Super San Diego Comic-Con 2017

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A post shared by Brian / Btab / Bô 😍 (@btabsees) on Jul 24, 2017 at 9:04pm PDT

 

Pre-Con

This year’s con came so abruptly. At least that’s what it felt like after taking my final Thursday morning, going to work, then going home to prep for the weekend before leaving for San Diego that night. Alas, I didn’t have any spare time to make any cosplays this year.

Earlier in the week, I finally had a chance to look at the schedule and pick what I wanted to see. Of course, I felt overwhelmed, but I was definitely looking for smaller panels. It turns out there was really only 2 panels I for sure had to go to: Critical Role on Saturday and Super Asian American on Sunday (though I wasn’t sure if I was going to go Sunday or not yet). I mainly marked some interesting diversity-related panels and I did want to see/play some D&D (spoiler: ended up not ever finding wherever the hell the Mezzanine is).

In terms of packing, this year’s con food was Costco cheese pizza. I sliced up some squares and filled a Tupperware tub completely. It lasted ALL THREE DAYS and it was still not-gross and I’m not dead so ha! Additionally, I actually had some fried rice leftover from meal prep, so I took it anyway and ended up rationing it as my breakfast for all three days (hardy and filling!). I had little to pack in terms of clothes because it was rather simple. However, a tip: don’t wear tank tops if you’re planning on being in the Exhibit Hall all day and have to rub up against people. And can I just say, despite the unnecessary waste of it all, the ticket and box that was delivered was a beautiful little gift. And my first pin of this year’s Con!

 

Day 1

We got to stay at my friend’s aunt’s place again this year, so that was nice as always. Thursday night, we were pretty excited and didn’t sleep much. We were trying to map out our plan- in fact, we wanted to get in line for the autograph signings. I also got 2 Laika pins from my friend, Kubo and Boxtrolls!

When we woke up, word on the street was that the line was long and it wasn’t worth it, so we went back to sleep for a few more hours. Then we were ready to go. For Friday, there were no panels that I absolutely had to see so that freed me up to do anything.

We actually got there before it opened, which I believe I haven’t done before. The system was stupid in that they were letting everyone trickle into one door. And people had been lining up early for general admission (aka Ballroom 20 line aka autograph lines) on top of the Hall H line and there were lines everywhere and it was just stupid. We waited in line until 0930 and ended up just getting out of line to go into another door…because all the doors ended up opening but people were just standing in line.

I found out this year that when I see lines forming, I start getting little anxiety attacks. What’s this line for? Do I need to be in it? How can I get away from all these people?

After we got in, I headed to my new favorite room 6BCF for the Young Justice panel at 1000. There was some good discussion there, so I’m definitely excited for season 3. If you’re into it, look up the new artwork that was shown at the panel. We’re getting an older crew and some new members, taking place a few years down the line.

After that, I wanted to go to I Know That Voice, but that ended up being a ticketed event at a hotel somewhere, so that idea was scrapped (thankfully, I read the guide to find the location and gleaned this info before I got too far into the plan). I did actually bring my Uncharted 4 game because I wanted to see some voice actors like Nolan North, Troy Baker, and Laura Bailey (but nothing ever came of that).

I ended up going to get my bag which had a pin in it too! Pin #4. I really liked the CW bags this year, they looked really good (I ended up finding a Flash bag, abandoned because it ripped, so I took it home in hopes of making some cool art piece out of it). But also, free pins was an awesome surprise, so props there.

I think at this point, I went to meet up with friends and wander the floor a bit. My mission was simple: find the freebies, then get the freebies. The Netflix and Outlander booth were the main players, but both were over-crowded and the whole line-up system was ridiculous. But I’ll do anything for a free SDCC shirt. They’re so soft and make perfect oversized pajama shirts. It’s probably one of my favorite things of SDCC (because I like clothes, fandom memorabilia, souvenirs, and free stuff).

Netflix booth: a walkthrough with a bunch of screens and trailers/previews of their shows. Really dumb, but there were free shirts for Bright, The Defenders, and Stranger Things, among other freebies. Every time we went up, the line was capped and they just kept saying to walk around and come back in five minutes. Well, this happened multiple times because they would add people when it moved, so you really had to wait and swoop just to get in line. Really dumb, but I ended up getting 2 shirts out of this, so it was worth it. Also, the people were just really mean and grumpy, but I had to play nice.

