Ever since a young age, I have been watching TV shows. Whether it be with my older brother, my friends or even my parents, it’s always been a very present pastime in my life. From kid series to more serious shows, I still watch them a lot and, like any true fan would do, this year, I decided to go to a TV show convention. Like athletes who go to the Olympics and actors who go to the Oscars, TV show fans tend to attend the annual multi-genre entertainment convention called Comic-Con. This particular event is held in San Diego and after my recent stay in New York, I flew over to attend it!
It is an experience that I have dreamt of fulfilling for years so arriving there last Thursday truly felt like a miracle! I went with my best friend and attended all four days of the international gathering. Now before I get started on how frankly incredible the event was, I’d like to give you all some brief background information about the convention! For starters, it was inaugurated in 1970 and was called Golden State Comic Book Convention at the time. Known for being the ‘mother’ figure to all other conventions, Comic-Con holds the reputation for being one of the first events of its kind.
Moving swiftly onto why I love conventions so much, I will tell you that there simply isn’t anything not to like about them! From meeting your favorite celebrities to buying amazing merchandise to getting to know eager fans just as obsessed with TV shows as you from all around the globe… Like I said, nothing not to like – well at least, that’s what I thought!
So, concerning my experience itself, I will tell you that it started when my friend and I bought our entry passes and flight tickets a couple of months back! After which, we both had to wait for what felt like forever for the big opening day in San Diego!
We first arrived that morning with blank emotions on our faces. Not because we weren’t excited but because my friend and I simply had no idea what to expect! Both of us had been to smaller conventions before but nothing of this magnitude had ever crossed our paths – up until now!
Firstly, I was already slightly intimidated by the fact that I would be standing in a room with 170’000 people… Terrifying right? Well for semi-claustrophobic people like myself, even just the idea of this sounded like a nightmare! I mean don’t get me wrong, I love humans but there is something about crowds that just freaks me out!
Upon our arrival at the event, we were shown to the two main rooms of the convention: the Exhibit and Hall H. The Exhibit was an incredibly large room where most of the signings took place, where all the free-merchandise stands were and where games were set up at every corner. Hall H, on the other hand, was where the bigger and more famous panel talks took place such as the one for Marvel, Justice League, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones etc. To put it short, Hall H was the main hang out spot where everyone relaxed while watching panel talks in-between their autograph appointments! Although both rooms were so cool, if I’m being perfectly honest (like I always am with you guys), the organization set up wasn’t the best as there were long queues at the entrance of both of them…
Regardless of that slight default, my first day at the world-famous event was great and to put it briefly, I spent the majority of it in Hall H watching and listening to Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, the Teen Wolf cast etc. We even got to see some original casting audition tapes from specific casts! Lucky right?
Moving onto day two, having had so much fun the day before, my best friend and I decided to have a more low-key day, well at least that’s what we were aiming for… At first, we just queued to try and get tickets for autographs from the cast of Teen Wolf but once they sold out and our plan had failed, we decided to spend the most part of our day at the Exhibit instead! In the Exhibit, we spent our time checking out all the cool merchandise and taking loads of pictures! I even managed to play a game and won a t-shirt! Overall it was a fantastic day but unfortunately, the vibe was lacking. Unlike small conventions where actors bond with fans until they eventually know your name, this event felt slightly impersonal and staged. But, even though we didn’t manage to get autograph tickets, we still stood very close to the actors and Shelley Hennig (Malia in Teen Wolf) even told my friend and I that we were looking beautiful!
After that surprising compliment, we walked past the Once Upon a Time booth where a staff member informed us about a contest to win meet&greet tickets with the cast the next day! We did the contest and luckily received the news that we won a couple hours later!! Although neither of us had watched this particular show in a long time, we were both still over the moon with excitement!
After that extraordinary little experience, we made our way over to the Game of Thrones signings and then spent the rest of the day wondering around the convention. Well at least, that’s what we had planned to do until out of the blue we discovered that Stan Lee (Co-Creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk etc.) was also writing autographs! After this, we were simply too tired to continue so my friend and I headed back to our hotel only to discover that Andrew Lincoln (who plays Rick in The Walking Dead) and a few of his cast members were standing right outside it! At this point in my blog, you should all know (if you have ever even looked at my blog) that I am completely and utterly obsessed and in love with the TV show The Walking Dead. I have been to their conventions before and have met every actor from their cast other than Andrew and Norman. So meeting them outside my hotel was again, out of this world! Andrew was evidently super nice, we talked about Walker Stalker (the TWD convention, read post about Walker Stalker HERE) and Stranger Things, he even took a picture with my mom and gave me a high five that made my hand hurt for a solid five minutes after it! Ah, what a cool guy! Andrew was going to the restaurant with Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) who were also completely fantastic! Both of them were super caring and truly entertaining in their different yet similar way!
