Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#SLCC15: My Comic Con Experience

I know you could all probably care less (or is it couldn't care less, I can never get that right!) about who I saw and what I did during Comic Con, but I still have to record it for posterity, you know? Or at least for me to read over next year, and maybe the year after that just to remember. :)

Day One: Thursday

Right of the bat, we had some issues parking. . . our normal spot was full! But we finally figured that out and arrived around 3:15 pm on Thursday. So the first Q and A panel we ended up in was Scott Wilson, aka. Hershel from The Walking Dead. He was very low key. Interesting, yes. But not too exciting. They doubled the room that we normally hang out in (usually there are two rooms but they combined them into one huge one that seats 4500 people!)  and we were toward the back for that first panel, so when it ended, up to the front we ran! Part of the craziness of comic con is fighting for seats. There's such a strategy involved. And what fun is going if you only see them on the jumbo-tron and not their real live faces, right?

Anyway, we got closer for the next one which was Chekov from the original Star Trek. He was a spry little old man! And cute! He wore a baseball cap that put his whole face in shadow which made me crazy and the moderator kept trying to tip it back. Finally he (Walter Koenig) just took it off. It was pretty funny. He had some great Star Trek stories.

After the cap came off!

After that was Studio C which is a local group with funny shows on YouTube. I've never watched them, but I hear they are... funny. We stayed put to keep our seats for the next panel which was,

The Weasley Twins! They were awesome! But guys, they don't have red hair. Gasp. I know. But they had beautiful brown hair and were so cute. The moderator asked them rapid fire favorite questions and they answered as one, with the same answers in the exact same tone. It was awesome. Someone asked them which one of them was the good twin and which one the bad. We all determined that Oliver is the bad and James is the good. They seemed to agree. I have to admit, I was drawn to James just a touch. (He's the one that played Fred in the movie.) I don't know why, he just exuded that cute shy boy charm.

Oliver (aka George) on the left, James (aka Fred) on the right.

After that we actually left the ballroom and the Q and A's to wander around. We took a few pictures, observed the cool costumes and strolled past Celebrity Row to see who was "out."

Then we got in line for the class we wanted to go to at 8:00 about ghost hunting. That guy has some interesting stories indeed! I tend to believe him, but I know many would just roll their eyes and find him completely full of it.

We lasted the whole day! After that it was over! And we went home to sleep.

Day Two: Friday

We got up and picked up Kami and her brother on our way to the convention. We arrived about an hour early and Toto and I went straight to the line for Jenna Coleman, aka Clara, the current companion in Dr. Who. We waited in line for awhile, but they let us in pretty quickly and we got fairly good seats in the front section. We waited for probably 40 or so minutes inside and then finally, our marathon day of Q and A panels in the huge ballroom began!

Jenna Coleman was cute and fun. We learned that this current season of Dr. Who, the one that just started, is her last season and in fact she has already shot her final Dr. Who scene. So that's sad. And now I wonder who the next companion will be!

Waiting in line.

After her it was supposed to Rory, also from Dr. Who, but he had to cancel at the last minute. Sad!! So, there was an hour of no one! Did we leave our seats? NO! We moved closer and were actually on the seventh row now, and just to the left of center. On an aisle too! Perfect! We were not leaving. So we sat and read and had a little nap and ate our snacks.

Reading and waiting.

The crowd behind me.

Then it was 1:00 p.m.  Time for the Sean Astin panel! Oh my word that entire 4500 seat place filled completely up and no wonder. He was awesome! He came out riding on the top of the golf cart (they use those to get the celebrities around from spot to spot) down an aisle. The crowd went wild. And then he ran from side to side of the stage until we were crazy from screaming. He was great and told the awesome story about filming that final scene, carrying Frodo on his back, and the monologue he had. He said he wanted to do it over and over and over again so they let him until it was dark. And they were all (director included) weeping by the time it was all over. He is amazing.  (Full panel video right here! You can really get a feel for all the screaming we do at these things.) Anyway, I could have had that one go on for an hour or two longer, but nope. There was more to come!

Up next was Sebastian Stan who stars in Captain America. He's the friend, Bucky and in Winter Soldier he's (SPOILER) the Winter Soldier! And he is really quite beautiful with the most amazing smile. He was raised in Romania and spoke some Romanian for us, which was cool. I need to watch this Winter Soldier movie again that's for sure. :) (Full panel right here if you want to watch!)

I tried to get the smile.
The smile!

Did we leave yet? We did not! I wanted to go see Dean O'Gorman so so bad, but he was in a different room, But I did not want to leave our seats! So we stayed and saw Felicia Day.... again... like we did last year. She is funny and cute and a blast to listen to, but I haven't seen her in one dang thing! And Dean was Fili in The Hobbit and I'm sure I would have loved him, but.... I stayed in the ballroom.

