BnB autograpghThe first day of Comic Con began on a beautiful Thursday morning in San Diego.  The morning fog was “burning off”-as the locals say (I was once a local so, I know this) as I parked my car a few blocks from the hotel where the shuttle picked up.

I had poured over the events guide before nodding off to sleep the night before and circled those that interested me.  I was surprised to learn that there were seminars like a “real” convention where you could learn things like “How to write for TV”.  It took a little longer than I had anticipated to arrive at the convention center that morning so I missed the first Seminar but found my way to one called “Masters of the Web” .

I thought it would be about how to promote yourself through Social Media and your website but there were a couple of movie Directors-Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The Adventures of Tin Tin, and the newest one The World’s End) and Marc Webb (The Amazing Spiderman parts 1 and 2) along with Web Hosts of Movie Review Websites.  They shared about what inspired and motivated them and where they got their ideas.  It was cool to be in a small venue with such influential Hollywood icons.  I got a free movie ticket for attending the Seminar.

I learned Comic Con 101 Lesson #3-Expect surprises.  The descriptions of events were pretty vague and there would be star sightings and film previews that blew me away.

My next stop was to Ballroom 20.  There was a panel for the TV show “Beauty and the Beast”.  This time I knew better than to try to enter the ballroom, but dutifully headed for the long and winding line just outside the doors of the Convention Center.  As the time passed I regretted that I had not picked up something to eat before I got in line.  I also learned Comic Con 101 lesson 4-One does not simply show up at an event in Ballroom 20 at the appointed time, but at least 2 hours before the event if one expects to get in.

While I was waiting I chatted it up with a young girl who was waiting in line for “Teen Wolf”.  She wasn’t a fan of “Twilight” but was interested in my Hunger Games fan page.  As the time passed, I realized I was going to miss the “Beauty and the Beast ” panel and I knew that there would be a long line for Hall H where “The Divergent” Panel would be held at 3:50.  I also was ready for lunch.  As I said my goodbyes to my new friend in line she handed me a ticket and said “You might want this”.  It was a ticket to get autographs from the cast of “Beauty and the Beast”.

Comic Con 101 Lesson #5-Expect a Miracle and be flexible!  So my next hour was spent waiting in line then playing follow the leader with “B and B” groupies through the Convention Center, downstairs through the Expo to wait  for my autographed picture of Kristin Kreuk and Jay Bunyan.  As I waited in line, I made new friends and gave out more of my business cards.

The more I got to know my fellow attendees, I realized they were not different from me at all.  They were my compadres- fellow sci-fi and fantasy fans who were smart and articulate.  The reality was sinking in that I am and always have been a Geek.  I was the one who was masquerading as a normal person.  This should not surprise me since I was tested as “gifted” as a child and have a degree from Geek capitol- the University of California, San Diego.

As I pondered this reality, I realized Geeks are smart enough to understand the real battle of good and evil in the world and love the sci-fi /fantasy genre because this battle is the core of all their tales.  As a Christian this battle is the heart of my Faith.

As I approached Kristin and Jay to get my poster, they looked at me like I didn’t fit the demographics of their usual fans.  I told them, “love your show” and they thanked me and handed me the poster.

There was a snack bar in the Expo, but the food didn’t appeal to me and I was ready for a breather away from  the throngs of crowds in the Convention Center, so joined the mass of humanity on the streets outside.

I managed to find a spot at the bar of an Asian restaurant and had a healthy lunch of salmon sushi.  Revived, I was ready for my next adventure.  As I headed back for the Convention Center I passed the Christian protestors and their big  yellow signs.  Most of them were dressed in Comic costumes. I guess they were making an attempt to relate to the CC attendees.  I did notice someone asked for one of the Bibles they were passing out, so maybe their outreach was somewhat effective.  I just kept thinking they might do better if they passed out cold water bottles to the crowd.

The Divergent panel was my next target.  I sent a text to my friend who is on CC staff to see if she could get me into Hall H.  She was in Ballroom 20 so didn’t think she could help me.  I got in line and managed to get into Hall H with time to spare before the Divergent panel.  I sent a text to see if they cleared the hall before panels, but my friend assured me that once I was in-I was in.  I made it into the infamous Hall H!!!
The Divergent panel was very cool including Academy Award nominee Shalene Woodley and the purpose of my quest to be there-Theo James.  What a pleasant surprise to find out he is British and lovelier in person than on TV.  We were the first to see a clip of the movie.  There is such an energy in this hall of 6800 diehard fans as they view the film version of their favorite books.  It is exciting for the actors and directors to get the reaction of the crowd and an amazing experience for all. It was also exciting when the audience was allowed to ask the panel questions.  To see the star-struck fans speak to their heroes was amazing.
Harrison Ford
The big thrill of the afternoon for me was the panel that followed for Ender’s Game.  Imagine my excitement when Harrison Ford came to the stage! Another mind-blowing surprise. We were the first to see the trailer.  There were a few more panels that day, but I was spent after Enders Game, so I headed back to Point Loma.

The friend I was staying with sent me a text that dinner was waiting, so not to worry about picking something up.  Another blessing!  I sat on the balcony and watched the ships on the harbor as I ate a delicious rice and beef dish and watched the sunset.

More in my next blog….