Comic-Con Regrets – An Introspective Look into the Past

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Since the 2014 Comic-Con is just around the corner we are looking forward to seeing the whirlwind of hype and madness take over San Diego once again! But since we still have some time we wanted to take this lull to take a look within and reflect on things that we had wished we’d done or not done.

Most of us try to focus on the good side of things when it comes to San Diego but we all have a few regrets. Let’s face it, there just isn’t enough time in the day (or night) to do everything we want to do, see everything we want to see, or even eat everything we’d like to eat. As great as the event it it can’t all be roses. That’s just the truth of life; nothing is ever 100% perfect. The WNA crew got together to brainstorm a few of our favorite (most painful?) regrets and this is what we have to say.

Lindsey  

1) Not going to enough panels–
At SDCC, especially! The past two years I’ve gone, I’ve only gone to one panel each year. I’ve never been a huge fan of really long lines for panels, which is something that usually keeps me away from panels at the convention. However, I think there is something that you miss out on not being in panels. The dynamic with the crowd is always so enjoyable, and I definitely regret not ‘sucking it up’ and going to experience some of the bigger panels each year.
2) Not exploring outside the con much–
Especially my first year at SDCC, I didn’t do a lot outside of the convention. And wow, do you miss stuff if you don’t search around! I’ve never been to Nerd HQ, and I’ve missed some really great panels and fun stuff like that. I also missed the entire Adult Swim set up last year, and after seeing my friend’s pictures, I’m bummed I didn’t get to experience that with them. This year I intend on really getting out and exploring.
3) Pushing myself too hard–
Nothing is worse than getting sick at a con, or directly after. I’m getting to the age that I can’t go without sleep like I used to. Pushing myself too hard at cons in the early days, not pacing myself, usually makes me trashed and miserable by Sunday. I need to pace myself so I can enjoy all the days. You’ll never get to see everything, so I need to just accept that and pick and choose better.
4) Trying to please everyone
Being with a group, and trying to do things together is always difficult, especially when everyone wants to do something else. The SDCC I went to, I with with a group of people, and we tried to stick together at all times, instead of breaking apart and doing our own thing. Bad idea! While doing group things is great, sometimes you need to go off and do your own thing, and meet up later. That way everyone can get to do what they want, and avoid things they don’t. It just takes a little compromising, communication, and a willingness to speak up.
Melinda

Preparation
My very first comic-con was SDCC, and while it’s like the Holy Grail of cons that everyone has some innate urge to go just once, I wish it wasn’t my first one for my first time. I wish I would have had practice before going to the big show.  I liken it to really wanting to play baseball, or any sport really, and instead of working your way through the minors or college teams, you right away just go play major league ball.  It was exhilarating and I did have fun, don’t get me wrong, but it was also terrifying.  I’m half surprised I didn’t come back from San Diego that year traumatized.  There was so much going on and I was clearly not prepared.

Hotel Commute
Also back to my very first SDCC, I regret not exploring more.  We had a hotel way out in Mission Valley and it was actually a chore to get to the convention center (again, not prepared) where we spent ALL DAY in lines for panels.  I was on the exhibition floor once, for preview night.  I’ve learned from this – in fact I RARELY go to a panel anymore at SDCC.  But that first year, I think I wasted a lot of time not exploring everything outside of the panels. I saw more of the second level of the convention center than anything else.

Sightseeing
It’s very easy to get caught up in all the hype that surrounds SDCC/San Diego/Gaslamp District and you’re suddenly sucked into the vortex of excitement and energy. I’ve come home from San Diego and been so pissed at myself that I didn’t slow down and take in more of what the city has to offer other than Comic-Con.  It’s okay to walk slower than the thousands of other people who invade in July.

Social Butterfly
People approach Barb and I at SDCC all the time (mainly they know her right off the bat and I’ll joke that I’m her bodyguard) and I’m still working on trying to be more friendly – so if you approach me and I was rude or seemed off putting, I regret that.  Sometimes I think I’m not as friendly as I can be…it’s happened more so in the last two years than before when I was just another nameless person out there but now I have friends from all over who attend – people who follow me on twitter, and I wish I was more outgoing in real life.

