Posted by: Trisha Leigh | August 19, 2010

Tales of an (ex) ComicCon Virgin

I experienced my first Comic Con nearly a month ago, and I’m finally going to share part of it with you. Better late than never, right?

It was insane. 30,000+ people jammed into the San Diego Convention Center, jostling one another for a glimpse at their favorite star, a spot in that panel they’re dying to check out, or just to get their very own picture next to a half-naked slave girl Princess Leia.

The diversity of the attendees struck me more than anything. On one side were the old school comic book, super hero lovers – the ones who started this convention, who love to dress up, and would rather die than sit through the Glee panel. The other faction is the autograph hounds, the celebrity chasers, and the screaming teenagers dying for the chance to see Damon from Vampire Diaries. Everyone else falls somewhere between these two extremes, including the multitude of press.

I’m going to run down best and worst, and leave you with a few of my favorite images.

Downers of Comic Con:

1. The crowds. Oh Lordy, the crowds. I didn’t venture into the Exhibition Hall, where you find all the booths, exhibitors, people signing autographs, and insane costumes, until Saturday, my third day at Comic Con. I don’t care for crowds. Not being able to move how I want, or get where I want in a timely fashion makes my heart race and my palms sweat. That said, the trip inside panned out. I got great photos, free stuff, and had a “moment” I’ll include in my best list.

2. The lines. The first day I arrived I didn’t have an assignment for Poptimal until that evening. I would have sold my own kidney to see the panel with “visionaries” Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams. I figured I would attend the panel for R.E.D. scheduled for just before it. Yeah. Then I saw the line for Hall H, where all the biggest events took place. It filled eight huge tents outside. For every large panel, you needed to line up hours ahead of time. This is how I ended up sitting through the Stargate and Caprica panels, two shows I am clueless about, in order to be present for The Big Bang Theory. Which leads me to…

3. James Marsters a.k.a Spike from Buffy is not actually British. Honestly, my hangover started to hit full force during the Caprica panel and my vision wonked a bit, and I didn’t even recognize him at first. Then I squinted at his name and leaned over to my friend Nicole. “Is that Spike from Buffy?” She nodded. “He’s not British?” I may have shouted this revelation. Or maybe it just sounded that way to my pounding head. Seriously. Had. No. Idea. Kind of kills the Spike dream a little bit.

4. The lack of cool swag. Some of the panels handed out tickets which were redeemable for free stuff. Apparently, some of these things are cool. I did get a free iPhone case I’m still using and an ARC of Matched by Ally Condie. The ticket prizes though…yikes. A stupid poster for R.E.D., a holographic fan of the Fringe cast (this one was marginally cool), and a frightening t-shirt from the Children’s Hospital panel that has nothing on it but the face of a clown. I’m going to wear it next time I need to frighten small children away from me.

5. Decisions. Hate ‘em. At Comic Con, you have to make them. You can’t do it all. I ended up making it to the Penguin Books panel. Couldn’t squeeze Harper Collins in. I missed the Vampire Diaries panel and my chance to see Damon in the flesh. I like the images the word ‘flesh’ and ‘Damon’ bring to mind in the same sentence. Yum.

    Highlights of Comic Con

    1. Drinking with celebrities. Okay, maybe not in the sense that we were having drinks together. But we were having drinks at the same bar at the same time. I guess if you live somewhere cool like NYC, LA, Miami, etc this might be a regular occurrence. I live in Missouri, so sitting at the Hilton bar, sipping a mojito, and seeing the cast of The Big Bang Theory, Jason Ritter, and the cast of NBC’s The Community chilling across the room is not a normal happy hour. Uber surreal in a fun way.

    2. Great panels. I’ll mention my two favorites. First, the Visionaries panel with JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon. I love these guys. Not only are the geniuses (geniuii?) who brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse, Felicity, Fringe, Alias, and Lost, they are hilarious and engaging human beings. Oh, and lets not forget Star Trek and the upcoming Avengers. Just sitting in the same room with writers as brilliant as these two blew my mind. Another crazy ‘aha’ moment came during the Castle panel. Now, I watch (and adore) the show. I have to admit, I never really got the Nathan Fillion craze until I watched him interact with his co-workers and the fans. Great entertainer and genuinely engaging. Plus we got a sneak peek at the upcoming season. Win.

