SDCC 2015 Wrap-Up – Day 1

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The most wonderful time of year: SAN DIEGO COMIC CON! This is my third year attending, and as always, learning new things about how best to tackle the gigantic event. There’s really no right way and you just gotta do what’s best for you on any given day.

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For day one (Thursday), my cousin and I decided to tackle the exhibit hall. I had wanted to check out the Mockingjay panel in Hall H and see Jennifer Lawrence, but honestly, I got deterred by what seemed like a really long line to get into Hall H. Of course, as is the case most Thursdays it seemed (or at least from what I’ve noticed the past three years), that long line wasn’t so long once everyone who camped out or got there early was inside Hall H. So I probably could’ve gone to see the final panel, but alas, I ended up getting most of my shopping and whatnot done on the exhibit floor.

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Actually, we had gone to the convention center early (before the hall opened) just to check out the early line-ups and getting into the hall from those lines for future reference. I mean, better to figure it out on a day that we didn’t really have much planned, right? Once we got into the hall, we tried to hit up the main booths we wanted, whether it be to buy stuff or get information about autograph signings. So yeah, it ended up being a day of wandering the exhibit floor, which we all know is HUGE, and just checking out all the exhibitors. I also probably could’ve went to the CBS panel, just to see the Limitless pilot and Q&A, but I didn’t want to sit through those other panels in the line-up. Oh well.

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On the bright side, I spotted celebs on the exhibit floor today! I only got a picture with one of them but the point is that I saw them! While waiting around at the Marvel booth, I met and got a picture with Miles Brown who, if you’ve seen the show Black-ish, plays Jack, one of the twins! Too adorable and actually saw him a couple more times during the weekend and it was always at the Marvel booth (that ABC connection guys…) Also passed by Cyrus, who was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance season 9; saw Nolan Gould aka Luke from Modern Family; and I walked right by actor/comedian Michael Ian Black, though I had so much trouble thinking of his name at the time – in my head I was just like “I know him from somewhere!” I also passed by Bryan Cranston and Seth Green’s signing at BOOM for SuperMansion; at first I wasn’t sure what was going on with all the people surrounding the booth (as you know, happens all the time when there’s a signing) and then all of a sudden I saw Bryan Cranston!

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Bryan Cranston (and you can kinda see Seth Green beside him)!

I did do one significant thing today and that was the Dark Matter autograph signing. In the morning, I went over to Dark Horse to ask how their signings work and when to line up, and one of the guys said to come to the booth 15 minutes before the signing. I did know ahead of time that wristbands weren’t required for this particular signing but I was still a little shocked that I didn’t have to wait like an hour in advance. Anyways, Dark Matter is a new show on SyFy that’s based on the comic book of the same name, about a group of people who wake up aboard a spacecraft with no memory of who they are and why they are there. Four of the seven cast members were here for the signing and the panel later: Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Jodelle Ferland, and Roger Cross. First of all, they’re all Canadian, which for some reason made it easier for me to interact with them. I mean, I was still my awkward self, but I wasn’t any MORE awkward than I normally am (which is what I was Saturday…more on that later). Got up to Melissa O’Neil and told her that I’ve been a fan of hers for a really long time and she laughs asking “How is that even possible?!” I’m like “Well, Idol!” (Melissa won the third season of Canadian Idol back in 2005. I also just realized that we’re the same age.) We just laughed and she was so sweet and nice. I went over to Anthony Lemke next, and I think he had said something like “Thank you for coming!” which led me to respond by saying “Of course! Fellow Canadians!” That then led to the question of where I was from and finding out that we’re both University of Waterloo alums. The best part was when they asked me if I was coming to the panel later, and I told them I wanted to but I wasn’t sure about dinner plans, to which Melissa goes “Oh, of course, you gotta eat! Don’t worry about us”; then Anthony joked that there was going to be pizza, but he couldn’t promise that that was actually happening. I made a little conversation with both Jodelle and Roger, who of course were just so nice (it’s the Canadian way, don’t ya know?), and made my way. With that, I experienced my first SDCC autograph signing! Yay!

