Why Is the Whole Wide World in San Diego? Part II

By Lorenzo Marchessi

From l, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, and Jim Parsons at “The Big Bang Theory” Panel.

Comic-Con … the name conjures up images of the “Super Geek”! Each year is no exception. Why do so many people come from all over the world – year after year? Here is only a handful of the 10,000 reasons why:

The Panels: Probably the number ONE reason for attending. You get to see exclusive previews, trailers, and sneak-peaks of your favorite movies and TV shows. This year Hall H (the 6,500 seater!) was packed with Con-goers to see the cast and crews of Man of Steel, The Hobbit, Doctor Who, The Expendables 2, Fringe, Supernaturals, The Big Bang Theory, Iron Man 3, and more! While in the smaller Ballroom 20 (the 3,500 seater!) they lined up for hours to see the creative cast and crews of Family Guy, The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, Once Upon a Time, The Joss Whedon Panel: Firefly 10 Year Reunion, and so much more! Some of the convention goers, hundreds, slept overnight in line, on the grass, just to make sure they made it in to these panels. They are generally interesting, informative, fun, and usually very funny — but the best part: they all take questions from the audience. Ask anything reasonable … and their responses are usually amazing!

The Exhibit Hall (or Dealers Rooms as it is sometimes called): Probably the number TWO reason for everyone attending. Here’s where you need two things — great walking shoes and $$$. This is where you can buy anything you can think of. If you are an artist, collector, or fan of some genre, it’s here where you get your merchandise and tons of free swag that is handed out by most of the major studios. There are over 3,000 merchants, venders, and companies with their comics, toys, jewelry, books, art, autographs, dolls, anime, music, DVDs, cards, magazines, ornaments, games, collectables … and the list goes on and on. There are even private and public auctions for rare and original props and art. It is not unheard of for some fans to spend as much as $10,000 on the Exhibit Hall floor in one day alone!

Celebrities & Autographs: This is a bonus! Walking up and down the halls and through the floors this year were Stan Lee, John Barrowman, William Shatner, Lou Ferigno, Kaley Kuoco, Brent Spiner, Matt Smith, Marina Sirtis, casts of Fringe, Big Bang, Game of Thrones, Twilight, True Blood, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, and The Expendables 2 either at their tables or meandering around collecting things themselves. Some even try to wear disguises so as not to be recognized – not!

The People, Families, & Friends: This is what makes it cool to get your “Geek” on! Here you can be who you are — costumed or not, fan or fanatic — you will meet people from all over the world just like you. And, everyone is there to have a great time. Even the local San Diego downtown pubs were visited by Stallone and Matt Smith for drinks. Just get plenty of rest, make sure you have comfortable shoes, bring healthy energy food snacks and plenty of water-based liquids to keep yourself hydrated — and you’ll be back year after year too!

Oh – finally – the best piece of advice I can give you that I have learned from attending Comic-Con for over a decade is — PLAN EVERY DAY! You’ll have to figure out what’s most important to you and your group, and you realize pretty quickly that you won’t be able to see everything you’d like to.

Comic-Con is literally for everyone! And if you just plain love to collect, have that true “Inner Geek” inside yourself, or are inspired by the many worlds of Comics, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Media, Movies, TV, Music, Art, Toys, Posters, Autographs, Books, Dolls, DVD’s, Independent Films … and the list goes on and on and on … then you will have the most memorable time of your life every year in the month of July in San Diego, Calif.!