    3. Interviews. Because of my media status so generously granted by my bosses at Poptimal, I got to sit down at roundtable interviews with the casts of hit and upcoming shows. It was so much fun to see the cast of The Big Bang Theory in person, actors I admire and that make me pee my pants with glee every week. I’m going to need a new couch soon. (Seriously. If you’re not watching this show, get thee to Netflix). The girl who plays Penny was my favorite interview of the convention. I also had the opportunity to view pilots for The Cape and The Event and interview their rather exciting cast members afterward. You can read recaps of these and others, if you’re interested, at

    4. Fringe (read: Joshua Jackson). I am not a huge fangirl type (anymore). The ‘anymore’ is due to a rather disturbing hysterical obsession I once harbored over N’Sync. Still. I was excited to meet actors who star in shows I enjoy, but I wasn’t going all gooey-kneed over any of them…with one exception. Joshua Jackson. I, like other girls my age, have swooned over the guy since he played Charlie in the Mighty Ducks movies. Then, of course, his riveting role as the bad boy of Dawson’s Creek. I have to say, I adore his character of Peter Bishop on Fringe with an equal ferocity. At any rate, seeing him from less than six feet away pretty much made my weekend. Oh, and also – I love Fringe. It’s my favorite television drama, hands down. The entire cast made it to the panel and had a great time answering questions and interacting with the audience. My favorite panel.

    5. My “moment”. That’s right. I had a moment. With JAMES MARSTERS A.K.A. SPIKE FROM BUFFY. Ahem. I attempted to push my way through the Exhibition Hall on Sunday, the final day of the convention. I wanted nothing more than to make my way to the Warner Bros. booth to pick up the limited edition T.V. Guide covers for myself and a friend. My heart pounded and my palms sweated as I tried to move. People in front, all around. Stopping to take pictures. Consulting maps. Etc. I glanced to my right and made eye contact with someone. I looked away. Then I felt my eyes grow wide. I mouthed (to myself, because that’s what crazy people do, they talk to themselves) “Oh my God, that’s James Marsters.” I looked back and HE WAS STILL LOOKING AT ME. He smiled (probably because he saw me say his name, but whatever). I smiled. It was a lovely, lovely moment. *sigh*.

      Here are some of my favorite photos. I highly recommend attending someday, it’s a wild ride but worth the price of admission.

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      1. LOVES. And I love you.

        • I loves you more. Now get back to that story. *stern frowny face*

      2. First, I LOVE your new blog!!! Very nice. *jealous*

        Second, I would LOVE to go to ComicCon, especially when LOST was still one. Alas, a dream that will never be fulfilled. *jealous*

        Third, I just learned something about myself. I’m a jealous person. 😉

        • Not true. You are a lovely person who is going to feed me wine tomorrow night. Next year maybe you can come with me to ComicCon!!

      3. This was my 1st Comic Con as well! It was great. I actually got to meet James while there and he was awesome. Nicest guy ever!

        • Wow, I’m so jealous! One of my fellow Poptimal reporters got to meet him in their press room, and she said the same thing. Maybe next year. What were your favorite parts of ComicCon as another newbie, I’m curious!

          • I’d say the Psych & Big Bang Theory panels, meeting Jamest Marsters and having a chance to meet Pauley Perrette (Abby, NCIS). It was all great though and beyond over whelming! I’ve been blogging about it at my SDCC blog! lol

            • I’ll have to come by and check it out! I’ve written up lots on but this is my first blog. It was so great.

      4. wow! awesome blog! i would love to attend one of these Comic Cons… someday 🙂

        • I’m glad you enjoyed the juicy details 🙂 Thanks for stopping!

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