Recap of a Low-Key SDCC
I returned from San Diego almost a week ago but it’s taken me awhile to write my SDCC recap. I came back with a cold and have been in resting mode because in two days I’m heading to Napa for a much-needed girls’ getaway.
As per usual with my SDCC recaps, beware: this post is long!
I flew to San Diego alone; John had to delay his flight out by a day due to work. I arrived mid-morning and took a cab to our hotel, the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa. This hotel was new to the SDCC accommodations list this year. We initially got a Mission Valley hotel in the lottery…meh. When waiting list hotels opened up and we saw that this hotel was available, we decided to try something different. The Coronado Marriott is quite nice and had a great view of the convention center right across the bay. Although our hotel wasn’t on the SDCC shuttle route, there’s a ferry landing a 10-minute walk away that goes directly to the convention center! The ferry runs every 30 minutes and it wasn’t super convenient, but it’s a lot more fun than taking a shuttle.
My brother-in-law and his girlfriend also arrived on Monday. Because we were already on Coronado, we decided to head to the beautiful, historic Hotel del Coronado for dinner:
The Hotel del is GORGEOUS! It reminded me a little of The Stanley in Estes Park, Colorado, partly because of the white-and-red buildings but partly because both hotels are old and apparently haunted. We explored the hotel lobby and grounds for a bit before sitting down for dinner at Eno Pizza, which was delicious. Then we headed back to our hotel and I grabbed a glass of wine at the bar before bed.
John arrived Tuesday morning—our fifth wedding anniversary! We were excited to celebrate five years of marriage and decided to have dinner at the same place we ate at on our wedding night, Casa Guadalajara in Old Town San Diego. Sadly, John’s mom recently passed away after a long illness. But we invited his dad to come down from LA for the night to celebrate with us. We had a lovely family dinner on the patio; afterward, we had a drink by the fire pit back at our hotel. A glass of wine by a fire pit is ALWAYS welcome!
The next morning it was time to do my nails! I had ordered these Shining carpet “Redrum” nail wraps from Espionage Cosmetics specifically to wear to Comic-Con. So I spent some time applying the wraps and I was VERY pleased with how they turned out! They lasted more than a week, too. I’ll definitely get nerdy nails from Espionage again. 🙂
We spent the morning resting and saving our energy for Comic-Con. Our friend K arrived in the afternoon, and then we all took a Lyft to the convention center to pick up lanyards and WB con bags. None of us got exciting bags this year (no Supernatural bag for me, *sniff*). I got Gotham and John got the new Sabrina reboot bag…meh. Here we our modeling our con bags:
We didn’t have preview night badges, unfortunately, so we couldn’t hit up the show floor just yet. We were all hungry so we headed to a place called Fairweather that had tiki drinks and mediocre food (we wouldn’t eat there again). Then we went to our SDCC mainstay roof bar, Altitude Sky Lounge at the Marriott Gaslamp. The view from there just never gets old:
Finally, the first official day of Comic-Con 2018! John and I hardly ever spend much time together at the actual con. Our little group always splits off and does our own thing during the day. I packed up my backpack and strapped my new lightweight folding stool over my shoulder and braced myself for day one. I had decided to bring a stool because I’ve been having so much trouble with my feet lately. Standing hurts my feet more than walking, so I thought sitting even for a couple minutes at a time might help.
K and I walked to the ferry landing and took the 5-minute boat ride to the convention center. The view during the boat ride never got old:
I wanted to hit up Nerdist House and pick up wristbands that would allow us a fast pass into the Bizarre States party on Saturday night. (We had pre-registered for the wristbands as Alpha members.) So we walked to Nerdist House at the Sparks Gallery and got our wristbands. I was totally regretting having worn jeans and a black t-shirt by the time we got there. It was fairly hot out and I was really having a hard time cooling off. We headed back to the convention center and braved the show floor, where we were immediately greeted with this amazing Deadpool booth:
I think most people figured the animatronic display was a Chuck E. Cheese thing, but because I grew up in the midwest I immediately recognized it as a Showbiz Pizza reference! By the Deadpool booth I spotted Flula, fanny pack aficionado and Pitch Perfect 2 performer (Das Sound Machine!). He was working as a Conan correspondent during SDCC and his Instagram feed during the con was hilarious.
After not even five minutes on the show floor I started feeling like I needed to escape. I was still having a really hard time cooling down and was worried I would pass out. So I left K and went to the Marriott conference center next to the convention center. There was ample seating so I rested there in the air conditioning. K met me there after spending some time on the show floor. By the time she arrived I had finally cooled down and was feeling much better.