Dark Matter signing with Anthony Lemke and Melissa O'Neil

Dark Matter signing with Anthony Lemke and Melissa O’Neil

Dark Matter signing with Roger Cross and Jodelle Ferland

Dark Matter signing with Roger Cross and Jodelle Ferland

And so concludes, my day one at SDCC!

But wait! There was still one other thing I had to go to: the Geeks Go Glam party, hosted by Megan Gotch (The Nerdy Girlie) and Liz Giorgi (Being Geek Chic)! I was initially on the fence about going in the first place, just because of my introverted ways and not doing well in social situations, especially when I don’t really know anyone. But then I found out the party was literally 2 blocks away from where I was staying, so I didn’t have a good excuse for not going. I figured on the positive side, I’ll get to meet some of my Twitter/Female Geek Blogger friends in real life. I finally met Megan and also Gladys (Usagi in Wonderland), yet somehow still missed a few others. I tell ya, I’m terrible at doing parties, but I still had a good time talking with others!

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A First-Timer’s Account of San Diego Comic Con 2013 – Day 4

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For years, I have wanted to go to the infamous San Diego Comic Con. The ultimate nexus of all things pop culture. This year, thanks to my cousin agreeing to go with me, I made my way. This is the account of my 4-day experience at the center of all things nerd.

DAY 4

The last day of Comic-Con was a more relaxed day. After two early mornings of lining up, my cousin and I had decided to get in a little more sleep and have some actual food for breakfast Sunday. Although we had wanted to check out the Breaking Bad panel in Hall H, we figured it was a hopeless cause, as it was situated right in between the Supernatural and Doctor Who fans. Let me tell you, I didn’t realize this until I started planning for SDCC, but Doctor Who is RIDICULOUSLY POPULAR! And those fans were uber-committed to camping out for this panel, which had the added bonus of being the 50th Anniversary panel. Yeah, there was no way we were getting in. With not having much to do that morning, we FINALLY made our way over to Petco Park and Nerd HQ. We didn’t get to see any of their “Conversations With A Cause” panels over the four days and we missed out on their crazy fun parties (man, we’re such non-party-goers! Next year, changing that!). Having never been, we didn’t know what to expect. Nerd HQ had an awesome set-up though: laptops with video games, a multitude of old school arcade games were made available to play, couches to relax with charging tables for your electronics – it was awesome.

I still love Tetris, so to see this old school arcade machine (from, I think it said 1987 to be exact?) was SO COOL

I still love Tetris, so to see this old school arcade machine (from, I think it said 1987 to be exact?) was SO COOL

A Nerd HQ Fiat? Yup! Though I kept referring it as the Nerd Herd car lol

A Nerd HQ Fiat? Yup! Though I kept referring to it as the Nerd Herd car lol

Both my cousin and I weren’t much of gamers so a quick tour of Nerd HQ, and a purchase of a shirt later, we were off and headed back into the exhibit hall. We made it our thing for the day to get our shopping done. Some things were gone by then, but we still managed to get stuff we wanted to take home with us. Like I said, pretty laid back day.

After sitting down for some lunch (and by that I mean, just finding a place to sit outside of the convention centre), we went back into the Hall H line. Why? Well after all the Doctor Who fans went in for the panel (and subsequently left after the panel finished), there were plenty of seats for the following panel – Community! Like my wait to get into Ballroom 20 on Friday, we only had to wait the length of the Doctor Who panel to get into Hall H. Lots of fun was to be had at the Community panel, as expected. Unfortunately though, both Joel McHale and Donald Glover were no shows (that info was already made known beforehand – Joel’s filming a movie and couldn’t make it, Donald’s only doing 5 episodes this season so wasn’t really expecting him to show up anyways). Bonus: we got swag for being at the panel! A solid (re: not your regular) red solo cup with the Community logo on it. Regardless of what it is, I love swag.

Community panel L-R: Moderator Chris Hardwick (him again!), Jim Rash, Yvette Nicole Brown, Allison Brie, Ken Jeong, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, EP Chris McKenna, EP Dan Harmon

Community panel
L-R: Moderator Chris Hardwick (him again!), Jim Rash, Yvette Nicole Brown, Allison Brie, Ken Jeong, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, EP Chris McKenna, EP Dan Harmon

After the Community panel, we headed for one more go-around the exhibit hall, finish up our shopping, try and see if there was any swag we could pick up, and catch any more autograph signings going on and try to get a picture. Before we knew it SDCC was over, we bid adieu to the convention centre and headed on back to our hotel.

