We pop the luggage in the car and check out. It is our final walk to the trolley. They have never checked for our ticket. We have all wasted fifteen dollars. Sort of.
Once again, we four are gunning for the same panel(s). Doctor Who is at 10, and Supernatural is at 11:45. But given the popularity of both shows, we suspect we can't do both. I suggest that we split up as soon as we get in since the panels are on opposite sides. The girls will scope out the Supernatural line at Room 6CBDF, and the boys will check out the Ballroom 20 line for Doctor Who.
We are safe for Ballroom 20. The line is still in the tent, as it was for Chuck.
The report from the field is that the Supernatural line is ricockulous: the fangirls have managed to already fill up the room for Smallville, and the monitors have dispersed the Supernatural line, forcing them to mill about until the line is formed and they make a futile attempt to get in. There is not going to be a huge turnover between the two panels. We have had our decision made for us! We thought we had to choose between Doctor Who and Supernatural, but instead the choice was between Doctor Who and getting up three hours earlier.
Mr. Gymble and I wait for Gymble and Mini to join us in line. We are subsequently joined by mycenae, who has to cut through a couple rows of people to get to us. She notice my Hypotamoose shirt. "Is this a math joke?" she says. Yes. Among other things.
I have to get out of line to go take a picture of these cute girls with awesome costumes.
The TARDIS costume is obscenely clever. I ask the other girl which Dalek she is, since I've forgotten. "Dalek-Sec!" she says. "With the Cult of Skaro."
We are right behind a really awesome Rogue, and I finally take an opportunity to ask for a picture.
We are very glad once we make it inside the air-conditioned building because it is really hot in San Diego. As we walk down the line, a unicorn puppet being controlled by a hilarious little kid says, "Isn't it great to be inside?"
We sit in the back. Mr. Gymble suggests we move down the row so we can be centered with the screen instead of the stage, since we'll be watching the screen more. I like watching the actual stage on principle, but fine! We move down.
Our free goodie for this panel is not a ticket to be exchanged but a comic! It's a Doctor Who Classics comic about Four's adventure with the Iron Legion. Huh.
Because Mr. Gymble made us move, I find myself behind a woman wearing a shirt with "Leverage 2008" on the back. I tap the woman and ask her what the front of the shirt says. "Get ready to get even." I ask her if she got it at Comic-Con last year. She says, "It's the shirt we gave out."
Her name is Kerry Glover, and she's the script coordinator for Leverage! Cool! We're fans, I tell her. She gives us some interesting casting spoilers (she lets us in on the fact that Gina Bellman is pregnant since she knows it will be leaked soon anyway). She's had to deal with many script changes! We chat for several minutes. Why aren't they at Comic-Con this year? I forget why, but it's the first one John Rogers has missed. She recommends his blog, which is very geeky and I have enjoyed on many an occasion.
I give her my business card in case she wants to do an interview, and she says she'll pass it along to the press folk. She writes a little note on the back.
I thank Mr. Gymble for making us move.
The Doctor Who panel begins with a preview for "Planet of the Dead," which premieres that night on BBC America but I'm sure the majority of the audience has already seen, come on now. Then out come Julie Gardner! Euros Lyn! Russell T. Davies! DAVID TENNANT!
Yes, he is wearing a bejeweled Stormtrooper.
We're shown a preview of the final episodes, which look awesome, and there is much cheering at the various guest stars. Some superfans behind us are quite ecstatic: "YES!!!!111"
After the cheering is over, David Tennant says, "Let's see that again! Everything goes by so quickly." A pause as those in charge determine whether he's serious. "Roll it!" he commands, and they do.
The panel is immensely entertaining, mostly because David Tennant is hilarious and adorable. I spend the whole panel writing down choice David Tennant lines that we will be quoting the rest of the day.
On a rumor of David Tennant doing something: "There's a new rumor every day at Comic-Con. Apparently, I'm playing the hobbit!"
On Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson's awarding Billie Piper a 0.2-second lead because she was wearing a see-through top: "If Billie Piper didn't have such good breasts, I would be higher up on the leaderboard."
Following his comment that he has no official plans to return as Ten, but the 50th anniversary of the series is coming up in 2013, hmmm: "Don't Twitter that. That's not a Thing."
Julie Gardner is also very amusing. Awesomely, she is filming for a Confidential! She has the camera out right there, filming David and us. It's neat.
On reports the John Barrowman stole things off the Who set: "I think John Barrowman just stole things off the set so he could be strip-searched on the way out."
