SDCC: Preview Day (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Con)

Monomythic is covering the 2012 San Diego Comic Con. While numerous other sites will be covering breaking news and events, stories here will focus on individual experiences, personal interviews and anything else strange enough to merit some attention.

Personal confession here: I’ve never been to the big Comic Con before. This is my first time. I remember going to my first con in high school, but it was in a small town and essentially consisted of one meeting room in a cut-rate hotel. I have been to slightly larger cons since; Austin’s con was decent. I have been to E3, and that was – interesting.

But this is a whole different animal. I’m still figuring things out as I go, and so far I’ve gotten a lot of help from hardcore attendees.

Things I’ve learned so far: Don’t buy parking in advance when public transportation is pretty good. No matter how long the line looks, it’s actually longer. A lot of people don’t want to talk, they are only their to find autographs and potentially profitable swag. Similarly, there fewer people cosplaying than one would expect on preview night. When you do see someone in a full-on animal costume, use caution. There is so much cool stuff happening simultaneously that you will never see it all, so deal with it. Even if you don’t know where you’re going, the people who work there do.

That last one was particularly important, as when I arrived an hour after badges were supposed to begin being released  (and two hours after they actually did begin doing that), I saw tons of people huddled everywhere.

A helpful volunteer said “professional or press?”

I nodded.

“Go to the end.”

I wondered allowed, “The end of what?”

Then walked the length of the convention center to find the end of the professional and press line. Oof.

Once in, I walked around confused, and another volunteer said, “up the stairs.” I got there, and another added, “that way.” After the third or fourth direction, I asked where exactly they were herding me. The next volunteer noted that the preview screenings were in Ballroom 20 and that the exhibits were downstairs. I wanted to go to the exhibits, but I was curious about the previews. It was quickly explained that previews began soon, and if I got there fast I’d get good seats (all the seats were pretty good with multiple screens), but that I could leave for the exhibit hall later. So yeah, they knew where I needed to be.

“Arrow” looked good. “666 Park Ave.” not so much.

Keep a look out for me: I’m the creepy guy in glasses and a beard (as if that narrows it down).

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