Going into this whole process of attending SDCC, I both had an idea and no idea what I was getting myself into. It was a fantastic four days of getting to see some of my favourite actors in person. Although I didn’t get to do everything I wanted (ie. MEET the Nikita cast) or wish I had done things a different way (ie. re-word my question to the Nikita cast), I still managed to do a lot of things I wanted to and had lots of fun. Plus, what I learned this year will help me be more successful in my ventures next year.

Until then, I’m just going to stare at my pictures/videos from the Nikita panel =D

See y’all next year at SDCC!

A First-Timer’s Account of San Diego Comic Con 2013 – Day 3

For years, I have wanted to go to the infamous San Diego Comic Con. The ultimate nexus of all things pop culture. This year, thanks to my cousin agreeing to go with me, I made my way. This is the account of my 4-day experience at the center of all things nerd.

DAY 3

While Friday was all about Nikita for me, Saturday was all about How I Met Your Mother. I wanted badly to be in Hall H Saturday for all the movie panels, plus EW’s Women Who Kick Ass panel (which featured, among 4 others…Maggie Q! Duh, I would do almost anything for Maggie!), but decided against camping out starting at 3:00 in the afternoon Friday (I’m fairly certain I remember reading a tweet that people were already camped out at that time). I also decided against lining up for my chance at autographs again (on deck for today would have been Arrow, HIMYM). So like I said, Saturday = How I Met Your Mother. Now HIMYM might not seem like a typical show to be featured at SDCC, but we all knew well that regardless of that, the panel was going to be well attended. So making our way to the Indigo Ballroom, situated at the Hilton next to the convention center, my cousin and I waited in line at 7:30 A.M., and yes, there was already quite the line in front of us when we arrived.

By the time we got into the Indigo, we had to wait out two other panels before getting to our main event. The first was Machinima, a website/YouTube video network focused on the gaming community. This panel in particular, was focusing on fan films. Similar to my feelings about the World of Heroes panel, it was really cool to see and find out about all this original/creative content. There was only one name in the panel that I recognized and that would be Kevin Tancharoen, who was there for his Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries. I, however, know him best as a former dancer/choreographer for Britney Spears, during the “In The Zone” era.

Machinima panel

Machinima panel

The second panel was for Geek and Sundry, Felicia Day’s video network. I had no idea what this was coming into SDCC, and when I have time, will now have to check out the shows she has on her YouTube network. It all just seemed really fun and cool. Felicia Day was obviously on the panel, as well as frequent Geek and Sundry contributor Wil Wheaton (all I hear in my head is Sheldon from Big Bang Theory yelling “WHHEEEAAAAATTTOONNNNN!!!”)

Geek and Sundry panel, with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton

Geek and Sundry panel, with Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton

And then came How I Met Your Mother! Right before the panel began, there were some awesome fans who began to chant “Shrimp fried rice! Shrimp fried rice!”, which was obviously then followed by “CAN-A-DA! CAN-A-DA!” I had to represent and chant along to “CAN-A-DA!” before it quickly died off. The panel then started with a special video, that seemed like it was just the start of the first episode of the next season. Before I knew it, I started hearing censored expletives coming from Ted’s grown kids (aka Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie), cursing out their dad for spending eight years telling his story. It was SO FREAKIN’ HILARIOUS!! CBS has already made the video available online, so go watch it if you haven’t already. After the video finished, the cast and producers came out to massive applause, like the rockstars they were. Honestly, for a show that apparently had no right/reason to be at SDCC (said certain people on the internet after the announcement was made), you never would’ve guessed it by the reception they received. For me, it was just so much fun being in that room with the cast and all these fans. We got treated to more insight into the longest weekend ever (in case you haven’t heard, the final season will take place over the course of Barney & Robin’s wedding weekend). We still have the last slap to look forward to. Return of former guest stars? It is a wedding, so hopefully we will get to see Lucy Hale return as Robin’s sister (I almost forgot about her!) and John Lithgow as Barney’s father, but we at least know for certain that Wayne Brady is back as Barney’s brother James. Random tangents involving seeing how the interpreters sign everything they’re saying. Also, there were no less than three musical interludes: a “Let’s Go To The Mall” sing-a-long (Cobie was having trouble at the beginning, but Neil was more than happy to fill in the missing lyrics for her lol); Jason, by request, sang a bit of his Dracula musical; and everybody sang the “Bang Bang” song.

