Today’s 15 Days of Comic-Con Post comes from our newest contributor, Jessica Grafer! We are twitter friends and when I found that this year had been her first Comic-Con, I knew I needed her to write a blog post for the Comic-Con Series. This HUGE “Being Human” fan is also sweet as pie, and a writer. This post is well written and hilarious. You can find even more photos of her incredible trip at her blog, http://gathermywords.wordpress.com/ Enjoy!
A San Diego Comic Con Virgin: Cherry Broken!
It all started back in December 2011. I was on Christmas vacation and discovered a new show thanks to Netflix. The American version of Being Human. Since I had oodles of time I was on the computer and found this lovely group of people who also loved Being Human. We all met through the fan site, BeingFans. BeingFans has a large following but some of us grew especially close. As we chatted the day away on twitter we talked about how great it would be to meet each other. Somehow we came up with the idea that San Diego’s Comic Con would be the perfect spot!
We started excitedly planning through emails and tweets, and when the tickets went on sale we had the perfect plan of attack. Before I knew it my new friends were excitedly calling me to tell me they got the tickets for all four days. We were in! All of a sudden things were real. I was excited, sure, but also a tiny bit nervous. New people, across the country.
I love the idea of Comic Con, but I’m not thoroughly educated in geekdom and I was afraid I’d be called out. I’d walk in and they would ask me to step to one side. Then the questions would start: In what issue of Batman did Robin first appear? Who did Spider-Man work with to fight the Sandman? Can you make that sign Spock does with his fingers, and what does it mean?
I would be exposed as a fraud and promptly led to the first exit. I decided that even with the possibility of being ridiculed by people much smarter but with paler skin than I, I was still going to go. I would try to pack in as much pop culture information as possible before July. That’s plenty of time right?
I imagined myself poring over piles of comics. Looking super cute of course as I stared intently at statistics of super heroes trying to remember which one went with which universe and had what powers. I figured I could have this down in no time.
Well, I’d be at work thinking, tonight I’m going to get it down. Then I’d pass out, exhausted and tell myself, tomorrow. Before I knew it, it was June. These past six months I succeeded in getting a good deal of Being Human information. I worked closely with the girls of BeingFans, Dana and Kristi Hahn. I wrote a weekly review/editorial on the episodes and kept up on the latest news. Alas all other areas of geekdom were sadly ignored.
Now it was July, bags packed. Airline ticket in hand. Me, nervous as ever that by wearing my Star Wars shirt someone would start talking to me about the science behind the lightsaber. Despite all this, I was excited to meet new people and see what all the hoo-ha was about. And hey… I think I could even pick Stan Lee out of a crowd!
Landed in San Diego about eleven a.m. Thursday the 12. Met my new friend from Virginia at the airport and we grabbed a cab to our hotel. Quick, dropped off our bags and rushed to meet another Twitter friend for lunch. San Diego is a beautiful city. As we got closer to the convention center we saw scattered groups of people walking. Some dressed as recognizable cartoon characters, super heroes etc. Some I couldn’t tell you what they were! It was all very exciting. Everyone was smiling and all headed to the same place. We had lunch at Kansas City Bar-B-Que, where the sleazy bar scene in Top Gun was filmed. The food was excellent and the atmosphere was super fun. After lunch we began to join the pilgrimage to the Convention Center.
The closer we got the more people thronged the streets. Comic Con was not strictly confined to the Center. It stretched out across the street and into the historic downtown area. There were also sessions in the Hilton hotel next to the Center. Right now I was focused on the people. Young people, old people. All languages. Some in costume, some dressed casual and some dressed nicely. Everyone was smiling and talking. The excited hum of conversation was like electricity in the air.
The sidewalks were packed. You could move but it was close quarters. Now this was Thursday so I was super stoked. All these people didn’t bother me. It was thrilling. People were stopping to take pictures with characters in costumes, everyone laughing and having a great time. The Convention Center is huge. They had lots of staff to point out where to go. We headed to pick up our badges. We were getting there a couple of hours after the first day started and it was a weekday so we were lucky. We basically walked right up and got our badges, lanyards and huge swag bags. I mean, you can easily fit a toddler into one of these bags. After getting our official Comic Con guides and souvenir books we headed out to the floor. There were lots of booths set up with some people doing signings and some just informational. We found the actor who played Eddie Munster. He was very nice and I got him to say an intro for my friend’s podcast. I agreed to buy a photo/autograph from him for doing the promo for me. This was my first lesson of Comic Con. AFTER getting the autograph and recording he told me it was twenty bucks! Now, I understand this is his business but holy cow!
