Saturday, July 26, 2014

SDCC 2014: Diva's Fun and Laidback Preview Day!

A bright, sunny Preview Day is definitely a Diva-tastic way to start off the largest pop-culture event in the US!

And to have enough proteins and energy to get goin', one must have a good hearty breakfast - complete with caffeine input. A good place for that is the Broken Yolk, at the corner of J Street and 6th Avenue.

Red Dot Diva and her roomies walked to the breakfast cafe from their Hilton Bayfront Hotel early in the morn and was surprised to discover that the place was pretty empty.

Standing just outside the cafe, one of Diva's favourite geek dude, Artimus was already waiting for them. The group did not need to wait long at all for their table. 

Diva and Artimus
A few minutes later, Diva's roomie Sara noticed Zachary Levi and his friend walk into the restaurant and settle themselves at one of the sidewalk tables for their breakfast. Sara couldn't resist saying hi to Zac and thank him for hosting Nerd HQ. Zac kept a very chirpy friendly tone of voice and was very gracious throughout the entire encounter. There were a few more fans who noticed him while they were walking by or lining up for breakfast. Diva and her pals wondered how Zac could remain relatively unperturbed in such circumstances. Much Kudos to him.

While they were wolfing down eggs and having great geeky conversation, the tides had changed and the cafe was filling up fast with hungry nerds. It was time to get going, as Sara and Artimus had to head to Town & Country to get their badges.

Before that, the group walked back down to the trolley line and checked out the exteriors of some of the installations happening at the start of Gaslamp. There was "Blacklist" - who had taken over the Tinfish Restaurant, and a "Constantine" area was being set up just beside it. The Hilton Gaslamp's facade has been marked as Terminus ("The Walking Dead" fans will know what this means!).


Surrounding the trolley line were different "Game of Thrones" banners placed on the lamp posts. Across the road, over at the Marriott Marina & Marquis, there was a huge banner placement pleading #DontKillSeanBean in relation to the upcoming new TV show by TNT called "Legends".

It was before noon, but Red Dot Diva noticed that there was already a line forming in front of the convention doors. From what she understood, many of these fans were those looking to score the SDCC exclusives on the showfloor - probably mostly Funko and Hasbro toys.

The sun was beating down her rays on San Diego quite relentlessly as Red Dot Diva decided to swing by to the park overlooking the Marina and behind the Sails Pavilion to see what this Godzilla thing was all about.

Ummm.... there was indeed a statue of a spiked-back monster there, but it was a poor imitation of the majestic kaiju that many have come to love. This was Legendary's 3D experience booth called GodzillaCon and it was used to promote the Digital HD/ Blu-ray release of the Japanese sea monster movie which premiered earlier this year. From what Diva heard, the experience was quite mehhhh.

"Gotham" zipline being constructed

Around the corner, at the lawn outside of Hilton Bayfront, the zipline for "Gotham" and fun booths for "The Simpsons" were still being set up. Maybe Red Dot Diva should go around again one of the next few days to try out these things.

It was not till 3 PM that Red Dot Diva was able to collect her pass at the convention centre. It was quick and super fuss-free. This year, she scored an "Arrow" convention bag - the second consecutive year she has done so! She will be exchanging this for the "Constantine" one that roomie Sara got.

This year was also the first year that Red Dot Diva going to be alone at Ballroom 20 for Preview Night screening. It got a little lonely as she waited at the B20 line but she did not really mind as it was a chance for her to take some quick forty winks to catch-up from the loss of sleep from hotel pillows which were too soft and squishy. *crick in neck and shoulders*

At about 510 PM, the ushers started condensing the B20 line for peeps to get ready to load into the hall. Soon, we were all walking into B20, ready to kickoff Preview Night of Comic-con!!

At about 10 minutes past 6 PM - the official opening time for Comic-Con - welcome messages and introductions were made by the representative of CCI, and Jeff Tobler from the WB.

Minutes later, the first scenes from the pilot of "The Flash" appeared on screen. Red Dot Diva has gotta say: "The Flash" pilot exceeded all of her expectations many times over. The pace and dialogue was snappy; there was not a moment where she felt bored watching the show. The cast was cohesive and had a good chemistry with each other. Lead actor Grant Gustin, especially, was very charismatic and oh-so-adorably handsome as Barry Allen. For more classic male eye-candy, there's blond Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne, a newcomer to Central City, who seems to be too handsome for his own good (*hint hint*). Then, there's that cameo from someone Green. Ahhh! Red Dot Diva is pretty sure that the new series will make most fans around the world pleased with the TV adaptation.

When the pilot ended, Jeff Tobler announced that there will be no pilot screening for "iZombie" as was expected because of a change in cast. Instead, there will be another repeat screening of "The Flash" at the end of the preview session.

Red Dot Diva decided to head down to the showfloor to collect the exclusives that she ordered from Factory Entertainment. There was already a line, but it was shorter than she feared. What seemed like a long line was for another booth ahead of Factory Entertainment. Still, it took about 20 minutes before it was her turn to have her grabby hands on a set of plus "Game of Thrones" dragon eggs and her exclusive talking Stan Lee doll. :D

It was also about then, that Red Dot Diva bumped into John aka @cyberaug! At last, they meet in real life!

Together, they decided to go say hi to David Mack at the Century Guild booth nearby. David - as lovely and bicepstuous as ever - was the very first artist Red Dot Diva said hello to at this year's Comic-Con. Also, the local Red Dot Island nerds have asked her to convey their fan love and greetings to David, so she had to pass them on to him in person. ;)

A few copies of the Kickstarter-funded "MUSE" photo book were already available and on display. The book's cover and the art paper used for the pages, looked very classy and representative of the high quality art within. Totally well worth the money. Red Dot Diva would have to wait (im)patiently for her copy to be shipped to her.

Both Red Dot Diva and @cyberaug then took their time to wander along the show floor for a little while. They ended up at AMC's "The Walking Dead" booth installation, which was as awesome as ever, with hungry zombies roaming the booth area and trying to scare fans who wander too close not to end up as fresh sashimi. And better still, they were able to head to Terminus together!

Diva and @cyberaug

Due to the unexpected amble around this small section of the Exhibition Hall, Red Dot Diva missed out on the "Constantine" preview screening upstairs at B20. But, this is a small price to pay for hanging out with @cyberaug, and having a few choice moments with the DMack :)

All in all, it was a wonderful and laid back Preview Night for Red Dot Diva - a great start to many more Comic-Con 2014 adventures to come!

The Diva's biceps are so ready!

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