So ! I had an interesting time at SDCC and what I meant by interesting is AWESOME !
No, it isn't about the con exclusives or meeting celebrities or the panels for me, it was seeing people united under their love of fandom. People all around me were happily geeking out. My con roommate and her boyfriend camped out overnight at Hall H (Me ? I'm lazy, I'll watch the panel the next day on Youtube)
As you may or may not know, I did not have a badge this year but I was lucky enough a friend had an extra badge that I could use for most of the days so I did spend a day "ghosting" the con. You know what I found out ? There's lots to do OUTSIDE of comic con. Believe me, by day 3 I was worn down by the massive crowds in the dealer hall. Everywhere I went, I felt like a fish just going with the flow of it. I didn't mind it at first but boy, after a while, I needed to get out.
By the way, the area behind the Sails Pavilion, the upper level where the "flagpoles" are - has unofficially become photographers alley. I counted three guys with lights and light stands up there including Elysium from the East Coast. To access the upper level, there are two flights of stairs between C and D Hall. The stairs on the left goes higher and takes you behind the Sails Pavilion. There you will find photographers - but more towards mid-late afternoon when the sun is boiling... speaking of which, it was pretty good weather. Not as hot as last year.
This time I stayed a a motel across the street from a Trolley station and took that in everyday. I paid...I think $14 for a 4 day trolley pass - the cops did check one time I was on the train - and left my car back at the hotel.
Speaking of which, I've learn to condense what photo equipment I was carrying. Since I'm doing behind the scenes, I would venture out to hotel rooms of cosplayers to document them getting ready, then follow them as they went to the con. I really spent like a hour or so with each one or group and I kept switching between different groups. I was pretty happy with with whom I followed. One was a newbie cosplayer. She flew in from Houston and been to SDCC twice already and wanted to try out cosplaying. I was there when she got her first photo taken, when the first little girl came up to ask for her autograph and her first big cosplay gathering. Another was a group of veteran cosplayers - doing the Superhero Disney Princesses and I had the opportunity to follow them around a bit.
I think I'm become more relax at cons now. Before, I always felt I had to be doing something like peopl expected fresh photos NOW. The exhibition hall was completely terrible for my phone. I could send text sometimes and internet was pretty much telling me NO NO NO NO. So I knew I had to leave every few hours to get outside, check messages, send tweets, upload photos.
Oh, thank you to ALL who came to my little meetup - there was probably around 15-20 folks on and off over the hour. I did not take a photo - I should have but I was so busy shaking hands and thanking people for donating that I kinda forgot
Will try to remember for the Otakon meetup.
Food was like crazy expensive but y'all knew that already. $8.25 for a personal pan pizza ? Dang....
I did learn that the Hilton across the street had cheaper fares. They had a cheeseburger for $4 bucks and granted it wasn't the best burger but compared to the $8 burger in the convention center, I can do $4. Some resourceful folks outside were selling $1 cokes and water - SCORE !
Let's talk about the cosplay. Okay, I feel there are less cosplayers this year than last though if you were at the DC gathering, there were a lot of cosplayers there. Cosplays ranged from Coors Light guy (taped up Coors Light cartons used as armor) to really mind-blowing-I-have-no-idea-what-the-hell-that-is-but-it-is-AMAZING. I didn't see as much Homestuck as I thought. I did see a few Attack of Titan cosplays - only three really. What I did enjoy was all the unexpected ones like classic Willa Wonka.
Okay, I can understand why. Prices are expensive, it is hard to get in and finally because of the massive crowds some people don't want to put up with it - also having to put up with pushy people. One cosplayer told me he had taken off his mask and just sat down to chow down on lunch when he was approached. People didn't seem to realized that cosplayers were people too and were barraging them with photos requests. I think for con goers - at least the ones who go for a while - they understand when a cosplayer is eating or sitting down - or in a big rush, it probably isn't the time to approach them but for those who maybe just go to Comic Con for the experience, they have no idea of what cosplay is except there's a hot chick there and I wanna get a photo of her.
I have two more massive cons to attend to get the shots I needed - New York Comic Con and DragonCon. Luckily for me, the rest of the cons are smaller and more manageable because believe me, SDCC kicked my butt hard. By Sunday, I was exhausted and almost fell asleep driving back to LA - two rest stops and I was fine.
Okay, time to get my life back on track. Two weeks before I'm flying out to Baltimore for Otakon !