By Saturday, we felt like SDCC pros. We were getting into all the panels we were wanting to see. We had scored the exclusive merchandise we had lusted after. We had partied the PERFECT amount to where we didn’t feel like zombies the next day. We were, in a word, killing it. Would Saturday proved to be as charmed of a day as the first two? Read on to find out!
Walking the Exhibit Hall
After walking the now familiar route around the top floor of the convention hall (Me: “Let’s do a lap before we commit to a location”) to settle into the line for the Exhibit Hall, we had one goal in mind: getting to the Legendary Booth for a chance to win a ticket for the Crimson Peak signing (HIDDLES) later that afternoon. The autograph culture at SDCC is much different from the one at NYCC. At NYCC, as long as you have the money and the willingness to stand in line, you can get the autograph you so desperately need. Not all of the talent attending NYCC (especially your A-Listers) does the autograph booths, but if the object of your desire does do them, you can get your autograph for a sum ranging from 20 to upwards of 100 bucks. (This also applies to paid photo-ops, also known as what currently decorates my kitchen walls, also known as that time Stephen Amell caught a bit of Sage’s side boob.) At SDCC, all the autographs are free and the A-list talent DOES participate. The catch? It’s all based on a lottery system. That’s right…some people will line-up in the wee hours of the morning for a chance to DRAW A TICKET to win a chance to get autographs from the Game of Thrones or Arrow casts. I have a hard time comprehending that, to be honest. When we camped out for 21 hours, we at least KNEW we would be guaranteed to be in the presence of Peter Capaldi. I digress.
Once the exhibit hall opened, we made a beeline to the Legendary Booth, taking full advantage of our New York City honed power-walking skills (NOT RUNNING!). Alas, the line to draw a ticket was capped by the time we made it there. Clearly, the universe knows we aren’t ready to be face to face with Tom Hiddleston.
Since the majority of the early morning crowd was occupied with getting exclusives, we took advantage of the lighter traffic flow and walked the exhibit hall from end to end. I highly recommend anyone attending a major con to do this. There are so many unique booths and vendors to discover outside of all the licensed merchandise. The degree of creativity displayed in the hall is astounding, from traditional comic book art to handmade toys to prints inspired by various fandoms. These are the best souvenirs, in my opinion, because despite the “exclusive” merchandise, these are the things that are truly unique to each con. Before I came to SDCC, I had vowed not to buy any fan art due to the fact that my available wall space was rapidly decreasing. On the exhibit floor, however, my attitude was thus: “GIMME ALL THE ART”. I was on the hunt for a good gift for Kelly, who was graciously watching my dog for me. In the course of doing so, naturally things like this happened…
— Head Over Feels (@HeadOverFeels) July 11, 2015
Honestly, as soon as I bought those Rose and Nine prints, I knew I wanted to keep them. I knew deep in my heart I wanted to find something X-Files themed for Kelly anyway. One would think that X-Files art would be easy to find. Nope. Whenever we would ask a particular booth whose style we enjoyed whether or not they had any Mulder and Scully, the reply was always the same: “No, but I should TOTALLY do them!!” Yes. Yes, you should. I expect there to be an abundance of Mulder/Scully art next year people. We did find that Joe Harris, who illustrates the comics for The X-Files, had a booth. He had a limited edition (there were only 100) print of Mulder and Scully for sale. I was unsure about getting it because I knew we had NO time to go back to the apartment that day and I was concerned about toting a print around all day without damaging it. He saw me waffling, grinned, and pulled out another print that he had limited quantities of. I immediately forked over my money without giving it a second thought. Why? Because this one had Mulder, Scully, AND Skinner.
Joe also recognized Kelly’s blog series, “Times Mulder and Scully Should Have Made Out This Week” (“It’s so clever!”) and wrote her a personal message on the back of the print. Thus, I left the exhibit hall with my wallet lighter but secure in the knowledge that I had scored an amazing gift for my friend. Mission accomplished.
