Crixeo lead artist Arturo Delgado journals his San Diego Comic-Con experience.
After eight years of missing San Diego Comic-Con, it was time to go again. I normally come to conventions with costumes, but this time I wanted to enjoy the convention as a noncostumed fan. Trying to experience it like it was my first time, I had everything I needed: camera on my phone, badge, water, walking shoes and a messenger bag to carry free goodies.
Before I hit the airport, I needed my liquid sent from heaven: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
Then I was off to spend five days with my nerdy and geeky friends and hopefully meet new ones.
When I got to San Diego, it was time to bust out my walking shoes.
And then it was time to act like a professional. (Do I really have to?)
Wednesday was day one.
Pro tip: If someone ever asks you for a Comic-Con exclusive item, say no. If you do decide to help them out, be prepared to sacrifice hours waiting in line outside to get a ticket for the item, then a few more hours in line inside to buy it. Don’t do it!
Since I’m not a fan of long lines, I did miss out on a lot of things — panels, toys, lots of cool stuff — but it’s OK. I’ll buy them online or find out about the panels online or on YouTube. With 200,000 in attendance, it was a struggle to see and do everything I would’ve liked to. (I like camping but not on concrete at a convention.)
Regardless, the crowds didn’t bother me. We were all in it for the same goal: to have fun. It was a pleasure to be among all my geeky friends and nerds from around the world. (Just not in lines.)
Wednesday evening brought the nightlife. There were so many options for dining in downtown San Diego.
Thursday was my first full day at San Diego Comic-Con. I was able to walk half of the convention floor. But I knew it would take more than one day to complete it.
On Friday, I got to enjoy the best part of San Diego Comic-Con. For me, the magic of these conventions happens at artist alleys with the comic book artists. These folks are the reason I always come back. I loved seeing the original work of many artists and meeting old friends, such as Star Wars artist Dave Dorman.
I’ve always loved pulp art from the ’20s and ’30s, and I was happy to meet one of my favorite artists: Olivia De Berardinis. She’s known for her paintings of women, a mix of old-school style painting and our beloved horror cult monsters.
The costuming (aka cosplay) at San Diego Comic-Con was unbelievable. (Oh, by the way, I’m not a big fan of the word cosplay; I prefer the word we’ve always used: costuming.) Some people took a whole year to make a costume to showcase at San Diego Comic-Con. This place was like a runway for costuming.
One of my favorites celebrated something trending at the moment: Pokemon Go. These guys right here:
As I mentioned, I normally costume at Comic-Con, but this year I decided to just take it all in. I have to say, it did feel a little empty not wearing a costume. Costuming for me is a narrative, an interaction with other fans who enjoy the same things. I love seeing people’s faces when I pose with them in pictures. Who wouldn’t want to take a picture with a real-life Stormtrooper or a Spartan from the movie 300?
Friday night after finishing walking the whole floor and getting a nice nap, I was able to attend the Gentle Giant/ANOVOS private roof party. There I met someone I would never have imagined I would, since she no longer acts or does the convention scene: Newt (Carrie Henn) from the movie Aliens. You know, the little girl who survives alongside Sigourney Weaver’s character.
Carrie Henn and I.
Saturday at the convention was a catch-up-with-friends day. I spent most of my time talking to everyone, no longer rushing to complete walking the showroom floors.
Saturday night I attended another private party. I met Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Never in my life would I have thought I’d be able to spend one-on-one time with someone of this caliber.
Me, Rod Roddenberry and Dana Gasser, COO of ANOVOS.
I also met this guy right here. You probably know him as a baddy of many movies. Actor Mads Mikkelsen will have a role in the new movie called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — but now he’ll be a good guy.
Me and Mads Mikkelsen.
One thing I was really looking forward to didn’t end up working out. I was scheduled to have an exclusive Crixeo interview with Zack Snyder, but sadly his plane to San Diego was late and he was available only for a couple of hours for the Warner Bros. panel.
I’d met Zack a couple of years before. Being part of the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization, I have friends who work on the films. Zack and J.J. Abrams were filming their respective films, Batman v Superman and Star Wars episode 7. Apparently during the filming of Batman v Superman in Detroit, the Batmobile was stolen. To shut rumors down, Zack requested a Stormtrooper for a photo op, and I was called upon to play the role. I suited up and suggested a pose. I, the Stormtrooper, was the perpetrator who stole the Batmobile and was taken away in handcuffs by the Gotham Police Department.
You can find the craziness here at Zack Snyder’s Twitter handle:
Case closed. pic.twitter.com/fVyENoksFp
— ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) September 13, 2014
Though I was bummed Zack and I weren’t able to catch up at San Diego Comic-Con, it wasn’t anything San Diego’s fish tacos couldn’t fix. Did I mention the food around the city was fantastic? I found this place where I ate almost every day I was there.
With the amazing food, perfect weather, nice neighborhoods and friends who live nearby, I’d move to San Diego in a heartbeat.
Another highlight of San Diego Comic-Con was spending time at the Alex Ross booth. Alex lives near me in Illinois, and I once had the privilege to be featured in one of his comic books, portraying Zorro. It was really neat seeing his two-story booth.
I can’t go to a convention without thinking of my loved ones at home. My eight-year-old daughter loves a game called Five Nights at Freddy’s, a point-and-click survival horror video game. What eight-year-old girl wouldn’t want to play a game featuring pizza, animatronics characters and jump scares? Oh, how I was reminded of her with great costumes like this:
During the convention, the VR experience was everywhere. Suicide Squad had a pretty cool 360° experience. The line was huge for this and wrapped around two blocks.
Click and drag around for the 360° view:
We here at Crixeo have a little VR for you too. Check out our Reality of Wrestling experience from our June issue here:
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at San Diego Comic-Con’s VR experience:
There was so much to take in at San Diego Comic-Con. So many brand-new movie and TV trailers. I was really excited for the Wonder Woman trailer. You can catch them all here in one single video:
On Sunday, the last day of the convention, I was able to spend more time looking closely at all the vendor and studio booths. I saw costumes of the newest movies coming out, such as Wonder Woman.
Speaking of this goddess, I had the pleasure of seeing the screen-used costume from the ’70s TV show displayed at the WB booth. Mind blown!
Now it was time to fly home and sleep and recuperate. Hopefully I don’t get the post-con depression that usually happens.
But there’s a Star Wars celebration happening in April of 2017 in Orlando. I think I’ll focus on that. See you guys then.
Want more? Check out this slideshow of additional images from the convention.