San Diego Comic-Con was an interesting one in 2021. This year it was in November rather in July, and it was titled “Comic-Con Special Edition” to set it apart. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. I was vaccinated, and the convention was required masks at all times as well as proof of vaccination or negative test. (I should note, this was before Omicron. In fact, I only learned of its existence the weekend of the convention.) I ended up feeling fairly safe, so the timing was good. One of the main purposes for this blog now is to talk about my travels, but I’m bad at being timely. Still, two months late isn’t too bad for me!
The convention was Thanksgiving weekend, Friday through Sunday with no preview night. (Usually SDCC is Thursday through Sunday with a preview night on Wednesday.) gem and I drove down after Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday. Antonio met with us the next day.
After showing our vaccine cards and getting wristbands that indicated we did so, we realized that the hall didn’t open until much later than usual. I don’t remember the exact time, but I think it was noon. gem and I decided to head to the food truck we like for breakfast burritos, and we ran into Antonio there – with his breakfast burrito!
While in line to get in the main hall, we heard some Mario music. And look what it was – Mario Kart cosplay!
Once the hall opened, we started by getting in a line to get tickets to an autograph session with Brent Spiner (who played Data in Star Trek) and then wandered the exhibit hall for a bit.
Our first panel was Storytellers: Choosing, Centering, and Celebrating with Mallory O’Meara, Aminah Mae Safi, Sam Maggs, Eva Leigh, Elle Cruz, Henry Barajas, and Moderator Maryelizabeth Yturrale. However, we left early to get our autographs.
Brent Spiner had his new book, Fan Fiction. Antonio had to leave to get back home, but gem and I stayed in line to get autographs. We got three copies – one for me, one for my mom, and one for my brother. I mentioned to Spiner how my mom and I tried to get his autograph at a convention when I was a kid, but he wasn’t signing at that time. I had to make it right this time! He was friendly. The allotted time was one hour for the signing, but he signed for nearly two hours – right up to when he was doing a panel. His handler suggested less talking and only autographing one item per person, but he said no!
After the signing, we tried to see his panel. However, we were one of the last people to get autographs, which means there was already a long line for his panel. Instead, we went to Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner!
After dinner, we went to a screening of Lumpia with a Vengeance and discussion on it. It’s a Filipino-American indie movie filmed in San Francisco with a comic-vibe about a hero who fights crime with Lumpia! This is two of the main characters with me in the shot above. It was really funny!
After watching that movie, we moved to a screening of Die Hard! This was only my second time seeing it since Duncan, his brother, and his dad introduced me to the classic. And it was gem’s first time! What a great film.
We ended the night playing some WarioWare: Get It Together! on my Switch in the hotel room… after I battled the TV’s hospitality mode to let me use my Switch.
Saturday I put on my New World-inspired costume and met Antonio and gem at the food truck for breakfast burritos again.
Our first panel was Native American Comics & Culture: Emerging Tech with moderator Kilma Lattin, Cody Martinez, Johnny Bear Contreras, Brandie Taylor, Alec Calac, Ricardo Caté. It was a really interesting panel. I think it was intended to be mostly about Native Americans and technology, including an upcoming app called Our Worlds that uses augmented reality to teach you about the history of places around you. However, a lot of other topics about Native Americans was discussed as well.
We stopped by a Worldbuilding and Storytelling panel, but we arrived a little late. It appeared to be a Zoom call, and it wasn’t engaging enough to us, so we left.
Next up was Dinosaus vs Unicorns, a panel about gendered toys.
The last panel I attended was A Lawyer’s Holiday Special by The Legal Geeks. I always really enjoy their panels; they discuss pop culture fiction as if it was real and what the legal ramifications would be. It featured Circuit Judge John Owens (9th Circuit Court of Appeals), US Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman (US District Court for the District of Oregon), US Magistrate Judge Mitch Dembin (US District Court for the Southern District of California), Nari Ely (Durie Tangri), Kathy Steinman (Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Diego), and moderator Joshua Gilliland (Greenan, Peffer, Sallander, & Lilly LLP). In this year’s panel, they talked about the legality of Santa Claus and his actions!
Then it was time to wander around the exhibit hall for a bit, including checking out this Stargate!
After the exhibit hall, we headed to try a game called Kids on Bikes – an interactive storytelling game starring kids… on bikes… dealing with the sueprnatural. It seemed like there was a mix-up, because the person that was supposed to host it wasn’t in the room. Luckily, the staff called around, found someone to host it, and walked us to a different room. We were shown the hospitality suite, which I didn’t know existed. They’ve always offered free snacks! And then we played Kids on Bikes! It was really fun. I don’t know how long it was supposed to take, but we played for hours. In fact, Antonio had to leave, so it was just gem, me, and the host. It’d be fun to play it again!
After comforting some spirits and fixing the timeline in our game, we went to the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog screening, which we do most years. It’s always a great show!
We ended the night with some Greek food in the Gaslamp District at Nick the Greek and then some Big Mouth in the hotel.
The last day ended up being fairly relaxed. We went for a long walk along the water and then checked out the pinball lounge… where we stayed the rest of the day.
We played Godzilla, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, Led Zeppelin, Star Wars: The Mandalorian, and Deadpool – all set to free play. The games featured an interesting blend of classic and modern technology. Yes, it’s mechanical pinball, but you login to your account before you play on your phone, then hold a QR code up on your phone to the pinball machine to log into it. Then it tracks your high schools as well as achievements. How cool!
I’ll end the post with some more assorted photos from the event, mostly of cosplay. Any photos of me in this post were taken by gem!