My San Diego Comic Con Experience Day 1

(I’m the guy in the yellow)

Hey everyone, I know I haven’t posted anything in over a week now, but I have had good reason for that! As you may know from some of my previous posts, I was at San Diego Comic Con (for the first time) last week, and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life.

There was not a lot of sleep or real meals and there were really long lines all of the time, but the experience was incredible. I got to meet some of my favorite celebrities, see some hysterical panels, and I got a ton of swag from the Con. Over the next few days I will be posting about my experiences at SDCC, going through each day one at a time.

And don’t worry, I will be reviewing more Uncanny X-Men asap! 

I arrived in San Diego early Wednesday morning, and the area around the convention center was already crazy packed with people. The anticipation and the energy in the area felt palpable from the moment we got off of our bus.

On Wednesday, a friend of mine and I walked around and got ourselves acquainted with the area. Not much was open yet, but we did get to see a few of the exhibits that were outside SDCC, including the Godzilla Con exhibit pictured above. 

Thursday morning is when SDCC truly began for me. After taking a brief nap at our hotel, my friend and I headed to the convention center at 3:30am. As some of you may know, there are two lines that form in the morning before SDCC starts each day. One line is for the convention’s biggest room, Hall H, which can hold 6,500 people and has all of the biggest panels of the Con. The other line is for general entrance to every other aspect of the Con.

(Sunrise from my spot in line at SDCC)

On Thursday, we lined up for the non Hall H line because I wanted to get a good seat for the Community panel later that day, and my friend wanted to go autograph hunting. 

Doors opened for the convention center around 6:30am and we all filed into the building. Once I got in, I lined up outside of Ballroom 20, the convention center’s second biggest room, where I planned to spend my whole day seeing panels. When I got to line, I discovered that I was one of the first few hundred people in line, guaranteeing me a good spot in the room that holds almost 5,000 people. 

We were let into Ballroom 20 at 9:30am, a whopping 6 hours after I originally got in line and I got to be in the very center of the 10th row of the room! My seat was amazing, and I could see all of the people in the panels very clearly without having to look at the big screens.

The first panel of the day in Ballroom 20 was for 24 featuring Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer Jon Cassar. I have never seen 24 before, but the panel was amazing. Kiefer was hysterical throughout the panel and told us some great stories about 24 throughout the years.

My favorite story from Kiefer was the time that he was walking down the street and he saw two teenagers trying to mug an old lady. Sutherland went to the lady’s defense and started beating up one of the muggers, but he was stopped when a bunch of camera man came running at him and shouting that they were shooting a student film.

Kiefer was very candid about that embarrassing moment and also didn’t shy away from joking about his legal troubles and other embarrassing things that have happened to him over the years.

The next panel of the day was for Under the Dome. I have also never seen Under the Dome, but I enjoyed seeing Dean Norris (Hank from Breaking Bad) on the panel, who was very charming and funny. The clips they showed from Under the Dome seemed cheesy and had terrible effects, but I enjoyed watching the cast talk about the show.

After Under the Dome came a panel for Scorpion, a brand new show about the true life story of a group of geniuses who worked with the government to stop various terrorist attacks and other issues from happening. The panel started with a screening of the pilot, which I thought was pretty terrible. It was way too overdramatic and very cheesy.

After the pilot screening, the cast came out for a panel and that redeemed the panel a bit. They brought out the real genius who the show is based on and it was great to hear from him. And it was also cool to see Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) and Katherine McPhee. I definitely won’t be watching the show when it comes out, but I enjoyed the talking part of the Scorpion panel.

After Scorpion came a Reign panel and I was utterly bored during the entire thing. I’ve never seen the show and the actors were not that interesting or funny in their panel.

Finally after all of those panels came the panels I actually wanted to see starting with Community which brought out Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, Dino Stamatopoulos, and Dan Harmon. The convention center was roaring with laughter the entire panel, myself included. Having such a good seat at that panel was worth my long early morning line.

