Hundreds of thousands of fans, artists, media personalities, public relations handlers, and more are prepping to descend upon sunny San Diego’s Gaslamp District for another year of the barely-controlled chaos that is San Diego Comic-Con International. Starting tomorrow, all of these people will gather together to celebrate comics, video games, movies, television, pop culture, and everything we geeks can’t help but love.
And, as always, Open the Fridge will be there drinking in the bright sun, celebratory revelry, and nerd debauchery! We’ve snagged another one of our beloved Fridge Stuffers to come along for the ride, too. We’ll be tweeting straight from the network traffic congested convention floor and panel rooms, and bringing back some choice segments and articles for your perusal upon our return, while undoubtedly fighting off the nerd flu on our return flights.
There’s a lot to be excited about SDCC — and we’ll try to get as much as we can! Like last year, since there’s just so much to go through, we’ve compiled a list of the things we’re looking forward to the most for the weekend! Check it out.
Dwight Tejano, Editor-in-Chief (@dtejano, @open_the_fridge)
In 2009, I attended my first ever San Diego Comic-Con. The years have blended together over time, but I still distinctly recall that first year at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, stalking the G4 booth, and catching a Video Games Live performed by the San Diego Symphony.
On the eve of my fifth con-niversary, it surprises even me that I still get so bloody excited after all of these years. And there’s so much for me to get excited about! First and foremost, like last year, we’ve added a new party member – our geek TV guru, Amy! I love experiencing the convention with a person who has never been there before (although this time is a little different because badges are a nightmare process.) I love this weekend so freakin’ much, and I love getting to spread that around to my friends who have never gone before.
I’ll be catching the “I Know That Voice” panel with Tek — his enthusiasm for animation and voice acting has been infectious. Sadly, this conflicts with the panel hosted by John Barrowman, but such is the life of SDCC scheduling.
There are plenty of other panels I want to attend: Doctor Who, Supernatural, Community, but all of those have the (un)fortunate designation of “Hall H,” making them an automatic “no go.” I plan to join in on the fun of the Archer panel on Friday evening and perhaps the soon-to-be-ending How I Met Your Mother panel on Saturday. I’m not entirely sure why HIMYM is at Comic-Con, but NPH, so whatevs.
If I can’t get into said panels, I’ll be throwing myself in the fun outside of the convention hall: spending time in Nerd HQ at Petco Park or Geek and Sundry’s home at Jolt ‘N Joes. Tickets for the “Conversations for a Cause” was a bit of a bust for me this time around, but I’ll enjoy myself at the Game of Thrones beer tasting event, at IGN’s yearly party at the Hard Rock Hotel, and at Ubisoft’s PARTY ON A PIRATE SHIP. The advertising spectacle never ceases to amaze.
We’ve got great OTF interviews lined up from the cast of Warehouse 13 and PodCRASH host Chris Gore. We’ll be talking games and toys with the guys from IGN, and we’re getting ready to chat movies with some fine folks from Rotten Tomatoes. We’re lining up previews of the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Hopefully, we can lock in a few more interviews, previews, or panel reports within the next few days. That stuff is always crazy fun.
More than anything, I’m just going to let the excitement of the week wash over me and my friends like a comforting wave of geekdom. Even if nothing works out, I’ll be celebrating that which I love with thousands of other people who love it just as much (maybe more) than I do. Where else in the United States can you ever get to say that?
Rob Piontek, Senior Editor (@t3kOTF)
Has it already been a year since I first set foot on the show floor at SDCC? Since I immersed myself in the heart of geek culture?! Since I had more random celebrity encounters in one week than I have had in my entire life?!? Yes. Yes it has.
The lineup is different this year, but the excitement still runs deep. I’m a little wiser to the ways of SDCC now, so I have toned my expectations down to a much more manageable level this year. The wide-eyed optimist has given way to the wary realist who now knows that anything in Hall H or Ballroom 20 will be seen on YouTube, not in person. But this hasn’t deterred me from eyeing a few panels that will be held this year. Headlining my wishlist on that front is “I Know That Voice,” a star-studded panel to promote the upcoming documentary about the voice over industry. Being a rabid fan of voice actors and their work, I’m excited at the opportunity to see such greats as John DiMaggio, Fred Tatasciore, Rob Paulsen, Billy West, and others. If I make one panel this year, I want it to be that one.
