Monday, July 13, 2015

San Diego Comic-con International 2015 - One Fan's Experience

Just to start off I want to say that this San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) ranks in my mind as possibly the best experience as a whole I have ever had. There have been some great moments during the dozen or more cons I've attended but overall this has to be #1 and I can't imagine any other coming close.  I owe that to my wife Donna for letting me attend once again. I'm a very lucky guy.  Next I need to mention that my step-daughter, Kristina, her wife Sarah and our friend Dan had to be the best con-going buddies I've ever had.  Dan and I have been to several together, but being with Kristina and Sarah made it extra special.  Neither had ever been to a SDCC, or any other comic convention, so seeing it through their eyes was a nice change.

I started out on Wednesday with a nice train ride down to San Diego.  I recommend the Amtrak Business Class seats with their free coffee and danish.  Get to relax, enjoy the room and get the caffeine and sugar rush you'll need for the rest of the day.  Also on the plus side was that I wasn't close to your know-in-all fanboy who decides that everyone in the car should be aware of how much trivial knowledge he has of everything. It might as well be the same guy every year.  Of course, I did end up with him in just about every line I stood in and even a few panels where he felt his commentary was more entertaining than whatever was happening up on the stage.   While that guy, and sometimes gal, is far from your typical fan that seems to be the one that non-fans encounter thereby giving the rest of us a bad name.

Dan was nice enough to pick me up at the train station and we grabbed a nice lunch at the Park House Eatery in University Heights.  I really have to recommend the BLT Bloody Mary's if you drop by and they are just what you imagine.

We met up with Kristina and Sarah at their home later. The four us decided to give San Diego mass transit a try and caught the Green Line down near the Charger's stadium.  Haven't been there since I saw them get their butts kicked by the Jets, which was also a lot of fun. The trains were on time and clean, which was a pleasant change from many of my subway rides on the MTA back in the day.

You can imagine the lines outside the convention center, even for Preview Night.  We had to split up as Dan & Kristina had regular tickets, while Sarah and I headed over to Pro registration. The line was still long, but certainly not as crazy as many I've had to stand in at other cons. After we got out tickets I happened to spot Mark Evanier, who I have known for a number of years. I was actually surprised to not see him with Sergio Aragones, as the two of them often seem attached at every SDCC.  

We four met up finally and began what would be a weekend of standing in one line or another for exclusives or panels.  One of the fun parts was that neither Kristina or Sarah had ever been to a comic convention before, so Comic-con was certainly a great way to introduce them to such events. My first SDCC was in 1975 and was my second con, but even then it was far bigger than the one I had attended months earlier on a Saturday at a local high school.

One of the places we hit was the Super 7 booth.  If you knew about it you could approach one of the folks there and ask "where can I get a coin?"  You'd then be handed a plastic silver coin with the head of Skeletor on it and a postcard with the address of their 'secret store' which opened later in the night.

Then it was time to head over to the Blind Burro for drinks and Mexican food.  I highly recommend the place. Be sure to get the chips and salsa that's made on the site and they keep refilling.

Unfortunately, even though we got to the 'secret store' a bit after they opened the line was clear around the building and up the next block. In close to an hour we just got around the corner and part of the way to the store.  It was after 10:00 pm and all of us were getting tired, had to make sure to get to the trolleys before they stopped running, plus it had started to mist.

So ends Preview Night at SDCC 2015.  I'll have more to say about the next few days we spent beginning tomorrow and possibly the day after.  
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