Outlander booth: even worse! You had to go to the back wall to get a blue ticket to then line up and then draw a card to get a prize. The prizes were cool though: poster < bandana < flask < tote < custom shirt. The crazy thing was that it was hard to get a blue ticket. We were told to come back, that they didn’t have tickets, etc. even though we then saw the people giving them out sporadically to whomever they wanted. The guy even said if we were memorable, he’d then give us tickets. We eventually got tickets after multiple attempts. I ended up getting a bandana on my first attempt. Another day, I tried again and the ticket lady let me in “because I was alone” and I literally stood next to her as I waited and heard her straight up lie to people about having tickets. “Come back in 15-30 minutes, we’re out of tickets, go ask the other guy” etc. I ended up getting a shirt though because I looked into the drawing bag and pulled out the one that said t-shirt on it, so ha! I do want to say that the Scottish/Irish/white buff dudes they hired to work here were really nice and friendly every time I stopped by (as opposed to all the other workers of this booth). Props to them.

When it was around 1300, I met up with some other friends and headed to the Middle-earth: Shadow of War panel. I didn’t play the first one, but I heard it was really good. This one looks amazing, so I think I’ll go ahead and buy the first to play before I get this one. I really enjoyed this panel. Seeing (and hearing) Troy Baker and Laura Bailey was really awesome. Also, Matt Mercer and Kumail Nanjiani were there AND I sat next to Travis Willingham. I ended up getting selfies with Laura and Kumail, who were both really sweet about it.

After that, I think I went to the floor for a long time to hang out and do my rounds. I got a free fidget cube!

The last panel I went to was People of Earth, one of my favorite new shows that I heard about from last year’s SDCC. I was really excited to go to this! We got to watch the first episode of the new season. This cast is so funny. I actually saw two of the cast members on the floor before the panel, but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t approach (#missedconnections).

After that, we reconvened at the Hyatt, where I went to the third floor where it was empty, so I could have a peaceful poo. My schedule was so out of whack this weekend. We headed towards Gaslamp to meet up with another friend coming in and of course, get some La Puerta fries. We were so exhausted and knew we were planning to do autographs again, so we went back and ate and recounted tales of what we did for the day. It’s always fun to hear what your friends were up to while we were separated.

 

Day 2

We slept for like 4 hours and woke up at 0500, later than we expected, but thankfully so. We met up with some friends that were already in line for general admission (again, wtf this is so stupid) and did the whole process to get a chance at autographs. Well, I will say it was a good experience: I know I don’t ever want to do that again. It’s definitely not worth it. The line(s) was ridiculous and chaotic and people rushing around and pushing like that gave me so much stress. I was already exhausted, but that pushed me to my tipping point. And the day barely began! What a messy process.

So we ended up waiting in line for a while before they announced that some autographs were gone, and so I bounced because I really wanted to go to the Critical Role panel. Luckily, after all that, we were still there before doors opened at 0930, so were early and I had a decent seat.

The panel was great, I truly enjoy each and every one of these people. I was so happy just to see them live. I was probably laughing the whole time, but the guy behind me was laughing way too hard and spit some popcorn on my head (I felt it because I was bald). It was really gross. This is one of those moments where the fandom is just too intense for me…I didn’t even try to get any selfies. I was tired, but satisfied.

The rest of the day went alright, though I failed to get anymore freebies. Also, doing walk-bys at the WB/DC booth to see people was a failure. I couldn’t deal with the crowd and got stuck (though it was my own zamn fault) in the mob for The Flash. Also, Candice didn’t hear me calling her name this year #heartbreak, but it was chaotic and I immediately regret doing it because I felt like one of those crazy people I do not wish to become. Caught a glimpse of The Flash, Game of Thrones, Gal Gadot (omg), and Thor: Ragnarok (OMG TAIKA WAITITI AND I WERE IN THE SAME ROOM). These mobs were crazy. Like, the worst I’ve ever seen. Memo to self: NOT WORTH IT ANYMORE.

It wasn’t a total mess, as I did get to see Markiplier, which was really awesome! Everything else on Saturday Exhibit Hall was a bust. I think I was just really cranky and tired at that point because the day hadn’t been fruitful and I was being a big ol’ baby. Also, I was carrying two backpacks that were heavy (my twins), and my shoulders, back, and feet were killing me. I was mainly focused on good posture all Saturday.

R.I.P. 3 pins that I lost this year in the crowds. You will be missed. But your loss will not be in vain. I have learned from this.

