My 2019 SDCC Recap

2019 SDCC has once again come and gone. I swear to the Con Gods that I’ve never seen five days go by so quickly. The hours quickly fade into the abyss and before you know it we are all saying “See you next year”. For the lucky 130,000 plus that were able to attend, SDCC offered much to see and do. For the unfortunate non badge holders, there was still plenty to do outside the convention center that didn’t require a badge. So for the nerd in all of us, there really was something for everyone, badge or not, to do in sunny (not as sunny as usual) San Diego.

My first SDCC was way back in 1994 (yeah, I’m old) and boy has it changed over the years. Back then attendance was approximately 31,000. Fast forward to 2019 and attendance has more than quadrupled! I remember being able to buy badges for the following year at the convention center during that years con. My how times have changed. Nowadays lotteries rule everything at SDCC. I understand that it is the fairest way to do everything, but I sure miss the days of being able to walk into Hall H or being able to attend pretty much any panel that I wanted. Also….sorry for the trip down memory lane, onto my highs and lows of SDCC 2019.

The Good

Preview Night

Thank the Comic Con Gods for preview night. For those that are unaware, preview night happens Wednesday night when the convention floor is open from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This is THE best time to try and cop some of those exclusives that SDCC is known for because the convention floor is not as crowded as it is the rest of the week. I personally was able to get into the Funko booth (Thanks to Funko, not the SDCC portal) this year during preview night and am very thankful because I failed to get in otherwise despite using most of my tickets on the Funko booth. If you have ideas on attending SDCC, I highly recommend preview night (You have to purchase ALL days for preview night access) if your schedule and budget allows for it.

Conan

Conan O’Brien returned to SDCC once again to tape his late night show. Unfortunately for the third year in a row I was unable to obtain a ticket, but from what I heard it was a resounding success. Those lucky fans that did attend were again able to obtain one of four Conan Pops that are highly sought after. Last year it was rumored that Conan would not be returning for 2019. I’m thrilled he returned and am hopeful for his return in future SDCC’s.

The Off Sites

San Diego off sites are usually jumping during SDCC and this year was no exception. As I previously stated a badge is not needed for most off sites so a good time can be had by everyone. This year the off sites seemed to have more of a buzz. The more popular off sites included The Good Place, The Orville Experience, Brooklyn Nine-Nine experience, Team Coco House and the Nintendo Lounge. There was literally something for everyone. I personally spend most of my time on the convention floor, but it is great that these off sites are available for those that want to experience them.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, one of my favorite actors, made a surprise appearance in Hall H to debut the trailer to the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick How CCI kept this quiet is a feat in and of itself. Tom Cruise continues to pump out action movies at an unbelievable pace and I wouldn’t be surprised if he died on a movie set because making movies is his passion. Maverick definitely brought back that “Loving feeling” and I am looking forward to June 26th 2020.

Marvel Studios

WOW! The studio that brought us Avengers, Thor, Spider-man, Iron-man, Infinity War, End Game, etc etc brought its A game to Hall H with several major movie announcements: Black Widow, The Eternals, Thor Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings! Additionally they also announced several shows coming to the online Disney plus network. These titles include Wanda Vision, Loki, Hawkeye and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Plus Black Panther 2 , Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Captain Marvel 2 are being made, while Fantastic Four and mutants were mentioned. The big reveal however was that Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book) will be staring as the new Blade! Like I said, WOW. Marvel definitely has NO plans on slowing down and I look forward to what they have to offer in the near future.

The Bad

Game of Thrones

Overall, I loved HBO’s Game of Thrones as a whole. That said, the last season, lets be honest, sucked Thanos’ balls. The show runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss cancelled their Hall H appearance due to “production and scheduling conflicts”. Yeah, right. I, along with about 6500 others would have loved to hear from the two show runners. I’m left wondering what kind of reaction the Hall H crowd would have given them and how they would have answered some lingering questions. Would the usually cheerful crowd have had a few boos thrown their way? I’ve never seen Hall H fans boo, but this could have been the first time. Now we will never know. Come on guys, face the music!

CCI online lottery portal

As previously stated, I understand that the lottery is the fairest system. That said I do have a couple gripes. First, how do some people win multiple times, while many many others win nothing at all? How is that close to being fair? Not saying that EVERYONE can win something, but I would think a simple algorithm change would prevent a person from winning multiple times. Spread the wealth. Additionally, I believe the portal closed on July 9th. Meaning that all tickets had to be distributed before the 10th or you would simply lose them. Fair enough, everything has to have an end date. But why announce other exclusives AFTER the portal is closed and we are no longer allowed to request said exclusive. Example: I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan. I believe a day or two after the portal closed, it was announced that the Sith Trooper figure would be available at the Hasbro booth. I would have liked a chance to purchase that figure, but I didn’t put any of my tickets towards Hasbro because nothing interested me until the Sith Trooper was announced AFTER the portal closed. WTH? No Sith Trooper for me! Other items were announced as well after the portal closed. Please do something about this as well for future shows.

50th Anniversary?

This was SDCC’s 50th anniversary wasn’t it? I certainly couldn’t tell. Where were the special panels/guests? Did I miss something? Along those lines, sails pavilion was VERY weak this year. Especially for it being the 50th anniversary of SDCC. How come CCI wasn’t able to bring more talent this year? One of the main reasons I come to SDCC every year is to meet/greet celebrities and obtain autographs. I was shocked at how empty the sails pavilion was this year. Where were the surprise guests and/or signings? I hope more talent shows up for future shows.

Closing

I attend several cons throughout the year and SDCC remains my favorite. I love to see all the fans in their cosplay and I love meeting and hanging with my fellow nerds. No show is perfect, but there is something about SDCC that makes it stand out. Maybe its the beautiful San Diego weather? Maybe its Conan or Hall H? Whatever it is, I hope SDCC remains in San Diego and in the convention center for many years to come. Oh, I want to give a special shout out to Tony Kim. His Hero Within booth was very popular. Much success to you Tony! Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

Follow me on twitter @darthmaul1309

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