Oh man… It’s almost time! It’s right around the corner! Comic-Con is coming! For those of you who don’t know, this is my absolute favorite time of the year… Comic-Con 2018!
All things pop culture: movies, TV, comics, video games, etc, will take over and transform the Gaslamp for one intense weekend!
There’s a lot to do and see, whether or not you were lucky enough to score a badge. Here’s a few things I’m looking forward to.
Of course, the first thing I have to mention is the Exhibit Hall, or in other words, the place where my wallet goes to die. As nerd culture has become bigger and more mainstreamed over the years, the amount of merchandise that caters to that culture has exploded on an unimaginable level.
There’s something in the exhibit hall for everyone and their respective fandoms. For me, I love companies such as Mondo, Funko, Hasbro, Super7, A Shop Called Quest, etc. Every year, companies like these release exclusive toys and collectibles that attendees go crazy over! Some of these are so coveted, numerous companies have started an online lottery system to solve the line problem. (Other merchandise is easier to get your hands on, it just depends.)
As you wander though the exhibit hall, you’ll notice that’s there much more to see than just toys, comics, posters, etc. A lot of the networks and studios have booths set up showing off props from upcoming films and tv shows, as well as autograph stations that numerous celebrities will rotate through.
If you see massive crowds and hear intensely loud cheering, that likely means there’s a cluster of movie stars nearby signing autographs. (FYI, the line to get said autographs probably closed off hours ago, so good luck with that.) Conversely, you might spot someone famous walking around that doesn’t even get noticed.
A couple years, Elijah Wood walked right past me and no one noticed him on the floor. Also, celebrities have been known to dress up in costumes or don masks so they can peruse the floor in secret. So, if you happen to see someone in a mask browsing through a stack of old comics next to you, who knows, it could be Quentin Tarantino or Peter Jackson!
One aspect of Comic-Con that’s grown more prevalent in the last few years is the off-site activation. These off-sites are just that, Comic-Con related interactive experiences outside of the convention center scattered throughout the Gaslamp Quarter.
As they’ve become more numerous, they’ve also become more complex. Some of them require a Comic-Con badge while some do not.
At one of my first Comic-Cons, I did a Game of Thrones off-site that, among other things, lets you take a picture sitting on the Iron Throne. Last year, I did the Blade Runner 2049 Experience. I waited four hours in line to get into that one. It was a long wait, but for me, it was well worth it. You can read my blog about this experience here.
Anyone trying to get into an off-site should expect to wait several hours to get in. In fact, anyone coming to Comic-Con should generally expect to wait in line for just about everything. There’s a lot of cool stuff to see, and over 100,000 people here to see it!
This year, there’s a number of very cool looking off-sites I wanna check out.
Firstly, I drove by and saw they building a huge off-site for Amazon’s upcoming show, Jack Ryan. The show premieres at the end of August, and I’m getting pretty excited for it, so this experience is just about at the top of my list to check out. Another activation that sounds pretty cool is a recreation of the town of Castle Rock, the new Hulu show adapted from the works of Stephen King, which also comes out this Fall.
On top of these is a South Park Escape Room, a Taco Bell from the Sylvester Stallone classic, Demolition Man, and The Experience, which will consist of several activations throughout Petco Park.
Like I said, anyone trying to get into an off-site should expect to wait at least a couple hours. There might be some that are less, but most are not.
If you really want to get in, don’t be deterred by the wait, because if you just spend your time roaming from off-site to off-site, it’s unlikely, you’ll get into anything, and you’ll have just wasted your time.
In my opinion, pick a couple you really wanna do, and commit yourself to the wait. Some of these might require badges, and some may not. As of now, that info isn’t available yet. Either way, there’s plenty of stuff to do and see whether or not you have a badge.
So put on some sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and have a Happy Comic-Con 2018!