Now we met up with our friends from BeingFans. It was great to meet them in person. I have to say, the absolutely best part of the trip was meeting the friends I have met online.
***Photo Courtesy of Beingfans
I didn’t get to meet everyone and I’m saddened for that, but now I can take a trip out there just for fun! We decided to head for the Exhibit floor. I’m not sure how to describe this. Absolute chaos maybe? The Exhibit floor is like a crazy nerd drug den! T-shirts, toys, art work, books and of course…comics, comics, comics!!!! Lots of people but we could still fairly easily walk around and look. There was so much to look at though. Impossible to see it all. All the amazing, original artwork. Spectacular.
Before the con I had checked the schedule and picked out several things I wanted to do. Learn to play Dungeons & Dragons, Listen to these artists talk about how to get started. Star Wars origami! All of that was quickly forgotten. My brain was on sensory overload and it was all I could do to wander around with my mouth wide open and snap lots of pics.
On Friday I was eager to get into Hall H and see several panels. The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead are just a few. I was ready! It was 8 a.m. and the Big Bang Theory panel didn’t start til noon. We went to get in line. We found a line that didn’t look too bad and we made our way to the end. I asked if this was the line for Hall H. This guy standing there and smoking said yes but you have to have this kind of badge. He held his up and it was a handicap badge. Ok……. “The regular line is over there” He pointed to a tented area with a line that was winding up and down and then out from under the tent. Still ready to see the stars from my favorite shows, we started walking down the lot. The line was going down the sidewalk, then across the street and continuing down the sidewalk. My smile starting to fade a bit I was walking a little slower. My friend was still hauling booty when I told her to stop. I said I can see the line all the way down my the water. I asked the people in line who has been at comic con before. I said, what are our chances of getting in the Hall if we get at the end of the line? It didn’t look good. Those people had already been there for 2 hours waiting. I decided I’d rather walk around and see what else we could get into, than waste our day standing in line for something when we might not even get in to see. So, no Big Bang, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones for me. That’s ok. Still lots to see.
Since we all are Being Human fans we did not want to take a chance of not getting a primo seat for their panel the following day. The only way to guarantee this is to sleep outside in line. Since I wasn’t prepared to sleep out I got myself a super awesome glow in the dark Star Wars sweatshirt. When I had the hood up I felt like a real Jedi! Then I found these goofy “lounge pants” at CVS and some black socks. I was ready to go. We found our spots in line. Concrete bed right next to the bay. It was beautiful. It got less and less fun as the night went on. It got chilly and it was really damp. Lucky for us, the Hilton wasn’t complaining when we would come in to sit and charge our phones.
***Photo Courtesy of Beingfans
I was a sight let me tell you! It was fun to people watch though. There were lots of parties going on and we caught glimpses of Joshua Jackson, Johnny Galecki and John Noble! Too bad we weren’t more presentable. I think I slept maybe in 15 minute intervals.
I was awake at 5 when an employee came out to let us in the Hilton. We went inside to wait in another line until 9 a.m. when we were finally let into the Indigo Room. We had seats in the middle of the second and third rows. Pretty perfect! I really enjoyed all the panels that I saw in that room before Being Human came on. I discovered some new podcasts and YouTube channels to listen to/watch and had a good time with my friends. We didn’t leave at all so we could have good seats for Being Human.
***Photo Courtesy of Beingfans
Finally at 3 p.m. it was time. It was amazing to see our favorite stars up close.
There were so many people who wanted to ask questions we didn’t get a chance. At the end of the panel, my group wanted to get up to give them something we had brought for them. People rushed the stage area like mad. Most of them were grown men! They wanted autographs. Meghan Rath, Sam Witwer and Sammy Huntington were very gracious and tried to accommodate everyone. We didn’t get the time to talk to them like we had hoped. Ah well. Still pretty cool.
After that I decided I wasn’t sleeping outside again, not even for the Supernatural panel Sunday. At this point I think I had pretty much had my fill of crowds and walking and waiting. We headed back to the hotel, had dinner and relaxed.
Sunday I had decided I didn’t even need to go back to the Con. I thought, I’m in California. I want to see the beach! So my one friend and I decided to beach it. Before we went to the beach the super heroes were calling us and we headed back to the convention for a last hurrah. We did a little more shopping. Looked at some fantastic movie props and artwork and took tons of pictures. Then we pulled ourselves away and jumped on the bus to the beach. It was a pretty perfect way to end the long busy weekend.
All in all it was an amazing experience. I think I was just majorly overwhelmed. When I first left I said I would not go back but the more I think about it, the more I’m willing to give it another chance. I even got introduced to these comics that I’m going to start reading. So maybe next time, I’ll be someone dressed up and checking my weapons at the door.