San Diego Comic Con is a mecca for all things comic books, science fiction, film, fantasy, and geek. The convention, taking place at the city’s waterfront convention center in downtown, is an expansive four–technically five–day affair. Taking place on the Wednesday night before the convention, is Preview Night. It’s an opportunity for people to enter the exhibit hall floor and snag exclusives, autographs or information they may want to collect ahead of time. It’s also only open 4-day badge holders.
It may as well have been a myth to me, never having had the opportunity to do more than two days at SDCC. Now, this mythic day of dollar signs and fun was within reach thanks to my writing duties at here. With no real plan and nothing on my list of things to buy (except glorious blu-rays from the good folks at Shout Factory/Scream Factory, and various things for family back home), I decided to let my day play out by whatever urge hit me.
After picking up badges, I still had some time to kill before the exhibit hall floor opened up. My girlfriend Stacey and I wandered over to the Marina where Star Trek Beyond would hold its world premiere. Along the way, we looked at the Adult Swim Carnival, which was still shambles of metal and machinery. Closer to the Marina, we were told that there was free ice cream being handed out, courtesy of Paramount Pictures – this came in handy because of the 90-degree heat. The 90-degree San Diego heat was steaming with humidity. This was a godsend. After that brief ice cream tangent, we ventured close to Star Trek Beyond’s monster screen and the stage that would project the film to a few lucky souls. It would’ve been nice to see the film that night, complete with its accompanying live score.
Leaving the rear of the convention center, I finally headed by my lonesome to the exhibit hall. The lines to enter were long and somewhat disorganized. The main line on the mezzanine level stretched for at least half a mile across the inside of the convention center, and several smaller lines peppered its hallways.
At about 6:10, crowds began to cheer downstairs. San Diego Comic Con 2016 was officially under way. No matter how many times I’ve attended, I’m still hit with the same immense feeling of overwhelming apprehension and excitement. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced. Bright colors abound, sounds of people are everywhere, and there is an electricity in the air that can’t be described, only experienced. I wandered dazed for a few minutes, looking at various different booths before wandering over to Shout Factory.
Finally growing tired after walking all day, I decided to take off, but not before stopping by the amazing Ash vs. Evil Dead display created by Starz (it was situated just outside of the convention center). I got to walk through a smaller replica of the cabin in the show, including the dreaded workshed where Linda’s head still lay trapped in a vice. At the end, there was a small raffle-type affair, that handed out swag like hats, shirts, giant foam saws and more. As a long time fan, it’s always amazing to see fictional worlds come to life, and this was no exception.
As the sun set on the first day of SDCC, it finally hit me that I was here once again. Having attended four years in a row, it was nice to check out the con before it was in full swing – before panels, hang outs, scavenger hunts or anything of that nature would turn the con into a massive beast. Let the games begin!