This year was the San Diego Comic Convention’s 50th anniversary. There was some pomp and circumstance, but for the most part, it was about as insane as any other San Diego Comic-Con from any other year. For those of you who don’t know, San Diego Comic-Con is a four-day event in July that celebrates and shows off many different forms of popular media, from big blockbuster movies to comic books. There are people in costume, panels about upcoming movies and ongoing television shows, and exhibition floors filled with companies big and small (with most of them selling all sorts of merchandise). Add in more than 100,000 attendees, and it’s an intense and wonderful event.
There were some special things for the 50th anniversary. There was exclusive merchandise to celebrate the anniversary, as well as a panel looking back to the first San Diego Comic-Con. The Warner Bros. bags given out to all attendees had a design on one side boasting the 50th anniversary logo. However, despite all this, the convention felt just like any other Comic-Con.
For me, this year’s convention was a lot like those in previous years. It consisted mainly of waking up ridiculously early to get in line for a room to see a specific panel (usually about a television show with the cast and creators). However, the panel I wanted wasn’t always the first event in that particular room, so I had to sit through some other shows’ panels first. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of the panels that I sat through were interesting in their own right. Then, I’d get in line for another room to see other panels, or I’d walk the exhibition floor. That was how each day went, for the most part.
One part of the television panels that I really enjoyed was getting to see the pilot or the first episodes of a new show early. This year, I was lucky enough to see the pilots for “Evil” and “Nancy Drew,” as well as the first few episodes of “Infinity Train” and the Hulu revival of “Veronica Mars.” There’s a certain amount of hype and fun that comes from seeing new and exclusive footage in a crowd of hundreds of people. This isn’t to say that the panels themselves aren’t entertaining; I thought that the panel for “The Good Place” was especially funny and enjoyable.
The huge exhibition hall is its own thing. It’s crowded with people and full of booths to feast your eyes on. Just trying to take everything in at once can be overwhelming. However, it’s quite the wonderland of nerd culture. There are booths selling comics from the larger companies and booths from small comic book shops and toy companies showing off their next toy releases and selling convention exclusives to the lucky people who got tickets in the online lottery. Not every convention exclusive item is impossible to get. This year, I bought a comic book with an exclusive cover, which felt like a fitting way to celebrate the 50th anniversary.
San Diego Comic-Con is quite the event. It’s grown a lot from the days when it was held in a hotel basement. I was incredibly lucky to walk the halls and see amazing panels, people in incredible costumes and things that the general public won’t be able to experience for a few more months. It’s a geek paradise, and I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get a ticket for next year.
Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected] .