My San Diego Comic-Con 2018 Plans

It’s that time of year! Not Christmas, but summer’s version of Christmas for nerds – it’s San Diego Comic-Con time! And just like Christmas time, SDCC requires a lot of advance planning to maximize the fun and excitement.

I know a lot of people have been asking me what I’m looking forward to, so I figured I’d – gasp – update my blog and let everyone know what my plans are.

So without further ado, here’s my “schedule!”

(Ok, I lied, a little more “ado:” this is a very very VERY flexible schedule, minus one or two things. Everything depends on how long lines are, how tired I am, whether it only took me an hour to get into my cosplay or more than that, split second gut decisions about what I want to do. The number one thing newcomers learn about SDCC is to have Plans A, B, C, etc. If you don’t have multiple options for each time period, you’re gonna miss out on so many wonderful opportunities because you’re too busy being upset that you didn’t get into Indigo Ballroom in time for you favorite comedy (RIP Community).)


WEDNESDAY, JULY 18

I fly into lovely San Diego around 11 pm PST and cry about how wonderful the temperature is. The forecast for SDCC is highs in the mid 70s, as opposed to Waco’s oh-so-lovely forecast of 105-109 for the week. I’ll bet you $5 my taxi drivers apologizes for the hot weather like he/she does every. single. year. And just like every. single. year, I’ll cry out with joy, “IT FEELS AMAZING!!!”

THURSDAY, JULY 19

(also Jason’s birthday – I love yoooooooou)

Unless I change my mind, Thursday is going to be a casual day because I’ll be waking up bright and early in the morning to get in line for the Doctor Who panel (11:45 am in Hall H). Apparently the last few years it’s been pretty easy to get into Hall H on Thursday mornings even if you get in line at about 7 am, plus Doctor Who has been walk-in-able (a phrase SDCC attendees use to mean you should be able to walk in right as it begins even if you weren’t in line), so I’m not too worried about being able to get into the room. Now these plans may change – this is the first appearance of a new Doctor, let alone the first FEMALE DOCTOR AHHHHHH – so previous years may not be a good indicator of how many people want to attend the panel, which is why I’ll be lining up early anyway. I’m super excited about this panel, so even though I have backup options in case things look crazy, chances are I’ll stick to this plan.

After Doctor Who ends around 12:30 pm, I have a few options. I might attempt to get into Ballroom 20 for A Discovery of Witches at 1 pm, which I know very little about but it a) stars Alex Kingston aka a former Doctor Who actress, and b) is based off a popular book so why not! I might go to the Indigo Ballroom for Anything Goes with John Barrowman at 2 pm, which is always an entertaining and hilarious event. I might go to the Marvel Rising panel at 3:15 pm in Room 6DE to celebrate some kickass Marvel female superheroes voiced by some awesome ladies, which includes that AT&T girl who is going to play Squirrel Girl in a TV show dude that would be the best getting to meet her cause SQUIRREL GIRL.

Chances are, whatever I do between Doctor Who and the late afternoon will be left up to my gut instinct. I may even spend it in the exhibit hall wandering around. At the very end of this schedule I’ll list the things that aren’t time specific that I plan to do at some point.

At 5:45 pm, I WILL be going to the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: The Final Curtain Call panel in Room 6A. This is my second must-do of the convention. If there’s a theme for this year’s SDCC, it’s “that show has a panel?!?! #blessed.” Multiple TV shows that I never expected to be at SDCC are here this year and I am living for it. I love this show and I sing it’s songs endlessly (even though the inappropriate ones get stuck in my head at work all day oh no), so I’ll definitely be there.

Now if I get updates that the Indigo Ballroom situation is doable, I will be RACING MY BUTT ACROSS THE CONVENTION CENTER as soon as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s panel is over in the hopes of making it to Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 7 pm. This is the second show I never expected to see at SDCC. Only two things have me prioritizing it second after Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – I’m not actually caught up on the episodes, and the Captain won’t be there!!!! 🙁 But if I can do both, then I will try so hard. If Indigo seems unlikely, I’ll either stop for the day or go to What Rebellions Are Built On: Popular Culture, Radical Hope, and Politically Engaged Geeks panel at 8 pm in Room 32AB. The topic is super interesting, and these smaller panels usually turn out to be highlights of the entire convention experience.

