My Yearly Escape aka: Nerd Christmas

I think one of the biggest draws of San Diego Comic Con is the chance to completely immerse yourself in your geekdom(s) of choice and escape from your everyday reality for 5 days (if you’re lucky like me and get a badge for the whole shindig, including preview night). It’s all the more obvious to me the moment SDCC is over at 5pm Sunday evening; and by Monday morning it is undeniable that the dreaded post-con blues have set in. So, it took me a little while to recover (emotionally and physically) and pull myself together to write my little post here. Let’s just dive in, shall we?

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The cosplay! The vibe! The stuff! It’s SDCC 2013!

First, the panels:

Thursday morning I attended the 35th Battlestar Galactica Celebration hosted by Richard Hatch. The surprise guest was Edward James Olmos! Hearing EJO’s voice made me miss BSG even more. A touching video with clips from the original and new Battlestar Galactica tv series and actors from each show talking about their characters was shown as well. There is talk of a possible BSG movie, but it would have a whole new cast. At this point, though, it’s not certain that this movie will happen. Fingers crossed.

One of my ‘Must Attend’ panels this year was NBC’s Hannibal which was held in small-ish Room 6A. I bet you next year it will have to be moved to at least Ballroom 20, because the room was packed to capacity. I’m a huge fan, obviously, and I was hoping a little bit against hope that, just maybe, Hannibal himself (played by amazing Mads Mikkelsen) would show up as a surprise, or maybe even Gillian Anderson, who has a recurring role in the TV series. I mean, she WAS at SDCC already… But no such luck. Which is ok! It was still a spectacular panel, don’t get me wrong!

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Hannibal panel on the left, Hannibal freebie on the right

Brilliant/twisted writer Bryan Fuller and lead actor Hugh Dancy were super open and engaging with the crowd during the panel and even posed for photos with a female fan cosplaying as a Wendigo. Also attending were producer Martha De Laurentiis and director David Slade. The fans, nicknamed ‘Fannibals’, asked the most intelligent questions I’ve heard in a panel yet; and at the end we were all rewarded with tickets to the ‘fulfillment room’ in the hotel next to the convention center, where we could pick up our treasured SWAG, a print of Hannibal’s drawing of ‘Wound Man’ which included his ‘signature’. I can’t wait for season 2!

Speaking of SWAG – HBO rocked it again with their goodie bags for their True Blood panel! Thank you! I hear the Game of Thrones goodie bags were impressive as well.

Friday morning I found myself in line again for Room 6A. I missed Syfy’s Defiance panel because I didn’t line up early enough, but got into the Helix panel which was held right after. Ron D. Moore’s (Battlestar Galactica) involvement in this sci-fi mystery/thriller series was already a big selling point for me, but when they announced during the panel that Hiroyuki Sanada had just gotten cast as a main character, well, that’s all I needed to hear… I’m SO there! Helix is scheduled to debut on SyFy early 2014.

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SyFy’s presence could not be missed!

After meeting up for lunch with some friends I headed over to the Marriott Marina Hotel next door to catch the Casting Society of America presents: The Casting Directors panel. Of course, being an actress, this was another ‘Must Attend’ event for me! It was moderated by Lora Kennedy (Man of Steel) and included other big time casting directors Roger Mussenden (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Sharon Bialy (The Walking Dead), David Rapaport (Arrow) and Randi Hiller (Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor)! If you’ve ever wondered how the cast of a movie or TV show is assembled and how much work goes into it, this was the panel to see! Great Q/A session and lots of good behind-the-scenes info about the casting process. I even brought my headshots/resumes in case they accepted them afterwards, but it didn’t seem appropriate so I let it be. This was the first time that CSA had a presence at SDCC and I hope they come back again next year!

Saturday was my 3rd year in a row doing the Ballroom 20 ‘dance’ and I got in the notoriously long line outside the convention center at about 6AM with my friends. The day started with Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole, then Once Upon a Time: Off to Neverland. Next up was Futurama which is one of my favorites. Sadly, it was also their last time since the show is coming to an end. The panel started with the whole voice cast doing a table-read of one of the episodes’s scenes. What a treat to see the actors switch back and forth from several of their character voices. After that, the next scene of that same episode was shown on the big screen. Way to go and keep things fresh! I loved the table read idea!

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The cast of Futurama doing a ‘table read’ in their character voices

Next up were The SimpsonsFamily Guy and American Dad, then True Blood and The Vampire Diaries panels. No big surprises or announcements that stand out in my memory, but entertaining nonetheless! It felt a bit like déjà vu…like, I was just there! Well, I was….in 2012 ;)

That’s it for the panels. Like last year, I didn’t even attempt the Hall H presentations, because my patience does have a limit, heh. I spent my Sunday mostly walking the main showroom floor and meeting up with friends one more time. Of course there is a lot more going on at SDCC besides panels!

Here is some more of my ‘Best of SDCC 2013‘:

I love the fact that more and more interactive displays and booths are offered to fans inside the convention center and outside. For example, History Channel had a fun setup outside for its tv series Vikings that included photo op areas with shield maidens and the chance to actually race miniature Viking ships in a artificial waterway! They set you up with a life jacket, helmet and a paddle – and off you went! Fun stuff for sure!

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History Channel’s Vikings Interactive Waterway

Inside the convention center, my favorite was AMC’s The Walking Dead booth where you could take photos with zombies either attacking you or vice versa in the ‘prison yard’. Once you were led into a little room, you could admire the governor’s infamous severed head collection and have a photo taken with you in his chair. I love The Walking Dead. *sigh* Is it October yet? Season 4 starts October 13th.

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AMC’s The Walking Dead immersive display and booth with photo opps. Yup, that’s me having a field day – it’s one way to get to play the ‘Governor’ ;)

Then there were the happy ‘accident’ moments like talking to a polite British gentleman at his booth and arguing about the pros and cons of reading comic books online or holding them in your hands, flipping pages. After about 10 minutes of (friendly) back and forth he pointed at one of the books on the table in front of him, how things were back in the day, etc. I glanced at the thick comic book and it was V for Vendetta. After looking closer at his booth’s banner and the badge on his chest, I put two and two together and turned 5 shades of red… It was David Lloyd himself!

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Yeah, I did it, I put a photo of my paintings in the Art Show next to a photo of David Lloyd.… I’m shameless.

We had a laugh and in my flustered and stuttering attempt to dig myself out of the hole and change the subject a bit, I told him about my paintings up in the Art Show. He then responded and at some point said “well, from artist to artist…you know how difficult things can be….”…I almost DIED. Then he asked if I had a business card with my info, which I wordlessly gave to him; and he put it in his wallet! I was sure by then that I was in bed, at home, having a really weird and awesome dream. But, no, this really happened. True story! I don’t really remember what happened the following half hour or so.

Other favorite moments included a chat with Richard Hatch (actor from the old and new Battlestar Galactica) and discussing current sci-fi shows, lots of hilarious geekouts with my friends including a SDCC first-timer/’noob’, and as always – meeting cool peeps and making new friends!

Then I ran into the Twisted Twins again! Methinks it’s become a SDCC tradition. Have you seen ‘American Mary‘ yet?

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Jen and Sylvia Soska – badass directors of horror gems ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk‘ and ‘American Mary‘.

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Another SDCC in the bag, time to sort out all the SWAG!

And now..back to reality. Until WonderCon or SDCC next year. Hope to see you there!

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One thought on “My Yearly Escape aka: Nerd Christmas

  1. Pingback: San Diego Comic-Con 2014 updates (Art Show and ‘Zero’) | Pia on the run

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