Mario

Frivolous Spending
If you know me then you know I enjoy the finer things in life. I enjoy everything from premium seats at sporting events to eating haute cuisine. But there is something about San Diego that makes my usually sensible budget go out the window. I see toys I gotta have. I buy trade paperbacks in bulk. I buy original art by the bushel. I just can’t help myself. I ball hard and I have a problem. Then when I get home half the stuff ends up in some closet, on a shelf, or given away. The same goes with the swag that’s given out. Most of it is rubbish when I get home except for the shirts I use at the gym.

Tough Decisions
The most specific example of my very own Sophie’s Choice is when I was torn between going to a panel for a comic book I was really excited for and meeting Stan Lee. Green Lantern books at the time were building toward this (at the time) epic Blackest Night storyline. I had some time before the panel DC had scheduled to talk about what fans could expect so I wandered the floor. I saw the Activision booth and thought I’d pre-order the highly anticipated Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 game, so when I did I was randomly selected to be one of 15 people who got to go to a private meet and greet with Stan Lee. Like an a-hole I skipped the Stan meet and went to the panel which revealed nothing new (like all panels do to some point or another).

The Hangover
I drink too much at the big parties the con is now famous for and all of my plans for the next day, such as waiting in lines for panels, all fade away once I wake up with the room spinning.

Erin

I have one GIANT regret and I have it every year…spending too much time worrying about seeing everything but not wanting to take the required time to do actual things.
I regret skipping breakfast and having to waste time finding lunch.
I regret not trying to see more panels.
I regret getting dehydrated.
I regret not buying all the things I loved in the small press area and then later could not find again.
Mostly, I regret letting my emotions get the best of me, and wasting time being upset or annoyed.
Barb

1. Poor Food Planning

I’m someone who if I don’t eat on a regular schedule, I can get pretty mean. I’m like a Snickers commercial. The first year I attended we thought we were good with the snacks we brought for Ballroom 20. It actually turns out you can’t live on beef jerky for 10 hours. Who knew? If I had to do it all over again I would have made a better effort to bring easy to pack items like fruit, a refillable water bottle, and even a few sandwiches. If you’re someone like me who can easily Hulk out, be sure to learn from my mistakes!

2. Staying In Mission Valley

Again, this happened my first year. We managed a good deal and didn’t think anything of having to drive downtown everyday. While the traffic was fine, parking is just another cost you have to worry about. Not to mention we missed out on all the evening events because we didn’t feel like driving back to the hotel to get ready and then head back downtown where we’d have to pay for parking again. Yes, there was a a shuttle but I didn’t want to depend on someone else to get me to the convention center on time. I’d rather be in charge of my own destiny as far as that goes! Plus at the time I don’t think the shuttle was 24 Hours like it is now.

3. Sitting In Ballroom 20
This is a mixed regret. I don’t regret doing it but I haven’t done it again. Again, it was my first year and my first Con. Everything I wanted to see was in BR20 on Thursday and Friday which means that’s where I was for those two days. Did I enjoy everything? Of course! They were just very long days, I didn’t  get to see much of the floor or other panels. I ended up missing an event because of a panel and when we had to drive back to our hotel? Ugh. I feel it’s something that everyone should do once (depending on what you like of course) but after that? Not sure it’s 100% worth it unless it’s for a show that’s ending or a reunion of sorts.
4. Not Attending The Masquerade
Every year I say I’m going to go, and every year I end up not going. Sometimes I’m too tired, sometimes I have another event to go to. Hopefully this year I can finally make good on the promise I make myself and attend.
Let’s keep the conversation rolling by hearing some of you guys’ regrets in the comments below.

2 comments

  • Last year we decided to stay with my sister who lived about a 25 minute drive from the Gaslamp to save money. Big mistake. We had some of the same problems as others about not being able to change and being stuck downtown. But, also having to ask for rides home at 2 AM was not fun. I like the freedom of having a downtown hotel, you don’t have to rely on anyone else and you can change in the evenings for the parties! 🙂

  • Last year was so crazy, My wife and I decided NOT to go to Comic-Con this year. We did get preview night last year which was more like 75% people got in vs 25% … so preview night was almost not even worth it. Its a LOT of stress so this year we decided to go on a normal, sight seeing vacation. Will we go Back to Comic-Con… probably, but the amount of excitement you get vs the time you have to put in and the stress involved is not in balance at all. I recommend NERD HQ! Yea you have to pay for it but you DO get to see the actors you like in a small, friendly environment.

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