Life at Comic Con is a BUBBLE. You’re so focused on getting everything on your schedule done that you have no idea what’s going on in the world other than the status of the Hall H and Ballroom 20 lines and whether or not Hayley Atwell had posted a new dubsmash. It’s a nice place to be. The BEST place, really. Our last day of Comic Con was a bit of an oddity as there were exactly zero panels we were DESPERATE to get into (many apologies to our Supernatural recapper Dawn, whom we surely let down). Thus, we allowed ourselves the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30 (which in Comic-Con time is practically noon) and set out with no real PLAN for the day. Having no set plan or schedule is a double-edged sword, especially for a Type-A Monica like me. After 4 days of schedules regimented down to the minute, it was refreshing to just be able to wander and take things as they came. On the other hand, wandering aimlessly led to us making several rookie Comic-Con mistakes. It had to happen eventually, right?
Rookie Mistake #1: Planning on hitting the offsites before the Exhibit Hall. With no panels, we decided to use Sunday to visit all of the offsite events we had been ignoring all weekend. We made a stop by the Petco Interactive Zone on our way to the convention center because we had been walking past the giant Snoopy house (promoting the new Peanuts movie) all week and had been dying to go in. By 9:30 AM, the line to go through the house wound its way around the park several times and it crept along at a snail’s pace. We left. No amount of free Charlie Brown trucker hats or snuggles from rescue beagles was enough for us to wait several hours to go down a slide. This is Comic Con, not Six Flags, y’all.
We bypassed the convention center in favor of heading towards the FX Arena and the Adult Swim carnival. Both were closed until 11. Lame. We opted to walk along the marina on the way to Nerd HQ, which we knew for certain would be open. It was a lovely walk and was decidedly less crowded than the main drag in the Gaslamp. Plus we got to see all the boats and discuss what fandom related name we would give to our yacht when this website goes public and we become bajillionaires. (It could happen.) For future reference, my yacht will be called the Hello, Sweetie.
So why was this a mistake? We assumed that we’d be able to wander the exhibit floor pretty easily towards the end of the day, based on past experience at New York Comic Con, where we were able to zip through the floor finding last-minute deals in the dwindling hours of Sunday. False. Sunday afternoon was the most packed we EVER saw the exhibit floor as swag-hungry con-goers devoured as much of the remaining stock as possible. After being able to wander the floor pretty easily Saturday morning, the sardines-like atmosphere Sunday afternoon was a bit of a shock. Next year, we’ll know better. If our Sunday schedule is empty, we do the exhibit hall first and then hit offsites when they open later in the day. Ah, well. It’s a blessing in disguise. WE DIDN’T NEED TO BUY MORE THINGS ANYWAY. (Though we did miss out on a print we had been eyeing the day before because it sold out. Moral of the story: buy something when you see it. Don’t count on it being there on the last day.)
Rookie Mistake #2: Leaving NerdHQ while a panel was happening
Thanks to our super packed panel schedule, Sunday was the first day that we were able to make it to the Zachary Levi-founded Nerd Haven known as NerdHQ. What a haven it was! There were couches and there were charging stations. There was actual FOOD for sale as opposed to just hot dogs and nachos (thank you for your cafe, New Children’s Museum) and there were a handful of food trucks outside. And much to our delight, there were photo booths galore.
Much to the delight of the cute guy running the photo booth, my green “Sinceriously” shirt blended in with the green screen, rendering the top half of my body invisible. Well…it’s either that or the Hall H sand fleas gave me superpowers. I’ll keep you posted.
The tickets for Nerd HQ’s “Conversations for a Cause” literally sold out in seconds. Sage and I tried for no less than six panels when they went on sale…some were “sold out” immediately, some we managed to get “tickets” in our cart only to find they were no longer available when we went to fill in our information. It was a disaster and we were crushed that we weren’t able to include this in our SDCC experience. We hung around the entry line for the Conversation with SDCC 2015 MVPs Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Clark Gregg, and Chloe Bennet in hopes that people wouldn’t show (HA!) or that they would release some last-minute standing room tickets. Nope. DENIED. After leaving our mark on the giant blackboard, we pondered what to do next. Would Hayley and Company DO a photo-op after? Surely not, we thought. We knew that Nathan Fillion was doing a panel later that afternoon, and as he had spent at least an hour doing photos the day before, we decided that we would throw our hope for a picture behind him. Thus, we left NerdHQ and headed off to check out the Nerdist Conival over at Petco.
The walk from the New Children’s Museum to Petco was not a short one. Along the way, we sadly observed that some of the offsite installations were already in the process of being taken down. (The Comedy Central Mini-Golf, which we had wanted to do, was one of them, much to our dismay.) One thing NOT taken down? The terrifying Colonel Sanders statues, which continue to haunt my dreams.
The Conival was set up all around one of the mezzanines of Petco Park (the baseball nerd in me was delighted to get a peek at this GORGEOUS ballpark). There was swag (“I don’t know what that is, but it’s free, so I want it.”). We got to color our own buttons at the Smart Girls booth because our Queen Amy Poehler knows what’s what. We were in line for yet ANOTHER photo booth when both of our phones went off with an alert from NerdHQ. We looked down in horror…the Marvel Crew was doing a photo-op. It took all of 30 seconds for us to decide that we had to double-back to the museum and we had to do it FAST. Did I mention before it was not a short walk? IT WAS NOT A SHORT WALK. It should also be noted that Sunday was the hottest day of the weekend. Just shy of ten minutes after the alert went out (honestly, the time we made was miraculous), we arrived back at the museum, drenched in sweat and calves burning. The line for the photo-op was capped. NO HAYLEY FOR YOU, IDIOTS WHO LEFT.