FRIDAY, JULY 20

Friday is almost definitely the day I’ve been preparing for for 4 months – I’ll be wearing Aloy! Originally I was planning to wear her on Saturday, but Saturday promises to be a crazy busy day, so Friday is probably best. It helps that I have no must-do’s in the morning, so I’ll spend a little while getting dressed up before heading to the convention center.

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This will be me. It took 4 months to do, but daaaaang was it worth it.

There’s a few cool comics panels in the morning that I might go to, or a Cosplaying 102 panel, but chances are the first thing I might try for is Shades of Magic: From Prose to Panels at 12 pm in Room 4. This is Victoria Schwab’s spotlight panel, and since she’s kinda one of my favorite authors, I’d hate to miss it.

My next big must-do isn’t until 4:15 pm, so I’ll probably wander around the exhibit floor for a short bit before heading over to the Indigo Ballroom for Bob’s Burgers. This panel is always a blast , and they usually have a few short looks at the upcoming season. If it weren’t for Friday being my Aloy day, I’d wear Tina to this panel. Actually I may rethink this plan…but it’s still for the best.

That’s really my only priorities for Friday, which is why it’s a perfect day for Aloy. I’ll probably do a bit of shopping and hit up some smaller panels like Art & Arcana: The Visual History of Dungeons & Dragons and Into the Fanzone! Celebrating Pop Culture in YA Literature. It’ll be nice to have a lighter day before…

SATURDAY, JULY 21

THIS DAY IS GOING TO BE CRAZY! First things first, I’ll probably be waking up super early again because there is NO WAY I’m missing The Good Place at 11 am in the Indigo Ballroom. This is my third and final “this show is coming?!?!” surprise, and I’m so forking excited. If you haven’t seen The Good Place, there’s only 16 episodes and they’re all 20 minutes long so hurry up and go watch it, and then come finish reading this. I’ll probably cry if they have some sort of freebie they pass out during the panel. Also I might try to ask a question because this is probably my only chance to speak at Mike Schur, aka the creator of Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Good Place, aka my favorite comedy showrunner/writer and how can I pass that up??

I have a few panel options for the afternoon. I could go to the annual Lost Fans Unite with Jay + Jack, a reunion of sorts for old Lost podcast fans at 1 pm at the San Diego Public Library. I’m definitely tempted by The Musical Universe of Doctor Who at 2 pm in the Marriott. And there’s always the Women Who Kick Ass panel at 4 pm in Hall H, which features a certain new Doctor Who lead actress alongside a lot of actresses I really like. But it all leads to what may be my craziest scheduling attempt the whole week…

At 6:30 pm in Room 6BCF is Talks Machina with Critical Role. For those who don’t know, I’ve been slowly watching through a little (ha!) online Dungeons & Dragons show starring a whole bunch of those voice actors who are in every single game ever. They livestream their game every week and are on their second campaign with new characters. I’m still watching through Campaign 1, but am all caught up on Campaign 2 up to this point. I adore these people and I really REALLY want to stay for the whole panel, but there’s no way I can do that so I’ll take what I can get because….

As soon as 7 pm hits, I need to TAKE OFF, race out of the convention center and head to the Balboa Theater for my one scheduled outside-the-con event, the CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND LIVE CONCERT!!! I’m lucky enough to have seen Rachel Bloom perform live back in March, but this is supposed to be most of the cast as well (at least, I’m pretty sure). Either way who cares cause I LOVE THIS SHOW, THIS ACTRESS, AND THESE SONGS AND I AM SO EXCITED! I’m really bummed that two of the things I was looking to most overlap a little. The concert is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm, and it takes about 18 minutes (according to Maps) to walk from the convention center to the Balboa, but considering foot traffic leaving the convention center, it’ll take a little longer. So fingers crossed I can make a little of Critical Role happen before I have to skedaddle.

