Attendee of the Week: Abhishek Kotnis

Every week from now until San Diego Comic-Con, we’re celebrating you: our readers! So let’s meet this week’s Attendee of the Week:

Abhishek Kotnis


Where are you traveling from for San Diego Comic-Con?

MoCo, Maryland.

How many years have you been attending?

2018 was my first time. So every year since then.

What was your favorite panel and why?

The Black Adam and Shazam! panels at SDCC 2022 were fantastic because Dwayne Johnson and Zachary Levi brought so much charisma and excitement. They shared exclusive teasers and even had some surprises, like Johnson showing up in his Black Adam costume! The energy in the room was electric, especially during the Q&A sessions where fans could interact directly with them. It was a real treat for everyone there, making those panels truly memorable.

What is your favorite exhibitor or artist booth and why?

I have always loved Toddland, especially Family Guy t-shirts and pins. Last year (2023) I saw a new booth, Amar Chitra Katha, which was here for the first time (and I hope they make it back), which was an instant favorite for me. I might be biased here, but I grew up reading ACK comics back home in India and seeing them and their comics brought back a lot of fond memories.

What is your favorite item you’ve ever taken home from the convention (swag, exclusive, merch, etc.)?

SDCC merch is always my favorite. I have t-shirts from all the years I have attended. I also remember when I was in line for the merch in 2022, there was a guy handing out some awesome pins for people answering correctly to his trivia questions. Hadn’t seen that before so that was cool!

What was your favorite autograph session and why?

Family Guy! This was in 2018, my first time at SDCC. I had no idea you had to secure wristbands and first of all, go through a lottery to get a spot in line. But I hung around the Fox booth for a while with my friend (both Family Guy fans). After all the wristband folks were done, the guys at Fox were so great to let a few of us get autographs. I was wearing a Peter Griffin t-shirt, and Mike Henry found it really funny.

Tell us about your most memorable celebrity encounter at the convention.

This was also in 2018, when I was sitting in line to get into Hall H at 7am. My buddy (it’s just the two of us who go every year) was at a Starbucks across the street, and this tall guy comes out of nowhere and starts handing out donuts to us who were waiting in line. It was none other than Anson Mount! He was promoting the new Star Trek and most of the people had no idea who he was.

What was your favorite offsite and why?

I haven’t been to many offsites, but my favorite one so far was the House of the Dragon in 2022. The actors were pretty good and the setup was amazing, including of course, the Iron Throne.

Where is your favorite place to eat during the con?

I do not have a favorite place to eat, as we usually try new places every time we go. But we have always gone to Barleymash and Union Kitchen on the Fifth, all the times we have been there and have had a good time.

What is your favorite thing about San Diego Comic-Con?

The excitement and occasional sleepless nights you get leading to the con. The excitement of panel discussions, the thrill of meeting (or maybe just getting a glimpse from far away) creators and stars, and the chance to see exclusive previews makes it a must-go event in my calendar. Plus, the creativity displayed in cosplay and the vibrant exhibition hall adds to the festival-like atmosphere that so many attendees cherish.

What is your best tip having a good con?

Carry your charger, a portable battery pack, a backpack, and a good pair of walking shoes and you will have the best time. 

Do you tend to do the convention solo or with friends?

I always go with one of my good mates. He flies from Philly and I head over from the DC area. I have never gone solo, but having at least a friend with you makes it so much easier (hint: holding your place in line :D)

How would you describe SDCC to someone who has never been before?

Imagine a place where superheroes, time travelers, and elves mingle in line for coffee. That’s SDCC! It’s a mash-up of a costume party and a geek convention where you can bump elbows with your favorite movie stars, comic artists, and thousands of passionate fans dressed as every character under the sun. From sneak peeks at the next blockbuster to panels that might just blow your mind, SDCC is where pop culture comes to party. You cannot pick a favorite. Because you will love it all.


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