It’s been a week and a half since San Diego Comic-Con International graced us with its presence, blowing our minds in the most majestic way possible as it united fandoms from all over the world. It truly is the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone to attend whether it is as press, volunteering, or just being a fan.
Now that the dust as settled and we have had the time to recover somewhat from those five tremendous days, my fellow editors and I have decided to breakdown what we thought were the best and worst moments from this year’s convention.
Join us as we discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly from SDCC 2019!
- Marvel Studios’ Return – Last year, I admitted in our wrap up, I was super bummed that Marvel Studios wasn’t there. This year, they came back with a vengeance and pretty much won the SDCC the second their panel kicked off. The nearly 2 years wait for them to be back was worth it as the energy in the room was like being at a concert. I was fortunate to be stageside during this panel and pretty much could not stop fangirling for the glorious hour and a half they were presenting their stuff.
- Her Universe Fashion Show – After having such a blast during the fashion show last year, I made it a point to check it out again this year. It was just as incredible. Ashley and crew know how to throw a party and a show. So much fun from start to finish. Will definitely be a mainstay for me to check this out every year. Plus, it’s such a perfect way to wrap up day one of SDCC.
- Agents of SHIELD panel – Like Stephanie, I too was bummed that the agents skipped last year but they made up for it this year in spades by being the most emotional panel I attended. They had just confirmed their last season and just seeing the cast cry and reminisce had me in tears. They made my first trip to SDCC a special one 6 years ago and just seeing them one more time made this year’s convention just as special.
- Making new friends – One of my favorite things about SDCC is all the random friendships you strike up as you wait in line for panels. I got to bond with some pretty amazing people as I waited in Hall H Line (even had a Hamilton singalong) and those are memories worth making.
- Lolita’s – Love going to this place every year with my ladies. This year was even more special as I am not vegetarian anymore and got to branch out and try new items on their menu, which is honestly the most affordable of all the places in downtown San Diego.
- SYFY’s Karaoke Bus – If you know me, you know one thing for sure: I LOVE KARAOKE. So when SYFY announced they’d be bringing a Karaoke Bus to Comic-Con, I was ready to move heaven and earth to be on it. I was lucky enough to find a generous soul (I LOVE YOU CURTIS) who offered an additional wristband and joined roughly 15 party people and Orlando Jones (!) for their 80s themed trip through the Gaslamp District. For an hour we belted out classics such as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” or “Tainted Love.” I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun in my whole entire life. Thank you SYFY. Thank you, Orlando. Thank you, Curtis.
- Arrow Panel – As much as I may have my differences with Arrow, I knew I needed to be in the room for their final panel at Comic-Con. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was as emotional as I expected, and there’s something to be said about collectively crying your eyes out in a room of 3,000 people. However, considering it was the final panel of the series I wish they had brought along some of the original heroes, including Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes or Colin Donnell. Sadly, the panel was also way too short and had to give way to lesser Arrowverse shows …
- Brooklyn 99 Activation – So we may have waited 5 hours in the burning sun for what turned out to be a 10 minute experience, but boy was it worth it. NBC had brought a B99 off-site to the con, which gave attendees the chance to become the latest recruits for the Nine Nine. You were welcomed by an officer who quickly guided you through the entrance exam – which turned out to be a heist! You then enter the precinct, in which the character’s desks have been re-created with such attention to detail it might have made me cry, before you’re split into groups and sent on a variety of tasks. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but god was it fun.
- Marvel – Bet no one saw this coming … I wasn’t even at the panel, and I generally don’t really care much for Marvel, but Tessa Thompson officially announcing a queer Valkyrie might be my favorite moment of Comic-Con.
- Pre-Con Adventures – This may not strictly be a Comic-Con thing, but this year our little 4YE family took some extra days to actually explore San Diego. We spent some time with the seals in La Jolla, hung out with elephants and tigers at the Zoo and got a bad sunburn at Coronado Beach. We honestly had the best time, and I hope we make this a new tradition.
- Marvel – The one thing I was looking forward to since the schedule was announced was the Marvel Studios panel in Hall H on Saturday. I was not let down. The only thing anyone really knew going into the Hall was that Phase four would be revealed and that’s about it. Marvel studios really does know how to put on a show for the fan faithful. It’s magical being in the room where it happens but getting into the said room is something else entirely that I will talk about later don’t you worry.
- His Dark Materials – I read this book series when I was younger and when I heard it was going to be coming to SDCC I was PUMPED. The show looks incredible – as is the cast – and the panel only made me more excited. Plus Lin-Manuel Miranda.
- Lolitas tbh, Can a food place be a favourite? Too bad it is for me. Lolitas never lets me down year after year and unlike most food places in the downtown area they don’t try to take all your money and actually have sdcc specific deals. Plus it’s like…really, really good. I went four times in the six days in San Diego whatever don’t look at me.