The four of them love each other a lot, they say, in answer to a question, and David starts petting everyone's hair. After he pets Julie's hair, she remarks, "I'm thrilled."
"I love you!" declares someone in the audience for the fiftieth time.
"We love you," says David. Then, with appropriate finger motions: "And each one of you in a slightly different individual way."
An eleven-year-old girl asks David what he would teach if he were a real teacher. He said he would teach English, and his assigned texts would be written by RTD.
RTD is quite jolly. He points out Murray Gold in the audience, and we cheer.
David Tennant tells a lovely story about geeking out during a table read of "School Reunion," when he hears a very familiar voice addressing him as "Doctor." He can't believe that Sarah Jane is calling him the Doctor. He's such a fanboy!
(He also says he loves Firefly and Serenity, which is a quick way to endear yourself to the crowd.)
The panel ends with a preview of "Waters of Mars."
When it's over, David hilarious and awesomely runs to the front of the stage and then lowers his hand for high-fives to the front row as he runs back and forth across the stage. He doesn't lean far enough to actually make contact, but it's a fun sight all the same.
mycenae disappears before I can say bye or get a picture. I didn't get pictures with so many of the LJ people I was excited to meet!
Just for kicks, we check out the Supernatural line, and it is, indeed, a lost cause. I count at least 200 people, plus the tent and anyone behind it. Gymble and Mini desire coffee. I have no such desires. My desire is to have my Guild shirt signed by the Guildies, so I go down to the floor. I call equustel (Ali), since this is the only day she's here and we must meet.
On the way, I run into Jilli and Pete and warn them about the Supernatural line. This is an important public service, as who wants to waste time in a line for a panel they won't get into? If you skip the panel, you also skip the line. So much more time to do other things!
There does not seem to be much of a line at the booth, but the shortness is deceptive: I think it actually starts outside the floor, according to the guy with the sign, so I am totally cutting, but I am confused and besides I am told there's not much of a line outside either and it's moving fast anyway. The line never dies; it is continually being replenished.
A guy is handing out pins, and the other people in line decline, but I see that it is an Axis of Anarchy pin and take it. I have a feeling those who declined didn't realize it was a Guild pin since they didn't see the premiere.
I get my shirt signed by the Guildies. I tell Vince sorry for randomly yelling at him yesterday, and he says that's okay, he was in a hurry. I comment on Jeff Lewis's nametag, which reads, "Jeffy." They said to put a nickname!
I point out to Felicia that I did indeed get a shirt and tell her about the subject line for my pimping post. Robin likes it. I say I feel bad for them because they probably want to do a lot of Comic-Con things, but they're doing so many signings! Felicia says it's okay since the signings have all been full, so that's good. Her voice is practically gone; she sounds exhausted.
"See you on Facebook!" I say.
And then I meet Ali! I only met equustel LJ-wise in April. She found an SCC post on friendsfriends, and then we both declared each other awesome by the power of Matt Murdock's sunglasses. And then she friended me and I friended her soon after, realizing that I enjoyed all her posts and was manually checking her LJ anyway.
So there are Ali and her husband, and we wait for the rest of the gang to find us. I don't understand why it's so difficult since I give Gymble the booth number and specific landmarks, but Comic-Con has fried her brain or something and she has the wrong number in her head. Finally, we reunite, and Ali can meet Mini, whom she also knows! Gymble goes through the Guild line and feels awkward because she has nothing to sign, but she meets Felicia Day, so it's all good. If you recall, I got her into The Guild.
Magical texts inform me that roxybisquaint and life_on_queen are meeting for lunch, and holy shit, you guys, I am so excited to eat a lunch made of real food! I have not had one since Wednesday!
We walk to Westfield. Some of us walk faster than others, so I flit between conversations. I notice the various pins on Roxy's husband's backpack. Kristen Bell, Yvonne Strahovski, two of Summer Glau. "[Mr. Roxy]," I declare, "you like attractive women."
Ali asks me if I'm going to participate in Avatar Day. I'm confused because I think she means Avatar Day. Ali's husband loves Avatar and, like me, was watching it over dinner a lot. I think he's the one who got Ali into it? He thinks it's the best animated series of all time, even better than Batman: The Animated Series, the other popular contender for that title.
We grab food from various places in the food court and put together a couple tables to sit outside, where there is live music! A pretty girl named Jessica Lerner is performing, and I make sure to sit on the side of the table facing her. So does Mr. Gymble, I notice.
The music is far louder than it should be. Or, rather, it is loud enough to broadcast to the whole mall, and we are next to the speakers. Which makes it hard to have proper conversations, but we do our best.
