When you read about going to San Diego Comic-Con, the first thing people tell you is to lower your expectations as to how much you’re actually going to accomplish. There are dozens upon dozens of different things to do at every hour, which is awesome and amazing. The big events though, like Hall H panels for movies and smaller rooms for super popular TV shows, are SUPER HARD to get into if you don’t devote a few hours to waiting in line for them before. The biggest piece of advice con-goers have in this situation is to give yourself 2 hours at least in between panels, anything less is likely impossible.
So going into my Friday schedule, I knew it was highly unlikely I’d get to see everything I wanted. There was 2.5 hours between the end of The 100 panel and the start of the Bob’s Burgers panel, but only 45 minutes between Bob’s Burgers and Orphan Black. Like a smart con-goer, I added some alternates to my schedule in case it was obvious that nothing after The 100 would work out. I had a moderate amount of hope, but a good amount of realistic expectations.
I woke up super early once again on Friday, but this time putting on my cosplay took significantly more time. I dressed up as Ellie from The Last of Us, which requires giving myself freckles and an eyebrow scar. I didn’t get a closeup picture from the day, but the makeup turned out the best it ever has, partly because I finally mimicked her eyebrow shape as well.
I met Diego in the general admission line once again to begin the wait. When they moved us inside and we split off to head to the Ballroom 20 line, we ended up pretty far up in the tents. After you’ve been in the early morning Ballroom 20 line as many times as we have, you learn pretty much exactly where in the room you’ll end up based on which tent you’re in. We chatted with a guy named Ben for the next few hours about multiple TV shows and video games and bonded over having similar opinions about characters.
When we got in the room (my first time back in Ballroom 20 since 2012! I spent so much time in there my first two years…) Diego and I went to the front and got seats about 4 rows back on the left, while Ben and his Dad picked seats a little ways back. Maybe 20 minutes later, this girl comes up to us and says, “Hi, weird question, are y’all leaving after The 100?” I look up at her without my glasses on (because to pass the time, you do weird stuff like display for your friend how blind you without your glasses) and realize I know her. “Caley!” I say, and she gives me the most terrified look. “We met on the plane from Dallas two years ago!” The terrified look blends into one of recognition.
Basically, Caley sat down right near Ben and started asking the people around her if anyone was planning on leaving before the Marvel TV panel. She wanted to go to the Lucifer screening in a different room and wanted to arrange a bathroom pass situation. While not technically allowed, it’s a super common practice for Ballroom 20. Someone inside Ballroom 20 gets a bathroom pass during a panel, goes outside “to the bathroom,” and hands it to a waiting friend, who uses said pass to get inside Ballroom 20 to take their seat. It requires a good amount of communication, but guarantees that friend can enjoy the panel they want without hours of waiting. We had told Ben that we were planning on racing to Indigo Ballroom after The 100 for Bob’s Burgers, so he sent Caley to us to see if we could help her. He had no clue he was sending her to someone she already knew. I’m sure he was entirely shocked when we started laughing hysterically and hugging.
Even at Comic-Con with 100,000 plus strangers, it’s a small world.
In the end, Caley was able to walk back into Ballroom 20 without either of our bathroom passes, which we ended up using to help both Sarah W and Sarah G get inside. But that coincidence is one of my favorite moments of this year.
We sat through the Writers of the Big Bang Theory panel, which was fun even if I really don’t care about the show at all, and Falling Skies, which I thought about watching once upon a time and then never did. I finally got to meet Rachael, aka Moonflower Cosplay, whose cosplays I’ve admired for years ever since I started cosplaying Amy Pond. She was super sweet and friendly, and of course looked INCREDIBLE as Clarke.
The 100 panel was amazing. I did feel like Isaiah Washington, as the only present “adult” actor on the show present at the panel, commandeered a lot of the questions, but his answers tended to be very philosophical and thought out. Listening to Eliza Taylor and Bob Morley’s Australian accents was hypnotizing. Ricky Whittle was HYSTERICALLY funny and super sweet as he launched off the stage to hug and comfort a super nervous fan. All in all the panel was great, they teased some good stuff for the upcoming season (Clarke as a grounder legend! Lexa definitely returning and Clarke will be PISSED!), and I was just so thrilled to get to be there to support a show that deserves more attention than it’s getting.
