To kick off our ‘First Time to SDCC’ series we have Lord of the Rings fan Brittanie to share her experience from 2004. Here she is in all of her nerdy glory:
I was raised by my Tolkienhead, dragon-collecting mother so being geeky about all things fantasy is in my blood. However, I didn’t get to attend SDCC until 2004. I had just come back from a year in Finland and SDCC was almost like another hit of culture shock – only this time, these were all my people!
The high points of that year were definitely all the Lord of the Rings memorabilia and seeing Dom Monaghan and Billy Boyd in person (albeit from a distance). Also, all the free things! I took home bags full of comics, pins, toys, and misc. merch mostly free or ridiculously cheap – things you couldn’t get anywhere else.
Unfortunately, I’ve only been two more times since because it’s quite a monetary feat. That first time was very luckily for me paid for entirely by my mother so I had it quite easy in that regard. That was really the hardest thing those next few times. Of course, this was before tickets and hotels were nearly impossible to come by. When you first go to Comic Con, it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t do a bit of research ahead of time and get a rough plan of your day – something I didn’t do in 2004 since I was just along for the ride. I’d find myself in the anime screening room for hours because I just didn’t know what else to do, probably missing something I’d knock myself in the back of the head for now.
One big memory of Con is just how nice everyone was! Definitely heroes in my eyes as someone who has a hard time with crowds. We stopped a lot of people for photos, talked to a ton of artists and authors manning their booths (I still have my autographed copy of ‘Scooter Girl’ from Chynna Clugston!), and even volunteer staff were really helpful when we were trying to find specific rooms or events. Even in latter years where it was almost double the crowd, everyone knows they’re all in the same boat and being rude isn’t going to get you special treatment.
I’ve never been in Hall H, but have been in the Ballroom B several times, and have never regretted it. To me, spending all your time in a line – even if it means making new friends – is a bit of a waste. Don’t forget the origin of Comic Con, the artists and authors that made it initially happen, are waiting inside the merch area to tell you about their next project. Some of the best people I met were people behind tables!