- Agents of SHIELD – just before the actual panel fans learned that this SDCC panel would be the last for SHIELD as the next season will be its last. That meant EMOTIONS. It was such a great panel just looking back on the seasons and reminiscing about the good times.
- Brooklyn 99 Activation – We are going to completely ignore the wait time on this one because if we take that into consideration this might not be on the list. The offsite on its own though was totally awesome. You go to run around the Brooklyn 99 replica room trying to solve the clues with your team while also trying not to miss all the fun details sprinkled throughout the room – it’s a lot of fun…just a little bit short for the amount of time you are waiting.
- Star Trek panels- I’m a very casual fan and I really loved this three-in-one panel on Saturday morning in Hall H. I’ve never been more interested or excited to watch Star Trek content that after that panel. Plus, Sir Patrick Stewart is the best and sweetest ever.
- Her Universe Fashion Show- How have I never gone to this before? It was amazing! Everyone was so talented and the music was on point. I will definitely be back next year.
- EW’s Women Who Kick Ass- I know a lot of people write this panel off because it’s right before Marvel but this was an awesome collection of actresses. They had intelligent, insightful comments and wisdom to share and I could’ve listened to them for another hour.
- Saturday Parties- After a few days at the convention, it’s really nice to grab some drinks and food at a party Saturday evening and celebrate another successful Comic-Con.
- Marvel panel- I tried not to include this because it’s almost a stereotype but I can’t lie. This was really fun. When Natalie Portman held up Mjolnir, I screamed. When Tessa Thompson said Valkyrie needs to find her “queen”, I lost my mind.
- Marvel panel – first Marvel panel ever, ALL the stars, female Thor, Bi Valkyrie looking for her queen, Rachel Weiss saying she loves both men and women, this panel was just really gay and I was here for it. Being a part of the maddening excitement in the room. Also ooh free hat!
- Steven Universe panel – the sweet and hilarious cast, the live performances, the thoughtful questions and answers, and the general atmosphere of love and acceptance in the room
- Star Trek panels – the previously unseen footage (DS9), answers that were both thoughtful and funny, Sir Patrick Stewart literally commanding a room of 7K people with ease, the surprise guests for the Picard portion.
- Her Universe Fashion Show – such incredible designs, and the support for the designers and models in the room, the diversity in models, good swag bags.
- Picard Museum – the flute!, the costumes, the everything. I’m just a huge Trekkie nerd.
- Line Management – I really wish there was a better way for the staffers to manage the lines, especially the Hall H Line. Way too many people can cut the line, depriving those who actually follow the rules of the opportunity to get the wristbands often needed to even stand a chance of getting into Hall H….which brings me to my next point…
- Hall H Line in general – The policy needs to change for Hall H Line as far as the next day line is concerned. This whole practice of letting people camp out since 5am-6am is ridiculous and the group policy as far as how many you can hold a space for needs to be shorten. 5 is too high of a number and probably had a lot to do with why nearly 1,0000 cut in the front of the line on Friday night. There should be a timestamp for when you get in a line as well so there aren’t 2000 people just magically appearing at the time they start giving out wristbands.
- Scheduling – The scheduling was just all bad this year; panels, press rooms, etc…Literally, every press room was on Friday from 12pm to 6pm and some right at the same time so it was literal Sophie’s choice when deciding on which ones to attend. All of the big panels were on Saturday again so again, the struggle to pick between Hall H and Ballroom 20 was so real this year. It really does need to be spread out more evenly.
- Price gauging – Really didn’t appreciate paying nearly double on a sandwich during the convention days when I had paid half not even one day before.
- Exhibit Hall – It was damn near impossible to get into the hall this year and even more so to get into the Marvel booth to get items. 3 trips into the hall without success as the Marvel staff had already handed out their stickers by 915am, which didn’t make any sense.
- Scheduling – This becomes an issue every single year, but the way panels are scheduled is an absolute mess. First of all, everything happens on Saturday, so good luck if you like both Marvel and DC, because you’re going to have to make a choice. Why not spread the good stuff out to all four days? Thursday is always a throw-away day, which is a damn shame. Second of all, all massive Hall H panels are in the evening, which is annoying if you’re trying to make it in for one of the morning/afternoon panels. Good luck competing against 6000 Marvel or Game of Thrones fans.
- Room 6CBF/ NBC Comedy Slate – Last year, Brooklyn 99 attended SDCC for the very first time, completely filling Indigo Ballroom (capacity: 2,600) within minutes. So naturally, this year the powers that be decided to put the Nine-Nine into a much smaller room (less than 2,000 capacity), on the busiest night of the con. We didn’t get in. Our friends didn’t get in. Your mom didn’t get in. NO ONE GOT IN. The same thing happened with The Good Place. PUT NBC COMEDIES IN BALLROOM 20 YA DINKS.
