The First Day

Ballroom 20

One tiny section of the line for Ballroom 20

Never before have I seen a line as long as the one this morning. And that was just the line to get the actual ticket to get into the convention because hey let’s have only a brief window to pick up tickets the night before at a place way on the other side of town. Ridiculous. Picked up my badge this morning and despite all our strategy on trying to get into the line with the best-themed swag bag, we all wound up with The Lego Movie. Not bad (and better than the polarizing Vampire Diaries) but I wish it was a little more randomized. Then I headed straight for Ballroom 20 the line to get into the line for Ballroom 20, which looked pretty bad but I actually managed to get into the room even after lining up for registration.

I was able to watch most of the pilot for Intelligence – a new drama on CBS starring Josh Holloway about a soldier named Gabriel who gets a chip implanted into his brain that allows him to access databases, internet and satellites from all over the world. Best 4G connection ever. It doesn’t matter how good it is because hello Josh Holloway has potential but the set-up now seems too predictable. Gabriel has been searching for his MIA wife who may or may not be a double agent, gets assigned a (necessarily attractive) secret service agent to protect him. I can already see how this progresses. Gabriel hunts for his wife throughout the first season, finds out she is a double agent, but has to let her go in order to save his new partner. If it can go a different route and avoid cliches, then it has potential because otherwise it’s very well-made. And yes, Josh Holloway is just as charming in real life.

Intelligence

Intelligence cast *swoon*

Then came the block of CW shows, which I felt bad for the fans because I’m thinking the majority of the people in the audience were only sitting through them because they were waiting for another panel. Star-Crossed is about 2 teenagers from different worlds (literally because the guy is an alien) who get into a – what else – Romeo and Juliet style relationship. How can you tell what an “atrian” alien looks like? They all have markings on their faces (derogatorily called “tatties”) and dress like rock star goth kids. There were moments of pure, unintentional hilarity – clunky dialogue, gratuitous slow-motion undressing moments – where me and a group of girls on my right couldn’t help but start snickering. There was also the almost!kiss scene which was so cliche half the audience was laughing. Once the panel started one of the guys said, “I can tell by your reaction to the kiss scene that you are all excited.” Oh dear. There was also a panel for Beauty and the Beast, which wisely showed a blooper reel as its only video so that was entertaining at least.

Then came shows which I had heard were good but hadn’t gotten around to watching yet – Psych and Sherlock. Even though I haven’t seen a single episode of either, I found the panels highly entertaining. Cary Elwes was the surprise moderator for Psych and was flat-out, enthusiastically crazy. During the Q&A one of the fans actually snuck in a “As you wish,” to him which the crowd loved of course. The actors and writer for Psych had good chemistry, and the writers for Sherlock were just flat out hilarious. They showed a brief clip of next season and I immediately added Sherlock to my queue. The con is a good place to discover new sources of entertainment.

X-files

X-Files Panel

Finally we reached the panel I had been waiting for – TV Guide’s 20th anniversary of The X-Files. The major writers were there along with Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson (who, wow, looks amazing) and David Duchovny. I had never seen the writers before so it was good to finally put a face with a name. And I am a huge fan of Breaking Bad so it was nice to get to see and hear Vince Gilligan talk about the importance of The X-Files to Breaking Bad. Gillian Anderson was unintentionally hilarious for mentioning the number of times Mulder and Scully should have gotten it on, and when David Duchovny quoted a moving conversation during one of their scenes for an episode I had actually rewatched recently all she said was, “…Okay.” All right, Gillian, I suppose it’s all right to forget what happened on a show that was only 20 years ago.

My last panel was Entertainment Weekly’s Brave New Heroes, which featured 5 young and upcoming actors on hit shows today, i.e. hot male actors. I had no idea Kit Harington, Matt Smith and Steven Yeun were so popular with the ladies, and I’m now so old with pop culture I had no idea who the other guys were or that Teen Wolf was such a big hit. I made it through most of the panel before my head started pounding from being stuck in that room all day and from the high-pitched screaming. But I had to sit through that panel as insurance in case I didn’t make it into Game of Thrones the next day. Then finally I made my trip to the exhibit hall.

Weta

Weta in the Exhibit Hall

Oh the exhibit hall. That was my first experience of too many people in one space. It was insane with people either swarming a booth to get freebies, taking pictures of the booths, taking pictures with cosplayers, getting lost, running into friends, or buying huge items. You could probably double the space of the hall and it would still feel crowded. I had an objective to buy a very specific item from the DC booth which I had to map out beforehand, managed to actually get it when items were selling out on the first day already, and then wandered around for a bit more just to know the layout. I’m sure once you’re familiar it’s easy but otherwise it came off a bit overwhelming.

Cosplay

Weirdest group cosplay photo ever

Tetris

Walking home

Finally I made my stop to grab my freebies from the adequately named “Fulfillment Room,” which of course requires a long walk to a hotel on the side of the convention center. Certain panels give out free items, which means they give you a ticket which you redeem for swag. Psych handed out free t-shirts, which is probably the most highly regarded type of swag. Then finally I called it a day and went home, which required swimming through crowds of fans and people handing out flyers. Hundreds of flyers for restaurants, tv shows, comics, and yes, even strip clubs. There’s plenty of entertainment in San Diego catering to a wide variety of interests!

Souvenir Book

Got published and it feels so good

Overall it was a good day, made even better by a great start because while I was waiting in line for the first panel of the day I flipped through the souvenir book nervously, and lo and behold, my X-Men artwork I had spent hours and hours on actually got published in the book! I was so excited I literally “squee’d.” Out loud. In line. That’s probably the highest my voice has gone since I was a child. I only ever got a thank you e-mail for my submission, and never got notified that I actually made it since they didn’t e-mail everyone. I know I said I was happy just drawing this, but getting it published with all the beautiful artwork of other fans is probably one of the greatest souvenirs I’ll have.

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