It’s been a week since Comic-Con 2013 kicked off, offering time to fully digest the morning-to-night activities that took place. My packed schedule had me sucked into the excitement nonstop from the moment I woke up in my Gaslamp area hotel to the second my head hit the pillow around 20 hours later – only to repeat the process three more times. Now rested and caught up on real life, I bring you a day-by-day look back at all of the exciting experiences that took place last week, beginning with Day 1.
Thursday is an unusual day for Comic-Con. Friday and Saturday bring all the big names to the event’s biggest venues, Hall H and Ballroom 20, packing thousands of fans in to see Hollywood’s heavy hitters. Thursday instead offers an assortment of niche programming that attracts specific audiences.
My day begin with an early morning stroll to the convention center, spotting the first signs of the Comic-Con takeover of San Diego along the way. A “Bates Motel” hung at the restaurant across from my hotel. Pedicabs were themed to ABC’s “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” spinoff (complete with Alice herself). And an “Assassin’s Creed 4” pirate ship was docked in the harbor out back. Ah yes, Comic-Con indeed.
Arriving to the convention center, the show floor was packed already, as it always is, with attendees grabbing poster tubes and any other freebies they could get their hands on while exploring the many booths and exhibits.
Even the bathrooms of Comic-Con were themed, this time marked for Normans and Normas for “Bates Motel.”
And there were plenty of costumes. In these daily wrap-ups, I won’t be including too many of those as they are all highlighted in their own post, gallery, and video here. But I will throw in a few favorites just to keep the spirit of Comic-Con permeating throughout each of these posts.
For me, this first day was all about The X-Files 20th anniversary reunion panel – one of those must-see moments. To ensure a spot, and a good one at that, required dedicating half the day to waiting in line and sitting through panels for TV shows I’ve never even seen.
Early on, it became apparent to me that “Psych” is a rather popular TV show based on the huge reaction from the crowd during its panel. I got to see Cary Elwes moderate it, which was a nice surprise treat, but I didn’t really recognize anyone else on the panel, aside from Corbin Bernsen. Nevertheless, it was entertaining.
Then came the panel for BBC’s “Sherlock” which, much to the dismay of fans in the audience, only featured the show’s creators, not stars Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman. Fortunately, they both sent in incredibly entertaining and amusing videos addressing the audience.
In the midst of the waiting, I enlisted the aid of my wife to hold my seat while I ran off to experience something very special: a photo op with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in advance of The X-Files panel. It took less than 30 seconds to greet the pair, exchange a few words, and take a picture, but it was worth every penny I paid for the experience. David liked my shirt and I complimented Gillian on her recent appearances on “Hannibal.” Both were incredibly nice.
Returning to Ballroom 20, it was finally time for the main event, The X-Files 20th anniversary reunion featuring stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, creator Chris Carter, and a fantastic panel of writers and producers. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear the cast and crew reminisce about creating one of my favorite shows of all time. It was highly entertaining and certainly worth capturing for everyone else to enjoy. So the video below shows the panel in its entirety.
Video: The X-Files 20th anniversary reunion panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013
With that panel done, my day was open for a couple hours, allowing some freedom to explore. I snapped a few more cosplay photos on my way across the show floor to the Marriott next door to check out Nintendo lounge, which featured some excellent photo ops and a chance to play upcoming games.
Authentic and elaborate costumes always attract lots of attention. But even more often, wearing very little attractions even more eyes…
I also caught my first glimpse of Scrooge McDuck’s money bin from Capcom, promoting DuckTales: Remastered. I would be back another day to take part in this photo op.
Finally making it to the Nintendo lounge, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of classic video gaming.
On the way out, the Headless Horseman from “Sleepy Hollow” was wandering around like a chicken with its… never mind.
The Comic-Con show floor had closed at 7pm but the night was still young. Next on the agenda (after a pitstop at the hotel) was the MTV2 Party in the Park, a free event at nearby Petco Park featuring free food, drinks, and music performed by Dillon Francis and New Politics. It was quite a high energy event and everyone clearly had a lot of fun to wind down the first day, concluding with fireworks.
But the day was still not over yet.
I had one more special experience lined up that only a select few individuals had a chance to enjoy. Hidden in an unmarked Gaslamp area loft was the Insidious Chapter 2 Fan Experience, open to only 300 invited Comic-Con attendees as well as other special guests. It was all very mysterious, themed to the upcoming horror movie sequel. But what awaited visitors behind the white door?
Find out in the video below.
Video: Insidious Chapter 2 Fan Experience at San Diego Comic-Con 2013
It wasn’t a haunted attraction, per se. Instead, it was an installation featuring creepy props surrounding an open bar and finger foods – a welcome treat to cap off a long day at Comic-Con.
After many, many hours, that finally concluded my first day at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. I’m guessing it matched no one else’s. No two people share the exact same Comic-Con experience, as there is far more to see and do than one person can possibly experience.
But this was my Comic-Con. And it was only beginning.
Check back soon for wrap-ups of days 2-4, including many more full panel videos, hundreds more photos, and plenty of exciting themed experiences.
More photos from San Diego Comic-Con 2013 day 1