Mario’s Con Diary – Thursday

San Diego Comic Con

This was the worst day for me time-wise. Unlike many other people my girlfriend Erin and I decided to come into town on a Thursday rather than a day or two before the convention officially began. Coming from Philadelphia meant we needed to get up at 4AM to head to the airport for a 7:30 flight. To put that in perspective, I was wide awake and on the go an hour before the 2AM Last Call that many people were partying it up at in San Diego.

The connecting flights getting me into town themselves were typical, no need to go into that but I want to give a shout-out to Tylenol PM and Apple’s In-Ear Headphones. I wanted to sleep while on both two and a half hour long flights as much as possible to both make up for lost sleep and adjust my body to Pacific the timezone and the headphones really do wonders in blocking out MUCH (not all) of the engine noise and people talking, etc, when compared to the regular Apple Headphones.

So we landed at noon PT and hit the ground running as best we could. We purposely packed light as to save both time and money with checked bags, I highly recommend this since shipping all of my cool purchases and swag from the con costs the same if not cheaper than checking it. Just be sure to get the insurance should anything happen. San Diego International is one of the coolest airports I have ever seen. The glass facade is in view from many terminals as soon as you land and they are currently expanding on building to accommodate for more.

We had called the hotel (Marriott Marina) the day before to ask for early check-in since we wanted to drop bags off as soon as we could. When we got there they didn’t quite have a room ready so we dropped off the bags and promptly went to check out the con. Since the event was already a few hours into the day the lines to get badges were existent. We checked out a small bit of the floor, the Walking Dead rooftop diorama and the PAN AM booth looked cool, and I also saw the Sideshow booth to pick up my exclusives as I got a call that our room was ready. One thing I noticed were an abundance of Wayfarer style shades everywhere. I was wondering why they were so trendy to such a degree all of a sudden but then I noticed that IGN was handing them out.

Our room at the Marriott Marina is in the North Tower with a view of the western part of the city, as well as the events at the lot across the street where there are food trucks and a replica of the South Park town. I highly suggest you ask for a room on the North Tower if you ever get this room. Then we went to Ralph’s for supplies (food, water, etc) and their pre-made sandwiches are the shit. Excuse the language but there is no other way to describe it. I had the cold tuna and it was filling, not overwhelmingly fishy, and fairly inexpensive.

From there I went right to giving blood. Yeah, I know. This was my first time donating blood EVER so it was quite an experience, expect a write-up on that during our Convention Hangover posts. They do give you an exclusive True Blood shirt as well as drinks and snacks in trade. Also got to check out the AMD Press Oasis for a moment as I was lost finding the room I needed to be in. I am scheduled to be there today and tomorrow though so I hope to properly cover that.

Went and promptly had a relaxation pint afterwards at Proper. Warning, do not drink after giving blood if you are a small person. I am 6’3″, 230lbs with an athletic build so a pint of blood isnt as much as it would be for a 5’5″ 140 lbs dude. Seriously, your blood/alcohol ratio shifts and you will get messed up faster. This is where I met up with Erin before heading out to the very cool looking event for THQ’s upcoming Darksiders II videogame (once again, a dedicated article is coming) at the interesting Analog Bar on 5th and dined on bacon wrapped meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and more Guinness. I also briefly met the games creative director and one of my favorite comic book artists when I was a child, Joe Madureira.

Also, there is a pretty awesome Bettie Page dress store right on 5th. If you girls like retro dresses then this is where you need to go. Seriously amazing selection, Erin purchased a stunning red dress that she wore that very night.

RAN back to the hotel to change so we could head to the IGN/Saint’s Row Saints and Sinners party at Float on the roof of the Hard Rock (See post here for panorama photos of the scene). There were some of the bigger celebrities around mingling and also in the roped off SUPER VIP cabana section but I am not that impressed by them as much as I am with some of the executives from Marvel Comics. What can I say? I am and always will be a comic book fan first and foremost and at a Comic-Con they deserve my attention. Erin also gushed over Jewel Staite while I talked comics and food with Marvel’s CB Cebulski. She had a very chic dress on and was approachable.

Unfortunately at this point the night had to come to an end before I could head to the Designer Toy Awards party and the TFAW/Angel Punk Yacht party because the jet lag hit Erin pretty bad (she was awake since 4am EST) so I ordered room service and watched TV. Exciting, huh?

Today I do not have many parties scheduled but I will hit the Ballroom 20 panels HAM starting with The Walking Dead and hopefully ending with True Blood.

Leave a Reply