Editorial: I Did Comic-Con in 24-Hours

[Original post on horrormovies.ca]

My choice to attend Comic-Con was made just 2 days before the event started. And I’d only have 24-hours to do it all. I accepted the challenge, and was very curious as to just how much horror one can take in under such a short period of time. You’d be surprised, I know I was. Here’s a recap of my 24-hour visit to Comic-Con 2012:

I arrived Friday afternoon and immediately made my way to the convention center from the airport, carrying everything I had in tow. Once there, I had to make the immediate decision to not attend any of the panels after seeing the volume of people lined up for them. Instead, I went straight into the exhibit hall area which was a never-ending maze, jam packed with people all trying to walk through each other. Some were dressed up, some were not. It was intriguing and overwhelming at the same time. I inquired about every line I saw, and most made sense: “Oh, this is for Stan Lee,” or “I’m waiting to purchase the limited edition My Little Pony.” OK, so that last one caught me off guard a little, but to each their own right?

I was so happy when I finally found horror alley — all of my favorites grouped together over a safe and warm trash can fire. I went directly to Full Moon’s booth to purchase the DVD box set of the Gingerdead series [priorities], said my hello’s to FANGORIA and chatted with Lloyd Kauffman at the Troma booth. I was happy to learn that they’re up to no good again and are making another Class of Nuke ‘Em High movie. “We’re going to be filming a scene here at Comic-Con on Sunday,” Lloyd mentioned, “You should come and be in the movie!” That lapsed my 24 hour limit, but what a great perk for other fans.

Afterwards, I meandered the halls again looking for beacon’s amidst the very dense fog. I started to wonder how people report seeing so many celebrities and familiar faces when you can’t even seen an inch in front of yourself. But just then it happened, the radar went off and my star struck eyes focused on a bright shiny light, it was John Landis.

John Landis, the director that made An American Werewolf in London. John Landis, the only person I’ve ever wanted to meet, ever. I’ve never been as nervous as I was during that split second where I had to decide what I would say to a man whose career has influenced my life for the past, oh I don’t know, 28 YEARS. What came out was something along the lines of: Oh mah gah I love you,” so, there’s that. It was enough to get him to agree to a photo opp while off duty. I graciously accepted.

After that my mind cleared and vision sharpened; I was seeing so many celebrities going unnoticed and trolling around the hall with the masses while making my way over to the TDW book signing with Joe Hill. Of course there was a line, there was a line for everything. And I waited for 45 minutes before being told I wasn’t going to get to meet Joe Hill after all. Grunts and groans came from behind. Someone said this happens often at Comic-Con; you wait in line for your favorites and get turned away. A few folks behind me started sharing their own war stories about this happening to them, some already a half dozen times. I guess that’s the chance you take attending an event of that size. Folks started walking away, opting to attend the second signing the next day, but I chose to wait it out and see what happens. I guess that’s the chance you take when you’re a devoted fan.

And my patience paid off, as Joe Hill and the rest of the Locke & Key crew stayed behind an extra 15 minutes to make sure that everybody got their comics signed.

Finally, it was time to check into my hotel room, my extremely overpriced and extremely small hotel room. I threw down all of my stuff and cleaned up fast, I was already an hour late for the FEARnet hosted Con of the Dead, party whose invite prompted me to take the last minute trip to the event in the first place. In and out in less than 15 minutes, and running down the street like a fat kid late for the ice cream truck.

And it’s a good thing I did because the V.I.P. line was waiting outside for me when I got there! My name was checked off the list and I was told “It’d be a while.” I waited patiently, eavesdropping on conversations, admiring the cosplay activity passing by. The girls behind me started in on their heavy sighing and first world problems, suggesting that they “should have called [insert every big name horror director you can think of here] first.” It was amusing, and annoying. And a reminder that there are just some events at Comic-Con that are not for the fans.

But once inside, I was greeted by a plethora of horror greats and an open bar, and consider this a combination I can now cross off my bucket list. Some chose to mingle, some chose to stay gated behind the roped off V.I.P. section of the party. I chose to roam back and forth until my curiosity and thirst were both satiated. And once the party was over, I was shooed away with an impressive FEARnet gift bag in tow, and it was on to the FANGORIA screening of Kerry Prior’s The Revenant [read my review here], a fun edition to the horror-comedy-zombie genre.

After that, it was 4 hours of sleep and finally having the first and only meal I’d have the opportunity to eat during the entire trip. I opted to take a cab a few miles out of the madness and enjoy a large breakfast at the Hash House in Balboa Park. I then cabbed it back to the ‘Con, and explored the activities held outside of the convention hall, before it was time to head back to the airport, and then home.
And once I got home, I [slept and then] counted the loot: 4 shirts, 4 books, 3 DVD’s, at least a dozen pins, 1 coffee mug, about 6 bars of Bates Motel soap, odds and ends fun stuff, a candy bar and eleventy billion flyers that I will be filtering through and investigating over the next few weeks because I’m thorough.

Thanks for all the swag, Comic-Con! I had a great time. And I know I missed all the epic panels and signings. From the looks of the 5-mile long lines though, I’m know I’m not the only one. And that’s ok, maybe next year. Regardless, I was impressed with everything else I was able to do in such a short period of time. And I’m impressed with myself for now being able to say: “Yeah, I did Comic-Con… and I did it in 24-hours.”

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