On our way to our brunch destination, we had to pass through the crowds of protestors that had amassed outside of the convention center. Yep. Every day there were radical Christian and Anti-Abortion protestors outside the center with their bright yellow signs and fliers. Perhaps they were taking advantage of the massive crowds or perhaps they really DID think we were all hell-bound for attending Comic Con. I’m not sure which. I’ll leave what Sage oh-so-eloquently said to a person who tried to shove an anti-abortion flier into her hand to your imagination, but just know it was amazing.
Then we ran into what I consider to be one of the most brilliant publicity stunts I’ve seen. Well done, Team Damien. WELL DONE. (They often stood with their signs right next to the legit protestors, these guys were just on their break.)
Brunch with OJ and a side of BAMF
It goes without saying that we were devastated when Sleepy Hollow pulled out of SDCC because of production conflicts. Not only because the show missed out on some much-needed exposure (When someone on the floor saw Sage’s Ichabbie shirt we overheard them say “Is Sleepy Hollow still ON?” #promoteSleepyHollow) but because we had been counting on getting into its press session and getting face-time with our beloved cast. We were delighted when our friend Terena informed us that she was coordinating an intimate offsite brunch event with Mr. and Mrs. BAMF themselves, Orlando Jones and Lyndie Greenwood. Time with two of our favorites, plus delicious brunch food (Crab cakes Benedict!! Chocolate pancakes!!), PLUS legit bottles of champagne for only 8 bucks? SIGN US UP.
I love that even though Orlando is leaving Sleepy Hollow (I can’t talk about it yet, you guys), he’s still the biggest ambassador to the fandom. Some performers THRIVE on interacting with their fans and Orlando is clearly one of them. Orlando didn’t sit down ONCE during the 2 hour event, instead choosing to visit every single table and spend a good amount of time with every attendee. When he arrived, he literally bumped into our waitress, whose hands were full of plates for another table. She was absolutely paralyzed with delight at seeing him and he promptly took the plates out of her hands and personally delivered them to the proper table. That’s the kind of guy he is. When we later teased him about how he worked the room, saying “Dance, monkey, dance,” he BELLY LAUGHED, teasing “I don’t appreciate your choice of animal!” Basically, he’s the best and we’re best friends now.
Lyndie Greenwood arrived a little late because she walked over to the restaurant on her own, rather than taking the car offered to her (she is THAT down-to-earth). She also arrived in a handmade cosplay of an obscure comic character that was SUPER HOT. She had tweeted earlier in the week that she had cleaned Party City out of its stock of mini-skulls, so it was awesome to see the fruits of her labor. We asked her if she was planning to walk the floor after brunch and her response was a giddy “Hell yes!” She squealed with delight when she noticed that my phone case was Abbie and Ichabod (which I had completely forgotten about until the moment we took our picture together) and flailed when I showed her a picture of the Ichabbie prints I had bought at the Sherlock party the night before. “You don’t see NEARLY enough Sleepy Hollow art,” she exclaimed. “Tweet me the name of that artist!” ONE OF US.
It was neither the time nor place to try to get any scoop about what’s to come on Sleepy Hollow (we didn’t want to be THOSE people), so sadly, we have nothing to report on that front. (Hopefully Sleepy will have a big presence at NYCC and we’ll be able to bring you all the scoop then!) We were just grateful to be able to have some time to celebrate our show and to hang out with fellow Sleepyheads. We should do this every year…someone get it on Tom and Nicole’s calendar for next July!
Seth MacFarlane Animation Panel
Let it be known that SDCC is all about sacrifices and hard choices. Saturday afternoon’s schedule was jam-packed with everything from the offsite official Doctor Who meet-up to John Barrowman in a room with a microphone to the EW Women Who Kick Ass Panel and Crimson Peak (HIDDLES) in Hall H. And where were we? Suffering through an HOUR AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES of Seth MacFarlane and company all in the name of getting good seats for Outlander and Hannibal.
And that’s all I have to say about that. However, I will begrudgingly admit that it was pretty impressive when they did a live-read of a few Family Guy scenes.
