Exiled at Home: San Diego Comic Con 2015

Every year San Diego International Comic-Con gets bigger and bigger and the tickets become harder and harder to obtain. This year I was only able to secure passes for Thursday and Sunday, generally seen as the two weakest days of the convention. Fortunately for me, as the convention has grown, it has burst beyond the walls of the San Diego Convention Center and spilled into the streets of Downtown San Diego.

So this year, while I will be unable to participate in the panels and exhibitions inside the con, I will be testing my creativity and coming up with my own programming for Friday and Saturday.  Normally, most of my time would be spent in ridiculously long lines clamoring to get into the famed Hall H or Indigo Ballrooms. I have little faith in the ability to skip lines but I will be standing in lines for things that are open to the rest of the unfortunate public without badges.

My convention buddies were fortunate to obtain passes for all four days so I will spend two days alone wandering the streets in exile. Determined to turn a negative into a positive and spurred on by my recent solo vacation and how enjoyable that was, I have decided to eschew spending those days on my parents couch mourning my lack of passes and will hit the streets outside of the convention. Here is a quick run-down of what I hope to experience during my two days of exile from San Diego Comic Con (though again if anyone has a lead on a pass, let me know, I’m interested!):

Friday –

This year’s con falls during a very special time, at the time of this posting, I am currently celebrating my 30th birthday. My older brother also recently celebrated his birthday on Monday (we are four years and three days apart, very convenient). Amazingly, my brother who is avidly anti-nerd and generally avoids the convention grounds like the plague has agreed to spend time with me at a live taping of ESPN’s His & Hers podcast. This way we can both spend time together while participating in things we love, he will be listening to sports talk and drooling over Jemele Hill and I will be surrounded by pop culture enthusiast and enjoying at live entertainment.

After the podcast I hope to convince him to go to the Nerdist Conival at Petco Park, the program there is packed with activities and special guests, laser tag and Daniel Radcliffe, what’s not to love? I am hoping the activities there will be a happy distraction from the Game of Thrones and Orphan Black panels that I will not be allowed to see. I will probably lose my sibling companion to disinterest and overcrowding overload.

Friday evening will be spent in the company of one of my very best friends and comic con partner as we go see my future husband Chris Hardwick performing stand up. I always love capping the night off with Chris Hardwick as last year we saw a live version of his Comedy Central show, @Midnight as well as a live taping of the Nerdist podcast. Chris is a comic con staple – hosting panels and parties and it really doesn’t feel like SDCC without going to one of his events.

Saturday –

Growing up in San Diego (well living there throughout high school) SDCC was sort of taking for granted by most people as it was easy to get tickets or find a way into the festival by volunteering. As the convention has grown a lot of my friends have dropped off and no longer even attempt to get passes. Content with a quick stroll through the Gaslamp district and some people watching instead of braving the lines and crowds. Luckily, as we have all reached drinking age, the options of activities has expanded. Saturday I will be exercising one such option with the San Diego Hero Brewfest, jumping on the comic con bandwagon this beer fest which has been moved to Liberty Station quite a distance away from downtown requests participants to dress up as their favorite superheroes and drink tons of beer. I have not participated in previous years, as I was too busy actively participating in the con but this year I will don my best dress and drink with some of my best friends.

While I am sad and disappointed that all four days of the convention are not open to me, I am excited to stretch myself and really see all of the extra things that this event has to offer.  It is very easy to languish away in lines and on the floor caught up in the consumerism of it all. While I am certain there will be some consumerism (I still have a list of comics and keepsakes I want to purchase), it will be nice to see the ingenuity of people unable to exhibit inside the convention walls.

Nerd HQ, Geek & Sundry, The Nerdist Conival and all manner of sights packed into the streets surrounding the convention center I am ready to explore and make memories in completely new ways!

P.S. – seriously though, if you have access to a pass on Friday or Saturday, let me know, @robyn_ravenclaw on Twitter J (I’m resourceful, not stupid).