold them all. You can view those pictures here or in this slideshow:

I had a generally good Comic-Con experience, and a fun time working there, too. I’m not sure if I would go to Comic-Con if I had to spend my own money, despite my childhood dream to attend. It’s a completely different convention to the Comic-Con I wanted to go to when I was a kid, and it will never return to what it was.

7 comments

  1. Jen · July 28, 2010

    Bwahaha! Big thumbs up on the early Dragon Age II peek and getting to see Virginia Hey. I’d be jealous save for the fact that I’m too excited about PAX coming up. ;)

    And I hope I don’t have to deal with anyone like those bus jerks on my trip… was it at least a short bus ride?

  2. TamarBatAvraham · July 28, 2010

    Thanks for standing in a ridiculous line to stand in another ridiculous line to get ridiculous toys for me! ^_^ I’m so excited! Do I need to email you my street address? Not sure if you have the current one. Also let me know how much I owe you and your preferred payback method.

    EEE! Morning Doom FTW!

    Sorry about the asshats on the shuttle. You have a much better sense of self preservation than I do, because I don’t think I could have kept my mouth shut at that point. Doing so was definitely the WISER decision, though. You never know with people like that.

  3. Brinstar · July 28, 2010

    @ Jen: Yeah, being able to see those stars (even if I didn’t bother for autographs and whatnot) was cool! I also apparently saw the back of Zachary Quinto’s head, as he was sitting at a nearby table when my coworkers and I were having a chat at the hotel bar!

    Yeah, the bus ride was relatively short, but felt much longer, as I was on the edge of the seat waiting for the next foul thing they would say. :-(

    @ TamarBatAvraham: You’re welcome. :-) I actually had fun, in a perverse way, trying to get the figure. I sent you an email!

  4. Phnzdvn · July 28, 2010

    Wow! Sounds like you had a great time at Comic-Con, for the most part. Too bad about the Caprica panel, but I guess avoiding the long queues are understandable :-P.

    As for the bus situation, I know the feeling. I’ve been in similar situations. Hopefully the next con you go to won’t have such people. I just hope it didn’t spoil your experience. :-)

  5. Stuart Gannon444 · July 28, 2010

    Nice to see you had a good experience. As for the shuttle bus thing, I’ve had similar experiences with loud people on trains/buses and I usually don’t say anything (and the one time I did, it was to back up another person who spoke up) because I don’t like drawing public attention in situations like that and well… yeah I know how you feel in those type of situations. Still I’m glad you had a relatively good experience, wish I could have gone but it’s an expensive ride from Scotland to San Diego :(

  6. Brinstar · July 28, 2010

    @ Phnzdvn: Nah, that incident certainly didn’t spoil my Comic-Con experience. It just sucked for a little while.

    BTW I saw on Syfy.com that they had highlights from the Caprica panel, if you wanted to see it. I believe it’s at syfy.com/caprica somewhere.

    @ Stuart444: I suppose if you make something like it a priority in your lifetime, you have a good chance of going. But I guess like with anything, you should be aware of what you’re getting into. If I went to Comic-Con not expecting how crowded and huge it would be, I think my experience would be less fun.

  7. Amanda · July 28, 2010

    You really shouldn’t feel bad about the bus incident – it’s one of those times that everyone would like to think they’d do something, but very few would. I’m sorry that your trip was affected by that kind of behaviour though…

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