This is why I’m not wearing Aloy on Saturday. If I was wearing her, I would need to change out of her, shower, AND eat dinner all before the concert. Instead I’ll wear normal clothes, not have to shower in the middle of the day, and eat dinner sometime before Critical Role. It just logistically makes more sense.

SUNDAY, JULY 22

You know what’s crazy? I don’t think I have a single must-do for Sunday, which is….the first time. Doctor Who is usually a Sunday panel, but with it’s spot being on a Thursday this year, Sunday is this wonderful relaxed final day. I plan to cosplay as Ellie from The Last of Us Part II on Sunday, since it’s an easy cosplay to put on and move around in.

I think Sunday will be a small panel day, so just glancing at my options, here’s Plan A.

At 10 am I’ll go to How to Be a Nerd for a Living: Breaking into Careers in Geek Culture at the Marriott. I definitely plan on going to An Author’s Guide to D&D at 11 am in Room 28DE, where authors talk about how playing D&D growing up inspired their writing, which sounds super awesome. Maybe I’ll go to the Women in Marvel panel at 12:30 pm in Room 6DE and listen to one of Marvel’s best female editors talk about what’s in store for female superheroes in, and behind, Marvel comics. And, like I say every single year, maybe I’ll end the convention going to the Full-Time Creative Work on a Part-Time Schedule panel (at 4 pm in Room 24ABC), but if we’re being realistic I’ll be wandering the exhibit hall floor soaking the last few moments of the con in, as always.

Sunday evening is for relaxing with friends and dreading having to leave nerd summer camp in such LOVELY WEATHER.

THINGS THAT HAVE NO SCHEDULED TIME/DATE

I’m definitely going to The Good Place’s offsite location, which, unless I’m mistaken, is right across from the convention center at the entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter. The setup is supposed to resemble the neighborhood from the show and involve multiple picture taking opportunities. The coolest part? The Tin Roof restaurant is being “renamed” The Good Plates!!! for the duration of the offsite, and 50% of proceeds are being donated to charity, cause….you know….THE GOOD PLACE. It’s such a clever idea for a clever show and I can’t wait to go support it! Chances are this will happen either Friday afternoon or possibly Sunday afternoon, cause it’s one of the rare offsites that’s still going to be open on Sunday.

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This is a rendering of how it’s supposed to look. I can’t waiiiit.

I have to stop at the Toddland booth to pick up my pre-order Bob’s Burgers Hall H-apeno enamel pin – nothing wins me over quicker than a crossover between my favorite show, SDCC, and puns. I’ll also almost definitely go to the BBC America booth because when Funko makes a 13th Doctor Funko Pop, I kinda gotta support the ladies.

Katie Cook makes these super cute little tiny watercolor paintings for only $5 a pop, and she has a bunch premade that you can buy, but if you wait in her line she’ll do a custom one for you for – seriously – the same exact price. It’s one of the best deals on the floor, and a lot of attendees know it, cause her line gets capped every single day. I’ll probably head to that first thing Friday or Sunday morning. I definitely plan to get a Hawkeye one, and possibly a Squirrel Girl one, to join my Toothless, Tina Belcher, and Clarke/Lexa from The 100 ones at home.

Last year, stuck at home on my computer, I saw the COOLEST thing on Twitter that I’ve been waiting for ever since. Claire Hummel made these super awesome Con Rangers badges that are basically Boy Scout merit badges, but for SDCC experience. Badges I definitely want (and have earned!) include Phone Kept a Charge All Day (two external chargers for the win!), Got Into Hall H, Asked a Question At a Panel, and Survived the Hotel Lottery. There might be new ones this year too, so I’ll wait and see if there’s any others I deserved, otherwise I could add Got Into Ballroom 20 and Ate an Emergency Hot Dog to my collection.

I’m sure there’s tasks I’m missing, but these are the priorities.


And that’s it! I’m exhausted thinking about it but it’s gonna be SO MUCH FUN!!! Wednesday can’t come fast enough 🙂

I’ll be tweeting and Instagram story-ing (is that a word?) all week long, so if you want to follow along, you can follow my Twitter @leleana or my Instagram @happyasanerd.

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