SDCC2014: A Homecoming
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Sorry about the delay on this piece, I was really struggling with how to talk about this year's SDCC... it was a very different vibe for me this year but still tons of fun. Damn it feels good to go back home... a little clarity... my home is Seattle, I am Seattle to the core; I rep the 12th man and bleed Seattle blue, but when it comes to my "home," rather my adopted home... it's got to be San Diego Comic Con.
It felt nice to go home, I remember my very first year at SDCC... clearly not prepared and not knowing what to expect. That was the year I proclaimed this would be my second home. By the next year it felt like coming home so I knew the feelings were genuine. This year is no different, that all too familiar feeling... absolutely nothing like it!
On to Comic Con International... San Diego Comic Con... SDCC... Mardi Gras for Geeks. The party was just as big if not bigger than years past. The Gaslamp District was chock full of all manner of geek, from the con goers to the cosplayers. My weekend was very different than years past, this year I wasn't as concerned with getting into panels. While I did want to get into the Legendary Pictures panel to see the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stuff, waiting for hours in that Hall H line didn't appeal to me. I wanted to be able to check out the other events that happen around the convention and also spend a good amount of time prowling the exhibition hall. So that's what I did!
Thursday was a short day for our merry band, we brought our friends Mimi (one of us here) and Hai to SDCC and since I shared a room with them I wanted to make sure they were acclimated to the entire experience. So we just picked up our badges and roamed the hall while buying a few things. It was a relaxing day, and I reveled in watching the wide eyed wonder coming from my friends who had never really gone to a con before and decided to make THIS... the King of Fan Conventions their first. I dig relaxing days, it gave us a chance to just hang out and talk, the geek out over things together and not be as obsessed with lines, getting toys, or getting into panels. On this first day I noticed that not only were the lines for panels long, but more booths were facing big lines as well! Toki Doki, Funko, and of course Hasbro were swamped with people waiting in lines to get into another line just to wait in more lines. My home was quite a bit different than the list time I went.
Friday was my panel day, I barely spent any time in the halls or checking out the events and plopped down in Ballroom 20 from like 11AM till 10PM... pretty crazy eh? I did this all for two panels I wanted to see... both of which were near the end of the day. The Arrow panel was my main one, I've been a fan of the show since the very first season. With Stephen Amell and John Barrowman on the same stage... it was charisma gold, seeing John Barrowman on a stage is ALWAYS charisma gold. The panel shed some light on the next season with some surprising news from the creators! As we outlined in out pilot episode of Lifted Geek News, they will be featuring more of Felicity's past in an episode titled "Oracle." This has got to be deliberate, there is no way the episode can be called "Oracle" and not feature in some way/shape/form Barbara Gordon.
The other panel was the Assault on Arkham screening/panel. This was a treat, to see some of my favorite voice actors on one stage together... Troy Baker, John DiMaggio, Kevin Conroy. It was a fantastic panel. The movie itself was great, DC Animated pictures have been fantastic and this was exceptional. Troy Baker reprised his role of the Joker (from the video game Batman: Arkham Origins) with Kevin Conroy coming BACK as the goddamn Batman... my Batman. I'm running a bit behind on the review, but I should get one up soon. One of the highlights of it was seeing John DiMaggio and Troy Baker have a "Joker-Off." Both voice actors have portrayed the Joker in a DC Animated picture, with Baker portraying the Clown Prince in this film and DiMaggio portraying the psycho clown in Under the Red Hood (another of my favorites). Check out the "Joker-Off" below.
The remainder of my con was kind of a blur, lots of walking but no more panels for the weekend. Saturday was my big buying stuff day. I picked up these exclusives from the Funko Booth and a set of Tetsuya Nomura (the legendary Final Fantasy character designer) designed DC action figures. Honestly, my buying wasn't nearly as crazy as years past... chalk it up to wanting to save money, but also there wasn't much that I absolutely wanted. I will be doing some unboxing videos soon so keep an eye out for that.
It wouldn't be a convention if I didn't visit my buddy Ken... or as the geek world know him as, Enfu. Popped by his booth to say hi and buy one of his new wallets. I always make sure to support his work and hang with him at every con i go to.
The cosplay was great, but with a con as huge as SDCC, the cos'r to non cos'r ratio did skew to the plains-clothed geek. Make sure to check out our top(COS) article from my partner Riri, also follow the handy links below to go directly to our cosplay galleries from the con.
But I love cosplay, I told Brian Fleming and the devs over at Sucker Punch I was bringing Delsin Rowe to SDCC... that was a mistake... I was sweating like a fat kid at a buffet, I swear I lost weight under those three layers. What was I thinking? Next year I'll just cosplay as a half naked dude... that stuff should keep me frosty.
While I didn't do nearly as many panels as years before, I did a lot more socializing, meeting vendors and other professional geeks. Hanging out with my friends, meeting new friends, and hey, even meeting some of our fans on Lifted Geek (shout out to Zack Kenway) and getting more folk on board with our little Seattle based outlet. It was a blast and well worth the trip... now to count down the days until next year. Give me a moment while I click the heels off my ruby red shoes... there's no place like home.