Our latest obsession is Outlander. It has everything we could ever want or desire in a show. Time travel. SCOTLAND. (When Sage started her binge I told her she had to text me when she got halfway through the theme song aka when the bagpipes kick in. Her text? “SCOTLAND MOTHERFUCKERS!”) An uber-feminist heroine. A ginger leading man whose heart is tender and whose body is carved from marble. (Seriously, Sam Heughan, I can’t even understand your body.) LOTS of sex that focused on female pleasure. Oh yeah…and fantastic acting to boot. What more can ask for from a show?
It turns out that we can ask for a pretty raucous panel. As Sage tweeted, “If you had live readings of 50 Shades and straight whiskey shots on your bingo card for this Outlander panel, circle gets the square.”
- On the panel: Executive Producer Maril Davis, Series Creator Ronald Moore, Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona Balfe (Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser), and Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser, light of my life)
- Sam pulled out Diana’s chair for her because he is a damn gentleman.
- We were immediately treated to a teaser trailer for Season 2, which doesn’t air until NEXT YEAR. (#Droughtlander) Hilariously, the trailer played at double speed which lead them all to sound like chipmunks. “And that’s why we’ll be playing it again at the end of the panel,” Ronald Moore quipped.
- Sam and Caitriona passed notes back and forth during the panel. My kingdom to know what they said. Also God Bless the gif maker who painstakingly giffed Cait’s reaction to one of Sam’s notes.
- After a few moments of relative seriousness, EP Maril Davis exclaimed “I thought we were going to have whiskey on this panel!” Thus a bottle of whiskey and glasses appeared and everyone was poured a shot. Best panel ever.
- The panel was given fan-submitted lines from the Outlander books that they had to read aloud without laughing or they would have to drink. (So I am pretty sure some of them laughed on purpose.) The line Sam had to read? “The thought of grinding your corn does tickle me,” which he delivered with a straight face and perfectly in character. He took a sip of whiskey anyway.
- The panel was then each read a sentence and they had to say if it was from 50 Shades of Gray or Outlander. “Oh that’s DEFINITELY 50 Shades, I didn’t write that,” Diana said, throwing the perfect amount of shade. (Ugh, pun unintended.)
- DVD Scoop! The set (coming out this fall) will feature a new cut of 1×09 (the episode told from Jamie’s perspective and the episode where he notoriously punishes Claire for running away). According to Moore, this version is how he intended the episode to be and now I am SUPER curious as to why it was not the one to see the light of day before now.
- The gag reel was a delight, featuring everything from falling down to a long line of spit stringing between Sam and Cait’s mouths while they were filming the wedding night.
- Sam estimated that he is asked “at least once a day” what’s under the kilt. He’ll be kiltless for the first half of season two, as Claire and Jamie are at the French Court, but we were promised that his trousers were VERY distracting.
- Sam was asked if Jamie would consider going through the stones for Claire…
- If we thought Claire’s skirts and corsets were intense for season one, we ain’t seen nothing yet. Referring to the new “bum roll” for the French costumes, Cait said “My first week on set all the men were like ‘DAMN!'”
- Tweet from Whitney: Everytime Sam speaks @DramaKim leans back and gasps as if touched by an angel. She’s not WRONG. (Sorry not sorry)
- Earlier this year, Sam bested Once Upon a Time‘s Colin O’Donoghue in E!’s “Ultimate Alpha Male” Poll. Kristin Dos Santos, who was moderating, reminded Sam that he needed to make good on a wager where he would have to dress up like Hook. “Why do I have to do this if I WON?” Sam cried. “Because we all win,” Kristin replied. INDEED WE DO.
- Thus, Sam did the rest of the panel as a pirate, which made it very difficult when he was asked serious questions about filming the final two episodes of season one with Tobias Menzies. “It was all about trust, really.”
- A fan asked Sam what he would sacrifice for love…
- When they got the signal that it was time to wrap up, Kristen Dos Santos exclaimed “What’s next? CANCEL IT!” thus unknowingly rubbing salt into the wounds of several thousand Hannibal fans.