- Veronica Mars – Listen, don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the panel and the screening of the first episode. But I didn’t wait YEARS AND YEARS for them to suddenly release the new season on the busiest weekend of the year. Immediately aftr the initial announcement fans in Ballroom 20 were excited, before every single one of them realised they wouldn’t be able to watch until the week after. It wasn’t smart planning, and many of SDCC attendees had to learn all about the new season through spoilers on social media. Way to shoot yourself in the foot …
- Batwoman – A major disappointment for myself was the cancellation of Ruby Rose, who was scheduled to attend a Saturday morning panel of her new show Batwoman. I was extremely excited for this show to come to live, especially considering Kate Kane would be the very first openly gay titular character in the DCTV universe. Sadly, Rose was a no show, blaming her production schedule. The best way to kill your already mediocre pilot? Not attend a press/fan event.
- Prices – I’m a stingy person, I’m not going to lie, but the prices during SDCC hurt my soul because they are o incredibly unfair. The convention center charges $6 dollars for the tinies of hot dogs, and $10 for a “cheeseburger” which I’d compare to the cardboard burgers you get for a buck at McDonalds. The most frustrating thing though was the Starbucks located within the Marriott Marquis charging $2 per cup of tap water. OUTRAGEOUS.
- Saturday. Hall. H. Line. Cutters. When the front of the line goes from about 400 people to 2000 people you have a problem and you need to solve it. People should NOT have to wait for wristbands starting at 6am the morning before. You shouldn’t even have to worry about the possibility of getting a wristband if you lined up at 12:30! You should be golden. It’s completely unacceptable.
- Lines in general – If you aren’t a fan of waiting in line SDCC isn’t for you, There is a line for every. Little. Thing. It’s a little bit ridiculous. And they also aren’t managed well – you can be waiting in line for FIVE HOURS in the HOT SUN on CONCRETE and you have no real way of cooling down at all unless you leave the line. I know lines at sdcc are pretty much unavoidable but something needs to be done to make sure things move more smoothly.
- Food chains raising prices – this kind of speaks for itself but I’ll just say I have never in my life had to pay almost 10 dollars for a six inch turkey sub.
- Putting Brooklyn 99 in a small room – I was lucky enough to get into the Brooklyn 99 panel last year because I know how busy it was…which is why it makes perfect sense for SDCC to put the panel in a smaller room this year. Nice.
- I’ve just accepted the fact that I’ll never be able to get an exclusive Funko ever in my life and that’s that I guess.
- Line Management- Once again, I had the experience of being line and a panel is starting and there are seats available and yet the line isn’t moving. And I’m not talking about a handful of seats that might belong to people who went to the bathroom. Rows and rows of empty seats. Why wait until ten minutes into the panel to bring in people from the line? Isn’t that disruptive to everyone?
- Hall H insanity- I know most of us are mentioning Marvel as one of the best things about SDCC 2019. But at the same time, I have to acknowledge that Marvel’s presence makes everything leading up to their panel complete chaos. People lining up at 6 am the day before? Come on! It’s time to think about a lottery system for panels like Marvel.
- Standing in the freaking sun all the time- How come when there’s an option between setting up a line in a shaded area and setting it up in an area that will never get shade, the line is always in the latter? Is Comic-Con dead set on me getting sunburnt every year?
- Exclusives- For one of my volunteer shifts, I stood in line for a disabled attendee. The line for was a Lego Exclusive. I was in line for an hour and a half, most of which was in the sun. When I got to the front, it was revealed the exclusives had run out already. There were easily 100 people behind me but no one knew they were in line for literally nothing. Unacceptable.
- Line management (policies, communication or lack thereof both to attendees and between staff/volunteers, treatment and lack of communication to ADA attendees)
- Long walking distances (Even on Saturday, when I spent 7.5 hours in one seat, I still ended up walking over 8 miles that day.)
- Communication and signage are not adequate for those unfamiliar with SDCC. If I didn’t have experienced con goers with me I would have been utterly lost and would have probably had a difficult and disappointing time. Even with experienced people, there were still a lot of unknowns and confusing situations.
- If you’re not real comfortable rubbing shoulders with literal masses, SDCC is not for you. It was annoying to constantly never be able to just walk to where you were trying to go without hoards of people stepping or stopping in front of you, or just stuck on mosey when you had somewhere to be. Pack your patience and give yourself like 20-30 extra minutes to get where you need to go, especially on Fri and Sat.
- Extremely long and exhausting days. Don’t make big plans the week after SDCC if you aren’t a natural Energizer Bunny, type A person.
That’s all from us this year for SDCC! We’ll see you next year!
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