After The 100, Diego and I raced over to get in line for Bob’s Burgers. We felt really good about our chances of getting in, but MAN waiting in line was excruciating considering the sun was out and shining and there was no shade anywhere to be had. That would be fine if I was in shorts and a tank top, but Ellie wears jeans and a long black sleeve shirt under a short sleeve shirt. There was no avoiding being waaaaarm.
Eventually the line started moving, and kept moving fairly consistently for a really long time, until we were RIGHT about to go inside. At this point the panel right before Bob’s Burgers was starting, and we still felt we had a really good chance, especially since one of the line guards told us we should be good to go. But then we didn’t move until about 15 minutes before the panel, and once inside it became obvious just how many people were between us and the door.
Indigo Ballroom barely has any time between panels, so when a decent amount of people exited the room, we got excited. Except they still weren’t letting the line in. But there are open seats, for sure, let us in! We heard huge cheers inside the room and just KNEW the panel was starting. Finally the first section of the line moved, and we moved up, and OF COURSE, Diego and I got stopped right at the door. So after another minute of WE’RETHISCLOSECOMEONNNNN, we finally got in and grabbed seats ASAP because the cast were already bantering and all.
The panel was GREAT! They showed us three clips from the upcoming season (NEW BOB’S BURGERS YEAAAAH), I got to hear John Roberts (Linda) say “alriiiiiiiight!” in person, and just listening to Dan Mintz (Tina) talk is like dreaming while being awake. There were so many cosplayers, and the questions and answers were all awesome, though I couldn’t name you any specifics right this second (they did answer a question about what the towns name was! but of course I don’t remember the answer now).
Right as the panel was getting ready to end, I got two texts from Sarah G and my roommate from college Kylie. Both of them were inside Room 6BCF for Orphan Black, and Sarah G had barely waited 10 minutes to get in. Diego wanted to stay in Indigo for the Archer panel, but I went ahead and disobeyed every basic guideline for “not wasting time at SDCC” and BOOKED IT back to the convention center, inside, upstairs, across Sails, wandering the line back outside, and plopped myself in the 6BCF line less than 45 minutes before the start of Orphan Black.
It was close y’all. Like, I got inside 15-20 minutes after the panel started, so I missed the gag reel they showed at the beginning. But all that matters is that MIRACLES ARE POSSIBLE AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON, YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS FOR THE DAY EVEN IF THEY’RE IMPOSSIBLE.
The cast is so amazing and gracious and sweet and Tatiana tried SO HARD to sign as many things as she could while the guards were trying to whisk her away.
After the panel Kylie, Sarah G, and I decided we were STARVING. I’m pretty sure none of us had eaten a full, real meal that day. At that point I believe I’d had two poptarts, a granola bar, a chocolate chip cookie, and half of Diego’s order of fries in line for Bob’s Burgers. So yeah, it was definitely time for REAL FOOD considering it was about 6:45. We ended up meeting up with Sarah W, Tico, Riz, and a bunch of other people I’d mostly not met yet (including BRANDON, who will be more important in tomorrow’s post – we barely got to know each other this night, Brandon! so sad) from Nerd HQ and went to a Thai place. We split up into multiple tables because there were 11 of us and that would’ve meant an EVEN LONGER wait, so I ended up at a table with Sarah G and Kylie. It was great food and amazing company and we all bonded over some mutual experiences and it was probably the best dinner of my entire weekend.
After that I think Sarah W and I headed back to the hotel and eventually hung out with Diego again? Nights are such a blur once you’ve eaten dinner, because you’re so hungry and tired you just go straight into relaxation mode. But Friday was amazing, and I knew nothing would top that, so I went to bed that night feeling entirely relaxed about Saturday and having next to no plans for the days schedule – I decided to wing it!