From its first appearance at SDCC, the Hannibal Pannibal established itself as a can’t miss event so we knew we had to be there for its final (*sob*) appearance. Hannibal is not the easiest show to connect to. It’s complex and often obtuse, filled with subtle (yet in your face) performances. It’s beautiful to look at. It DEMANDS your attention to detail and extreme focus. But those who connect to it REALLY connect. Fannibals are their own special breed. They are passionately devoted and incredibly intelligent. As Sage bluntly put it before the panel started, “stupid people don’t watch this show”. So we knew we were in for a treat and the Fannibals surpassed our highest expectations.
- On the panel: Creator and Human Ray of Sunshine Bryan Fuller, Executive Producer Martha De Laurentiis, Hugh Dancy (Will Graham), and Richard Armitage (Francis Dolarhyde). The moderator was EW‘s “Doc” Jeff Jensen, who I forever worship because of his Lost recaps.
- When he was introduced, Richard came out toting a Red Dragon beanie baby that he placed by his placard. Later, the dragon sat on his head in the midst of his flower crown.
- We were treated for a trailer for the back half of the season, which follows the storyline from Red Dragon. GUYS. We are in for an effing treat. It was stunning.
- Naturally, Bryan was immediately asked about the status of the show’s search for a new home. Despite all the news about everyone passing on it and the actors being released from their contracts, he remained hopeful that Hannibal would continue in some capacity. “We’re looking at the possibility of a feature,” he said, prompting the room to roar in approval. Hugh affirmed his devotion to the show, saying he and the rest of the cast would show up whenever and where ever he was asked to.
- “There must be NO flower crowns left in the world!” – Hugh delightedly looking out at the audience.
- The panel was promptly gifted with flower crowns from the audience, which Bryan jumped down to retrieve and distribute. “I want the one with the antlers!” he cried.
- Jeff Jensen started to talk about the episode that had aired on Thursday and was met by screams of terror from the audience, the majority of whom had not seen it yet. “You guys have to keep up,” Jensen admonished. “THEY ARE BUSY AT COMIC CON!” cried Fuller, proving he is truly one with his fandom.
- Fuller also promised that Richard Armitage’s ass, blurred in the preview and for network purposes, would NOT be censored for the DVD/BluRay. Very important information.
- Best cosplay of the convention? Everyone at this panel.
— Head Over Feels (@HeadOverFeels) July 12, 2015
- Fuller confessed that even he forgets what some of the more obtuse scenes/images are supposed to mean. Which made me feel a LOT better about myself.
- More important information:
- “Thank you for not telling rape stories. That always needs to be said.” Bryan responded to this fan comment by saying the reason that he avoids rape storylines is that he feels that unless you can TRULY dedicate the time to explore what a violation it is and the effect it has on the victim. The constraints of producing a limited run series does not give him the freedom to do so, thus he refuses to do it. Can we put in him in touch with the showrunners of Game of Thrones, please and thank you?
- What will they all take away from their work on Hannibal? Bryan: “The Fannibals.” Hugh (right on cue): “Literally”. Thus most of the audience shouted they were ready to go wherever they wanted them to. It was an incredibly rare and special experience to be in a room filled with such love and devotion to such a dark and macabre series. You could SEE how much it affected Bryan and Hugh. “It’s like the best hug in the world,” Bryan said, choking back emotion.
- Richard waxed poetic about the make-up process for applying Dolarhyde’s full body tattoo saying, “They were both knelt at my backside – painting my crack.” So what you’re saying is you are REALLY not kidding about the nudity.
- The panel close on a super emotional note when Bryan asked what his favorite part about being on set was. His answer? “Having actors who have my back.” Cue Hugh very nearly losing his shit.
After the Pannibal, we made our way back to our old friend the Hall H line to wait to get into the mega SuperHero Saturday panel, which showcased ALL of DCTV’s properties. This panel was a big success last year as it united the casts of Arrow, The Flash, and Gotham before the latter two shows had even seen by the general public. The gifs that came out of that panel (Amell showing the audience his abs) were one of the final tipping points in getting Sage and I to watch Arrow. Surely now that The Flash and Gotham were established hits and DC had two new series in the pipeline (Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl) this panel would capture the same magic, right?
