Super San Diego Comic-Con 2015

Team Avatar meets Ilram Choi!

Team Avatar meets Ilram Choi!

It’s been 5 years since I’ve gotten tickets for San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been for the past couple of years, but just to hang out outside because it’s fun to people watch and get free stuff.

This year, it was a little of both. I only got tickets for Sunday, but that wouldn’t stop me from going on Saturday and hanging out. Parking at Petco doubled in price. There didn’t seem to be a lot of free swag this year, but right off the bat, we got a free shirt, so the trip was already worth it.

Our group was big this year, so we decided to wait in front of the Hard Rock. IGN was interviewing a bunch of people, and we saw Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot. The Walking Dead cast was also there, but I didn’t see Norman Reedus, much to my chagrin (saw him the past 2 years randomly at SDCC), and Michael Rooker was at Starbucks ordering under Merle later that day.

There seemed to be a different outdoor setup than the last couple of years, as in there was less. I believe Adult Swim closed off their area for passholders only. There wasn’t much around the Bayfront, though we did see the cast of Gotham leave their yachts and subsequently get into their SUVs. I wasn’t much for waiting in lines, so we hung out and watched people as per usual.

At night, I was excited to run around Gaslamp. We had La Puerta carne asada fries, which were delicious, though maybe not worth $17. There were 50 cent beers at some pub I forgot the name of. We went to the House of Blues to check out their trivia night, but it was definitely too hard for us, so we went back to the 50 cent beers.

Later that night, we couldn’t find our way back to the car, found some sketchy neighborhoods, and I was dead tired. I got home at 3am, went to bed for an hour at 4am, and got up to do it all again.

But this time, I had a ticket. I put on my cosplay- a first for me, in that it required extensive months of planning and prepping and putting together. I’m normally a fan of closet cosplay, where I grab whatever I can from what I already have and put it together. It usually works. However, since I actually had a ticket, I wanted to go all out. In fact, I had been growing my hair out for a year or so in advance. I was prepared for this moment. In case you didn’t already know, I dressed up as Sokka from ATLA.

Of course, I was unprepared. It’s awkward walking from the parking lot to the con when everyone else around you seemed so normally dressed. When I got there, it was almost overwhelming. I forgot where to go and everything. But eventually, I found my way. Finally, I was inside with a badge and a bag and woo!

Adult Aang from the future?!

Adult Aang from the future?!

I think one guy got a picture of me before I decided to remove part of my boots because they weren’t staying up while I walked, and I definitely didn’t prepare for that. The one thing I wanted to see was the Super Asian America panel later that day, which would, clearly, discuss Asian Americans in comics, and media in general. I actually didn’t look at the panels that day until a few days before, and I definitely wanted to avoid looking at what panels there were the entire weekend, lest I become too jealous.

I decided to walk the exhibit hall for a while, though it was quite overwhelming. It wasn’t even that crowded at 10:30am. But after several aisles, I decided to leave for a bit and take a breath. I went up to room 29AB to scope it out (and also find a phone charger). After that, I made my way back to the floor for a little while.

Yue! Dead...Yue :(

Yue! Dead…moon spirit…Yue 🙁

Outside, I met up with my friend Shannon, who was dressed up as Ty Lee, another ATLA character. As soon as we were together, it seemed people were flocking to take pictures of us and unlike her, I was definitely not used to it; I kept forgetting to take my glasses off, and I was flustered with my poses. Definitely, was not prepared for the amount of photos people were taking.

It was fun, though. And running into other ATLA/TLOK cosplayers made me so happy. We walked around the exhibit halls for a little bit again before heading up to the panel. We were there an hour early and we got in right away and sat near the front. Thank gods we did because apparently, there was a huge line outside and people were being turned away. We sat through the Kickstarter panel, which actually was quite interesting. People work so hard to get their work noticed and I wish all the best to those comic artists on Kickstarter.

Sokka and Zuko #bffl

Sokka and Zuko #bffl

Anyway, I wish the video was up, but I don’t think it is yet. Super Asian America was a panel run by and had comic artists as well as actors: Amy Chu, Greg Pak, Keith Chow, Dante Basco, Sumalee Montano, Ilram Choi, and Chloe Bennet. Okay, so I was definitely there to get Dante Basco to notice me in my Sokka cosplay, but little did I know how amazing this panel was. I will post the video ASAP when I find it.

So Greg Pak created Amadeus Cho and he’s the one character I have a chance of being in a Marvel movie, wish me luck. Also, I met and talked to Ilram Choi, stuntman for TASM, and he’s such a badass. Chloe Bennet of course was gorgeous and she waved at me. She was mauled by the mob that I didn’t want to be a part of, so I sadly, didn’t get a picture with her.

BUT HOLD UP. I was tearing up listening to their words. Everything they said was so real, so true, so relevant. It pains me how little or wrong the coverage of Asian Americans is in media. But I am so inspired by these all these people. They’re doing great things! They all shared their stories about being Asian American in the industry, how they all had to adapt, how they’ve been misrepresented.

The bottom line, the take-away, the TL;DR: MORE. We need MORE Asian Americans in the media. We have so much to say and we want to properly represent ourselves.

Super Asian America panel, perhaps the best panel I've been to.

Super Asian America panel, perhaps the best panel I’ve been to.

It’s hard to describe in words, so, again, I’ll try to find the vid- or y’all can look it up. Anyway, we were hanging out with some other ATLA cosplayers who happened to be in the industry and knew Dante Basco, so we got to meet up with him for a little bit after! It was magical and spectacular and unexpected.

So on that happy note, that’s the end of my SDCC15 experience. I will say that Comikaze’s exhibit hall was definitely more fun, less crowded, and I saw a lot of cool sellers that didn’t seem to be at SDCC. In the future, I plan to avoid the major halls at SDCC (if I happen to get tickets), but I do plan to go to the small panels that may be interesting, and also I really want to get signatures because I’ve yet to be able to do that at SDCC. I just definitely don’t have it in me to wait in hours of lines to sit really far away from celebs. More power to all my friends that do, though.

Thanks for reading; until next year! Let me know if y’all find pictures of me online.

Ty Lee, Korra, Sokka, and Bolin.

Ty Lee, Korra, Sokka, Bolin, and Pabu!

Twitter: @btabsays
Instagram: @btabsees

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