San D Comic Con International 2011 Review

Comic Con International is one of the largest Conventions in the United States and is held every year in San Diego, CA.  This event holds panels for movies, tv shows, comics, toys and so much more. Truly a world wide event for entertainment which brings in people from all around  trying to meet the stars, get autographs or buy that rare comic con exclusive toy.  Comic Con International 2011 went strong and Cowabunga Corner was there to cover it.

This is my third time to Comic Con International as I went back in 2007 and 2009.  This year I really got sold on going when I learned that Nickelodeon was going to do a TMNT event.  Of course if you’re going to an event like this you’re not going to just do one thing.  So I planned out my trip around some of my favorite shows and hoping to get into the events.

Comic Con has one major issue: crowds.  And while some people think rooms should be cleared afterwards, others agreed that rooms should not be cleared after a panel, and then there’s people who think you should get tickets for events.  Personally I think that they should do more than one event for the high demand things like “Big Bang”, “Doctor Who”, and so much more.  And have the panels the same day but in different rooms.  So it won’t be something that people who saw the first panel can race off to.  This way people going to a certain panel room to see more than one panel at a time like “Cartoon voices” and “The Last Airbender Series” won’t have to be kicked out of the room after their first panel and not be able to get back in for their second panel.  Comic Con is all about Supply and Demand, though they’ve gotten at the point where there’s more demand than they have to supply.

Wherever you go at Comic Con, you’re stuck in lines, standing, and being pushed by people going by.  This is an event I feel has gotten too big, so it’s not something I try to go to yearly.  Though with TMNT events going on, I feel like it’s something that I don’t want to miss out on.  Their supply has reached what I want.. so here I am.. in a crowd that anyone who has RSD should not attempt to go through.

I went for four days, with panels originally planned for each day.  Thursday I went to some Nickelodeon panels and got to catch the Dexter Panel.  Friday I missed out on the Big Bang Theory panel, though did get to go to the TMNT Mutation in Progress event.  Saturday I sat in a panel room all day with about 4 of the panels being something I wanted to see in the first place.  Best thing was being front row center for “Mythbusters”.   Sunday I decided I’ve seen enough of the panel room and not enough of my friends who are working the con down on the floor, so I tossed my schedule out the window.

For me that is the worse part of Comic Con, not being able to do everything on the list of things to do and still see friends.  Going to conventions or any type of event is about having fun and being with people you like.  Comic Con had booths spread through their dealer floor that had people that I knew and liked.  There was no finding a nice area and staying there, it was going back and forth through the long death march of people trying to get to friend after friend... and most of the time doing that death march over and over to get back and forth to these friends.

Thursday was fun for the most part, as I enjoyed my early panels.  Some real funny stuff happened at the Nickelodeon panels.  And I was excited to learn that there is going to be another “Madagascar” movie coming out next year.  The “Penguins of Madagascar” panel overall was a total blast as the actors did a script of the Penguins going to Comic Con.  A total laugh that everyone could enjoy.  After the Nick panels, I went to Ballroom 20, I got in for the TV Guide panel which had the Doctor from Doctor Who and Leonard from “The Big Bang Theory”.  I enjoyed that. It was after that when I went to move up that things went bad for me that day.

I sat center alley so I could move up when the TV Guide panel was over. This worker, most likely a Volunteer, blocked the path saying we had to go around though the crowd behind me and moving through a thick crowd was not something I could do, not with my arm. But it got worse, I figured I’d wait until they moved as they said they were just letting the people from the panel before hand move out of the way. Though they stayed there and the crowd behind me decided that I wasn’t moving so pushing their full bodies against me will force me to move, while I got a guard and chair in front of me. This one lady pushing her full body up against my right arm. I totally lost it, had to scream at her. She ended up setting her stuff over the chair in front of her claiming a seat. I begged the guard to let me through showing the handicap thing on my badge, but by that time it was too late. The area where they were letting people through at got into the section and there wasn’t a seat left.

I was in pain, angry, and just pure depressed.  There were no signs saying we couldn’t move forward.  In fact, most notes said to move forward between panels.  It felt as if the worker that blocked us was just making sure her friends or something could get the seats.  I ended up blowing at some lady who looked like she worked there, but she didn’t. She got a worker and after he heard my story he went and got another chair, putting me front center for the panel.  It was nice to have a good seat, but I spent the next two hours holding back tears from the pain in my arm.  It was a hard night the rest of the day, even going for food after the convention was over was a chore as I was at high pain levels.  Pain that could of been avoided if a worker did not block our paths to moving forward.

Friday, I tried to go back to that same room for “The Big Bang Theory” though the handicap line was capped two hours before the panel even started.  While I was disappointed I would not be seeing one of the panels I looked most forward to at the convention, I was okay with the idea of not going back into the room that hurt me so bad the day before.  So I spent a lot of that day going around and meeting up with people for the TMNT event.  We gathered out near the place for the event and got to hang out with Ninjas till they let the line in.

After the TMNT event, I went to one more panel which was more than I was planning.  Though some voice actor friends of mine were a part of the panel and it was good to go see them.  After that panel we said good bye to our friends, I went and met Nick Palma.  Nick was Michaelangelo’s stunt double in TMNT 2, he was in the autograph area for the weekend.  After saying hi to him we left and headed back to the hotel for an early night.  Needed a break.

Saturday, as I mentioned, I spent all day in one panel room.  It was good to be sitting for a day.  I had food in my back pack and was able to be sitting close to the panels I wanted to see.  Overall each panel was good and the people in the crowd were fun to be around.  There’s no complaints from me about being allowed to stay in a room since this was the only day I got to just sit and let my legs rest from running around.  I enjoyed even the panels that I was not planning to come to and by staying through I now want to check out some of those shows that I would of never known of otherwise, like “People of Interest”.  Looks like a fun show and I really enjoyed the episode they showed us.

Meeting up with some TMNT friends after the last panel we went out for dinner.  Most places were to crowded so we ended up going to Subway.  We talked about the events we went to, the people we’ve met, and things we’ve saw at the convention.  One of the friends who met up with me there, Kyle, did an interview for the fan interviews of Cowabunga Corner.  The only one we recorded that full weekend.  We headed over to a party where we hung out till it closed down and then headed back to our hotels.

Sunday when I got to the convention, I found myself wanting to talk with people like Kevin Eastman, Monica Sharp, Nick Palma, things that if I do my panels I won’t be able to do.  So I decided to not go to any panels and just spend the day catching up with people.  Even with my voice totally shot, we talked and got to hang out.  I enjoyed getting to walk the convention floor and seeing more of it than I’ve seen in any of the previous years where I went to CCI.

Overall I did have a lot of fun, I still feel this convention is too crowded with people all wanting to go to the same events.  Clearing and refilling the rooms each time would be to much work and not fair to the people who are there for more than one event, as they have vast fandoms.  It would be nice if there were more areas for resting.  And if they would double book panels that are on high demand for people who missed the first showing.

Thanks to all the people who put Comic Con together for doing a great show.  For putting up with all the thousands of people who crowded the floor daily.  For providing shuttles to our hotels.  For the awesome bags we got when we came in.  Though I bumped into two workers who caused me pain in Ballroom 20, I bumped into over 50 workers who helped me, were nice, and working hard to make this event something great for everyone who went.

Entertainment Earth



Glad to hear your SD report - sorry about the arm but glad you were able to visit with so many friends

cheers, Fiona