Look…stuffing a whopping FIVE SHOWS (all with sprawling casts) into a two-hour and twenty-minute window (because the last 42 minutes of the three hour block was devoted to screening Supergirl, despite the fact that not only had it leaked online, it had been screened in Ballroom 20 on preview night) is a BAD IDEA. Arrow and The Flash are popular enough that they could easily have filled Ballroom 20 (if not Hall H) on their own accord. They definitely have enough cast members and content to fill their own 50 minute panel, both with moderated discussion and fan Q&A. So why shrink that time down to a mere 28 minutes (rough estimate, 140 minutes divided by 5. MATH!) with each show, 20 minutes if you count the time devoted to sizzle reels and parading massive groups of pretty people on and off the stage? It was basically a meat parade as opposed to an in-depth look at these shows. I don’t get it at all. This panel was the biggest letdown of the convention for sure. Next time, we choose the dance party at Nerd HQ, which had booze and kept rocking till the wee hours of the morning. Lesson learned.
- We ran across these ladies while we were waiting in line and we squealed with delight when we realized what their cosplay was. JUSTICE LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. Not long after we posted this on Instagram, one of our followers tagged us saying she had found the other two ladies of this group over at Nerd HQ. These women are my new life heroes.
- We knew the panel was going to be interesting when John Barrowman posted this video while we were waiting in line. The cast of Arrow had most DEFINITELY indulged in some adult beverages beforehand. Whitney came up with the theory that Amell texted his castmates after learning that he would be opening the panel IN CHARACTER in the new Green Arrow costume and they needed to do tequila shots with him in solidarity. Head canon accepted.
- The panel was emceed by Boone Carlyle…welp…The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder, who also seemed to have joined the Arrow cast in their pre-panel funtimes. Or he was just SUPER confused as to why he was there. I’m still not sure which.
- My reaction to the Arrow sizzle reel? “Do we really need to be reminded how bad this season was?” Not sorry.
- We were promised that season four would have more levity and humor than past seasons. That’s setting the bar pretty low, in my esteemed opinion.
- New characters coming to Starling: Anarky (which got a huge reaction in the room while we just said “we don’t know who that is”) and Mr. Terrific. The latter is going to be played by Ben and Kate‘s Echo Kellum and is going to be Felicity’s new gay BFF. Now THAT we can get excited about.
- Willa Holland said she cried tears of joy putting on her new Speedy costume. Let it be known that none of the Arrow ladies like playing damsels in distress, which is another theme we can totally get behind.
- Diggle officially has a costume, the image of which was greeted with a roar of approval from the audience. His alternate name? “Black Driver,” David Ramsey joked.
- This is your reminder that Paul Blackthorne rates 10/10 on the “would bang” scale. In fact the alternate title for this panel is “Hot Dad Figures That HOF Would Like To Bang”.
- Emily Bett Rickards dropped an f-bomb, which sent John Barrowman into (tequila fueled) hysterics.
- The fan questions for this section (and the whole panel really) were TERRIBLE and ALL came from teenage boys, which had me crying foul on whoever was screening them. You can’t tell me that not a single Olicity fangirl made the sprint to the mic for the (incredibly brief) fan Q&A.
- Grant Gustin is just as much of a precious China Doll in real life as he is on-screen. Also, what elixr is Tom Cavenaugh drinking? Because he looks better NOW than he did on Ed. Same for John Wesley Shipp. 10/10 to both of them. #allthehotdads
- Carlos was asked about how Cisco’s burgeoning powers would affect him in the upcoming season. “Changes in his body for sure. Not puberty.”
- “We’re going to see Iris finding a new sense of agency.” – Candice Patton on her journey in season 2. Cue cheers from the Iris West Appreciation Brigade on Tumblr.
- Characters from Earth 2 will be appearing in Central City this season, along with Zoom, who appeared in the sizzle reel in the form of a Blue Streak. We don’t know what that means, but we’re excited. (We REALLY should educate ourselves on the comic world, sorry!)
