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Nerdlocker – San Diego Comic-Con – Day 3

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5:30…

I manage to sneak in an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Though I compensated sleeping in by getting ready faster. Why was I rushing? Because today was Saturday, Day 3 of the San Diego Comic-Con, that’s why! The biggest pop culture phenomenon on the planet! Today is the day that the largest portion of the somewhat 140,000 people will be descending on the convention grounds. The hungriest of days, where both fanboys and girls camped out overnight in hopes of being one of the 7,000 attendees to be in the panel for movies like  Hunger Games, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier.

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By the time I entered the convention center and walked down the long windy hall to line up for the exhibit area I was astonished at the amount of people that were in line. During Day 1 I had a rough count of 400 people in front of me.  Today there were probably about 1,500 or more, and that was the people in front of me, not counting the ones behind me?! It was 6:30 in the morning! Like I said, today was going to be hardcore!

Once that 9 A.M. announcement was made that the exhibit hall was open, the loudest ovation went off as every nerd in attendance roared! This was by far the loudest I ever heard the crowd in the past 3 days of being in line! But as I did the usual spiel of wedging myself through the crowd as we headed down the escalator and through those exhibit doors it was a mad dash through the Fox booth to grab the freebie poster tube and promotional posters of Fox Entertainment’s line up.

During Comic-Con, it’s always a race to get all the free swag you can get. It’s gotten to a point unfortunately that if you’re one of the lucky first thousand or so people to get through those doors early enough you could be one of those few to either get all the free promotional stuff or get in line for ticket drawings for signings like the Doctor Who cast or Robert Kirkman or being one of the few to be in line for the limited edition items from booths like Hasbro or Entertainment Earth. With it being San Diego Comic-Con you pretty much have to be The Flash and speed down those aisles.

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For me being the wrestling fan that I am, it was to get a ticket for the WWE signing of professional wrestlers Sheamus and Ryback over at the Mattel booth. Once I got my golden ticket, I slowed down a bit and to take in all of the cos-players that were roaming the convention floor. For those of you who aren’t familiar with cos-playing, it’s when diehard fans dress up as their favorite fictional characters. Think of it as Halloween at any time of the year. And it being Comic-Con this was one of the best times of the year!

It was a splendid time as I was captivated with the ingenuity and creativity of every cos-player that roamed the floor. Kids scurrying around in their adorable costumes as they pretended to be their favorite superheroes like Spider-Man, Captain America and Superman. You had zombies walking around Star Wars characters, a ton of Deadpool’s wandering photo bombing as many pictures as possible and stunning ladies dressed as heroines. Not to mention a dead on accurate Bane. I could have sworn actor Tom Hardy was pulling a fast one and got back into costume just to walk around the convention floor. Speaking of being in disguise a few leading actors did just that! A clean shaven Bryan Cranston walked around the floor as himself! The Breaking Bad star put on a Walter White mask and conveniently checked out the scenes and not a single soul bothered him.

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Doctor Who fans are going to get a kick out of this. While promoting the 50th anniversary of the beloved doctor. Actor Matt Smith got a few minutes to himself and walked incognito around the thousands of attendees wearing a Bart Simpson mask. It was all fun and games at the convention for celebrities and fans alike! Back to the action I headed over to the Mattel booth as WWE wrestler Sheamus and Ryback were signing for the hundreds of fortunate fans who were able to get a ticket. The wrestling superstars greeted kids and adults and entertained the crowd with waves and yells across the way as they spectated from afar.

After the signing I went over to the Legendary booth as the stars of Seven Son did their own signing. Actors Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Kit Harington, Antje Traue and Sergei Bodrov were in attendance promoting their new film. They too hyped the crowd with the little time they had while prepping for their panel that was eventually heading to at Hall H. The Legendary booth was lined with terrific props and statues from their movies like Pacific Rim as the TV Screens above showed off trailers for their upcoming movies.

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The crowd at the convention floor was swelling and I started to feel a little claustrophobic so I went outside to get some air as I went across the street to check out more of the the sights. I quickly found out that the wrong decision. Outside was just as worse! For those not familiar with how the Gas Lamp District is set up, especially during Comic-Con. It’s always a mess. You have attendees walking around to checkout all the free entertainment features around the area. (See my article on Comic-Con Day 1 to get an idea of what I’m talking about.) Protestors picketing Comic-Con on why it was an omen of disaster, people like me trying to get some fresh air after basically living in the convention floor and of course even more promotionals for movies/tv shows/comic books. It was pure pandemonium!