After Community came Teen Wolf, which wasn’t as exciting as Community, but still great. All of the main cast was there and they seemed to all be very close in real life. Tyler Posey made dirty joke after dirty joke ad Dylan O’Brien kept face palming in disbelief. I’ve only seen season 1 of Teen Wolf, but this panel made me want to keep watching.

Hannibal followed Teen Wolf. I absolutely love Hannibal, and the panel or pannibal as it was called did not disappoint. Sadly Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson could not attend the panel, but Caroline Dehavernas, show runner Bryan Fuller and a few other smaller cast members were in attendance.

The best part about the Hannibal panel was that Bryan Fuller did not shy away from offering new tidbits of information about season 3 of Hannibal. He confirmed many things about the new season including that Hannibal and Gillian Anderson’s characters will start the season in Italy, that the season will take place a year after the last season, he mentioned a slew of new villains that will appear in the season, and he confirmed that Dr. Chilton is alive and will be a part of season 3! Fuller’s candidness was much appreciated since most panels that day were very secretive about upcoming episodes.

My final panel of the day was the Penny Dreadful panel. I was extremely tired during that panel and fading fast, but I still enjoyed it. Much to my dismay Eva Green was not in attendance but Josh Harnett, show creator John Logan, Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray), and Harry Treadway (Dr. Victor Frankenstein) were in attendance.

John Logan was very careful not to reveal anything about season 2 of Penny Dreadful, but the cast made up for this with there stories from the set. 

Throughout this long day of panels, I learned quickly that the Q&A section of the panels was always the best part. There were always some awkward people and questions (Multiple girls asked Dylan O’Brien for hugs and the moderator needed to put that to an end), but there were also some great questions. And these questions forced the cast to break away from the semi-scripted things they said during the first parts of their panels. These off the cuff moments were always entertaining.

After we left the convention center, my friend and I stopped by Nerd HQ, an offsite event at Petco Park hosted by Zacahary Levi (Chuck) that has tons of free stuff and panels that benefit charity. While at Nerd HQ, we noticed that Zachary was having a Smile for Smile (A photo opportunity where you give $20 for charity and get to take your photo with a celebrity) so we got to meet him and get a picture with him! I have never seen Chuck, but I grew to love Zach as the week went on. (More details on that to follow soon)

Day 1 of SDCC was wonderful and it only got better from there. Look out for my recap of day 2 of SDCC coming soon! 

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14 thoughts on “My San Diego Comic Con Experience Day 1

  1. Wow, that’s brilliant! Enjoyed reading all the news about SDCC here in the UK at the weekend, bet you had a brilliant time. I’m a big fan of the Hannibal tv series as well, think its a brilliant show, awesome you got to see that panel as well 😀

  2. Amanda says:

    Awesome recap! Really enjoyed reading your experience. You went to some awesome panels (and the Teen Wolf one!) Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip! Glad you had fun!

    (Under the Dome is kind of cheesy, but I do like the cast! Reading the book right now and it’s way better and different, haha!)

    • Thanks I’m glad you enjoyed it. Teen Wolf was a lot of fun. I actually saw Dylan O’Brien in a different panel too on Friday and met him on Friday! I’ll write more about that tomorrow probably.

      And I probably shouldn’t judge Under the Dome too harshly without seeing it. The cast is pretty great. And I bet the book is way better! I love Stephen King.

  3. I’ve only ever been to a FanExpo Dallas Comic Con, just earlier this year, which was really fun, but clearly dwarfed by San Diego! I never really got to go to any panels or anything like that, I just explored the ground floor. I discovered that when you go to this type of thing, you’re gonna need to have some cash….lots of cash. I look forward to reading more!

    • San Diego Comic Con was my first comic con of any kind, but I hope to go to a smaller one too this year. Although SDCC was unbelievable. Haha and yep, you definitely need cash to go to a con. Part 2 of My Comic Con Experience should be up soon!

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