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Sunday, July 24, 2011

San Diego Comic-Con: Saturday Recap

Wow, where to start. Comic-Con is crazy and crowded and intense, but it's also so amazing and fun and exciting. It's a four-day event filled with panels from popular TV shows and upcoming movies, autograph signings, sneak peeks, crazy costumes, free stuff, artwork, LOTS of comics and more. It's sensory overload.

Hubs and I bought our Saturday-only tickets way back in February. Tickets originally went on sale in the fall, but they had a bunch of technical difficulties because their site kept crashing from too many people trying to buy them. We had our tickets and arrived at the San Diego Convention Center before 6am on Saturday. We waited in line for about two hours (I read Imaginary Girls), got our badges, then went to the back of a very long line to get into the Chuck panel.

Once inside, we got a free T-shirt (score!). We sat toward the back of the huge hall, but they have big video screens so we could see the actors just fine. Almost the entire cast was there at the Chuck panel, including Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovsky, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez and more. In fact, you can watch the entire panel here. Here are some pics:

I zoomed in the best I could on this last one. The other shots are of the big screens.

Next, we got to see the entire first hour of the pilot for Terra Nova, a new series on FOX produced by Stephen Spielberg. Before the panel, I honestly thought the show looked stupid. The premise is that the world is quickly becoming uninhabitable. So, they find some tear in time so they can travel backward and end up in the time of the dinosaurs. It looks pretty interesting, actually. The pilot explains a lot of the questions, like why back to the time of the dinosaurs? Wouldn't traveling back in time affect the future? We will DVR this one to see where it goes. Then the show's writers, the dinosaur engineer, and one of the actors came out to answer a few questions. The actor is the bad guy from Avatar, Stephen Lang. We liked him :). Here is more info about the show.

On the left side is Stephen Lang, who played that military guy in Avatar with the big scars on his face.

Our last panel was Futurama. The voice actors were all there, plus Matt Groening (the show's creator; he also created The Simpsons). We got to see some footage from future episodes, and then they had a draw-off with Matt Groening and one of the show's artists. Matt Groening is so quick! He drew a couple of Bender sketches, Popeye and then started Bart Simpson before time was up. The other guy only drew one sketch, but it had multiple characters (Bender and Roberto, a robot who likes stabbing). I love John Dimaggio, who does Bender's voice. I got to meet him and Billy West (voice for Fry and many other characters on the show, and a zillion other voices on other shows) at the 2009 Comic-Con.

Here's me with Billy West (middle) and John Dimaggio (right) at the 2009 Comic-Con. John even did the Bender voice for me! I didn't go to their signing this year. For every signing, you had to wait in line a couple hours earlier to get a lottery ticket. If you happened to have a lucky ticket, then you could go to the signing. Lame.

After those panels, we wanted plenty of time to explore the exhibit floor. We saw a ton of actors at various booths and up on platforms being interviewed. Here are some highlights:

Me with Laini Taylor, author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I got a signed ARC. Yay!

Jack Sparrow with .... Jack Sparrow (LEGO version).

There were steampunk costumes EVERYWHERE. I got a card from the League of S.T.E.A.M. booth too.

Hubs and I in front of the Hunger Games sign. We even got our very own mockingjay pins! And a couple of posters.

Hurley (Jorge Garcia) from Lost. There was a VIP-only platform where the stars could hang out and look out over the crowd.

Laura Vandervoort, who played Clark's cousin Kara in Smallville and Ana's daughter on V. I guess she's the voice of Mary Jane in an upcoming Spider-Man video game.

Cool Firefly artwork! Just a couple hours earlier, Nathan Fillion himself tweeted a photo of this very same piece.

The cast of Fringe at their signing. Not sure what she's doing, lol.

The back of Summer Glau, who plays River on Firefly and is in the upcoming movie Knights of Badassdom. She walked through the crowd right by us, but my timing was off when I took the pic and she was completely obscured by some guy. Anyway, I did see her face just a few feet away.

An awesome costume and I just had to get a pic with this guy. He's Sora from the Kingdom Hearts video games. He had the keyblade and the big shoes!

A blurry pic of the cast of Nikita.

Replicas of the Harry Potter wardrobe. It even has the Nimbus 2001 broom. Where can I order my Hogwarts robe?

As we wandered through the booths, I spotted some familiar faces: Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss, and upcoming Lola and the Boy Next Door) and Kiersten White (Paranormalcy trilogy). I was a total fangirl and my face turned bright red from being nervous and excited. They were too sweet, and Kiersten even recognized me from her previous book signing. Yay! They had a panel on Sunday (today) with the afore-pictured Laini Taylor, Andrea Cremer, Tahereh Mafi and Amanda Hocking. Plus, their moderator was Nathan Bransford. I wish I could have been there!

