The streets were suffocating with the overcrowding of all kinds of characters: Bane was holding up a photo of Harvey Dent, Deadpool selling tacos, Daleks overrun the streets, while the Master Chief protected them.
Comic-Con always manages to bring the bustle of all the nerd fantasies to San Diego.
Luckily for me, this was not my first rodeo. Comic-Con is not for the weak of heart.
Over my last three years of attending, I’ve learned the hidden beauties and sad realities of this annual event.
This year’s Comic-Con was held Thursday, July 18 through Sunday July 21.
Thursday: Dreams come true
Among the heroes and zombie slayers was little old me, sporting my favorite Boromir T-shirt with the words, “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”
This was my fiancé’s first visit to Comic-Con, so I had only one goal: to make his dreams come true.
Taking him by the hand, my fiancé and I bumped our way through the massive crowds to find the line to the second largest room to hold panels, Ballroom 20.
It was fun to see his wide-eyed first reaction to all the new sights.
My fiancé figured waking up at six in the morning would be early enough, while I thought I was going to fail him in the one thing he wanted to see: the Psych panel.
He had that naive optimism of how the day would play out and I imagined everything that could go wrong. Going to Comic-Con year after year does that to you … it hardens your heart, much like a Call of Duty: Black Ops soldier.
We sat in line for Ballroom 20 about three hours before the first panel would begin and the line already snaked around several white tents; a disheartening sight.
Still, we made it into the room and by the time the Psych cast strolled onto the stage, nothing brought more glee to my Comic-Con veteran heart than to see my guy with the biggest grin on his face. Quite honestly, he was screaming as loud as the girls behind us.
Friday: Through trenches
The sad lesson learned from this part of the tale is that when you have The World’s End, Kick-Ass 2, Riddick, Veronica Mars, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones all lined up in one day in Hall H, there’s a good chance that arriving at the San Diego Convention Center at 6 a.m. won’t cut it.
Long story short, I didn’t make it into Hall H, but instead waited in line cracking jokes with my brother about our misfortune as we clung onto hope in seeing Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) himself. We left the line at 3 p.m. defeated and headed to the exhibit booths.
Saturday: Burdened with purpose
When I arrived to the Hall H line at 10 p.m. on Friday, the line was already formed and snaking through the tents.
Surprisingly, I had the best sleep on the streets of San Diego with my Thor and Loki blanket.
The line weaved all the way to seaside and back. Hall H seated about 6,500 people and there were more than that number of people in line by Saturday morning.
With Hall H finally hosting a panel for comic book films at what originally was a comic book convention, of course there was going to be havoc; and that is an understatement.
We finally made it in Hall H and remained there for the full day after waiting for 12 hours. The day was worth the wait.
I remember the massive crowd screaming and being one of many who went through geek overload when the full X-Men cast from both the original and the latest films, X-Men: First Class appeared on the stage. Where else are you going to see the young and the original Charles Xavier in the same room?
Later, Tom Hiddleston appeared on stage, dressed in his full Loki costume and proceeded to berate the fans for waiting in line for Hall H. Hiddleston then made his claim to the throne of Asgard, just as Loki himself would.
While many naysayers will criticize the worth of the event, I still believe Comic-Con is an adventure for those who are up to it. Yes, there are sweat, tears and sometimes, fake costume blood involved, but it’s the few days where fans get to celebrate the stories and characters that keep them sane in the mad reality we live in.