- Nobody told the moderator that Jesse L. Martin pulled out of the panel at the last-minute, which led to an awkward moment of her addressing a question to him (See? This whole thing was a MESS). However, I would like to take this moment to remind you that he falls into the 10/10 category as well.
- Another horrible fan Q&A with questions from all boys. One of which TOTALLY wasted his moment by blatantly asking Carlos if Cisco would be transitioning into Vibe this season. (LIKE THEY WOULD TELL YOU, YOU JAG.) This did lead to an adorable moment with each cast member passing the question off to a fellow castmate, with Grant finally saying “Sure he is.”
- “We’re done already?” – Grant, just as confused as we were that this panel was so short.
- NOT on the panel for Legends of Tomorrow, despite being spotted playing ping-pong with Daniel Radcliffe later in the weekend? Arthur Darvill. Why oh why have you forsaken us, Rory Williams?
- Early episodes of Arrow and The Flash will be used to introduce characters from Legends of Tomorrow. I’m all for that, as long as it’s along the lines of Barry Allen’s introduction vs. Ray Palmer’s utter destruction of season three of Arrow. I love that all of these shows exist in the same universe. It’s thrilling to see them all be so interconnected…as long as we’re not sacrificing the integrity of individual shows to set up franchises.
- EP Andrew Kreisberg promised that Legends would provide a venue for all the ideas that are “too crazy” for Arrow and The Flash. To be frank, this scares me.
- Kelly officially ended her friendship with us (for that day anyway) due to the fact that we were in the same room as Victor Garber.
- “We get to make silly stuff look awesome!” – Brandon Routh on the joy of playing superheroes. Legends has its work cut out as far as making me like Ray Palmer. This didn’t help.
- As long suspected, Sara Lance is taken to the Lazarus Pit and emerges as The White Canary. As we saw with Thea Queen this season, the person coming out of the pit is much different from the one that went in. Caity Lotz asserted that even with a villian like Captain Cold on the show, that White Canary would be the most dangerous of the bunch. Why? “She’s not afraid to die because she already has. How do you control a person who has absolutely nothing to lose?”
- Someone cracked a Titanic joke at Victor Garber’s expense when he was asked where he would travel back in time to. His reaction to that made my evening.
- The sizzle reel for Gotham had me pondering my decision to give up on the show, proving that I am highly susceptible to good montages.
- Season Two is going to be known as “The Rise of the Villains”.
- EP Bruno Heller reduced Barbara Gordon’s journey to that of the “crazy ex-girlfriend from hell”, which left Sage seething with rage in her seat. (Also that should give you every indication of how Bro-Heavy this entire night was, which is odd, because I feel with Arrow and Flash especially that a huge chunk of the audience is WOMEN…yet none of the women were given much respect.)
- Sean Pertwee completes your tour through the gallery of all the Hot DC Dad Figures we would bang. We hope you’ve enjoyed your trip with us today. Please come again soon.
- Pertwee promised that you would see more of Bruce and Alfred being integrated with the rest of the cast this season. He also coined it “Operation Good Guys” which was precious.
- Again the Q&A was ALL BOYS and one of them used his moment at the mic to confess his crush on Camren. Her reponse? “Uhhh…thanks for supporting the show.” BLESS.
- The Q&A was interrupted with a stunt involving Cameron Monaghan (who will be playing the Joker) stealing the mic from a fan and howling “How high is your pain tolerance?” He was “dragged off by security” with Ben McKenzie gamely shouting “I’m going to find you Jerome, and I’m going to take you down.” from the stage. EYE ROLL.
- And then the panel was over and Morena Baccarin never got to utter a word because she is a woman and thus unimportant.
While there was still a panel for Supergirl to come, we were FREEZING, annoyed, tired, and hungry (a BAD con combination), so we left before our entire day was soured. We stumbled over to the Sports Bar at the Hilton Bayfront for some much-needed hot food and beer before retiring for the night, refusing to the believe that this madness would all be done the next day.