On our way in, we were handed 10% coupons to Ben and Jerry's, so some of us redeem them. I get Chocolate Therapy, which melts all over me in the sun. I hit the bathroom in Ralph's to get cleaned up and also to convert my pants into shorts.
Although it was a fun diversion, it's time for more conning! Roxy and Queenie leave us, and Ali and I must go see David Mack. She didn't bring anything to sign, so we see if any of the booths have Parts of a Hole. There are some crazy Sunday sales going on, but I seriously cannot fit anything in my suitcase. There is too much already! I have a lot of weight! I will buy no more. She does find Parts of a Hole, but it's a first edition and $50, so whatever.
As we pass the Marvel booth, I see that Christina Strain is signing! Cool! She's the colorist for Runaways and the only person still on from the original creative team.
And then I lose Ali and it takes several minutes to find her again. THE EXHIBIT HALL WILL EAT YOU IF YOU'RE NOT CAREFUL.
I introduce Ali to David Mack. "I'm a big fan of your work on Daredevil," she says. She looks through some of Kabuki.
As she does, another girl talks to David about the media he uses to create his art. She's an artist herself, and she's surprised to discover that he uses a mix of watercolors and acrylics. She asks if he can take a look at some of her stuff, and he says he'd be happy to and hands her his card.
"Do you actually check your e-mail?" she asks. I know he does because he's e-mailed with a Patel who's not me! David says that he does check his e-mail and reply, but he's a month or so behind at the moment.
Ali settles on the first issue of the latest Kabuki arc and a Reflections with Daredevil art. I tell her that he'll probably just give them to her since he's given me so many issues for free, but to my surprise, he actually charges! But then, of course, he throws in a couple other issues and another Reflections and signs them all, because he's nice like that. Ali hands him her money, saying that he deserves more.
We both wonder why he's not mobbed. It's probably because he's there all the time so people can come at their leisure. If he had a set signing time, there'd be a huge line!
"See you at WonderCon!" I say as I leave.
It is also time for Ali to leave! Ah! That was not enough time! But I trade Ali for Rae, who takes a picture of us.
She took off her glasses because she doesn't like them, apparently, but they look totally cute on her!
Rae and I mill about the Dark Horse booth. I am hoping to score one of those sweet Umbrella Academy bags, but they are all gone. And then it is bye-bye Rae! Sadness.
I wander around the floor and stumble upon the Atom.com booth, where I see Clara! Er, Robin. I say hi, and she possibly even recognizes me. Sandeep is there for his webseries The Legend of Neil. His shirts are only $10! If only I had watched more than one episode.
I tell him that Patrick Rothfuss was wearing a Legend of Neil shirt last night. "I know!!" he says. Patrick had bought it, but Sandeep would have given it to him; he LOVED The Name of the Wind.
I admit that I haven't seen the show and ask him how long it will take me to catch up. He says the first season runs about thirty minutes, so I tell him I'll watch it when I get back. He hands me a magnet. Sadly, we don't have a super Indian bond! I thought we would magically be friends or something. Dammit! Maybe after I watch his show, he will think I am cool.
Also at the Atom.com booth are two cute girls named Amy and Sara. I think the one on the left is Sara and the one on the right is Amy, but I can't remember now. I ask them about Atom.com and what I can find there. Apparently, lots of funny things! Like the Star Wars Gangsta Rap.
"I saw that!" I say. "It was hilarious."
"Have you heard of Star Wars?" asks Amy, and the game begins.
"Is that the one...with a spaceship?" I say.
"It's this small indie film no one's ever heard of," she says.
"Oh," I say, "so if I asked, like, someone at the grocery store about it, they wouldn't know what I was talking about?"
"No, no," she says. "It's real underground."
"Do you think it will ever become mainstream?"
"Nah," she says.
We keep up this schtick for at least five minutes, and I wish I could remember it all, because it's a lot of fun.
"It's kind of like when Michael Jackson died," says Amy. "I was so sad, but everyone else was like, 'Who?'"
"Who's Michael Jackson?" I say. "He had, like, one good song, right?"
"Hey, Sara!" says Amy. "He's like you, he doesn't know who Michael Jackson is."
"Wait, Michael Jackson?" I say. "Oh, I thought you said Michael Johnson."
They encourage me to take a greenscreen photo. I can wear a costume and have a prop and everything! Olivia Munn is doing some contest where she'll appear in someone's fan film, so I can greenscreen myself in with Olivia Munn. So of course I do.
I am holding my lightsaber very daintily.
