Jews have Hanukkah, WWE fans have Wrestlemania, and I guess NFL fans have the Superbowl (and of course, those commercials). But what do geeks and nerds have? Well, they have a lot actually. There’s Wondercon, Fan Expo, PAX, E3, the list goes on. However, the granddaddy of them all is the San Diego Comic Con International.
It’s the biggest nerdfest on the planet, and for me, it’s the happiest place on Earth, though I’m sure Disney would disagree. Founded in 1970, San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) has grown from a three day event in the US Grant Hotel to a four day (five if you count preview night) extravaganza that fills the San Diego Convention Center and spills out into the neighbouring Hilton and Marriott hotels. It is now the place to go for a network or company involved in anything related to nerd consumption (tv, movies, comics, action figures, etc.) to promote their product. Comic Con is where you will find the first preview of things like the Iron Man movie, or the first screening of the recent CW series, Arrow. At Comic Con, there are panels, autograph sessions, and of course, the Exhibition floor, where companies like Hasbro sell their products, and major broadcasting companies such as Fox, will hand out swag and organize limited signings from cast members of shows on their network, such as The Big Bang Theory. San Diego, specifically the Gaslamp Quarter, has since embraced Comic Con and supported it. Pubs will paint pictures of Marvel heroes, and restaurants will have trivia in exchange for a discount coupon or some other deal.
Comic Con also spills out into the streets. The Hard Rock Hotel redecorates with movie posters. Sy Fy took over the cafe at the Hard Rock Hotel and turned it into Cafe Diem from Eureka (when the show was still running at least). Lou Mickey’s, a steahouse across the street, turns into the CNET recharging station, where you can recharge your tech, play some games, and have some free food (love their sliders). It goes even farther, up to Market street, and right to Petco Park.
In 2011, I was forunate enough to purchase a resale badge, and I lose my Comic Con virginity. I’ll be a honest. I’m a miserable person. I’m rarely happy. But at Comic Con, I’m like a starving glutton at a free Three michelin starred buffet. The next year, in 2012, I had another opportunity to go to Comic Con. Both times were great. I got to meet actors like Robert Picardo (The Doctor on Star Trek Voyager), Lara Vandervoort (Supergirl on Smallville), Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop on Fringe), and those are just some of the people I got pictures with. I saw Brent Spiner once. Brent freakin’ Spiner!
Once again, I managed to snag a presale badge for 2013. And I will be returning to Comic Con for a second time (unless I can’t get the time off work). It’s a total cliche, but in the following weeks leading up to Comic Con, I’ll write more entries on the topic, and I’ll provide my dos and don’ts, as well of course, restaurant recommendations.