SDCC 2015 is less than six weeks away.
Comic-Con is about two weeks early this year, right after July 4th and I don’t even want to THINK about the hell that will unleash upon our psyches. But we’ll survive like we always do.
Like a rite of late spring, Tom Spurgeon’s epic 2015 con guide has been posted, meaning that we can’t escape this any further. As always Tom’s tips are solid for those who still go to the con for the comics portion; line waiters have probably memorized the SDCC Unoficcial Blog’s Where do I line up guide. An entire culture of tips about getting into Hall H, getting autographs, grabbing toys, waiting for panels, sneaking into rooms, exists, but I’m just not going to go there.
Just to reiterate my own two cents:
* Comfortable shoes! Yes it has to be said!
* Don’t ever go to the con planning to finish something while you’re there! It just doesn’t work out. The one exception might be slide shows for your panel, because I’ve sat on the floor at the convention center on Saturday doing that…but not recommended. Really.
* Secret Bathrooms Tom came thisclose to explaining where the secret bathrooms at the convention center are. But he didn’t exactly draw a map so there’s still hope for a peaceful pee. There is actually a WHOLE FLOOR of secret bathrooms used only by Jude Law and Diane Nelson, but you need a wristband to get there. I should mention that one Beat Operative is a ninja for going into secret places, and I may send him on a bathroom recon this year.
* Tip people. It’s really a good idea.
* Carry trail mix Every year my podcast producer Kate makes me four big bags of GORP and I carry one with me each day. Just like Nux had a line in to Mad Max, I stay connected to this energy source, reaching in and eating a handful whenever I think of it. I never get hungry until my one meal of the day, which is usually some hor d’oeuvres from some kind of reception, hopefully some carrot sticks and a cheese slice. At night I go to Ralphs and get a piece of pumpkin pie.
* Plan ahead! If you heeded my advice from last year, you started your to do list for 2015 the day the 2014 show ended so you’ve already done everything you need to get done like make business cards, because you had a whole year, right? RIGHT???
* Heading east for dinner is an intriguing suggestion. With the San Diego Public Library becoming a new hub for activity I think the once little known region to the northeast of Petco is going to be busy for Our Kind. I had dinner there last year and it was quite pleasant.
NOW, as to what else is happening this year! One Direction is coming to Comic-Con! Omigod ohmigod ohmigod. Okay not really. They are playing Quallcomm Stadium on the Thursday of the con, but Zayn won’t be there so what is the point of living, really?
The Unofficial SDCC Blog folks have an exhaustive list of offsite events and while some things haven’t been firmed up, many traditional fan events will be back including Wootstock, the Aquabats, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old and The Walking Dead Escape. It is amusing to me that some of these are now a year’s old tradition, just like the Saturday dinner at Panda Inn used to be for cartoonists. You can also find a lot of good information on con survival and events at Tony Kim’s Crazy4 Comic-Con site.
I’m not going to go down the list of offsite concerts etc, but there will be many cosplay photo shoots, and symphony concerts of Pokemon and Zelda music.
NOW what about the big offsites?
* Gam3rCon will be back, This is a full five day event running at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center and devoted to all things video games. I’ve never been but they say it’s fun.
* Will there be a NerdHQ this year? This offsite, run by actor Zachary Levi, has been a parallel nerd con with panels and activities, most recently seen at Petco. But it seems to be MIA this year. Last year’s event was crowdfunded, to some controversy, and this year there’s been only this call for volunteers:
The link is now dead but applications closed on Sunday so that’s probably why. Otherwise, no word.
However, Nerdist HQ WILL be taking up some space at PetCo this year—the stadium itself has had some renovations which will mean changes to the Walking Dead Escape route and more. Once again the SDCC Blog has the deets:
We’ve confirmed that Nerdist Industries will be using the Main Concourse along Left Field and the 3rd Base sideline sections, used in previous years by The Nerd Machine and Nerd HQ. Although at this year’s WonderCon, Chris Hardwick announced they’d be using the entire lower level, there was some question as to exactly which area this referred to. There’s no word yet on what Nerdist has planned for the space, but last year’s Nerdist event was held on the top level of Petco Park, where they teamed up with 2K and Gearbox Software to hold a Borderlands themed laser tag area.
So, more to come on all that.
If these nerdlebrity/media hype events aren’t your cuppa there is one ongoing offsite that will definitely appeal to comics fans, and a lot of people will want to take a look. It’s the Art of Comic-Con show being held at the central library. As we reported previously, the exhibit opens on June 20th and runs until August 30th and can be seen at the Art Gallery on the 9th Floor of the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common at 330 Park Blvd. in downtown San Diego. It is FREE to attend. For reference, here’s a map:
Now, there will be ONE MAJOR NEW EVENT at this year’s Comic-Con: as seen above, the Conan O’Brien Show will be broadcasting directly from Comic-Con. The schedule of shows will run from Wednesday to Saturday, a break from their usual Monday-Thursday schedule. I haven’t seen any more details on this, but it should be good and weird and O’Brien will have his pick of stars for the show. Team Coco previously went to Cuba, but O’Brien says he expects this to be weirder and he’s absolutely right.
Have any hints or tips for this year’s Comic-Con? Let us know in the comments!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.