Published on August 7th, 2014 | by Danielle Young0
The Feedback Society VS. San Diego Comic-Con 2014!
Now that she’s had time to recover and get her wits about her, here’s Danielle Young’s write up on Comic Con 2014 in San Diego!
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend San Diego Comic Con 2014 — my first Comic Con visit. Not only did this give me an opportunity to cross this momentous occasion off of my bucket list, but it was a fantastic excuse to visit California for the first time. In an attempt to optimize the opportunity, I decided to make this con the first in which I would attempt to cosplay as well. I have attended Calgary Expo for the past two years and attended the Saskatoon Entertainment Expo last year, so although this environment was familiar, I’ve never seen anything like this. Restaurants and city transit renting out every available inch of their establishment as advertising space for upcoming shows, businesses welcoming con-goers to the city in their windows, and forty foot tall promotional posters on the sides of buildings. It was madness!
My boyfriend James and I bought tickets for every single night, because, why not? Wednesday night, or ‘preview night’ was dedicated to Warner Brothers showcasing their upcoming TV show roster, including The Flash, iZombie and Constantine. We skipped out on that in favour of exploring the city and resting up for the next day, however we did visit the Convention Centre to pick up our badges and scope the landscape to prepare for the days to come. There were several tables handing out lanyards and promotional backpacks to carry around your con swag; I drew the short straw and ended up carrying around a Vampire Diaries bag all weekend. There were thousands of people lining up and wandering around the Convention Centre and ‘Gaslamp Quarter’ picking up badges, scoping out the grounds, and showing off their costumes.
On Thursday morning I got up bright and early to learn how to put in contact lenses for the first time for the yellow eyes of my Mystique costume. It was traumatizing. Applying the blue body paint, makeup, and wig — which I assumed would be the hardest part — was a breeze by comparison. Evidently, my pain was well endured, because throughout the day I had dozens of people asking for photos of me. Although I was convinced that I was going to sweat the whole thing off before we even got into the building, everything stayed in place until the end of the day.
Our first day was spent simply absorbing our surroundings and getting comfortable with the layout and the energy of the place. I always say that ‘nerd herd’ aura is one of the most powerful energies in the world. Get enough people with the same passions in a room together and magical things will happen. It was a strange experience, walking around a place surrounded by thousands and thousands of strangers, but everyone looks at you in costume and knows who you are. Nobody is looking at your like you’re strange, instead they are admiring you for your interests and your efforts. It is how the world should be all the time. I felt like a celebrity, and I only had one person on the bus ask me what planet I was from. Speaking of celebrities, I totally got a photo with Judah Friedlander, and I saw the side of Kiefer Sutherland and Guillermo Del Toro’s heads. So, there’s that.
On Friday, we decided to take a chance and check out some of the panels happening outside of the Convention Centre. We lined up for the Adult Swim panel room in hopes that we would be able to get in to the panel for Rick and Morty, but unfortunately, we sat outside for nearly two hours and did not get into the building until the next panel had begun. We were fortunate enough to get a seat in time to see the panel for Mike Tyson Mysteries, which featured the eccentric Tyson and comedian extraordinaire Jim Rash, all moderated by the great Rob Corrdry. After Mike Tyson left the entire room in stitches (whether intentionally or otherwise), he was followed by the cast and creators of Robot Chicken, including Seth Green and Breckin Meyer. They aired the entirety of their new special about the apparently popular character, ‘Bitch Pudding,’ and talked to the crowd for awhile about what is in the works and what celebrities they have worked with. The following two panels were ones that I had my sights set on since reading the programming schedules weeks before; Bob’s Burgers and Archer.
To start, H. Jon Benjamin is exactly what you would expect him to be. He is Sterling Archer, but dressed like Bob Belcher. He is inappropriate, sharp-tongued, and absolutely hilarious. Kristen Schaal was as bubbly as her voice. The panel paid attention back to the audience members asking questions instead of focusing on themselves, like the gentleman who was gently coerced into playing the Bob’s Burgers theme on the ukulele that he brought with him. The cast fielded questions that were lackluster and just plain silly, but managed to give the audience a funny and insightful look into their world and what is to come. The voice actors for both Tina and Linda were picked on a bit in order to get them to speak in front of everyone. They handed out Tina masks to everyone in the room, which was one of the funniest things that I brought home from the weekend.
Archer opened up their panel by showing us the entire first episode of their upcoming sixth season. Though they were once again presented with a series of undesirable questions, the hilarious cast (including Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash, Judy Greer, and Kenny Yates) kept the audience laughing. Unfortunately, by the time they were nearly halfway through their hour both myself and my boyfriend were succumbing to the heat from our earlier wait. After a trip home to shower and nap, we headed back downtown to explore some of the outside attractions — namely the Adult Swim Funhouse. The funhouse was an inflatable castle full of some of the most frightening and bizarre images that you have ever seen in person. There was a grown man laying in a crib, diaper and all, before you entered into a hallway of mirrors, only to escape by slide, karaoke cage, or animal butthole. Luckily, we got the slide — and a free Rick and Morty shirt.
Saturday was the most intense day of the weekend by a landslide. Thousands upon thousands of bodies were bumping into each other, roaming about between panels and shopping. Not to mention that Saturday was the day that the elusive ‘Hall H’ was being filled with such drool worthy talent as the cast of the FREAKING AVENGERS! Now, you may think we’re crazy for missing out on the chance to see these beacons of nerdlight in the flesh, but I learned a few cons ago that waiting in line for hours (12+ hours at SDCC) to watch something on a large screen is not always worth your time. There is art to be seen and plenty of exciting people to catch a glimpse of, which is what we did instead. On a chance stroll by the Warner Brothers booth, I caught site of Cate Blanchett on the screen high above my head. In a split second epiphany, I realized that not only was she sitting about 30 feet away from me, but so were Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lily, Andy Serkis, and other members of The Hobbit cast.
Cue: adolescent screech.
Just when we thought that the day could not get any better, we casually walked by a booth with a few prints laying on it, like the cast of Futurama, and the “that is a tasty burger” scene from Pulp Fiction. Then I hear from behind me, “This guy looks like Phil Lamar.” It was Lamar, and he chatted with us for a good 10 to 15 minutes, a generally fantastic man.
Towards the end of the day, we were simply exhausted from walking for nearly eight hours, so we headed down the street only to find ‘Nerd HQ.’ It’s a hideaway, packed with app showcases, games, and a small stage. We discovered that Ninja Sex Party was playing there in just a few hours.
Seriously, this day just couldn’t get any cooler.
Luckily for us the final day of Comic Con was a much slower pace. After four days of doing little else but walking and straining your eyes in a million different places at once, we needed to unwind. We spent the day strolling through Artists Alley and spending the rest of our money on prints from some of the gracious and incredibly talented artists selling their wares.
All in all, this was a life changing experience for me in many ways. I set out on a journey that I never thought I would. I got my blue face on the Entertainment Tonight website, IGN’s Instagram page, and a few other media outlets. I talked to complete strangers, saw some incredibly famous people out in the real world, and explored a place that I have never been.
And now, it’s back to the real world — until the next con.