BEST PIC OF THE DAY. We were all the way on the other side of the exhibit hall (which is huge) when Nathan Fillion (Firefly and Castle) tweeted that he was at the G4 booth. Hubs and I made our way as fast as we could and got there in time to see him. He finished his interview with Attack of the Show and then walked right by us! SQUEEE!! He was smiling at everyone and seemed super happy to be there. Apparently he was roaming the floor earlier in disguise, but we didn't see him. Oh my gosh, do you see how close we were? He was even closer right after I snapped this pic. Like, I could have tackled him with a well-timed leap. Dang, it! Why didn't I?

I kept going back to the HarperCollins booth hoping to spot Tahereh Mafi. Then I found her! For the brief minute I spent with her, she was every bit as sweet and awesome as she is on her blog and Twitter. I got an ARC of her highly anticipated debut novel, Shatter Me, and she signed it for me! Hubs said my face turned red when I met her too, but luckily the redness went down when we took our photo. I freakin' can't WAIT to read Shatter Me!! I have to restrain myself from starting it because I am in the middle of two other books. I should at least finish one of those first, right? Right ...... maybe. Maybe not. We'll see.

Finally, here's a look at my loot. I got a few books, some awesome eye tattoos from Laini's signing, a Twilight magnet and pin, a mockingjay pin, two Hunger Games posters, my Chuck T-shirt, and a few other random things. Score!

There you have it. My super-detailed, photo-laden recap of Saturday at Comic-Con 2011. Before this year, we went to the 2009 Comic-Con and then I hadn't been since the '90s. It was so different then. I remember meeting an astronaut and getting actual comic books (I collected The Simpsons and Ren & Stimpy comic books). Today, the focus is much more about Hollywood and celebrities, but it's such a fun event. Really, it's the only place I can think of where you can actually meet your favorite characters in person and all in one place. We will definitely get tickets for next year!


  1. I remember you talking about your 2009 Comic-Con visit when I first met you. It cracked me up because I never would have pictured you as someone who would be interested in anything like that. Knowing you a lot better now, I have to say that this slightly nerdy quality is one of the things I like most about you probably because I'm a giant dork myself :)

    P.S. I agree. You should have totally gone for the tackle!

  2. Okay, so, I am being a huge dork saying this especially knowing what I know *ahem* but is it wrong that I'm insanely jealous of that Hunger Games poster?

    And, of course, Nathan Fillion.

  3. Wowsers! What a blast!! Fantastic pics -- it all looks like so much FUN! I have to go to this con someday.

  4. I'm going to guess that the tackle didn't happen because you really didn't want to be dragged from the con kicking and screaming or, possibly, unconscious by security. Just a guess, though.

    I have such envy!
    Of the whole thing. I've never been :(

  5. @Jenna - LOL! Yes, I tend to hide my nerdy side until I get to know people better. I get embarrassed easily, hence my red face when meeting people I admire. But dorks are cool! I have to remember that.

    @L.T. Host - LOL, I do have two posters. I need to figure out what to do with them :). I TOTALLY want to wear my mockingjay pin everywhere now. Darn it! I should have brought it for critique group today. I couldn't post all of my pics here, but I do have a few more to show you guys. I have a blurry one of Billy Zane (though he doesn't look that great in person; I was surprised).

    @Linda - Thanks! Yes, you should come next year!

    @Andrew - Ha ha, no I didn't go for the tackle. Mostly I was thinking "Oh my gosh, he's right there! Eeee!" My thoughts weren't exactly coherent enough to do anything else. You should come next year. The tickets aren't very expensive, you just have to get online to buy them right when they go on sale.

  6. WOW! That sounds awesome. I freaked when I saw the Hurley picture! I loved him! You got to see/meet a lot of really cool people. Great photos, thanks for sharing.

  7. Oh, WOW. How much do I love that your hubby goes to things like this with you?? He ROX. And swoon. That Jack Sparrow really looks the part, yes? How cool that you met Bender's voice actor! Bender, the beer guzzling robot. :) Those costumes are all so fantastic! Thanks for posting the pics.

  8. @Mandie - Thanks! Yeah, Hurley was like up on his throne. It was funny just seeing him up there. People kept waving to him and he'd wave back.

    @Anita - Hubs love this stuff too! Not the author stuff as much, but he goes with me anyway :). There were so many awesome costumes, and lots of really skimpy outfits so I had to avert my eyes, LOL.