It’s possible that you’ve heard the rumors of how crazy busy San Diego Comic-Con, or you’ve experienced it firsthand. This year was my first full year at the con, but I had tried to get into panels the last time I went to no avail.
This time, I was determined. I would get into the Supernatural panel in Hall H. The biggest hall there is.
Some of the obstacles in my plan were the panels that Supernatural was sandwiched between: Fringe [which is having its final season this Fall] and Dr. Who.
I felt defeated almost immediately when I read the panel schedule. But I vowed I would make it work still. I thought, 4am on Sunday. That time should be fine to get into an 11am panel.
Saturday night rolls around, and I see on Facebook that a friend is already in line for Hall H. I message her asking how the line is, informing her of my plans.
“I would be there around 12:30 if I were you.”
At this point it is 9:15ish. I sit on my bed in my hotel room a moment, and decide if this is what I want to do.
Okay, plan made. I set my alarm for midnight. I pack up everything. I throw my make up into my purse. I managed to sleep for almost 2 hours.
Then I got up and sat there once again on my bed, debating my situation. You see, I wasn’t prepared for camping out. I had no pillows, no sleeping bags, no blankets. Hell, I didn’t even have SOCKS. But that’s partly because I hate shoes and actually hardly own any socks, and what I do own is completely mismatched [oh the life of Orange County folk].
But I decide. Fuck it. I’m going. I get my stuff checked behind the counter [because check out is before I would get back from the panel if I went through with this], and get on the shuttle to the convention center, and make my way to the end of the line that is already across the street.
Part of my view for the next 7 hours.
At first I didn’t think it would be so bad. At 1am I wasn’t freezing cold, despite being outside near the ocean. I was wearing two jackets, so I thought I could hang around all those young whipper-snappers waiting around me.
I chatted with two young folk behind me, and then started reading some, listening to music, etc to wait until I was really exhausted before I attempted to get sleep. Around 2am I decided to try sleeping, only, I didn’t have any means to do that comfortably. I sucked it up and used my purse as a pillow, curling up on the cement. CEMENT. I swear to you I was taking some sort of crazy pills to think this was a great idea.
About an hour after torturing myself in this way, the temperature rapidly dropped and a wind kicked in. Eff you, Mother Nature. Eff. You. So now I was sleeping on cement, sore, and freezing.
But then the kindness of fellow geeks showed itself. The two people behind me had packed extra socks, and I was not ashamed by then to take their offer to help get me warm. They were clean, I swear.
Then, the group in front of me offered one of their chairs, as someone was going to sleep and didn’t need it. So now I was off the stupid cement, curled up in a chair, with socks on my feet. I am extremely grateful to these people, because my stupid old body probably wouldn’t have done well the next day without them. So I managed to get some sort of half sleep for the next few hours until the sun came up, and my friends were on their way with an offering of Starbucks.
It makes a sharp left turn at the corner and continues down along the marina.
I was glad that I gotten in line though when I looked up and saw how the line had progressed in my sleep.
I couldn’t even believe the size of it.
Around 8am the con workers compressed the line, since it was partly spread out due to people laying out tents, sleeping bags, tables, etc. By the time we stopped walking, we were very close to the front of the line, and I was ecstatic in my sleep deprivation and caffeine high that my crazy was seeming to pay off.
But that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t crazy. I just want to point out that I don’t in any way agree with the way that Comic-Con runs their large panels. I think it’s questionable that they are okay with people needing to camp out for 12+hours [as some did] to get into panels. I don’t necessarily have a solution for them, but I really wish that they would start to think of something so that people could get into the panels they wanted without having to camp out and squat in panels they may not want to even see. I had to get spoiled for Fringe because I had to sit through the panel, and that was a bummer.
In the end, I got a great seat for the Supernatural panel. I’ve been watching since season 2, if I remember correctly, and the fandom is full of amazing people. And also these boys are just so damn pretty.
Misha Collins, who plays Castiel
The panel itself didn’t bear a lot of news though. This was mostly due to the fact that season 7 is over, and season 8 hasn’t started filming yet, so no one could talk about anything really without giving away major spoilers. They gave some vague insight into what season 8 could hold, and did mention they would be stepping back from the heavy mythology of the past few seasons, which is something I am actually looking forward to – as long as I get to keep Castiel and Dean.
Despite their limitations, the cast was quirky and adorable, Misha is just a giant troll and Jared is a big ol’ moose ham. But Jensen is still a surreal level of gorgeous.
Mark Sheppard, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins
This is taken without zoom. WITHOUT. ZOOM. Crazy!
So in the end, I have decided that this bout of craziness was, in fact worth it, to have the experience and to say I have done it. But would I do it again?
I will probably not go to another big panel at Comic-Con until there is a way of getting in that doesn’t include me needing to sleep outside on the sidewalk. I’m just too old for that shit.