Monday, July 29, 2013

San Diego Comic Con By @thenerdygirlie

San Diego Comic Con
By: The Nerdy Girlie aka Megan Gotch

Nerdsville USA converged on San Diego, California this past week.  San Diego Comic Con was bigger than ever.  Nerds packed the exhibition hall, panel rooms, and the Gaslamp District over the course of the con. 

Everything Comic Con touches sells out at an alarming rate. This year badges, hotels and even parking passes went faster than ever have before.  The actual Con was no different – busier than ever.

Preview night was the busiest I have seen the in my five years in attendance.  You could barely move in the exhibition hall.  It was difficult to find where a line ended or began.  My sole purpose that night was to purchase the exclusive BBCA Doctor Who and Sherlock tees.  I made it to the booth rather quickly, but the line had been capped, I was told to come back in fifteen to twenty minutes.  Upon my return, the line was still capped and there was even a pre-line that was forming.  After spending most of my night in this pre-line, I was still unable to purchase my items, and ended up leaving Preview Night empty handed.

On Preview night I also attended my very first Comic Con party ever!  My friends over at the SDCC Unofficial Blog threw a party at Henry's Pub.  When I arrived the place was packed and there was even a line to get in!  It was so great to finally meet the faces behind all Twitter avatars!  I had an amazing time, chatted with some great nerds, and left with some awesome swag.

I then bounced over to Nerdioke hosted by The Nerdy Girls.  I arrived to a fellow nerd girl belting her heart out and every seat taken!  It is so great to see nerds gathering and having a good time together. We weren't able to stay long due to obligations to my own SherlockeDCC party, but I was so glad to drop by and support the Girls.

After dark the Gaslamp of San Diego is filled to the brim with excited fan boys and girls!  Swag is getting thrown at you from all different directions.  Lights and sounds bombard your senses. Every building is covered with something comic/popular arts related.  So even if you don't have a San Diego Comic Con badge, there are still so many things for you to participate in and still get into the Comic Con spirit.

The first official day of Comic Con began bright and early to line up for the first ever SDCC Sherlock panel.  We arrived at five in the morning, but there were plenty of nerds already camping out from the previous evening. The line for Ballroom 20, exhibition floor, and everything else made up one big LONG line, but the line for H Hall was pretty slim.  That was the only time during the week this would happen.  You don't really have to line up that early to get into a panel -- unless you want close seats.  On Saturday, I did Ballroom 20 again, lining up at nine in the morning and still was able to get into the first panel of the day.  BUT word to the wise, H Hall is a beast and to get into that room, you MAY want to play the camp out game.  The Con staff as usual were great at keeping the lines contained, moving and keeping people from cutting.  Throughout the entire con I never heard there was an issue with cutting.  You just had to line up EARLY. 

After sitting all day in a room full of nerds, listening to stuff you came there for, and stuff you didn't, you feel a sense of community.  That stuff you didn't care about before, becomes number one on your list of things to do as soon as you get over your Con coma.  You make new friends and begin building relationships that will grow with each Comic Con.

This year I was excited to be asked to help host the SherlcokeDCC fan party.  What started out as small idea, as a Sherlock fan meet up, grew in to an amazing event.  The party sold out, had people waiting in a huge line to get in,  and had three very special guests grace us with their presence.  Steven Moffat, wife Sue Vertue and Mark Gatiss all showed up to our fan party!  Everyone was ecstatic and it made the event even more of a success. 

That same night was the Nerd HQ fan party.  Nerd HQ is an offsite event.  It was held at Petco Park this year.  The event is run by The Nerd Machine's Zachary Levi with all proceeds donated to Operation Smile.  Throughout the Con they hold Conversations for a Cause -- small intimate panels of only 250 people.  The fans get an hour of Q&A with their favorite celebrities.  This year some of the many panels included:  Doctor Who, Sherlock, Supernatural, Orphan Black and one featuring Zachary Levi himself.  The Nerd HQ fan party is held every Thursday of Comic Con and it is a place for all the nerds and nerdettes to dance the night away.  Nerd HQ also features tons of video games and a photo booth.  Smiles For Smiles gives you a chance to get your picture taken with one of the many celebrities that visit Nerd HQ.

The rest of my con experience was quite mild compared to that first massive day.  Though I had to wait in my fair share of lines, nothing can compare to the beast that is the H Hall line.  Saturday night we wanted to camp out for Doctor Who, but came to find out that some people began the line for that panel (which started Sunday at noon) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday!  The line had at least a thousand people in it by the time we got there at midnight.  So we decided against spending the night on the concrete and spending the last day of the Con in a seat at the back of H Hall.

Even though I had two good days on the exhibition hall floor, I still left feeling like I didn't see everything .  The hall is massive, with massive amounts of people.  What did help me this year is planning ahead.  I had a list of all the exclusives and swag I wanted in addition to the booth number I could find them at.  I spent all the free time I had on Friday and Sunday trying to get through the list.  Slowly but surely I marked things off.  I found that is faster to venture away from your group to get the items you want.

Planning is key when trying to tackle a Con as big as San Diego's.  Make your lists, take your notes, and just get out there and have fun!

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