Hey, y’all! It’s me! Z0mbyte!
Back from sunny San Diego! For us geeks, it is the home of SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON! The ultimate and certainly massive, once in a life time experience (more if you’re lucky) for any nerd. It has been at the top of my bucket list to attend SDCC and immerse myself in what I’ve only lived vicariously through social media and stories from friends. Dreams do come true when the Fearless leader of The Geek Lyfe, DeAngelo, asked me to cover the con on behalf of them!
This year’s San Diego Comic-Con was especially important because they were celebrating their 50th anniversary! Can you believe that? Nerds have been around for quite some time. I was fortunate enough to share this excitement with fellow geek, Tony Pisano of FantasyBanjo. We made an awesome team! Tony captured all of the great moments on film while I snapped photos and stories of our adventures in real time so our followers would feel like they were there with us.
I don’t think you can ever be truly prepared enough for a trip to SDCC. Needless to say, If you didn’t make a solid, mapped out plan, most likely you would probably miss something. But that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong! Tony and I went in with a casual plan of trying to see everything and doing as much as we could, getting the most coverage of the con itself. We did a pretty stellar job!
After chatting with friends who have experienced San Diego Comic-Con, I was able to take away some helpful advice.
- Save as much money as you can
- SPF! SPF! SPF!
- Bring Walking/Running shoes or if you can get your hands on a hover board.
- Drink gallons of water
- Bring a backpack for your zombie apocalypse survival kit & swag
- Bring deodorant, perfume, mints/gum in case you run into your celeb crush. And you know, for the consideration of the thousands of people around you
- Bring a portable charger for the multiple times you will have to power your phone up throughout the day. I think my average was 3/day.
The list goes on but these were the most valuable. And with the experience of other cons, I knew I was guided in the right direction.
San Diego Comic-Con is unlike any other convention. It is the Disneyland of cons! When you arrive in Downtown San Diego, Gas Lamp District, you immediately feel like you just entered the multiverse. The hotels and walls are covered in massive vinyls of your favorite TV shows and movies, the restaurants surrounding transform their space to mimic the aesthetic of the con, the perimeters of the convention are covered with interactive sets from Detective Pikachu, Shazam, Amazon Prime to The Walking Dead. It is like nothing I’ve ever seen before at conventions I’ve been to prior. If you’re thinking to yourself, I’m not sure if San Diego Comic-Con is for me, then you’re wrong! There is something here for everyone whether you’re a kid or an adult.
From what I’ve learned, there are a few different ways attendees approach San Diego Comic-Con:
- You attend to camp out for the panels in the ever famous Hall H. Showers and beds not included.
- You attend to buy all the exclusive Comic books, action figures, pins, shirts and more.
- You attend to meet your favorite actors, authors, designers, game developers for photo ops and autographs.
- You attend to experience a little bit of everything.
Tony and I were able to accomplish a a lot in the little time we had while covering the con. 4 days is certainly still not enough! On the first day, we grabbed our swag bags and immediately got in line to enter the monstrous exhibitor hall. As soon as they gave us the thumbs up to enter, we ran to the Skybound booth. I picked up the Comic-Con exclusive issue # 193 which completes The Walking Dead series (tears) among other flare I had my eyes on. SCORE! We then made our way through the masses to the Mondo booth so Tony could sign up for a time slot to purchase his exclusives. A lot of the more sought after booths required you to come back at a certain time to wait in line for their merch which not always meant you were guaranteed those items as some sold out in minutes. Tony snagged the con exclusive “Worlds End” poster by well known artist, Jock. We were both pretty stoked to get what we came for on the merch end as well as buying souvenirs for our friends and family.
Everywhere you’d look, there was something to snap a photo of or film while walking through the exhibitor hall. From epic cosplays, special FX make up, intricate art pieces to running into your idols casually walking through the halls. Every time I saw Robert Kirkman I squealed a bit and thought of all the scenarios on how I would approach him/pretend to trip in front of him to start a convo. I saved myself the embarrassment… this time!! During the 4 days of the con, we ventured into the exhibitor hall more than a few times. Each day there was a little something different to see making it a huge part of where we captured most of our footage. The Artist Alley was especially impressive and full of immense talent.
When we weren’t in the exhibitor hall, you could find us waiting in the “Next Day Hall H Passes” line. Which meant, if there was a panel you wanted to see in Hall H, you would have to get in line the day prior to receive a wristband only to come back the next day at 7:30 am to be guaranteed a seat. Friday was the only day of panels we were most excited about so we waited 4 hours to receive our wristbands, which is very common for SDCC con goers. We commemorated with some cocktails and tacos! YUM!
Side note… we made the best cuisine choices throughout the con so if you need any recommendations, we got you fam!
Hall H is famous for hosting their biggest and most desirable panels. To get into Hall H is a feat on its own. You don’t know whether to cry, laugh, scream, jump with joy or all of the above! And that’s exactly the emotions I felt when they took down the rope blocking our line to enter HALL H. Employees of the convention are cheering, clapping and chanting, “CONGRATS!” As you walk into the Hall. It is something I’ve dreamt of the last 9 years. I’ve watched the panel coverage of my favorite TV shows and upcoming movies online every year, wishing and hoping that some day I would be in the sea of fans in that auditorium. Tony and I were able to see, A Conversation with the Russo Brothers, Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead and The Witcher: Netflix Original Series panels. The panels are extra special for con goers because we are the first to see new trailers, sneak peeks, exclusive content and announcements before the rest of the public. I laughed, cried and felt all the feels.
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Whether you are standing in a line for a panel, booth, autograph, to play a game, even the bathroom, you get to chat with the best people. I’ve never met so many kind individuals while waiting in lines or at the con itself. It makes the time fly by, too!
Tony and I also had the pleasure to hang and share stories with good friends and content creators, Mat and Dustin of The Final Boys, Samantha Sawyer of Sincerely Sam and horror lover/comic book nerd, Elyssa.
In all, San Diego Comic-Con was such a memorable experience. Some of My favorite parts were, The Walking Dead Panel in Hall H (Hi, Norman Reedus!), Playing a Demo of the first game in the Dark Pictures anthology series, Men of Medan, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Panel with Guillermo Del Toro, THE FOOD, the excitement you felt from everyone around you, the con exclusives and bags of swag I took home, The Last Podcast on the Left live show and more. The pitfalls, NOT ENOUGH SPF. Everyone’s experience is different but If you ever get the chance to attend SDCC, GO and never look back! I promise, you will not regret it.