Around 1700, I was so exhausted. I went back with some other friends that were staying at a hotel nearby because I was staying with them this night (hence why I was carrying all my stuff all day long). I got to take the bus lines for the first time, which was cool and convenient. I also got free cookies and water. We were planning to go back but ended up knocking out and the nap turned into sleep. I did wake up to go eat- they had a microwave downstairs too! And to go poo in peace. I ended up staying in the lobby, eating and watching the second half of Return of the King.

 

Day 3

In the morning, we didn’t have to wake up too early, and we got complimentary breakfast! First thing we did there, after I got pin #5, was walk the floor. I played in the game section for the first time, which was fun.

Then, we headed to an Avatar panel to learn about Dark Horse’s new comic from Irene Koh (panel: The Comic Book Elements of Avatar and Korra). We got there at 1030, so I was able to catch some of Tom King’s panel, which was great because I did want to see him (Vision was the greatest). I also got to take a picture with him. After that was ComiXology’s panel, Guide to Illustrating Comics. It was really informative (I once wanted to do this), and there was really great life advice in general from artists Sana Takeda and Jock. I love being in for smaller panels like this because it feels intimate and discovering little gems like this was really good for my soul.

As for the Avatar panel, omg Janet Varney and Michael Dante DiMartino (I can’t help but freak out). I ended up getting pictures with both of them! They were really, really kind. Also, I’m actually pretty excited for Irene Koh’s comic about Korra’s continuing story. There was some real, poignant discussion from all three of them. I definitely teared up a bit.

After the panel, we went to the floor for a bit before going to lunch. As in, my friends and I went to a restaurant, but I sat there and ate cheese pizza. I headed back a bit earlier than them because I really had to get to Racebending’s Super Asian America panel, my favorite panel I went to two years ago. I ended up sitting in on ComiXology’s panel about getting into comics, which was really informative. Yay for more little gems!

As for Super Asian America, yeah…teared up again. I just love this discussion and wish this panel could be longer. It was fun, informative, light and heavy at the same time, and I just love supporting all these panelists. Then I got to meet Lewis Tan, who was such a nice person.

As the day came to a close, I went to the Dark Horse booth to make my first and final purchase: Avatar and Korra coloring books. Best choice ever. I waited too long and another booth sold out of their STAR Labs sweaters. Next time, b. I’m mainly excited to try and practice my prismacoloring in these books. We took a final stroll in Artist Alley and headed outside for the final time. Always a bittersweet feeling here.

 

Post-Con

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s show for 3 days. I was tired and gross, but I made it through. I have stamina again! Then again, when I was tired…I was really tired and kept questioning whether I could do it again next year. I figure I’m not so much into the exclusive content as I am enjoying the smaller panels, the occasional sightings and meetings, being a fanboy with friends, and seeing cool cosplay. This year was definitely a change, but overall, I’ll look back fondly on these memories.

It was actually rather refreshing not having to worry about my cosplay. I could just wear comfy clothes and be more mobile. Speaking of “mobile”, I can’t believe my phone lasted throughout the day. Granted, I had it on power-saver and barely touched it except for for photos and I did have to take a charging break or two, but zamn. I didn’t really have to worry about it dying while I was alone or anything, which, by the way, was a huge concern of mine because my phone is very old and the battery is very poor.

I feel like every year, I get more and more jaded and a piece of my soul dies. But then again, I always look back fondly, so I guess I’ll be back next year!

I knew this weekend was going to be hard for me with all my sustainability stuff. It was my first time away from home since I started being more aware, so my routines were definitely changed. I learned a lot this weekend.

Some new wisdom:

  • I’m over being stressed about ALL THE THINGS, because inevitably, I’ll miss something, and the mental/emotional drama is excessive and draining. #fuckFOMO
  • I have to pick and choose my battles. When to approach people I am a fan of versus when to just let things be. Try not to be that human at a zoo.
  • Smaller panels are better. And Sunday is great.
  • I’m definitely a selfie or meet person (like I just want to thank people for inspiring me). Don’t need pictures of people or autographs, unless the autograph is from an author in their book. I’m not even that much of a merch person anymore. #minimalism
  • I also really like the random, unexpected stuff that happens! You never know what’s going on at any one time anywhere at the con. That’s the fun.
  • I really can’t wait to have more money so I can support people in meaningful ways, especially authors and artists.
  • NO IS GOOD. Say no to freebies I don’t care about. It reduces demand (though minimally), and therefore, reduces supply, and therefore, reduces waste. Also, it’s just so liberating not having a bunch of random shit to sort through when I get home.


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