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Jul 25 2013

I Had A Blast! My SDCC 2013 Experience

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Comic Con 2011 logoSan Diego Convention Center, Wednesday July 17– Sunday 21, 2013

 

This was my second time attending Comic-Con in San Diego, and I’m torn between this year’s Con and 2010’s. My first experience was above and beyond amazing. This year I couldn’t help feeling I didn’t do much of anything. Don’t get me wrong, I had a really great time but I felt the convention was more crowded and busier than before. That’s a great thing for the city of San Diego and the Con itself; not so great for convention goers though. You see, the more people there are, the longer the lines. And when you feel like you’re spending all your time standing in line, well … you get the idea.

My Week At A Glance

Preview night was Wednesday, July 17 and it went as expected. There weren’t any lines as most conventioneers were just arriving. I was able to walk right in, get my badge for the week and wander the exhibit hall floor. As you will see by the copious amounts of pictures I’ve taken, this year’s exhibitors went all out. They didn’t hold anything back and seemed to go bigger and better with their displays. I was blown away and surprised by what was in store for those yet to arrive. The other thing I was able to do on preview night was check out the pilots for upcoming 2013-2014 shows The Tomorrow People, The 100, Almost Human, and The Originals. I have to tell you, The CW is trying to take over the primetime slot targeted toward teen viewers. They are premiering shows geared strictly toward that audience, as well as reaching into the 20s and lower 30s age ranges. You’ll be surprised to learn the themes for these shows revolve around futuristic or post-apocalyptic life. Vampires, zombies, and monsters beware. You may be on your way out of the mainstream.

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Elle as Michonne from The Walking Dead

Thursday, July 18 sucked as I didn’t get into any panels I wanted to see. Not a single one. What I did do was don my comic book Michonne costume for the day and hit the exhibit floor, as well as the Gaslamp district. There was much to be seen and done in both areas and I took advantage. If you were there, I’m sure you ventured through the various walk-through displays for Ender’s Game, Dracula, or The Godzilla Experience. I visited the Samsung Gallery on 6th Street to check out the new Samsung Galaxy 4 and made a t-shirt. If you didn’t get to check this place out, you missed some great freebies, and a chance to see what this phone can do. I’m ready to toss my iPhone 5 out the window just to get a crack at the Galaxy 4. After tiring myself out with that fun, I made my way to MTV2’s Party in the Park, located in San Diego’s Petco Park. It looked to be a grand ole time, but I wasn’t able to stay for long. On my way back to the party, I was told the fire marshal had shut down Petco Park and wasn’t allowing anyone else in. The party was slated to go from 7-11PM, yet I was turned away around 9:30PM. Funnily enough, there were still party goers in the Park, having a blast. Could there have been something foul afoot? Or was this merely a case of false advertising? I had my suspicions about the whole thing, but found an even better place to par-tay for a few hours. Two words: Nerd HQ. It was right next door in the baseball stadium, music booming and lit up like a Christmas tree, calling patrons from near and far. My friends and I took a chance and ended up having a great night. We danced until our legs, feet, and backs hurt. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’d do it again, just not until I’ve had a massage or two. Zachary Levi sure knows how to throw a party. Maybe too well.

Friday, July 20 was brutal. I got up early to get in line for the ominous Hall H. Oh, yes; Hall H’s line kicked my ass. Not only was I regretting partying it up the previous night, the lack of sleep I had was coming to call during the five-hour wait. (Moist grass and hard cement is not your friend when you need to nap.) Again, I was outfitted as Michonne (the TV version) and was surprised by the reception I received. Making my way through the line, I was accosted with requests for pictures and whispers of “Michonne” floated through the air from people I passed by. It was quite thrilling, to be honest. It didn’t get me any special treatment or bumped up in the line, but I had my 15 seconds of costume fame. At least I was identifiable, which is more than I can say for half the Con attendees. My patience paid off as I and my three comrades made it into the venue, got good seats, and enjoyed three panels.

