Welcome to Part 2 of my Comic Con guide – for all your essential SDCC preparation! (Check out Part 1 here.)
7. What do you think about the after parties and the off-site events? Worth giving up sleep over? Worth spending money on?
Last year I didn’t do many off-site events because I found there was so much to do during the con itself (with some events running until 11pm or midnight) that I was occupied all day (and exhausted by the evening!)
However, there are a few pretty cool events I have my eye on this year (2011).
Thursday 21st: Attack the Block special screening (venue tbc)
The makers of Shaun of the Dead are doing a special screening of their new movie, Attack the Block, on Thursday at 10pm (venue still to be confirmed) followed by a Q&A with writer and director, Joe Cornish, and some of the actors and producers. A limited number of tickets will be available at the Sony booth on the exhibition floor. I’ve actually already seen the movie and it is absolutely brilliant so if you’re lucky enough to get tickets let me know what you think!
Friday 22nd: Kevin Smith at the House of Blues
Jay and Silent Bob are pitching up at the House of Blues and bringing a lil bit of Smodcastle with them. Snoochy boochies!
Saturday 23rd: Zombie Walk
This year is the 5th anniversary of the Zombie Walk, and I can only imagine it’ll be carnage! Meet at 5.30pm outside Sam Goody at the Horton Plaza (a five minute walk from the con) and make sure you’re dressed like a Zombie!
This year there’s also a pre-party from 2.30-5pm at the House of Blues. Make sure you fill up on brain-flakes before hand!
Image via www.sdzombiewalk.com
Some other rumoured events to look out for are the Cowboys and Aliens premiere and some super-cool Captain America stuff that Marvel are planning on springing.
8. What’s the biggest, dumbest first-timer move I could make at Comic-con?
Honestly, nothing! Apart from maybe asking whether Batman or Aquaman would win in a fight. The amazing thing about SDCC is that there is literally something for everyone and no-one will judge you! Unless you’re a Twi-Hard, in which case be afraid… be very afraid, because sparkly vampires can’t protect you from hardcore nerds.
9. Will children have a good time?
Children will love SDCC. After all, it’s for the child in all of us, right? Kids will probably most enjoy the exhibition floor with its toys, booths and cosplayers galore. Last year the Pokemon booth had Pikachu hanging out with younger members of the con (and me – see pic below) whilst Mattel’s Monster High is aimed at young girls. Kids will also get a kick of Artists Alley.
However if you do have a young child, consider how much time you want to spend at the panels. Children won’t enjoy the queuing and it’s questionable how much they’ll get out of a bunch of actors talking! Having said that, Sunday is traditionally ‘kids’ day’ and there will be panels from Scooby Doo, Looney Toons and Glee, which children will enjoy. Just make sure you bring something to keep them entertained during all that waiting!
If your kids need a break from the madness of SDCC head to Horton Plaza, a nearby mall within walking distance of the convention centre. It has shops (including a Sanrio shop), a food court and cinemas so is a great chill out area. Alternatively, head to the Marriott which has a Starbucks, cafes and restaurants.
One final tip. Having a cute child at any public event is like having Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. If you’re happy to go Dina Lohan on your kid (i.e. pimp them out) it will pay dividends. Last year an adorable five year old was pushed in front of a microphone in Hall H and melted everyone’s heart – including Ryan Reynolds’, who gave him some Green Lantern signed merch! Ker-ching!
10. Will SDCC be appropriate for an 8-year-old ?
SDCC is definitely appropriate for kids in the main but it depends on your sensibilities. Not all panels are appropriate for children in terms of the scary-ness quota (Hall H is hosting Fright Night this year) and some parents may feel uncomfortable with cos-players, whose costumes can get quite racy, but on the whole your 8 year old shouldn’t leave San Diego too traumatized. Unless he witnesses another nerd-stabbing, however…
11. I’m a huge celeb fan. How do I see as many as I can while at Comic-Con?
I too am something of a celeb fan. I try and keep this on the DL but my Perez Hilton addiction tends to give me away. In terms of seeing celebs, hit the panels and the booths for interviews and signings. You might also get lucky and see them wandering around the con although they tend to keep to themselves in an area that is inaccessible for mere mortals. One place you should be able to see some is the Marriott as it’s next door, although I stayed there last time and didn’t see anyone! (Update: In 2011 I stayed at the Hyatt, which is next door to the Marriott and saw a lot of celebs, from Dr Who (Matt Smith) at the breakfast buffet (which is amazing by the way. AMAZING. I ate waffles with whipped cream and chocolate chips every day for 5 days, for serious) to Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White in ABC’s Once Upon a Time) as I was returning to my room one evening. For a full celeb update from 2011 see here.)
12. How easy is it to score autographs?
To score autographs you really need to keep your ear to the ground. Booths will hold raffles for popular ticket signings, other than that it’s a question of searching the internet and checking the daily newsletter.
13. Other pieces of advice?
My main piece of advice would be just soak it all in as much as possible, don’t get stressed out about missing stuff and try not to be too depressed when it ends! Remember, it’ll only be 359 days until next year’s SDCC – which is just enough time to get working on that costume!!