Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SDCC 2012 Recap: A First-Timer Kiwi at Comic-Con

One of the things that makes Comic-Con and other similar conventions special for Red Dot Diva, is the chance to network and make many more new friends!

At Comic-Con 2012, she got to know and roomed together with Felicia from "Middle Earth".

No, Felicia is not a Hobbit. :) She is actually a native of New Zealand and lives in Wellington. A newbie to hardcore geeky convention going, Felicia decided to pop her Comic-Con cherry this year. And Nathan Fillion is to be blamed. ;)

Here's Felicia's account of her week's adventures at Comic-Con:


For my first holiday in 15 years, I decided to make it my mission to go to the San Diego Comic-Con.

To be honest, I have only really heard of Comic-Con last year, but getting all the tweets through from Nathan Fillion (my biggest celebrity crush) while he was there, made me really want to go.

So with a wake-up call of 4 am on a Sunday morning in March (after a night of power cuts) I was able to get online to try to grab a 4-day badge (hopefully with Preview Night). Luckily for me, I was in the chat room at the time and someone managed to get to the front of the queue and asked if anyone else would like their ticket purchased. I, of course, jumped at the chance to get there and try and meet Nathan in person.

For those who are wondering, to make my trip to Comic-Con, I would have to endure a 17-hour flight from Auckland to LA.

The first hiccup was getting into San Diego on Tuesday night to find that my luggage was still in LA but they would have it delivered to my hotel by the evening. After having a meal with my awesome room mates that I met via FaceBook, I checked with the hotel regarding the luggage – no luck there. So went back up to the room to get some sleep (the last for a while) and hoping that the luggage would be there to greet me the next day. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and I was sitting in clothes that I have been in for 3 days. I know this is Comic-Con and some people don't value personal hygiene but I do.

The Firefly Reunion panel
I must admit I was taken back with how much waiting around we had to do at Comic-Con. Luckily, waiting to pick up our badges the next day meant that we were only standing outside for about 45 minutes before we were let into the Centre to wait there until 12 pm. Thank goodness I picked up and iPad and puzzle books before I left New Zealand otherwise it would have been a long and boring wait. Also, loved the free wi-fi inside otherwise I would have hated to see my mobile statement when I got home.

After picking up our badges, which I must say was very painless, the three of us went to sit in another line for the Preview Night starting at 6 pm. We were second in the line which was going to assure us of great viewing seats. So we parked up for a few hours and passed the time looking the the interesting costumes that people were in.

Preview Night consisted of the screenings of the pilots of five new TV series for the American fall season. They were “666 Park Avenue” (with Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams), “Revolution”, “Cult” (with Robert Knepper), “The Following” (with Kevin Bacon) and “Arrow”. This probably means in NZ TV picks up any of these, we will see them about the middle of 2013.

(Red Dot Diva’s note: To see what Diva thinks about the pilot of these shows, click here for her frank opinions.)

Thursday was another early morning start. I have learnt that if you want a good seat at a panel, you have to be in line very early. I decided to go down to the Exhibit Hall with Carrie and check out some of the booths. When those doors opened, it was like a cattle market. Managed to grab some swag from WB (including a Daffy Duck cap, a Superman t-shirt and a couple of badges).

Later in the afternoon, I *finally* located my luggage (it was actually at the hotel the whole time! Argh!) I also managed to get into the room for "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" Sing-Along. Just another excuse for me to see Nathan on screen.

It will be another very early start for me the next morning if I want to get a good seat for the Firefly 10-year Reunion panel.

I still haven't seen Nathan Fillion in person yet...

At about 11 pm, Jasmine and I camped out overnight for the Firefly panel which will be held at Ballroom 20 the next day at 12:30 pm. There were people lining up from 6 pm (or so I heard). I managed to grab a couple of hours sleep on the footpath (now I know how Blanket Man in Courtney Place felt).

About 2 am, there was a buzz about Joss Whedon being on the concourse and sure enough, he walked past everyone and was very obliging, granting most people's requests for autographs and photos. I managed to get a photo of him. Adam Baldwin also came by to walk down the line about 11:30 pm.

The next morning, when doors opened, we managed to get into the middle section of the 6,000 capacity Ballroom 20 about 16 rows back. Not too bad. Before the Firefly Reunion panel, we had to sit through the "Community" and "Legend of Korra" panels.