Panels

Riddick

While I wasn’t dying to get in to see the Riddick panel, I enjoyed it. Watching Vin Diesel in action made me more excited for the new film and I got to see another side of the actor. “Part of me feels guilty for having such a darkness in the character,” Diesel said about Riddick. Diesel contributes this newfound softer side to his three children. I concur; having kids does change a person, for the better. Check out the trailer:

 

 

The Walking Dead

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch The Walking Dead season four trailer below. Let me issue a warning: you will be blown away. I was floored. I couldn’t believe what I saw and what it meant for the characters of the show:

 

 

Season four premieres Sunday, October 13 at 9/8c on AMC and is going to bypass season three in more ways than one, mark my words. I’m so excited for the new episodes I can’t even contain my glee. Not only that, the cast was generous in their answers and charismatic as usual.

Highlights:

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Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) during The Walking Dead panel

“Rick turning into a sociopath at the end of season three woke him up to his parenting duties,” said Andrew Lincoln. He later stated how he gets into the mindset to handle certain situations thrown at Rick. “I don’t know what method is, I listen to music and see what happens. You always bring a part of yourself to a character.” He went on to say he wanted to see the man who had been leading these people fall. He’d later get to see Rick pulled out of a terrible place by those same human beings. The actors delve deep into these characters to bring them to life on screen.

“Michonne started to become part of a community. She’s every woman,” Danai Gurira gushed. We’ll see Michonne trying to open up her feelings now that Andrea, her one true friend, is gone. Should be an interesting venture for the kick-ass zombie killer to undertake. When asked where the hope lies in this world of the zombie apocalypse, she replied, “The hope is in Beth singing; the hope is in the baby.” I wonder if the hope for the world relies on babies like Judith.

“Hershel really just wants to hang onto his other leg,” Scott Wilson joked. Apparently, no one believes him when he says this.

Chad L. Coleman beautifully articulated his enjoyment in working with the familiarized cast. The atmosphere is akin to a “high level where any actor wants to live. The guys welcomed me with open arms.” He also talked about his character: “Tyreese is still trying to find out where he fits in; find his footing.” I hope he gets there. What I saw in the trailer leads me to believe otherwise.

I was entranced by David Morrissey as he explained to us, “The Governor feels he was betrayed. You gotta be on my side or you gotta go.” I’m spooked! Who knows what the Governor will be up to in the new season.

The big draw, Norman Reedus, clued us in a little. “Daryl was doomed to become mini-Merle.” I saw this as I watched the TWD marathon over the July 4th holiday. It’s amazing what you can forget over a few seasons. Reedus went on to say Daryl found his self worth during the apocalypse, which means if it hadn’t happened, who knows what kind of man Daryl would have turned into.

For more on the show, visit the official site. Follow the show on Twitter, using hash tag #WalkingDead. LIKE The Walking Dead on Facebook.

Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones cast and author George R.R. Martin

The Game of Thrones cast didn’t include everyone I wanted to see but it was a great showing, nonetheless. We even had the opportunity to hear from the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, George R.R. Martin himself. He shocked me by saying, “The writers have killed off some characters that are still alive in the books,” because most fans of the show blame him for past events where favorite characters have been killed. I think it’s wise to remember, Martin has written the books but the writers plot out the show. They change things we may not realize for their own creative purposes. Just some food for thought. Other surprising moments came when Jason Mamoa appeared from backstage and kissed Emilia Clarke before saying, “I’m not dead yet!” and then rushing off stage. (Will the Khal be making a special appearance next season?!) Emilia called out to him, “My sun and stars,” to the crowds “Awws.” I was so caught off guard I missed my chance for a picture but was able to tweet the moment only seconds after it occurred. (Bet you wish you were following me on Twitter, don’t you?) We didn’t get a lot of what’s to come on the show (as it’s all hush hush and you could just read the book), but we got to hear the actors’ love and respect for the characters they play. I think we’ll all have to keep an eye out for Sam because John Bradley was zealous in his explanation of Sam’s character and the man he’s set out to become. I can’t wait to see him in action. For more information on Game of Thrones, visit the official site. Follow Game of Thrones on Twitter using hash tag: #GameofThrones. LIKE Game of Thrones on Facebook. And if you retweet this article, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you will be entered in a giveaway for a paperback copy of book three in the series, A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin.

