San Diego Comic-con International, known to its friends as SDCC, or simply Comic-con, has been the biggest event in the Nerd World for more than forty years now. With the explosion of Geek Culture in the last ten years, the event has grown to mammoth size, drawing hundreds of thousands of people, and taking over the entirety of San Diego’s Gaslamp district. For those heading to the convention for the first time, and even for those going for the fiftieth time, SDCC can be hugely overwhelming. With so much to see and do, how do you decide how to spend your time? We at the Ace of Geeks have taken the time to do some of that legwork for you, and put together a list of the best stuff to see and do at Comic-con this year.
AT THE CONVENTION
The main event of SDCC is the convention itself. That’s where you’ll find most of the biggest happenings. If you managed to get a ticket, you’ll want to spend most of your days checking out the panels and the wonders on display in the exhibition hall. Here’s some highlights:
If you’ve been to Comic-con before, you already know about Hall H. For you first timers, here’s the deal: Hall H is the biggest panel room at the convention center. It’s where all of the movie studios pull out their largest stunts and show their best footage. Last year, as pictured above, Tom Hiddleston showed up in costume and character as Loki, working the crowd into a frenzy for Thor: The Dark World.
The problem with Hall H is that everyone wants to get in. To make the trek to the legendary hall is to begin waiting in line at 6pm the day before, at the latest. You’ll make lots of good friends in line, but you will be there for hours. Bring a chair, pillows, and things to do. The highlights of Hall H this year include The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones back to back from 12:20 to 3:00 on Friday, Marvel Studios at 5:30 on Saturday, and Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy and The Strain on Sunday. DC will also be showing the pilots of The Flash, Arrow, Gotham and Constantine on Saturday night at 8. If any of these are something you’re interested in, prepare to camp out and try to spend the whole day in the Hall. It’s the only way to be sure.
Ballroom 20 is Hall H’s little brother. Take everything I said in the above paragraphs, and minus it by a few hours in line and a few less seats in the room. But don’t miss The Legend of Korra on Friday at 11:15, and the biggest costume party of them all, the Comic-con Masquerade on Saturday at 8:30.
The rest of the panels are too numerous to count, but dive into the Comic-con scheduler here
for more highlights.
Every year, hundreds
of companies show up to Comic-con with exclusive products you won’t be able to get anyone else. Pictured above is Hasbro’s
Knights of Unicron. It’s four of the Transformers done up in 80s hair metal style, and it’s amazing. Exclusives, like Hall H, have to be a focus of your stay if you’re headed out to pick them up. Expect to wait in lines that start at 3am and having to run across the floor to the right booth. Get a map. Plan it out. And for god’s sake, don’t ask a friend to “just pick up an exclusive real quick.”
Here’s some highlights from this year:
Bandai is producing a Legacy Dragon Dagger from Power Rangers in gold plate. Hasbro, in addition to the Knights, is putting out a Deadpool Mr. Potato Head. Mattel is offering this kick-ass figure of Doomsday in his outfit from his original appearance.
Keep in mind that the booths with the coolest stuff (Hasbro, Mattel) will have the longest lines. Hasbro usually has a line outside the convention center to get a ticket to get in line inside the convention center.
ARTIST’S ALLEY/THE COMIC BOOK SECTION
Look, it’s called San Diego Comic-con, right? So you’d be surprised to find out that the least crowded part of the convention is always the artist’s alley and the comic book area. Push way to both sides of the hall by the giant studio displays, these areas are always quieter, which is great for some rest, but also hold tons of untapped treasures. The art on display is beautiful, and I always come home with more prints than I can actually fit on my walls. And while you may not be able to afford that Action Comics #1, last year I came away with the first issues of Young Justice and Wolverine, both of which are now framed on my wall. Don’t just stick to the eye-catching center of the con, head to the fringes and you’ll love what you find.
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