So this is a kind of “Behind The Scenes” posts I’m going to try and put up for each week’s videos. Each week there usually are a few extra photos and bits of videos that didn’t quite make it into the final edit. Here is where I’ll try and post some of those bits, along with any personal notes I didn’t share in the video.
See this week’s video if you haven’t seen it here: Week 28 – San Diego Comic Con
San Diego Convention Center
111 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Usually begins on a Wednesday night (Preview Night 6:00–9:00 PM), and then 4 regular days from Thursday to Sunday (9:30 AM–7:00 PM, however many panels go later, and activities outside convention run various times).
Preview Night – $40.00
Thursday – $55.00
Friday – $55.00
Saturday – $55.00
Sunday – $40.00
Parking is in public lots around the city, some can be reserved ahead of time, prices usually range from $20-50 a day depending on location and lot.
The walkway to the grotto at the Welk Resort
So first let me talk a bit of the place I stayed. I mentioned it in the video briefly, but it’s the Welk Resort in Escondido. Really it was such a great place, if you get a chance to purchase a time share there it’s well worth the money. This isn’t an ad or anything, just highly recommend it. Nice rooms and amenities, was really glad I got to stay there this year. In past years I’ve had to stay in cheap motels which were all that was left and not rented out during Comic Con (nice hotels in downtown San Diego can go for several hundred bucks a night).
My home away from home for the week.
Okay, so on to Comic Con itself. If you’ve never heard of it or not familiar, it’s a comic book convention that has grown immensely since it began in 1970. In recent years it has exploded in popularity and is now the the yearly mecca for all things pop culture, and has become the place where major movie studios & TV shows make their big announcements and toy and collectible companies reveal new products and exclusives. Read up on it’s history here.
Let’s get straight to some of the major highlights of the event. The first is the Cosplay. Cosplaying is basically dressing up as your favorite fictional (or non-fictional) character. This can be something as simple as wearing a towel cape with a S drawn on your shirt to be Superman, or full on hand made costumes, with makeup, prosthetics, props, and more. However the joy of cosplaying is not in how accurate or intricate your costume is, it’s about having fun, so no cosplay is bad, they are all different and unique and fun to wear and to see. San Diego Comic Con (SDCC for short) is also the place where anyone who enjoys cosplaying can come and show off their costumes, and is usually where you can see some of the funnest, most unique and amazing cosplays around. In case you missed it, here’s a video slideshow I did of some of cosplayers I encountered.
As promised in the video, here is a gallery of the photos I took at much higher resolution. I do not claim to be a professional photographer, so these are just the unedited amateur pictures I took. If you would like the full size and full resolution copies of any of these pictures, please just leave a comment or email me at Reply@JmanX.com. If you would like to use any of these photos, please just let me know how and where you will be using them and please link to this site for credit. Thanks!
Next the other big draw is the Exhibition Hall, where all the major booths and products are shown and sell stuff. There were lots of really cool booths and so many cool things to buy. Getting around requires some patience, as the floor is usually pretty packed and there’s tons of people walking around. It can be a bit frustrating, but just keep calm, you’ll get around soon enough (if you are trying to get from one side to the other quicker, I suggest walking out from the floor and walk across in the front entrance area. I showed a bit in the main video, but here’s a few things that didn’t make the cut. There’s also the full walk-through video from one side to the other.
The front of the Marvel booth
Some of the TV studios booths
Around the Mattel & Star Wars booths
Around the DC Comics booth
At the Marvel booth stage they often do giveaways where they toss items into the crowd.
At the Konami booth you could challenge the resident Yugioh champ or learn to play.
At the DC booth, they had the entire cast of Suicide Squad, this is them exiting through the crowd (I got there too late to get a good shot).
If you’re hungry and want food while you’re on the exhibition floor, be prepared to pay a ton of money for mediocre food. (btw, you normally are allowed to bring in food if you can keep it in your bag/backpacks (so no carrying in grocery bags))
I loved the detail on this alien creature, was so cool
This was a cool booth for a fan made live action “Futurama” movie. Looked really cool, check it out here!
The inner kid in me really loved these Transformers toys and wanted to play with them.
Loved these hand made custom game tables this booth had. Someday I will own one. Someday.
Obviously Comic Con being such a spectacle and holding the attention of the entertainment world for those few days, I was definitely not the only person making some sort of show or video out there on the floor. There were quite a lot of much more professional & bigger groups/companies/channels out there interviewing and filming people and the events going on (news crews regularly were spotted outside the convention hall). Here’s a couple of the other groups I saw while there:
There was this girl doing an interview while enclosed in this weird triangle thing. Not sure what this was for.
These guys were interviewing this Game of Thrones cosplayer
Here are a couple people from Comic Con HQ filming a cosplayer, Note their much more sophisticated rig they’re using.
As far as panels go, there are what seemed like hundreds of panels going on during the convention. Be sure to study the program and plan out your days and include plenty of time to get to the panel and be there as early as possible. Also be sure to have a backup plan in case you aren’t able to get into the panel you wanted. I discussed my time in Hall H and getting into it in the main video.
Nathan Fillion moderating the panel for Con Man.
One of the other things I did while was there was attend this “Learn to Play: Dungeons & Dragon” panel, which was really fun and I can’t wait to get a game together with my friends.
One of the things I didn’t mention in the main video was that some of the panels do giveaways, which are pretty neat. The way they do that is by giving out “raffle tickets” with different marks on them that you then take to the next door hotel (I believe the Marriot), where they have a big rooms setup with all the free swag to pick up: As Comic Con has grown, it has a lot of functions, rooms, and panels at nearby hotels and buildings.
I went on a Sunday, so by this time most of the stuff had been given away so there was just a little bit left for us late to come pick up our free stuff. I got of Game of Thrones swag for attending their panel.
At the Marriot, they also had some really cool metal statues.
As I mentioned in the video there is a ton going on outside the convention in the neighboring Gaslamp Quarter (often called Gaslamp District). They partially close some of the streets to accommodate all the people walking around. It’s a pretty fun area and if you’re in the area but aren’t attending the show, it’s definitely a great place to people watch and grab a bite to eat.
The entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter
This spectacle of Elvis impersonaters wearing stilts and being attacked by sharks were out promoting Sharknado 4.
At one of the hotels next to the Gaslamp Quarter the Game of Thrones cast members were waving to the crowd and doing interviews on this balcony.
There was a lot of companies partnering with other ones to promote various movies/tv shows/products.
Back over at the FX area where I showed in the video they were promoting their show “The Strain”, they also had a set of creepy chairs you could sit or lay on.
At the Fox networks “Son of Zorn” area, you could pose riding his giant bird
There was a cool Star Trek 50th Anniversary art exhibit in one of the buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter
It also included some Star Trek themed products.
Hot Wheels had this cool Borg Cube made of Hot Wheels cars.
This was one of my favorite art pieces there, loved all the expressions they are making and saying.
So that’s a bit more about the San Diego Comic Con. I hope that helps give you a better peek at what goes on and my experience there. Even with all this, there was so much more going on. As I see other people post videos online and on social media, I see a lot of stuff and am constantly like “What! I didn’t even know that was there!” It’s impossible to see everything while you’re there. But no matter what you do, I’m sure if you get in you’ll have a blast. Let me know if you have any questions or want to know anything and I’ll answer the best I can. Thanks for reading!