Here is another amazing ‘First Time’ story from Samantha! I love hearing about the joy and passion that SDCC brings and it helps remind us of the significance of what 4 simple days in San Diego can be. Here’s her story!
In 2013 I made perhaps the most sought after nerd journey to San Diego in July for Comic-con. I was looking forward to seeing some cool famous people, and attending several off sight events, like Nerd HQ. I waited in line overnight for Ballroom 20 on Wednesday and a nice man next to me bought be a soda from the Subway across the train tracks. This sounds like a romantic comedy, but I feel that is accurate. SDCC is about love. I felt love in B20 that day. I cried when Matt Smith spoke. I screamed with hundreds of adoring fans for the cast of Teen Wolf, and I rolled my eyes heartily at some less than stellar pilots. It was amazing.
On Thursday night, I camped out for the Adventure Time panel in the Indigo Ballroom. I highly recommend this, as you can sleep inside (though this is not “encouraged” by the hotel staff). The panel was wonderful. We all sang and cried our way through “I Remember You” with Rebecca Sugar, and the cast did a table read of a short skit. It was all very funny.
The day to day of SDCC is just so different from the rest of the year, and it’s delightful. I remember becoming accustomed to seeing Batman walking out of Starbucks with a latte and a bagel, how else would he start his day? The sheer scope of the exhibit hall takes me by surprise every time. Finding ways to walk around and not lose pieces of my cosplay outfit is one of the most enjoyable challenges I have ever faced. People referred to me as Ramona Flowers for a day and that was quite fun. I remember a nice woman telling me I had the best pink hair she had seen at the convention. I felt that was high praise.
The panels and the celebrities I got to see were great, but the thing I carried with me most out of that first comic-con was the feeling of acceptance (and free swag). I, like many others I am sure, feel truly at home in a convention setting. I feel that the most at SDCC for many reasons. In the bonds of friendship I make and strengthen, in the character building that comes from sleeping outdoors on concrete next to a train that makes loud noises every 15 minutes or so, and from the feeling that fantasy can be real at SDCC. It may only be 5 days out of a year, but those 5 days meant so much to me in 2013, as they did in 2014, and will again this year!
That year was just the first in what I hope will be a long line of SDCC experiences. I moved to San Diego in part because I wanted to be closer to the convention. That may sound crazy to some, but as I said already, in many ways SDCC is home.