Vikings

After the massive excitement of Hall H, I made in to see All Hail Vikings, a panel for the History channel’s hit series, Vikings. If you don’t watch this show, you should start now.  It will knock your socks off. The creator Michael Hirst keeps to the historical accuracy of the time in his telling of Ragnar Lothbrok’s story. This isn’t a documentary in the sense that it’s being filmed in the present time, but it is a show about documented events, lives, and beliefs that have occurred. It’s an experience in and of itself, and not one to be missed. This cast is one full of love, friendship, and family. You best believe it shows onscreen as well as in person. For more information on Vikings, visit the official site. Follow Vikings on Twitter using hash tag #Vikings and LIKE the show on Facebook.

Saturday, July 20 was another easygoing day. I wasn’t in a rush to make it to any panels, but I got to see a few in Ballroom 20.

True Blood

I caught the tail end of the True Blood panel. It may just be me, but I felt the panelists had a more relaxed vibe. They seemed to joke more and were so easy going with one another. Michael McMillian and Nelsan Ellis slipped into character, which I’d never seen before. The cast was more open and answering questions, unlike previous panels where they tended to look to one another to answer and eventually the question was forgotten. Lame! I don’t know if the change in modesty was because Alan Ball was absent or if it had to do with Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgård not being in attendance. I’d love to know what brought on the change. As I’m sure you’re already reading my reviews of the series, don’t forget to tune in to True Blood Sundays at 9PM ET/PT on HBO.  For more on the show, visit the official site. LIKE True Blood on Facebook. Follow True Blood on Twitter using hash tags #truebloods6 and #waitingsucks.

The Vampire Diaries

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Ian “Smolder” Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) during The Vampire Diaries panel

What I was most excited to see was The Vampire Diaries cast. They didn’t disappoint. Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley could be brothers. They have such camaraderie with one another, you wouldn’t think they were anything but related. They joked easily with each other, taking jabs here and there, and complimenting one another in the same breath. Their relationship is reflected on screen and it makes me curious to know how things will go in Mystic Falls during the new season. With Silas masquerading as Stefan, will Damon know? Will he care? And how will Katherine deal with her humanity? She’s been a vampire for so long, I wonder if she’ll be able to handle the transition well. Then of course, there’s the gang going off to college and Jeremy coming back from the dead. The fans, including me, made it known that we want to see Caroline and Klaus together. No more Caroline and Tyler! I’m so happy to know I’m not the only person who feels that way. What we did get a few tidbits about was Klaus (Joseph Morgan) getting his own show, what will be done with Jeremy, and Bonnie handling her “life” on the other side.

Highlights:

Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder bantered throughout the panel and were so charming. Check out the picture I took of Ian pulling producer Julie Plec’s chair out for her. The women in the audience went wild. As questions were asked, the panel answered with wit and humor. “Why are we pursuing higher education? We’re all murderers. Why are we studying?” Paul responded when asked how the vampires are able to go to college.

Julie Plec answers, “Vampires can just compel themselves whatever they want,” when Nina Dobrev asked how the vamps get to college. (Truth be told, I wanted to know this one myself.)

“There will be some apples to be picked,” Candice Accola stated when asked whether there will be men in college and Caroline’s future. Why so vague, Candice?!

Jeremy and Damon will be roomies once Elena goes off to college. Par-tay! Of course, we’ll see more of Bonnie coming to terms with her life on the other side. We’ll also get to see her side of things. This should be awesome. We’ve never gotten a look at things the way the dearly departed see them.