The cast of HIMYM coming in to a fury of applause and screams like the rockstars they are. (L-R): EP Carter Bays, EP Craig Thomas, Director Pamela Fryman, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan

The cast of HIMYM coming in to a fury of applause and screams like the rockstars they are. (L-R): EP Carter Bays, EP Craig Thomas, Director Pamela Fryman, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan

Unfortunately, the fun of the HIMYM panel had to end, much to everyone’s dismay. After that, my cousin and I didn’t really have any other panel that we immediately had to go to. So we headed on over to the exhibit hall, take everything in, and hopefully get to see some celebrities. I’ll tell you this, it gets crazy in there when there are autograph signings. You may try your best to get a shot of the celebs doing the signing, but the con has a strict “shoot and scoot” policy – take one picture and go. I understand the policy, but at the same time, you can’t guarantee that you’ll even get one good shot, especially with the tall guards blocking your way.

Ming Na during the SHIELD signing at the Marvel booth

Ming Na during the SHIELD signing at the Marvel booth

The cast of Once Upon A Time signing at the ABC booth (aka the Jolly Roger)

The cast of Once Upon A Time signing at the ABC booth (aka the Jolly Roger)

Managed to get a good shot of Kristin Bauer and Ryan Kwanten getting ready for their autograph signing at the WB Booth. Behind them on the other side, is Tom Cruise (and Emily Blunt) signing for their movie "Edge of Tomorrow"

Managed to get a good shot of Kristin Bauer and Ryan Kwanten getting ready for their autograph signing at the WB Booth. Behind them on the other side, is Tom Cruise (and Emily Blunt) signing for their movie “Edge of Tomorrow”

After a couple runs up and down the exhibit hall, trying to pick up swag and get pictures of celebs, I suggested we make our way to Ballroom 20. The Vampire Diaries panel was happening at the time, but I was much more interested in getting in for the Arrow panel. Well, turns out that there were still empty seats for the TVD panel (it had followed the always popular True Blood panel, which always gives out good swag apparently), so we were able to walk straight in.

The Vampire Diaries panel L-R: Kat Graham, Ian Somerhalder, EP Julie Plec, Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, EP Caroline Dries, Candice Accola

The Vampire Diaries panel
L-R: Kat Graham, Ian Somerhalder, EP Julie Plec, Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, EP Caroline Dries, Candice Accola

After about 5 minutes, the TVD panel was done and we shuffled our way up closer for the Arrow panel. Arrow quickly became one of my favourite new shows of last season, and after the fantastic season finale, I have been quite eager to see what they have in store for next season. The panel began with a preview clip for the season two premiere, and it was fantastic and thrilling to say the least. This panel was on Saturday, and they had only begun filming the new season on the Monday, so they apparently got A LOT of filming done and managed to package it together as a special clip for SDCC. Talk about movie magic and commitment to the fans. Days before, fans found out that we were getting introduced to Black Canary on the show, but it isn’t Laurel, so there was an interesting discussion during the panel of how the show likes to take what fans of the comic book know and flip it a bit. The first Green Arrow we meet, isn’t Oliver but is Yao Fei. When we first met Tommy Merlyn, we were led to believe that he becomes the Dark Archer of the comic books, but turns out it’s his father, Malcolm. So similar to those, this is just the beginning of the Black Canary storyline. Partway through, we got treated to a special appearance by John Barrowman, who joined the cast for the rest of the panel. All in all, some great insight into next season and what we can look forward to.

Arrow panel L-R: EP Marc Guggenheim, EP Andrew Kreisberg, Colton Haynes, Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, EP Greg Berlanti

Arrow panel
L-R: EP Marc Guggenheim, EP Andrew Kreisberg, Colton Haynes, Katie Cassidy, Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, EP Greg Berlanti