Welcome to the newest and FINAL edition of Con Flashback where the Ublog staff takes a look back at various topics about San Diego Comic-Con. With SDCC starting in less then a week, we decided to look back at some of our most stressful SDCC moments!
Don’t get me wrong, Comic-Con is PLENTY stressful. You worry about getting badges. You worry about if you’ve lined up in enough time to make it into that panel or offsite. You worry that you’ve made the wrong decision and could be doing something better/more fun instead.
But honestly, when I think about SDCC stress, I mostly think about two years ago, on the Monday before con. Trying to write up all the news for you guys and get it all out is no small feat, and the Monday/Tuesday before the convention is always an onslaught. Which is why I was a bit annoyed when Marvel sent me over all of their exclusives in PDF form, which then had to be quickly converted to another file type.
While I was working on that – there had been a bird in my office all day long, driving everyone insane. It kept hopping into a trash can a few feet away from me, but never for long. In the middle of frantically trying to get those Marvel exclusives up, the bird dropped into the trash can, and I tossed a jacket over it and caught it. Then I had to take it outside to release it, and come back, with shaking hands, to finish that stupid post.
That was the start of me being the bird lady in my office (we get an abnormal amount of birds and I’ve caught almost all of them, just don’t ask) – but man, I still get trauma flashbacks to that day. (And I also think this probably wasn’t what our own Robert Warners had in mind when he asked this question, so the Editor-in-Chief fails this particular challenge!).
My Wile E. Coyote bird trap worked again! pic.twitter.com/r20ygJoWeR
— Kerry (@kerrydixon) May 4, 2017
I’m not sure it’s possible to have a most stressful moment after 20+ years at SDCC. I’m not saying things aren’t stressful any more, I’m saying there are too many to pick from! Maybe it was any of the times when you first head into a room like Hall H trying to figure out which seat is best of what’s left before someone else gets it. Or maybe it’s just before the con opens and your brain decides right then is the time to worry about whether you’re going to make enough money to cover booth expenses, let alone make a profit. But I think I’ll go with the year I lost my badge. It was a decade ago when I was helping to run the California Browncoats booth. On the way back to our hotel on either Thursday or Friday night, my badge fell off without me realizing it. I didn’t even notice until later that night! Luckily it was a short lived freak out as a very nice person returned it to our booth first thing in the morning after having found it on the ground. Needless to say I paid a lot more attention to my badge after that.
(Oh yeah, and here’s me with Nathan Fillion after he signed at our booth that year. That was another whole level of stress.)
When I think of my most stressful SDCC moment, there isn’t a single time that stands out but rather a reoccurring one. Each year as we pull into the Gaslamp for our first official day covering the con, I immediately fill with stress. What is the most critical thing to cover at this moment? Will someone beat me to it? How many times can I find something and report on it first? Can we capture, and share, enough content to do justice to this year’s SDCC? These question don’t even scratch the surface of the many that surface in those first moments of Comic-Con each year, but they bring with them such an adrenaline rush.
As much as I love all the cons we cover, none bring as much stress, fear and adrenaline as the King of Cons. And it’s because SDCC is such a hassle that the rewards are so sweet. Tickets, parking, hotel, lines, crowds and so much more are why the show is such a difficult one, but it’s also all of these reasons that the week is filled with such exhilaration. So, I welcome that initial stress each year because it means it’s the start of a week I won’t soon forget.
Most stressful SDCC moment? Ummm…purchasing badges! (seriously)
Considering I have a great time no matter what during San Diego Comic-Con, purchasing badges does end up being my most stressful SDCC moment. However, if you want an actual “at event” stressful moment I would have to go with the time my daughter was almost crushed by the crowd at the WB signing for Game of Thrones (are you sensing a theme with my con flashbacks yet?).
It was the first year Game of Thrones appeared at SDCC and I had tried for a wristband for the signing. That failed miserably. So, instead I decided to try and get a glimpse of the cast at the WB booth during the signing. That was a big mistake. It didn’t take very long for the crowd around my daughter and I to grow and then we found ourselves in the middle of a throng of fans pressing in. The crowd just didn’t care that there was a kid there and they were pressing in so much that she found herself unable to breathe properly – she was getting crushed. It was definitely stressful and as a mom, a rather scary thing to have happen to your 11 year old kid. Somehow I managed to get us both free of the crowd and to this day my daughter will avoid going anywhere near the WB booth.
My most stressful moment of SDCC so far was trying to get tickets to go into the Veronica Mars movie fan event back in 2013. 2013 was my first year attending SDCC and I had no idea what I was doing. I was staying in Misson Valley and had to catch the shuttle downtown and my hotel was one of the last hotels on the shuttle line and of course the shuttle was taking forever to get to my hotel. When I finally got downtown I was even more lost and when I asked someone on the street they had no idea where the event was so I continued walking until I found a hotel, which thankfully they knew where it was. By the time I made it to where the tickets were going to be handed out the line was extremely long. When the line started moving I thought I was going to make it in but cut to 10 people in front of me they cap the line and tell everyone there were no more tickets.
I was super bummed after I had tried my hardest to make it there. Right when I thought it was a complete bust someone with the movie came out and asked those who were left if we wanted to meet some of the actors since we wouldn’t be able to attend the event later. Right as they said that Percy Daggs who plays Wallace and Francis Capra who plays Weevil came out and gave everyone donuts who were left in the line. Even though I couldn’t get into the event I was still able to meet two of actors from the show which made it completely worth it!
I was find the most stressful situations at SDCC are the ones that involve investing a lot of time not knowing if there is going to be a pay off. I learned that my first year in 2008 when my wife wanted to attend the Supernatural panel AND the signing directly afterwards. This was when you could actually do both with some help and a little luck. The plan was that she would go to the panel and I would hang around the WB booth waiting for the line to form. I waited, and waited, and waited. At one point while waiting I had Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons trip over my feet and I quickly apologized (even though it wasn’t my fault, I still maintain that!). As the time of the signing got closer, more people starting hanging around the booth until everyone was told they couldn’t just hang around, they needed to look and move on.
At this point, I had waited close to two hours (I know everyone these days would absolutely be okay with only waiting two hours) and just kept pacing back and fourth from across the aisle of the WB booth. The crowd grew larger and larger until they finally let people line up and I rushed over as quick as I could and barely made it in before the cut off. I had maybe 10 people behind that made it in as well, it was a close call. My wife finally made it to the booth and I made sure to flag someone down from security to let them know I was giving up my spot in line to my wife so that it wouldn’t cause any problems.