The Vampire Diaries is coming up on its 100th episode and Ian commented, “It’s going to be a nude musical episode.” He then turned to Paul and joked, “Make sure they turn the heat up on stage,” to which Paul responded, “It still won’t help.” Those boys!

The most exciting part of the panel occurred when an audience member asked who the panel would want to see brought back. Julie Plec made it known she wants one person to come back from the dead: “Alaric.” Ian also chimed in with, “Bring back my drinking buddy!” It’s what we all want. Make it so, writers. Make it so.

For more on the show, visit the official site. LIKE The Vampire Diaries on Facebook. Follow The Vampire Diaries cast on Twitter: @ninadobrev, @iansomerhalder, @katgraham, @paulwesley, @michaeltrevino, @candaceaccola.

Believe and The Tomorrow People

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Producer Greg Berlanti, Peyton List (Cara), and Robbie Amell (Stephen) at The Tomorrow People Panel

Last but not least, I ventured to one of the smaller rooms for the sneak peek at a trailer for a new NBC show, Believe. I was left wanting more after watching the trailer. The panel was a short 15 minutes, but it covered enough to whet the appetite. I’ve already got my friends looking out for Believe this fall, and I hope you will too. For more information on Believe, visit the official site. What I was there for was The Tomorrow People panel. I was lucky enough to watch the entire pilot (amazing!) and hear from the cast and producers of the show. We’ll learn about each character a little over every episode. They all have back stories which will be explored. We’ll meet the other ‘Tomorrow People’ shown in the pilot. In case you didn’t know, this series is a remake of the British series of the same name from the 1970s. The producers were fans of the original series and wanted to bring their version to the small screen for viewers of today. I anticipate nothing but good things from this series. The CW has yet another hit on its hands. The Tomorrow People premieres October 9 at 9/8c. For more information on The Tomorrow People, visit the official site. Check out trailers for both shows here:

 
Believe
 

 

 
The Tomorrow People
 

 

 

Can’t Forget The Comics

I almost forgot about the point of Comic-Con. I know now that it’s 80% Hollywood/TV and 20% comics. So I spent some time in the 20% getting to meet two authors and checking out their comics. Alex Woolfson introduced himself to me and explained that as a young gay man who loved comics, he couldn’t find any that were about what he was interested in. so he decided to write his own. As a newbie/independent author, he sells his comics at events such as Comic-Con and usually does so on the West Coast. If you want to check out his comic Artifice, which I recommend as the plot is bitchin’, visit his website artificecomic.com. You can read The Young Protectors online for free at youngprotectors.com. And try to check him out when he shows up at his next event.

I also had the pleasure of meeting a black comic book author. When I shook the hand of former wrestler, Shad Gaspard he said, “Weird, right?” and I told him, “No … interesting.” It is exciting to find out a person of color has written a comic book. Not to say there aren’t others out there, but he’s the first I’ve ever encountered. Check out his comic Assassin & Son and get more information at assassinandson.com. Make sure you drop me a line on Twitter or in the comments section to let me know what you think and you could win an autographed poster showcasing his comic’s cover artwork.

The Comic-Con experience has opened my eyes to what’s out there and what’s to come. I do hope the event can return to its roots, with its main focus being the comics. With that said, I know next year’s Comic-Con will only be bigger and better. Make sure you’re there.

Photo credit: Elle/YEC © 2013 Your Entertainment Corner. All rights reserved.

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© 2013, Elle. All rights reserved.

Writer, mother, realist, cloud lover, daydreamer, dessert enthusiast, sweet tea addict, perfectionist, and lover of life and Christ, but not in that order. http://www.fanfiction.net/~vikingloverelle
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About the author

Elle

Writer, mother, realist, cloud lover, daydreamer, dessert enthusiast, sweet tea addict, perfectionist, and lover of life and Christ, but not in that order. http://www.fanfiction.net/~vikingloverelle

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