You know that any post that starts with a “Jared Padalecki dance off” is going to have a story. Also, the Moose can boogie.
We’ll get to the jiving Jared in a bit, but let’s start with something a little bigger: SDCC as a whole. Last year was my first expedition into the world of Line Con, of battling Hall H and roaming San Diego’s Gaslamp District with half a dozen Khaleesis and Deadpools. It’s an event that no one is prepared for. Ever. And sure, I’m a relative rookie, but every year SDCC gets bigger and this year was no exception at all. There’s 150,000 people converging on that convention center every day, weaving in out out of booths in the exhibitor’s hall, and grabbing at the free swag handed out by street teams (I am STILL bitter I didn’t get one of the Sharknado foam chainsaws). Despite all this and the fact you will inevitably be crushed against more people than you’ve touched in the last year alone, there is something magical about comic con. It’s unlike any other event in the world (though apparently NYCC is catching up in numbers). It’s complete madness. Where else can you see a panel about The Simpsons (and visit a giant replica of Homer’s head) and then have a run through an American Ninja Warrior-esque obstacle course themed for the new Assassin’s Creed game?
And let me just pause there for a moment because holy shizzle the Assassin’s Creed Experience. I adore Assassin’s Creed with every fiber of my desynchronized heart, so when I heard that they were going to have a French Revolution themed adult jungle gym of happiness of decapitation, I couldn’t get in line fast enough… which is a bit ironic and I only did in on Sunday. Anywho! I thought this was going to be fun and while not easy, not insanely difficult. They did a good job of making it accessible for everyone and not the crazy parkour experts. Other than my shoe falling off on the first obstacle (and the official AC twitter RTing my shame), I did a surprising job, even managing the rope swing and rings (well, three out of the four). The last challenge was the Leap of Faith. For those who don’t play the game (shame on your cow), this is what the Assassin’s do after they reach the top of viewpoints or particularly high steeples. Usually it’s them leaping into the air and falling gracefully into a cleverly positioned pile of hay. We’ll ignore physics and instead concentrate on the fact the AC Experience made a 25 foot tall tower for people to jump off of. Yes, we had to sign release forms and the attendants said if we even thought about hesitating we were being led back down the ladder. I’m an adrenaline junkie so I was raring to go… and then came the moment when I lept off…
I have made a grave mistake.
You’re suppose to be horizontal, so yeah, that didn’t happen. As I was falling I had a series of thoughts, most of them believing I was about to snap my legs and that I had accidentally just committed suicide in the name of Arno. Luckily the giant airbag was there for me and embraced me with a BAM. I’m told there’s video of my fall into oblivion, I need to track it down.
OK! Back on track. SDCC. Craziness.
This year it was much more about the off-site events than what was actually happening in the convention center. One of my favorite things was Game of Thrones’ Survive the Realm. As you can see above, you got to hang out with a dragon. They also had an amazing oculus virtual reality station where you were able to journey to the top of The Wall. Despite having lept from the top of a 25 foot tower, I’m rather scared of heights, so you can imagine my reaction when I turned around in this little elevator like thing to find myself with a face full of cold air and looking down from The Wall in Westeros. I believe the words “Oh shit, I don’t like this!” were screamed out… much to the delight of everyone else in line.It was a seriously cool thing and in true Game of Thrones fashion, ended in your violent death.
They had the Iron Throne there as well as many costumes from the show, but the craziest thing HBO was doing was giving away FREE tattoos… that’s REAL tattoos, as long as it was a Game of Thrones design. I was rather tempted, I must admit, but it was my friend Sora who actually made the pledge. She ended up getting the three-eyed raven. While Bran’s storyline is a bit bland, the design was wicked. She did end up having to wait most of the day for it, but free tattoo! I’ve been rocking a temporary House Targaryen dragon crest and Valar Morghulis the past week. I’m slightly worried these temp tattoos aren’t that temporary… it won’t come off!
The only panel I ended up going to in the convention center was the Game of Thrones panel on Friday before my SherlockeDCC party (which you can read about [here]). Otherwise, the panels I went to were at NerdHQ, Zachary Levi’s brainchild. With ticket prices going to Operation Smile, NerdHQ hosts a series of intimate Q&As with various actors/writers/etc. I ended up going to three panels at NerdHQ, and they were all amazing. All my tickets were obtained thanks to one of my amazing followers and now friends, who battled the masses in super fast typing. Thanks to her I got to see The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Sesame Street, and eventually Supernatural as she got my friend Sora and I tickets from another
person. I’m going to lay my heart out in a few about all the amazing people at SDCC, but I just want to say thank you so much. The NerdHQ panels were amazing and the fact it was for charity just makes it all that better.
Also I got to meet Cookie Monster, which may be my greatest accomplishment to date.
Comic Con is this weird mesh of reality and fantasy. You’re roaming around and meet your friend at one of the hotel bars. As you’re looking for her, two of your followers on twitter spy you and say hello and then casually mention that Misha Collins is sitting behind you. This was my Saturday night wherein I talked with a rather intoxicated Misha and had a dance off with Jared Padalecki. And then, as I was heading back to my hotel, I swing by the Hall H line and run into Osric Chau (whom I had met a few times earlier in the weekend because my roommate, the amazing House of Darkly, was the one who made his incognito costume he would eventually use to crash the Supernatural panel on Sunday morning). Least to say I had a very Supernatural heavy weekend.
But despite all these crazy things, all the parties, all the amazing connections and opportunities… none of it would be anything without the people. The friends you’ve had for ages, the friends you are just meeting, and the friends you make. There’s a community at SDCC that is full of enthusiasm and love. You’re all there because you love the popular arts: whether its a television show, comic books, video games, or designer toys. Everyone is there because of something nerdy. You’re all nerds. We’re all nerds. And at comic con that’s celebrated. It’s a place where people cheer your cosplay and your geeky t-shirts instead of look at them with a raised eyebrow and a snarky smirk of disapproval. It’s where one conversation in a line that’s lasted ten hours can make you a new best friend and where the staff cheers you as you make the final crossing into Hall H.
Every experience you have at San Diego Comic Con is enhanced by the people you’re with and the people you meet. It’s a crazy place and made even crazier with friends, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s how dance offs and secret projects happen. It’s how you get the gumption to jump off in a ‘Leap of Faith,’ and how you have the patience to wait in line for a free tattoo. It’s comic con and it is a crazy, mad adventure… and I cannot WAIT until next year!