What’s up, Saint coming at you! This past weekend Deegan and I was fortunate to attend the ever praised and raved about San Diego Comic-Con: the biggest and raddest comic convention around. Even if you are not a raging geek that is avid in the Comic-Con community, you know about San Diego Comic-Con. It is by far the most massive convention to date with the highest amount of attendees, and dare I say even the size of the actual convention itself. For someone who has attended exclusively Arizona based comic conventions their entire life, I had no idea what to expect going in. The weeks leading up to the convention I was told some of the following advice:
- “If you think you have too much hand sanitizer, it’s not enough.”
- “Ingest EmergenC every single day. Snort it if you must.”
- “Three hours of sleep per night during the duration of the Con is worth celebrating.”
- “If you have any money left over at the end of Con, you did something wrong.”
Never have wiser and truer words ever been preached to me. San Diego Comic-Con isn’t just a your typical convention; it’s an entire city participating in the immense world of geek and pop culture. Everything from the trains to the skyscrapers were decorated in Comic-Con related attire. The restaurants along the outskirts of the convention center would specifically change their menus to be comic themed. Shops and boutiques among Downtown San Diego would even rent out their storefronts to different companies and brands so they could create “experiences.”
Alongside the sheer extent of the convention, the actual programming and panels that they offered were enough to satisfy any geek of any fandom. Only the truly committed to their favorite fandom would be fortunate enough to land a seat at some of the panels though. San Diego Comic-Con is very much a “line con.” If you didn’t set aside time to map out and plan out your day, there was a huge chance you didn’t get to attend any of the major panels or see any of the major booths in the exhibitor hall. I only got to attend one panel the entirety of the weekend, solely because I had planned for it and arrived to the conference room and hour and a half before the panel I wanted to see began. Being the Star Wars nerd that I am, naturally, I waited to see the Tenth Anniversary panel for Clone Wars. I laughed, I cried, and it was by far the best possible panel to attend for a prequel lover such as myself. Clone Wars director Dave Filoni surprised us all when he announced that now, five years after the series ended, the show is now being revived! Who else is counting down the days until Clone Wars Season 7!? #CloneWarsSaved
The one element about San Diego Comic-Con that took me by surprise was the lack of cosplayers. In Arizona, conventions are ninety-percent cosplay based. From guests to the panels, cosplay is all the hype at Phoenix Fan Fusion. After attending San Diego’s con though, I completely understand why cosplay is not a driving feature over there. Despite the convention taking up practically the entire downtown area, you still have very little room to move around. The streets and hallways are completely jam-packed with hordes of people, and on the daily, you are expected to walk about ten miles as you experience the con. If you are not in your comfy clothes and running shoes at San Diego Comic-Con, you will be miserable.
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All in all, San Diego Comic-Con is honestly such an incredible experience. You are jam-packed in crowded, sweaty places with people from all over the world and celebrities alike. Just walking through the halls, you will see your average, ordinary, everyday celebrity waiting in line to pick up the hottest new exclusive LEGO build set and geeking out like the rest of us. Or, you know, casually bump shoulders with Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance and then pee yourself a little when you realized you accidentally just trampled over one of your all time heroes. (Yes, that actually happened, and yes, I died a little.)
I also have to give major shout outs to all those that I got to attend San Diego Comic-Con with, for these people definitely enhanced my time at the convention and made for some of the best memories that I will cherish for days to come. Special thanks to Samantha Sawyer of Sincerely Sam, Mat and Dustin of The Final Boys, Sam of the local Arizona band Sore Eyes and Ashlee of Kingdom of Ribbon Cosplay. I look forward to attending the con next year as well alongside our Supreme Leader DeAngelo when the entire Geek Lyfe crew takes over San Diego Comic-Con.