From there we decided to see if there was a line for Ballroom 20. I was interested in the panel for A Discovery of Witches,a new UK show based on the novels by Deborah Harkness. There was literally no line so we walked right in and watched most of the panel. The show looks just ok, but the cast is solid (Alex Kingston, Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode). I’d be interested in checking it out when it becomes available in the US.
K and I left the Witches panel early because we wanted to see if we could get into Hall H for Better Call Saul. John was already in the Hall H line, about 100 people in front of us. Fortunately the line was short and almost constantly moving. My folding stool turned out to be great for the Hall H line! I had worried the stool would be a pain in the ass to carry. But I barely even noticed it—it only weighs two pounds and has a convenient strap. I had no shame in whipping my stool out and popping a squat (LOL, the “stool” jokes were endless).
We easily got into Hall H before the Better Call Saul panel! We only waited about 45 minutes to get in. Better Caul Saul was awesome, and then we got to see the Breaking Bad 10th anniversary panel. This cast is always a joy to see together. Bryan Cranston is a god damn American treasure.
I ended up leaving Breaking Bad early because I wanted to try for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend panel. In my hustle from one end of the convention center to the other, I stopped to snap a photo of these two amazing Game of Thrones cosplayers:
The line for Crazy Ex was long for a small room (6AB), but I managed to make it in! I sat in an aisle seat near the back; a larger guy came in and sat basically on top of me. I was not super comfortable (and I’m sure he wasn’t either), but the panel was a lot of fun regardless. I didn’t get very good photos since I was so far in the back:
Rachel Bloom treated us to a live rendition of the new theme song for season four! That was an excellent SDCC exclusive moment. I ended up leaving the panel a little early to head back to the island. John, K, and I took the ferry back and met up with my brother, who had driven down from LA to hang out for a couple nights. We grabbed dinner at Il Fornaio, an Italian spot near the ferry landing, then had drinks by the fire pit at the hotel.
In the morning after breakfast, we took a Lyft to the convention center (with me in my It’s Friday! shirt). I headed to the Nerdist News panel, spotting this awesome Venom cosplayer along the way:
The Nerdist News panel was entertaining but left a tad early because I had to pee…story of my life. From there I went to the show floor and made a beeline for the Sideshow Collectibles booth, which displays an astounding array of incredibly detailed figures year after year. Take a look at this Okoye from Black Panther:
I also made my way to the NECA booth, which I love for its uncanny horror figures. Both NECA versions of Pennywise are SO lifelike and creepy! They’re also coming out with an Ace Ventura figure and Golden Girls figures!! I NEED that Ace Ventura action figure. ALRIGHTY THEN.
I met Slimer, too:
The show floor was fun but overwhelming as per usual, so I cut my time there short and headed to Nerdist House. This was the midday scene outside the convention center when I left…amazingly not too crazy.
At Nerdist House I actually found an empty chair, so I sat and rested my feet. One of my SDCC friends whom I met for the first time last year ended up at Nerdist House too. So I was happy we got to spend a little time together there!
Andrew Bowser, one of the Bizarre States podcast hosts, was doing a signing at Nerdist House as Onyx the Fortuitous, his weird Satanist guy character. So I jumped in line for the signing and ended up chatting with another girl who is part of Jessica Chobot’s Vogue Leader beauty community like I am! (Jess is a Nerdist host and co-host of Bizarre States.) Then I got to meet Onyx/Bowser, and it was cool yet awkward—just as you’d expect from Onyx:
As someone who grew up collecting Garbage Pail Kids, this Onyx the Fartuitous card CRACKS ME UP:
After Nerdist House I headed back to the convention center and found these spot-on Austin Powers/Fembot cosplayers:
By the time I got back to the convention center I felt like I might be getting a sore throat. So I met up with John and K and we took the ferry back to Coronado.
The problem with staying on Coronado is that even though traveling to and from downtown really isn’t that big of a deal, it feels like a trek if you don’t have a lot of energy. And none of us was feeling particularly energetic. Plus, by dinner time, it was clear that I was indeed getting a sore throat. So we had dinner at Nicky Rotten’s Bar & Burger Joint on Coronado, grabbed our usual drink by the hotel fire pit, and called it a night.
The next morning my sore throat was in full swing. Sadly, I decided to rest up and skip the con. I REALLY wanted to feel okay enough to go to the Bizarre States 200th episode party that night. Me and some of the other Vogue Leader girls were planning on meeting up at the party, and I didn’t want to miss it!