But these were all so worth waiting for!

At the Firefly panel, Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk and the rest of the cast were there. The hour panel went way too fast and left us wanting more.

After that panel, was the one for “Bones”. Jasmine and I decided to stay for that as well as both Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz were there.

After that I went back to the hotel to freshen up before heading to NerdHQ where there was going to be an up-close-and-personal panel with Nathan Fillion. Tickets for that panel had sold out within seconds of going online but someone was giving one away via Facebook and I was the first to respond. What was awesome was the surprise guest who turned up at the panel. It was Adam Baldwin!

The highlight of the panel though was Zac Levi (who was hosting the whole thing) saying that if $100 was donated to Operation Smile, the lucky person would get a kiss on the cheek. Well, one woman came out with $1,000 and Zac tipped her over and gave her a decent kiss on the mouth. The crowd went wild and then out of nowhere, Nathan comes running back out on stage, throws some money at Zac and plants a full one on Zac’s lips. This was followed by Adam with $100 and giving Zac an almost open-mouthed kiss. The crowd was in hysterics.

I wonder if Nathan would do the same for $100...?

On Day 3, Saturday, I woke up at 4:30 am to get to the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton for a couple of panels that I really wanted to see - "Geek and Sundry" and "TV Guide Magazine TV Favourites". Unfortunately, these panels were in the same one as Glee which didn't start until 5PM so there were quite a few young girls (with their mothers) already lining up for Glee. The best thing about the Indigo Ballroom is if you get there early enough you can actually camp inside. That made waiting more comfortable.

There was a panel before Geek and Sundry called "Attack of the Show" which was quite funny. At the Geek and Sundry panel, they announced that "The Guild" was coming back for a sixth season and previews for a couple of new shows under the Geek and Sundry banner were also screened. This was followed by the Nerdist Channel which was just as funny.

The TV Guide Fan Favourites panel
Then, came the one that a lot of people were hanging out for - TV Guide Fan Favourites with Nathan Fillion, Joel McHale ("Community"), Matt Smith ("Dr. Who"), Tyler Posey ("Teen Wolf") Maggie Q ("Nikita") and a couple of others. A lot of the questions were directed towards Matt, Nathan and Joel. After this panel, quite a few people left but there were the die-hard Glee fans who were still waiting for their panel at 5 pm and relishing getting closer to the stage when those leaving after the TV Guide panel departed.

Sunday was a comparatively relaxing day, as there was nothing that I wanted to get in line for. I found out that Nathan was doing another NerdHQ panel so Jasmine and I went up to try our luck but unfortunately they were all sold out. We headed back to the Exhibit Hall to have another look around as you can not see it all in one go. I decided to visit the Jason Palmer booth which was selling Serenity/ Firefly stuff. I bought a couple of t-shirts, some pins and a poster of Captain Mal (which I did not manage to get Nathan to sign).

I did find out later that this NerdHQ panel was his best, as Molly Quinn (who plays Nathan's daughter in "Castle") popped in and there was a slightly impromtu auction. Some lucky woman who pledged $1,000 for Operation Smile was rewarded with a big (on the lips) kiss from Nathan. How she did not collapse after that was anyone's guess. The afternoon saw Sara, Jasmine and myself head off to the Buffy panel where Nicholas Brendon and James Marsters were the main guests.

After that we headed back to the Exhibition Hall for another look around and I found the California Browncoats booth and bought more things. We rounded up the end of the convention by winding down with a laidback dinner at the Elephant and Castle restaurant.

On Monday morning, all my room-mates got up early to catch their respective flights and trains back. For me, I had a couple of hours to kill till I take my train back to LA for the rest of my holiday.

On the whole, I absolutely loved Comic-Con and San Diego and have now got my badge confirmation for 2013. Hopefully, I can get the funds together and catch up with my roomies again, and see more of Comic-Con now that I know what to expect.

But before that …. I will be in LA in November for the Castle Convention. I am still hoping that Nathan will be able to attend this two-day event as I have paid top dollar for the ticket which includes lunch with the stars.

Fingers crossed!!


Thanks to Felicia for the report. All pics belong to her!

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