Con Flashback: 10 Years A Con Goer

Welcome to another edition of Con Flashback, where staff from the SDCC Unofficial Blog take a stroll down memory lane thanks in part to your suggestions! This week’s suggestion comes to us from Stephanie Shamblin via Twitter:

Evic Oropilla

I look back at SDCC 2006 with fond memories as I remember it as being more fun than stressful as I knew what to expect. The only thing that stressed me out back in 2006 was deciding what to leave off my agenda because of too many events with time conflicts.

Unfortunately, nowadays I feel like I stress about everything related to Comic-Con and that I have to depend on luck or the kindness of friends just to attend, buy parking or stay at a downtown hotel. Back in 2006 I didn’t have to worry about winning a lottery to buy my badge — I just bought it at SDCC 2005 during Preview Night that previous year. Finding a parking lot or space was never an issue and if I wanted to get a hotel room it wasn’t as tough as it is today, I just had to be diligent.

The lines in 2006 were long, but not “sleep overnight long” for exclusives, autographs and Hall H/Ballroom 20. Definitely manageable. Most of the exclusives I got that year were pre-order pick-up (Gentle Giant, Sideshow Collectibles, 4 Horsemen) but I did line-up for Hasbro and waited a couple of hours to get the Nemesis Prime. Most of the autographs I did were ticket draws but there were a few line-up at a time till capped like Lost (I miss the Inkworks booth), Fallen, Pan’s Labyrinth, Crank, Grindhouse, Jericho, Blade, Saturday Funhouse, Rza and Iron Man. For Hall H and Ballroom 20, there were also long lines but not the monstrous lines we know today. To give you an idea I lined up 45 minutes prior to the 300 panel in Hall H and got in without a problem and stayed to see the presentation of Spider-Man 3 with the cast.

It’s fun to reminisce about Comic-Con 10 years ago! SDCC gets bigger and bigger every year so enjoy as much of it as you can! I am sure a lot of you who attended SDCC 2006 did or saw some cool things! Please comment on what was your highlight, I’d love to know!

You can find Evic Oropilla on Twitter

Robert Warners

Not quite 10 years, but my first year was 2008 and wow has it changed.

My first day was on Friday and I drove down to convention center around 5:30 and pulled right into the convention center parking garage, no pre-purchased parking pass was needed. I got into the line near Hall A for attendees who still needed to pick up their badge, and there was maybe 50 – 60 people ahead of me.  I was pretty unprepared for everything but it was okay to be unprepared. You could walk in and out of panels with almost no problem and if you did have to wait in line, it wasn’t terribly long. This was also the days of attending a panel and running back to the exhibit floor as fast as you could right before the panel ended to get in line for the cast signing from the panel you just left. It was a bit like the wild west compared to how it is today, you just weren’t sure how things were going to work out. Most everyone is prepared these days and knows exactly what’s going on at all times. It’s harder to stumble upon things such as signings in the exhibit hall with no wristband required.

You can find Robert Warners on Twitter

About Robert Warners

  • Randy Nickel

    Yeah, not quite 10 years for me either but my first SDCC I managed to go to preview night and was stunned by the sheer number of people. On Thursday I was not prepared for the line to Hall H and showed up 3 hours before the Avatar panel thinking that would be plenty of time to get into the hall. I recall some people in line saying, “It’s the Twilight people. It was never this bad till they came to Comic Con.”

  • zakin

    The first time I went was in 2007. Friday and Saturday had sold out, but the Thursday of the show some friends and I just decided to go on a whim, so we bought tickets on line–the day of–then went to the center to pick them up. We strolled around the exhibit hall, then walked right into The Pixar Story at 7:15.

  • keeleon

    Twilight is actually partly responsible for all of the ridiculous camping we see nowadays. The problem was the Twilight fans were rabid and didn’t care about anything else. I remember waiting in line next to some girls who came all the way from Georgia JUST to see the Twilight panel, and I had never even heard of it before. What blew my mind was that there was a bigger cheer for the Twilight cast coming out on stage than there was for Hugh Jackman coming out as an unannounced surprise world premiere of the Wolverine: Origins trailer, that he just finished editing on the plane. A bigger cheer for Twilight than Wolverine. At Comicon.

    Then the next year they scheduled the Twilight panel at the end of the day. This meant that Hall H was filled all day by people who could care less about the content being shown, shutting other people out.

    Then the next year they did it again and all of the non twilight people started camping out to beat the Twilight people, but the Twilight fans would not be fought so easily, so they camped out even earlier, days earlier even.

    And now even though Twilight is gone, everyone just “knows” that if you want to get into Hall H you have to sleep on the sidewalk. and since everyone knows that, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy that is impossible to change at this point.