When you’ve waited for a trip for years and it finally comes to fruition, it’s a heady experience, my friends. The walls of the San Diego Convention Center rang with my squees from the moment we descended into the hallways amongst several Princess Leias, Captain Mals, and Red Shirts.
Our first glimpse of the concourse from the escalator. This was one of many “Squees Heard Round The World.”
There was SO much to do, to see, and to enjoy that trying to describe every moment to you all would take weeks. So instead, I’m sticking with what I do best. Here is a list of my top 5 favorite things about our ComicCon Experience.
Viva La Nerdolution!!: The Top Five Things That Made Me Squee At ComicCon ’13
FIVE: ALL THE STUFF!!!
Holy sensory overload, Batman! When I say there is tons to see at ComicCon, I’m not lying, friends. For the first two hours in the exhibition hall, I felt like a five year old with OCD that had been dropped into a candy factory that plays boy band music over the loud speakers while also making a myriad of toys and giving away free puppies.
Yes. It was just like that. Exactly.
When I wasn’t distracted by the flashy lights, the giant screens playing cartoons and movie clips, and the professional cosplayers whose costumes rocked my world, I was busy shopping. Because OMG ALL THE STUFF!
ComicCon is a veritable smorgasbord of all the nerdy things in the world you could ever wish to purchase, all under one roof. And purchase we did.
There weren’t just things to buy, either! Movie props, museum quality displays of famous costumes, life-sized Lego sculptures, pop art of our favorite TV stars…Wowzas.
A short list of the swag we came home with: multiple Doctor Who collectibles, including an entire set of teeny tiny Doctors (all 11!); t-shirts ranging from Star Trek to Doctor Who and everything in between; Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Graphic Novel, Volume One (more on that later); and the crowned jewel of the Transformer collection, the ComicCon exclusive Mr. Metroplex himself (he’s two and a half feet tall, y’all.)
To say that we would have bought more stuff if we’d had the room in our luggage is an understatement. I saw no less than ten other things I wanted (including but not limited to a television remote control that is the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. WHAT the WHAT?!?)
Four: Um, That’s John Barrowman, You Guys!!?!?!
On our first day wandering the floor, we noticed a booth advertising autographs and photo opportunities with a few nerdtastic celebrities. While we were intrigued by the possibility of meeting Star Trek TNG royalty Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, and Michael Dorn, there was one name that caught our eye above the others.
And that name, ladies and gents? John Barrowman, aka, Captain Jack from Doctor Who and Torchwood.
There was no way we were going to pass up the opportunity to meet, talk to, and touch him, for two reasons: 1) he’s Jack Harkness, y’all!! and 2) He has not only worked with, talked to, and touched David Tennant, but he’s kissed him. Which by proxy means we did, too.
So we took our places near the front of the line (we were numbers 3 and 4) and waited for nearly an hour for just that opportunity. We were behind Rose and the Doctor who, despite holding a sign that read “end of the line,” were actually at the very front of the line.
Side note: the next day I was delighted to find that “Rose” had followed me on Twitter. I officially made a friend at ComicCon!!
Behind us was another Doctor, this one the Matt Smith version, who had a relatively thick German accent, and we spent that hour discussing the many anamalies taking place in that precise moment when two Doctors are crossing timelines while waiting to talk to Captain Jack. (These are the types of conversations that happen in line at ComicCon. It makes the time go by faster.)
To the delight of both Doctors, Rose, Brian, and myself, John Barrowman walked out and smiled his one-million watt smile right in our direction. He joked with the Doctor and Rose, saying, “Hey, I think I know you guys from somewhere!” We anxiously awaited the moment when the booth bosses would take us in to meet our celebrity.
After a brief mix-up over tickets, we were led behind the curtain. Mr. Barrowman smiled at me and wrapped his arm around my shoulders, leading me to stand on the X at his feet. He smelled wonderful. (Sorry Brian.) We looked up, the photo was snapped, and he thanked us for our time. As Brian exited the booth, I turned to Mr. Barrowman, put my hand on his shoulder, and congratulated him on his recent nuptials. He smiled again, dazzling me down to my toes, and said, “Thank you. Sincerely.”