And now, arriving on the third day, we woke up super early to get to the Riverdale signings before anyone else but like I said before, the organization of Comic-Con was dreadful. So in this scenario, their organizational skills let us down to the point where we weren’t even able to get the autographs… What a shame right? Well at this point in the morning we just decided to settle down in the Exhibit, grab a bit to eat and then made our way over to the meet&greets for Once Upon a Time! This was, as you can imagine, an insane experience! The actors were obviously super kind and we even got to take a few selfies with them! After this, my best friend and I moved over to Hall H which is where we spent the rest of our day… Nine hours in one room… Pretty scary right? Well, if you knew the amount of actors in this specific room at the same time as me, you wouldn’t be scared either… Oh wait, you don’t know what kind of actors I’m talking about… Hey, let’s change that!
Here is a list of (a few of) the actors/artists that were in Hall H with me:
- Steven Spielberg
- Harrison Ford (Blade Runner 2049)
- Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049)
- Lennie James (Blade Runner 2049)
- Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Justice League)
- Ben Affleck (Batman, Justice League)
- Ezra Miller (The Flash, Justice League)
- Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman, Justice League)
- Charlize Theron (Atomic Blonde)
- Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
- Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things)
- Chris Hemsworth (Thor Ragnarok)
- Tom Hiddleston (Thor Ragnarok)
- Mark Ruffalo (Thor Ragnarok)
- Cate Blanchett (Thor Ragnarok)
- Danai Gurira (Black Panther)
- Micheal B Jordan (Black Panther)
- Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther)
- Forest Whitaker (Black Panther)
- James Marsden (West World)
- Jeffrey Wright (West World)
Not only was I in a star-studded hall, I also got the opportunity to watch so many never-seen-before scenes and new trailers! For example, around midday we were all shown the incredible trailer for the next Avengers movie coming in 2018!!
Overall, my favourite moment on this third day was listening to the Stranger Things panel. As you guys know, (after The Walking Dead of course) Stranger Things is my favourite TV show at the moment! I even did a Skype with the lead actor, Finn Wolfhard a couple of months back (read my post about that HERE)! Also with Finn on the panel was Thor Ragnarok who was full of energy and very eager to answer a lot of fan questions! The amazing thing about day three was the fact that we simply saw so many actors and listened to all of them talk about their upcoming films! Each panel talk was super entertaining unique in it’s own way!
Finally, Sunday came around, meaning it would be our last day. As sad as we were to see the event come to an end, my best friend and I knew we had enjoyed a successful three days up until then! We walked into the convention as delighted as ever and bought some more merchandise before making our way over to play a new video game called MARVEL vs CAPCOM INFINITE! I won the first round and my best friend won the second. After this, we moved over to the Stranger Things experience but as it was closing soon, we weren’t allowed in. Nevertheless, on our way out of the queue, Netflix gave us a few Stranger Things Funko Pops and some water which refreshed us and made us feel so much better! I also randomly met Madelaine Petsch while sitting around and we even took a picture together! Considering my best friend and I hadn’t slept much in the last four days, we decided to cut the last day short and wondered around for a bit more before heading back to our hotel and waving goodbye to the four day experience…
Looking back at it now, I realize that I truly enjoyed Comic-Con. I definitely want to go again as I have now fully accepted the large convention vibe. Although it is nothing like what I’m used to, it was still amazingly eye-opening and fun! In smaller conventions you get used to waiting much less but the price to pay for that is the fact that there are less actors, less merchandise and less fans! So to be honest, I’d rather wait in line and see as many actors as I did! From Gal Gadot to Lupita Nyong’o, what was not to like!
I definitely, 100% recommend you guys to go if you love TV shows! But, my advice is, book your autograph appointments in advance and bring a friend to talk to during the insanely long lines haha!
Have you ever been to Comic-Con? What’s your favourite TV show from the ones I listed? Was your favourite actor in the list of people I saw? Which friend would you bring with to Comic-Con? Do you even want to go?? Let me know!!