Last weekend, I attended my first Comic Con. It was the Wizard World Con or Sacramento Comic Con, as it was more frequently called. Ed and I were excited to get away for a short period of time but I had been so excited about the anticipation of this convention.
Ed has been to a few other cons over the years. He tries to go an annual con in San Jose with his best friends. And he always seems to have a great time. I have watched San Diego Comic Con coverage for years (R.I.P G4 network) and been jealous. So I was ready. Or so I thought.
We got to Sacramento a day early, tooled around a little, visited my friend’s new place, had an amazing dinner. All kinds of things that would leave one relaxed and happy. The hotel was across the street from the convention center. Parking was taken care of for the night. All was great.
We got there right about the time of the floor opening. The line to get in actually moved pretty quickly. Moved up to the booth, received our wrist bands. And were off.
My first thought was that it was so weird that there was no bag check. Most events now days they have you go through security, check your bag or purse etc. No, not at a comic con. Instead they had a weapons check area, where Cosplayer’s had to have security make sure that their costume accessories were just that.
The convention floor was what I would expect any convention to be like. It was crowded (the show had sold out for the day) and it was warm. What I learned right away was that my husband does not like to look at things at the beginning instead walk the floor and see what is there. Okay, to be fair, I already knew that about him but I still found it annoying. So we walked the floor and dealt with the crowds and this took about an hour. And at that point I looked at Ed and said, “That’s it?” At that very moment I literally said to my husband, “I don’t think that this is for me.”
We had paid good money and walked the floor and that was it?
Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed.
Lunch, caffeine and a bit of recouping (read this as changing my shoes to flip flops) and we were back at this. What a difference this made for me.
I realized in that little break that I did not like it initially because I didn’t really know what to expect. Now back with more comfortable footwear, and newly caffeinated I was ready to go. We did some shopping at the many booths. I found a poster for Niece #3, a Doctor Who T-shirt for Nephew #2. Ed found a couple of things. I searched through many booths for the Funko Pop figurines- scoring a Cheshire Cat and a Carl from Up!
We wandered around to the celebrities giving autographs. I saw from afar- Ralph Macchio, Billy Dee Williams, Lou Ferrigno, Norman Readus (from Walking Dead). I broke down and stood in line to meet and get the autograph of Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor from the Smallville TV show and star of one of my favorite movies- Sorority Boys. Don’t judge me, I like cheesy stuff). Let me tell you that he was a very nice guy. And I left a little more star struck than I imagined I would ever be.
I experienced the people of Cosplay in person. I have seen Cosplayers on TV and in the pictures of my friends’ other con experiences. I think it is cool if a person is confident enough to dress up. There was the random Batman, lots of Stormtroopers, various incarnations of The Doctor. There was a band of people dressed as characters from Space Balls. They were really pretty awesome. Hats off to you Cosplayers. I think that one of the people I saw that impressed me the most was a girl dressed as Daenerys Targaryen or Khaleesi from Game of Thrones. She even made her own dragon’s egg.
And just when I thought that this whole Comic Con thing is pretty cool after all, we decided to go sit in on some panels. We had missed the morning panels but the next one was James Marsters (Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, amongst other things). So we made our way to the large lecture hall. The nice thing at this con is that they did not clear the room. So we could have in theory sat there all day if we wanted. Let me tell you that James was enchanting. He took questions from the audience and seemed to be having a great time.
The next panel was the one and only William Shatner. Holy Cow, that was surreal! Shatner is a weird guy. But I can now say that I saw him and listened to his randomness. (On a side note, when I was telling my nieces about who we saw there I said William Shatner and neither of them knew who he was. I had to describe him as Penny’s [from Big Band Theory] dad in the Priceline commercials. What a generation gap!)
The panel that we had planned to see was the final panel of the day. Bruce Campbell! I can now tell you that Bruce is one of my favorites. He did a different type panel where he made his own panel of audience members and interacted that way. No real Q&A but honestly even better. Ahh Bruce, you should be in everything!
Finally after the regular floor closed, Ed and I stayed to watch the Cosplay Contest. It was pretty cool to see the 120 or so people who took the time to dress up for the show. What an ending to a weird and cool day. Congrats to the 7 1/2 foot Meca Godzilla who won the grand prize. That was a whole lot of duct tape!
I learned a few lessons from my first Comic Con.
1- Lose your expectations. That almost caused me to not enjoy this crazy experience.
2- It is going to be crowded. It is a convention, deal with it. Disneyland is crowded and I love every second of that.
3-Panels are cool. Check them out!
4- Autographs are expensive. Be prepared to pay for someone who you want to meet.
5- Spandex is not for everyone. But more power to those that have the confidence to dress up and get out there.
6- Bring lots of money!
I can tell you that I am now ready for Sac Comic Con again next year. In fact, I may just be ready for San Diego Comic Con, at least in theory! I have the opportunity to try to get tickets so we shall see.
Add this to new things that I have tried and now can honestly say, loved! Let your Geek flags fly people. Everyone has a little of it in them. I am not doing any Cosplay, but I at least now can appreciate the whole experience better. And maybe do it wearing my new Alice in Wonderland/Doctor Who mash-up shirt. It sounds weird, but it is so cool and it is so me!