Here's what I gave up in order to keep my seats! Gah! I'm crazy!

After Felicia was Anthony Daniels aka. C3PO and the highlight of the whole comic con for us. He was a riot! He didn't do a Q and A but instead pretty much did a stand comedy routine which included lots of Star Wars stories. I loved it! I was riveted! He made us bow down to him like the Ewoks did in Return of the Jedi and we thought we'd die laughing. He was great! (I cant find a full panel video of him yet, but when I do it will go here!)

The day was not over yet! Up next was Christopher Gorham. I'm not very familiar with him except for the movie The Other Side of Heaven. Most people know him from Covert Affairs. But I guess he's been in a gazillion things. I need to look some of them up and watch. He's way cute!

Our naked eye view. :)
What he looks like in case you didn't know.

Now it's 6:00 p.m. and we still didn't leave our seats! Because next on the line up was Manu Bennett and I love him! We saw him last year and I was hooked. So we stayed again and he is just so sweet and nice and genuine and perfect. He plays such bad guys (Azog, Slade Wilson and Crixus) but he's such a nice guy in real life.

Whew. And then.. and then... we left the ballroom! We'd arrived there about 10 am and now it was 7 pm. NINE hours sitting there watching one celebrity after another and I LOVED it! The day goes by so so fast and it's so much fun! (P.S. No, we didn't leave to go to the bathroom or to eat. I brought snacks and we were too excited to worry about the bathroom!)

We went to one more class, a small panel, about psychology and fandom. I hoped they'd explore the idea that being a fan of anything is a positive thing for your mental health. They touched on that, but mostly they talked about how people identify with the mental health issues that various superheros suffer and how it helps them get through it. At any rate, it was interesting.

We were tired after that and left, with Kami and her brother, and got food at Village Inn.

And now, I must explain a thing. So the big headlining name of the con, Chris Evans, was to be doing his Q and A panel in the ballroom the next morning, Saturday at 10:00 am. They decided that instead of having people camping out to get a spot in line to guarantee they get in the room, they'd do a lottery and award 4500 people of the 120,000 that attended, a spot in the room. They said if you won, you'd get an email on Friday. I checked my email all day long and nothing. Oh, well. I'm not that into Chris Evans, but I truly did want to be "in the room" so I could have a good spot for Ian Somerhalder who was right after Chris!

During that last class at 7:00 p.m. the email popped up saying I was a winner! WOOT! My time to show up the next morning was 8:20 am! Wow! (Keep in mind it's a 45 min drive from my house to the convention.) But I was excited! Yay! Good thing Toto had to do a violin thing on Saturday morning, because I only won ONE seat!

Day Three: Saturday

So I got up at 6:30 am. Left my house at 7:00 a.m. Arrived in the parking lot at 7:45 am. Found my line at 8:00 am and was ushered into the building about 8:10 am. I was one of the first groups in, so had pretty decent seats. We squished altogether, all strangers, yet friends. And I did make friends with the two people seating next to me because we had TWO hours to kill! The panel didn't start until 10:00 am (as mentioned above!) So that was fun.

Well, the time arrived and no Chris. 10: 15 and no Chris. 10:30 and no Chris. We started getting pretty restless. Man, they were stalling and it made me crazy. I wish they could just come out there and tell us how it is and what's going on. But they don't. They make it seem like ANY SECOND NOW we are going to start!

Well, finally at 10:40 Chris came out. SCREAMING! And he was awesome. And he answered a question .And then out popped Anthony Mackie, the other star of Captain America. SCREAMING! And then Chris answered another question. Then out popped some girl who I don't know at all... Hayley someone who plays Agent Carter, also in Captain America? I think? Anyway.. SCREAMING! (Video of all this right here.) And then Chris sort of answered another question. And now it's 11:00 am and they told him he had to go. He was on stage for TWENTY minutes! So we won the lottery, got up at the crack of dawn, and sat waiting for him for 2 1/2 hours for TWENTY minutes! I was bummed. The rest of the time was Anthony Mackie doing Q and A like a normal panel and he was great and funny and it was awesome. So. It was fun. But still. (Full panel of ALL this excitement to be found here! Including the push up challenge. And you don't even need to win a lottery!)

Love this shot.

And three of them. 

Once that was over at about 11:45 I scooted over to get more center (I didn't manage to get closer) for Ian. I was so excited! His Q and A panel started at noon. It came. It went. No Ian. 12: 15 no Ian. Again with the stalling, again with the "just a few more minutes!" thing. Just tell us people. HE"S NOT HERE YET! Or whatever. Anyway. Finally at 12:30 he came out and SCREAMING! He was as cute as expected. He was got on his environment soap box, as expected. He was just pretty much what I expected. All 20 minutes we got of him before he had to go. Sigh. (Here's the naked Damon story someone caught on video in case you're interested.)