After realizing that there was no room even on the outside of the convention center I decided to go back in and went directly to The Walking Dead booth hosted by AMC. I always enjoy myself when I go there. Every year they mold the booth to look like a scene from the television show. Last year it was a wax statue of Michonne and one of her jawless zombies where attendees would fill in as the other. The year before they had the rooftop scene from episode 2 where you would get handcuffed alongside Merle. This year was a scene straight from the prison with a wax statue of Rick overlooking the masses of the Comic-Con crowd from the observation tower as you walked into two different photo ops. Once with you being attacked by zombies or vice versa, and the other filling The Governors shoes as you sat down in that famous red leather chair looking at a fish tank full of zombie heads!

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I didn’t mind the long line due to the holy crap this is awesome factor of the whole experience! After The Walking Dead photo op, I mistakenly walked directly into the path of the True Blood signing where I got lost in a sea of raving fans trying to get a glimpse of actor Joe Manganiello. After a mad dash out of the chaos known as Manganiello watch 2013 I headed to the Geek Exchange booth where I interviewed Sharknado director Anthony Ferrante (Check that out here), the director of the now cult classic movie about sharks being sucked up by tornados and being dumped over Los Angeles as they run rampant against former 90210 star actor Ian  Zering and American Pie cutie, actress Tara Ried. We discussed the instant success and the insane social media attention the film made and the potential Shark’Nado 2 release.

After the interviewing Mr. Ferrante, I stuck around the Geek Exchange booth to cheer on and show some support for former Attack of the Show host Chris Gore who had a live pod cast taping of his show PodCrash with That Chris Gore and an release party of this new comedy album/book Celebrities Poop a few nights before. The author was present as he signed the latest issue of the Geek Exchange magazine that he wrote the Comic-Con Survival Guide and copies of his new book. The comedian joked around with attendees and showed appreciation to his devoted fans. It was a good time overall!

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Just across the way I ran into cult film director Lloyd Kaufman famous for creating Toxic Avenger. Out of all of Comic-Con this was the only time I truly geeked out! Growing up I loved cult films like this and Mr. Kaufman was really nice to everyone who came by to visit him. After I spent time picking Mr. Kaufman’s brain I proceeded to walk down the convention floor to see Simpsons creator Matt Groening as he had a ticketed signing for fans of one of the longest running television shows in history.

Once I got my fill basking in the presence of cartoon royalty, I bumped into queen of the nerds Mrs. Adrianne Curry who was cos-playing as Milenna from the Mortal Kombat franchise. The stunning beauty wowed the crowd in her perfect replica costume. I then ran to the Bay Front Hilton Hotel for the Marvel Movie press conference as they highlighted Phase two of the upcoming comic book films Captain America: Winter Soldier and  The Guardians of the Galaxy as they geared up for the now titled Avengers: Age of Ultron movie!

First up was the cast of Captain America: Winter Soldier where actors Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel Jackson, Cobie Smulders , Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and company discussed their roles in the film and what was in store for the second installment. Next, The Guardians of the Galaxy cast members Chris Pratt, Benicio Del Toro, a now bald Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Batista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker and Dijmon Hounsou with director James Gunn talked about their first week of filming, Pratt’s insane training and diet regimen, Karen Gillan’s decision to go bald for the film, etc.

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After the press conference I literally sprinted about 10 blocks from the Hilton hotel to the Balboa Theater for a live taping of the Nerdist Podcast which was supposed to begin 12 minutes after the Marvel Press conference, where Doctor Who actor Matt Smith was the special guest. Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira, and Jonah Ray kept the attendees laughing with their jokes and questions to Matt Smith who talked about his role as the 11th Doctor, the 50th anniversary of the franchise and what the series meant to him now that he was leaving. I even got to partake in the podcast as I asked a question to the doctor himself; which you can listen to right here. And yes, I once again geeked out! It was an awesome time for all and a perfect way to end Day 3 of Comic-Con!

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