Here’s the photographic evidence that I’m not making this up:
Thank the photography gods that I didn’t look as star struck as I felt. This baby’s going in a frame.
Three: Nerd HQ, Zach Levi, and the Serenity Viewing Party
I have to say, as much fun as we had at ComicCon, I think our day at NerdHQ might have been my favorite. Here’s a little back story—
Nerd HQ is a home base separate from ComicCon. Located at the iconic Petco Park, it was originally a place for nerds to congregate away from the bustle of the convention center, and it offered charging stations, arcade game play, cutting edge technology, and most importantly, a chance to encounter celebrities. Nerd HQ was the brainchild of actor and philanthropist, Zachary Levi, who donates the proceeds from the event directly to Operation Smile–a charity that helps children around the world born with cleft lips and palates.
First and foremost, let me take this opportunity to thank Mr. Levi and his team for providing some weary nerds with a place to SIT. The entire area was filled with plush black leather couches. After three days pounding the pavement, my feet and my arse were thrilled with all the sitting that was to be had at HQ. I also got to charge my equally exhausted iPhone, and we were dazzled with a hilarious puppet show featuring Glove and Boots. (Check them out. They’re really funny.)
We also had close encounters of the celebrity kind with Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame, as well as Evangeline Lilly from Lost. (Wil totally brushed my shoulder while walking by, you guys. No kidding. Thanks, insanely crowded concourse!)
There were two huge moments that happened for us while visiting Nerd HQ. Firstly, we got the chance to meet the man behind the whole shebang. While recycling some water bottles (we were in Cali, y’all) and deciding what to do with the rest of our afternoon, we noticed Zach Levi himself walking toward the Operation Smile photo booth. Excited to get the opportunity to thank him, we joined the queue. We were encouraged to be creative with our photo op, and since the couple in front of us stole our idea (getting him a gin and tonic for a “cheers!” pic) we opted for goofy instead. Here it is:
I think we made the right choice because, let’s face it, no one’s gonna pull off hotness quite like Mr. Levi. I mean, look at that smile, wouldja???
After the shock and delight of meeting Mr. Levi, we took the opportunity to take a few shots, just the two of us. And I’ve gotta say, they may be my favorite photos from the entire weekend.
(Let the record reflect that we totally won ComicCon with these Joss Whedon-inspired shirts from RedBubble.com. We were stopped everywhere we went and asked about them. It restored my faith in humanity, learning there were so many Joss fans in the world. Le sigh.)
Anywhoo, awesome moment number two was the Serenity Viewing Party on the baseball field, hosted by none other than Nathan Fillion himself.
(Pause for maximum squee-age.)
I didn’t get to wrap myself around Mr. Fillion’s leg while promising to always adore Captain Mal, but I did get to watch him and Alan Tudyk introduce one of our favorite movies of all time.
We were about 6 rows back, so there’s no close up of our guys, but I recorded it anyway. For Firefly/Serenity/Joss Whedon/Nathan Fillion fans, it’s pretty squee-worthy, in my opinion. Here are a few snippets from the event.
How cool is that? I stopped recording when the movie came on because, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s about experiencing not recording. So we sat back, enjoyed the movie, and cried when Wash died (as usual.)
On the way out of the stadium, both Zach and Nathan came out onto the balcony above us and waved us goodbye. Each of them took a photo of the crowd and tweeted them later, and guess what—Brian and I are in BOTH SHOTS. Proof that we are now famous by proxy because we live in celebrities’ camera rolls:
To complete this list, I have to share 2 more total squee-worthy moments with you…and since this post is already bordering on a novella, I’m going to save those for next week. So stay tuned for the next 2 installments of ComicCon 2013: The List!