So I rested in the hotel room basically all day, sucking on Cold-Eeze and taking Emergen-C. I experienced major SDCC FOMO when John texted me and said he was going on the IMDb yacht—the one where Kevin Smith interviews celebrities ALL DAY LONG. John’s friend from LA knew someone at IMDb who could get her on the yacht. His friend and her husband came to San Diego for the day and met up with John on the yacht. Unfortunately they weren’t given VIP access and they had to stay in the “regular people” lounge. 😛 In the end I didn’t miss out on much there, though John did see Stephen Amell and the Arrow cast leaving the yacht…he sent me this pic:
I got ready for the Bizarre States party and took a Lyft to Nerdist House an hour before the party start time. The venue wasn’t that big and I did NOT want to get shut out due to capacity, especially after skipping everything else that day so I could feel well enough to go! I sat on the sidewalk in line with other excited folks and chatted with them as we waited for the venue to start letting us in.
I was the first of the Vogue Leader beauty community girls to get into the party. Though I’m naturally shy, I went up to Jessica Chobot and introduced myself (a bit of wine helped!). She was so nice, and when the other girls showed up we all chatted with her for a bit and had our photo taken together:
I love being a part of Jess’s beauty community. It’s so much fun to meet other people who are as nerdy AND into makeup and skin care as I am! We all chatted and drank and danced and had a great time. Jess and Bowser did a signing during the party, so we got in line for that and they signed posters for us.
Here I am posing with the Bizarre States ouija board on display at Nerdist House (oujia boards scare the crap out of me, BTW):
Not long before leaving I got a tarot card reading from Mystic Dylan, who often does readings at Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum in Burbank, CA (which I am dying to go to sometime). It was great to meet him after seeing him featured on an episode of Bizarre States: Declassified! The night was such a whirlwind that I barely even remember what he told me (I’m sure the wine didn’t help, haha).
I had such a fun time at the party! I was thrilled that I ended up making it, since it was one of the things I was most excited about doing at Comic-Con this year. It was so awesome to meet Jess and Bowser, and I loved meeting the other Vogue Leader fans as well (I even ran into another while waiting for the bathroom—I recognized her from Instagram)!
Not surprisingly, I still had a sore throat on Sunday. Bizarre States was having a panel at 2pm so I decided to rest up for that. K went to see if she could make it into Hall H for Supernatural and Riverdale, and she did end up getting in! I would have liked to go to those panels, but I really was not feeling up for it. In addition to my throat, my gut was acting up again. Unfortunately, that’s standard operating procedure for my body at Comic-Con.
I unfortunately didn’t feel well enough by early afternoon to go to the Bizarre States panel. I really wanted to go, but the thought of going to the convention center was incredibly unappealing. My body was telling me to rest, so I did. At least I made it to the party!
I’m pretty sad that I skipped two full days of Comic-Con this year, but I decided to be an adult and listen to my body. Because I have two more Cali-and-back flights in the next couple weeks, I didn’t want to overdo it and then get even more sick. I had wanted to spend more time on the show floor, people watching, and meeting up with friends at the con, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Maybe that’s what Mystic Dylan’s reading was all about on Saturday night? 😛
By Sunday afternoon, John and K were also done with the con so they came back to the hotel and we chilled by the pool. The sunset over downtown San Diego was so beautiful:
I left Comic-Con feeling pretty sad this year. The sadness was partly due to being sick—I always get a little depressed when I have a cold. I was sad that I felt shitty and sad that I hadn’t had the energy to do more. We did also just suffer the loss of my mother-in-law, so that was also affecting me. At least I managed to do some of the things that I had really been looking forward to.
SDCC 2018 Haul
I didn’t buy a lot this year because I didn’t spend much time walking the show floor. The bobblehead, though, is SO FUCKING AMAZING. John’s brother bought me a cool Zelda wallet (I’m still obsessed with Breath of the Wild!), and I ended up with a bunch of new free pins! The little ninja figure you see below on the left came in the bag when I bought my bobblehead. I bought a book, The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente, at the airport bookshop on the way out of town. It sounds right up my alley and I’m excited to read it!
SDCC had some high highs and some low lows for me this year. My 2018 experience was definitely not as good as 2017. I went into the con this year at a disadvantage: I haven’t been exercising regularly due to my foot pain, so I wasn’t in great shape to start with.
2018 was an odd year for Comic-Con. Overall, I heard that the lines for the big ticket panels were much easier (never a bad thing!), which is probably due to the fact that major players like HBO and Marvel skipped the con. It also felt like there was a lack of enthusiasm around a lot of panels. Maybe I’m just projecting because I wasn’t feeling great, but the general vibe felt muted in comparison to previous years.
Security felt A LOT stricter this year. There seemed to be more crowd flow management, more security presence, and more K9 units around. On Thursday in the Hall H line we had to go through a bag check and metal detectors, which we’ve never seen there before. It was all to the point where I wondered if SDCC had received credible threats. Fortunately, nothing bad happened, so whatever security measures they took worked out.
How was your SDCC this year? What was your take on the vibe?