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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.