Comic Con 2014 was a great year (except for the extreme heat and lack of Doctor Who). I was able to visit the Gaslamp on Saturday and experience all of the freebies that Comic Con has to offer, which is increasing every year. Little Brother and I were able to meet celebrities, watch obstacle courses and see tons and tons of awesome cosplayers – all without purchasing an outrageously overpriced badge. While a badge can get you to amazing panels and really cool/geeky merchandise, many comic con goers have said that the outside offerings are just as epic.
This year’s downtown activities included the usual Adult Swim entertainment center, The Walking Dead Escape obstacle course (done by The Husband when it started two years ago), an expanded Behind the Convention area and a glorious Nerd Head Quarters that brought some of that interior excitement out to us commoners. One full day of gallivanting around allowed me to create a best and worst of this year’s Comic Con (that I was able to experience).
You’re The Best…Around
- Panels and Autographs – For FREE! (sometimes)
Little Brother is a HUGE Walking Dead Head. While we didn’t get into San Diego until about 1:00AM the night before, he insisted that we leave for Comic Con no later than 8:45AM to try and squeeze our way into Nerd HQ’s Walking Dead panel. While we didn’t make it (and he has not let me forget), this offering was one of the best around. I did make up for it by rushing him over to the costume contest being judged by Norman Reedus.
We also had the awesome pleasure of meeting and grabbing the autographs of the cast of Workaholics. It was completely free, and we stood in line for about an hour, but it gave us a chance to people watch and get some awesome pictures of costumes. Little Brother is also a big Workaholics fan, so he was wiggin’ out while in line and had the biggest grin when we got our autographs!
- Let’s Get PhysicalZombies, Assassin’s Creed, Batman, Godzilla, Adventure Time, Comedy Central Laser Tag…take your pick! The space outside allowed marketers to dream big, and indeed they went big. The yearly Walking Dead Escape obstacle course in Petco Park has adjusted to start at dusk and run into the night. The team promoting Assassin’s Creed went all out by allowing wanna-be Assassins to run from rooftop to rooftop, dodge cannon balls and make a leap of faith from a tower. Bonus: Most Assassin cosplayers costumes were too bulky to allow them to do the course successfully. They spent most of the time falling onto the pads below. I think this is secretly why they created it.
- Photo Ops!
I could not believe how many opportunities there were this year to take amazing pictures. Marketers took full advantage of Instagram and hashtaging, allowing attendees to post their pictures and immediately to be featured on giant screens rotating with others who have hashtagged their photos. It was a great way to interact and see who else has taken their photo that day. And who doesn’t want a selfie as a building climbing superhero?
There are worse things I could do…
- Annual Zombie Walk OrganizationThere was an unfortunate accident at this year’s annual Zombie Walk through downtown, which ended the walk early for our party. One person was rushed to the hospital, and the culprit was caught immediately. I strongly feel that this accident could have been avoided with some better coordination and organization to ensure the entire zombie parade was looked after, not just the first three quarters of it.
- Into the Mist
It was hot at Comic Con. REALLY hot. I could only imagine how those cosplayers in leather, jackets, masks and layers of plastic were drenched in sweat by the end of the day. A very helpful and lovely addition to many of these outdoor exhibits would be to install a misting system. Cooling off those waiting in lines will not only keep the attendees from overheating, it will also help keep tempers down in this very crowded event. Although I will admit, who wouldn’t want to see a Green Power Ranger try to take on Batman out of heat rage?
Bonus Best: The Old Spice Robot and their SWAG
A sarcastic robot heckling everyone (“Hey there, Banana Man. I see you, Banana Man. Why won’t you come talk to me, Banana Man?”), paired with several women handing out travel sized Old Spice Deodorant made for the best SWAG there. They brought this Comic Con crowd what they needed most – deodorant. I’ve never seen so many women grab these to give to their sweating, overheating significant others so fast. It made Comic Con better for everyone.