"What was that red stick?" I ask Amy. "Is that like a popsicle? A cherry popsicle?"
"Yeah!" she says.
"It seems like an inefficient weapon."
"It's actually very efficient," she replies.
Finally, I must move on. "Nice
At the G4 booth, they're doing a trivia game, but the participants have already been chosen. The questions are pretty damn hard, so I probably wouldn't have stood a chance, but I covet some of the prizes.
My compatriots are Done with Comic-Con, and I decide that I am pretty much ready to leave as well. I have not seen it ALL, but I have seen enough, and my brain is mush. I head toward the exit. On the way out, I discover the very existence of a Wildstorm booth and make a quick run in to see if they have any cool Ex Machina stuff, but instead I find some Planetary posters that I pick up for select individuals.
It's about 3 or 4 when we bid adieu to the San Diego Convention Center, but it's almost 5 by the time we leave the hotel.
Since we skipped the OMWF Singalong at Comic-Con, we do one in the car. Mini has the songs on her iPod, so we hook it up. We all sing along without shame, and I love Gymble for taking the backup vocals in "The Mustard." We also do the gender-split on "I'll Never Tell." This is way better than Ballroom 20 would have been. It's just friends having fun. We do Dr. Horrible next. Those are some damn good songs. Very fun to sing along to! Thanks, Joss!
"This feels a lot like the car version of Comic-Con," says Gymble. I laugh, thinking she's referring to the singing. But then I pay attention to what is going on outside the car. We are stuck in stupid traffic trying to get out of San Diego. It stops and starts like the line for Ballroom 20.
"Pasadena is full," I say. "If you are in line for San Francisco, please stay in line. Pasadena is full."
Mini adds, "We have not started forming the line for San Francisco. We'll just have to mill about."
I write in my notebook while we continue listening to Mini's iPod. "I am trying to catch up to now," I say.
"When will then be now? Soon!" says Mr. Gymble.
When I get the opportunity, I proclaim, "[Mr. Gymble], I forgot how much I like you."
I am constantly distracted by the urge to sing along to "Coin-Operated Boy," "Jenny Says," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "Voodoo Child," among others. But then "Pinball Wizard" comes on and I don't know the words, and everyone in the car is baffled that I know the words to basically every song on Mini's iPod but not that one.
Finally, I declare, "I have caught up to now! We're in now, now."
With my free time, I decided to do a dramatic reading of the Doctor Who comic. Mini asks me to do the Doctor with an Indian accent, so I do. Mr. Gymble has read the comic, and he is prepared for how bad it is, but oh my, is it bad. It's fun to do all the different voices, though. It's hard to switch between the voices and make them sound both distinct and consistent. Voice acting is harder than it looks!
To my surprise, the issue ends on a cliffhanger! Now we will never find out what happens. I'll bet the Doctor lives and teaches the alien robots a very important lesson.
We make it to Pasadena around 8:30, very tired. We order pizza and watch an episode of The Middleman, "The Ectoplasmic Pan-Hellenic Investigation." They think it's "cute" and enjoy the Ghostbusters references, but they don't appear to love it. We pop in OMWF intending to watch it, but I put on the Making Of featurette while I wait, and we watch that instead since they haven't seen it.
It's just a chill sort of evening, the last chance we have to hang out together. We never got pictures of each other at Comic-Con.
The next morning—yes, I am giving you a bonus Day 6!—Gymble and Mr. Gymble have to work, leaving Mini and me alone until our Super Shuttle arrives. I pack, making sure that everything that is signed goes into my backpack, the carry-on, just in case my luggage has become too heavy to carry on. My bag ends up weighing only 30 pounds, and my backpack weighs 18 pounds.
I put on the Veronica Mars pilot. That is one excellent pilot. Then I put on Commentary! The Musical since Mini has never heard it. But she leaves after a little to go forage for lunch. She finds a nearby Popeye's and brings me back a chicken sandwich. I take one bite, and the shuttle arrives. We hurriedly pack up and make sure everything is in order before we leave.
Accompanying us to the airport is a woman who was in San Diego for a cat show. She has her cat, Bingle, with her. Comics, cats, there's a con for everything.
Unfortunately, Mini and I are on different airlines in different terminals, and they won't let me into hers, so we have to hug each other goodbye early.
The motherfucking Burbank TSA makes me toss out a 4-oz. bottle of aftershave that has been in and out of several airports this year without incident. Punks.
As I wait for my flight, I read the Red 5 comics the guy at the booth gave me. A fitting end to the trip.
So that was my first full Comic-Con, in several thousand words.
I can't wait for next year.