“Conversations for a Cause” return to Nerd HQ this year, and I am super excited to take part in the Doctor Who panel. It’s one thing to get to go, but it’s something else to beat the odds and be one of the 250 lucky nerds who actually got a ticket.
Several con exclusives have made their way onto my wishlist, but with limited quantities, it’s hard to say which ones might actually be coming home with me. Entertainment Earth will be selling a pretty spectacular Doctor Who shot glass set to celebrate the 50th. Gentle Giant, who got a fair amount of my money last year, has a Galactus bust that might make it’s way next to my Thanos bust from last year, and Hasbro appears to be introducing a new line called “The Black Series” and the inaugural piece is a gorgeous Boba Fett figure. Quantities (and funds) are limited, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
I had to save the best for last. Nerd HQ was and continues to be my favorite memory from SDCC 2012, and that’s topping things like meeting John Barrowman and Peter Cullen, getting photobombed by Storm (from Paul & Storm), and having a hotel room that looked out over Bruce Wayne’s garage. When we were off the show floor, away from the crush of people, and just looking for a refuge, HQ was there for us. There was a very discernable moment when I was at the HQ bar, glancing around at the Gears of War: Judgment and Tomb Raider demos, watching “Trailer Park Heroes” on the screens, and seeing Adam Baldwin enjoying a beer across the bar, when I just felt like I was in the right place. It’s a great memory that I not only hope to experiece again, but also hope I can share with Nerd Machine honcho, Zach Levi if I get a chance to thank him personally.
As I write this, the excitement grows, but while the big to-do of the con has me squirming in my seat, I’m just as eager to enjoy the little things like having a few drinks with my friends at the Hilton Bayfront bar, geeking out over some random celebrity encounters, and relaxing poolside when all is said and done.
*DING DING* Round 2. FIGHT!!
Amy Imhoff, Senior Contributor (@lightstar1013)
Since this will be my first time at SDCC, I confess to feeling a tad overwhelmed at the insanity of it all! However, I am still quite looking forward to a number of things. First up, my one guaranteed activity is that I scored an autograph ticket for the fabulous, wonderful Gillian Anderson. X-Files is second only to Star Trek in my geek life, and seeing an icon like Gillian has always been at the top of my list. I will try to keep the blathering to a minimum as I have her sign my limited-edition Hollywood Reporter dedicated to the series (that David Duchovny already signed!) and tell her how much she meant to my teenage self. Expect slightly incoherent, glowing tweets to follow.
There is also an X-Files panel (with not only Gillian, David, and Chris Carter in attendance, but a host of the show’s exec producers and directors I have long admired) that I won’t get into due to the crush of nerd humanity outside Ballroom 20, but I am planning to watch it later on my laptop from the comfort of the hotel room. Speaking of the hotel, I am honestly looking forward to staying at the Bayfront, heart of all the action. The people-watching is sure to be epic and star-studded!
Speaking of star-studded, I’d love to lay eyes on Lost alums Henry Ian Cusick, Josh Holloway, and Emilie de Ravin, all of whom are attending to promote new projects. I’d also really love to shake the hand of Jeff Jensen, writer for Entertainment Weekly, whose Lost recaps gave me so much to think about during the show’s six-year run. That man is a genius. And I won’t lie – I do hope to see Jon Snow wandering around, although I am concerned that I won’t recognize him or his fellow Game of Thrones cast members since they won’t be covered in dirt and armor.
One big-ticket event to which I hope to snag a coveted ticket is the Falling Skies cast signing on Friday night. I adore that show and the actors (especially Noah Wyle), and want to tell them what a fantastic job they are doing. Then there are a few women-in-fandom panels I would like to try to see, as well as the Roddenberry panel on Saturday. Also in the Star Trek vein is visiting the team at the Star Trek: The Next Generation Bridge Restoration Project, who scored a great booth on the convention floor. They are doing some great work on restoring that set, and I’d like to see their progress and wish them well!
I’m hoping to do a bit of networking and just enjoy the vibe of the convention itself. It’s going to be an intense weekend, but an exciting one! Stay tuned for this n00b’s thoughts!
No matter what may happen this weekend, it’ll be memorable and fun beyond all measure. Be sure to follow @open_the_fridge, @dtejano, @t3kOTF, and @lightstar1013 for our thoughts and experiences in 140 characters or less! We’ll bob and weave our way through the exhibit hall, avoid the mechanical pencils aimed for our eyes, and only make you a little jealous if you’re not lucky enough to attend!