Though today was the least foot traffic that was expected during the San Diego Comic-Con, you would never have known it. Between the never ending line of people that camped out over night for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary panel at Hall H, and countless more waiting for the exhibit hall doors to open. One thing I noticed was the abundance of children that populated the convention area, dressed as their favorite superhero and heroines. And why wouldn’t they. It was Kid’s Day at the San Diego Comic-Con!
Once I entered the exhibit hall doors, unlike the prior three days, I calmingly strolled through the convention floor and took in the sights. After hitting the whole Con full force since Thursday with 5 A.M. wake up calls and several hours of waiting in line for the convention entrance to open, it was nice to take my time. Today, families from all over the country converged on the San Diego Convention Center. They picked this day specifically to avoid all the chaos that roamed the aisles over the past three days.
The smile that ever so gleamed on my face as the vision of parents passing down the lightsaber to their young children and distilling knowledgeable insight on why it was ok to be a nerd, to be proud of what you’re into and to fulfill your desires for your hobbies. As kids stared in awe seeing their favorite superheroes as mild mannered convention goers dressed up as characters from television, comic books, movies, etc. From Dark Knights to Jedi’s, Friendly Neighborhood Wall Crawlers to Sesame Street puppets, Capcom characters to 900 year old Doctors. Many characters from pop culture swarmed the hall. If you are a nerd, it would be a very proud moment to witness.
One of the more memorable moments I had today was meeting Bela Lugosi Jr. whose father famously played the iconic role of Dracula in the 1931 film. I was captivated as I realized who he was, a spitting image of his father, I was in awe as I thought to myself that his father practically spawned the Universal Monster movement. Once I was done at the Monsters of Filmland booth I continued to wander around and decided to go upstairs to the Sail Pavilion to meet up with the rest of the Nerdlocker staff.
Once there I noticed a long line at the autograph area and found out what the whole commotion was about. Martin Ansin, most known for his body of work as the artist for Mondo prints, made a rare special appearance at Comic-Con as he was signing for the few hundred fans that patiently waited to get their prints signed by the artistic juggernaut. Funny enough the whole Nerdlocker staff was among the people waiting in line! As we all waited I got a better understanding to why this was a special event. Martin Ansin has traveled all the way from Montevideo, Uruguay to be at this signing. Many art collectors have sought after Ansin’s autograph but due to him living way down south, his limited appearances are so rare that hundreds of people came to Comic-Con just for this event!
Since I was milling around the exhibit halls for several hours, I decided to go outside to take a gander at anything that I may have missed over the past few days after using the convention center as my second home. I went over to the Ender’s Game Fan Experience tent. The upcoming movie starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin had an interactive feature where fans stepped into the boots of Ender Wiggin. As we entered the tent we were greeted by actual set pieces from the film. From Enders home on earth, to the bridge of the ship that had Harrison Ford as Colonel Hyrum Graff explaining the dangers that were expected to come, to the dorm area that Ender resides in, it was a great way to get the fans hyped on the upcoming film.
After pretending I was a space cadet I continued to walk around and just take photos of all the unique advertisements throughout the nearby hotels where giant balloons of The Regular Show screamed for everybody’s attention. You couldn’t miss it! As I bumped into more cos-players and well placed costumed professionals promoting movies like Smurfs 2 I decided to go back into the convention center as I realized I only had an hour left until Comic-Con ended.
I rushed around the exhibit floor trying to find a deal from the retail booths and checked out the comic book vendors. After running my fingers through a few hundred comics I finally found what I was looking for! The final issue of Y: The Last Man. After haggling with the shop owner I managed to pick it up for a reasonable price and continued down the aisles where out of the comic book heavens or sheer luck I literally bumped into Pia Guerra, co-creator and illustrators of the Y: The Last Man.
Of course I geeked out! With it being one of my favorite comic book series of all time, I spilled my guts to Pia on how much I loved everything about it! She graciously signed my comic as I was mentally jumping for joy. At that moment of pure bliss the announcement over the P.A. system belted the words that no nerd wanted to hear. Comic-Con was coming to a close in 30 minutes.
At that moment everyone and I mean everyone scrambled to get a final glimpse, a final purchase, a final anything that could be taken in to account. Pictures were taken, dollars were spent, signatures and autographs were signed, whatever you can possibly imagine, it was done as those final moments were used to etch memories into the psyche of every fan boy and girl!
Once that announcement was made that the 44rd annual San Diego Comic-Con had officially ended the loud applause and cheering dominated the exhibit floor. Just like the first day when those exhibit doors opened for the first time. The goose bumps appeared, the tingling sensation flowed through my body and the sadness sank in as the realization that Comic-Con ended. Thousands of people fled the convention floor and out those exit doors and into the streets.
Just attempting to get to my car felt like an eternity, as the sidewalk became an ocean of people. As sad as I was, I thought to myself it was one hell of a ride as I got reacquainted with old convention friends, made new friends and made memories that definitely will spawn countless hours of conversation over the next few months…
With that said, I thank you for following our journey through the biggest pop culture convention imaginable and until then, from everyone at Nerdlocker; signing off at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con!!
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