I took a lot of crappy pictures. Here's a few of them!

My family showed up by that time so I saved seats and they joined me. Then next panel was going to be a promo and sneak peek at Con Man, a video series coming up. I had no idea what it was but Alan Tudyk was supposed to be skyping in and Sean Astin was also involved, so I decided to stay put, again, instead of leaving to go to a local author panel. And it was good that I did because guess who was actually there and NOT on skype after all! Alan Tudyk! He walked in on the stage IN THE FLESH! Much much SCREAMING! (Here's the full panel including the surprise appearance of Alan.) I was so excited. I tired to get into his panel last year and didn't make. So, I got to see him this year! He was funny. And they web series looks like these guys making fun of fans and conventions, so it looks like a riot.  I may even have to watch it! Here's a trailer in case you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about:

Con Man - Preview from Con Man Web Series on Vimeo.

Then we stayed again for the voice actor panel. These guys are amazing with their voices and they read the Harry Potter script in silly funny cartoon voices. But I know none of them! So, it's funny but sort of not funny too. For me. The room was filled with 4500 people who laughed and laughed and laughed. The panel went for two hours, but we left (YES WE LEFT!) after one hour. It was 3:00 pm I'd been in there for seven hours.

We all split up (Toto was actually with her friends that day and they did some fun stuff, including shaking Anthony Daniels hand!) and I found myself at the Neon Trees panel. They sang to us at the end.

Then I stayed there (this was int the smaller big room) for Urban Fantasy so I could at least say I saw Terry Brooks and Jim Butcher. They were cool, but the subject ended up being kinda boring. Gasp. I know. Maybe I was just tired. Then I was going to leave, but suddenly all the family showed up to see Stars of YouTube! So I stayed. Three hours in that room! But it was fun and low key.

Then we left to ran BACK to the ballroom to see John Barrowman. We sat in the back for him (see what happens if you leave that room? You sit in the BACK!!) and enjoyed his stand up comedy act. He's funny, but he does tend to cross a line for me now and then from funny to crass. Oh, well. He sang and I could listen to him sing forever. See what I mean:

I was pretty tired after that, but went to one more panel about UFO's and crop circles. LOL! When that was over, Toto was done with her friends we left and went home, but not before we got dinner at Five Guys.

Whew! And that was our experience! I loved it! So much fun. I decided that the thing I truly love about this event is the energy. I thrive on that energy. It is tangible. And it's amazing. I love screaming for stars. I love seeing what they are like when they aren't acting. (OK, Some of them were acting even then, but still.) And I just think it's a blast.

I was sad to not see Dean O'Gorman and I missed Robbie Amell when I decided to stay to the voice actor thing. And I was sad that Rory from Dr. Who wasn't there. And I felt gypped about the whole Chris Evans thing even though I won the lottery. And I feel bad that I didn't support the local author stuff. But those were the only sad bits. The rest was awesome.

As you can see, I have a different strategy and am happy to stay in that big room and just see person after person come across the stage. Wandering "the floor" as they call it is fun, but that tends to stress me out. And I'm not interested in buying stuff and I'm too shy to talk to the stars, and can't justify paying for pictures, so I find the fun in just seeing them do the Q and A's.

Six months and we'll do it all again!


  1. Sigh. Christopher Gorham. Thanks for taking that pic for me on Instagram. Maybe, he'll come back. I'm glad you guys had a good time. It sounds like it was epic fun!

    1. Jenni: And there were several times we walked past his table and there was no one there. You could have just hung out and talked to him, easy!

  2. that looks like a great time and Chris evans and Bucky :) Sounds like a lovely time

  3. How fun. I think next year I will just go to panels and save my feet from the vendor section which is so crowded. The panels were my highlight as well. Being an animation buff the twisted toonz was my favorite of the day.

    1. Rachel: It definitely would save your feet!

  4. This looks so fun. I need to go some year. Glad you had fun.

  5. I can't believe you waited for so long and got screwed on Chris and Ian. Still sounds like you guys had a blast.
    Christopher Goram was just sitting there alone? I would have totally talked to him.

    1. Jenny: See, that's why you guys need to come with because I'm too scared to talk to them on my own!!! GAH!! I'm such a wimp!!!

  6. I don't know who most of these people are (except Sean Astin and Studio C), but I'm glad they had you fan-girling :) Looks like you had a great time!

    1. Susan: You don't know Star Trek and Star Wars guys! WHAT??? :)

  7. I need to write my post! You should have left your seat for Dean O'Gorman. He was SO charming and funny! You would have loved him.

    1. Kami: I know I know! And... write your post!!!



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