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Monday, July 16, 2018


IT'S HERE!!!  IT'S HERE!!!  THE GREATEST WEEK OF THE YEAR!!!  Okay, I gotta calm down!  Yes, Comic Con 2018 is in fact here, but I must keep composed!  After all, you came to see some fun pics and get a tip or two before packing up and heading out, right?  That's what I thought!  Now long time readers will likely notice that this week's post is up a few days early.  Well, that's because Comic Con starts Wednesday and, well, you likely aren't surfing the web if you're there!  I mean, honestly now!  It's friggin' Comic Con!  You should be seeing the sights!  Plus, the Convention Center gets so jammed up during the show that most cell services can't hold up anyway.  I guess this can be considered Tip #1 for today: Expect a LOT of missed calls and make sure you have a portable charger for your phone!

So yes, we're up a few days early so that you, dear readers, will have time to read through this post and get a feel for the show.  Plus, I'm just plain gonna be too busy on Wednesday to promote this post anyway, so I may as well get this up while I can!  And to make things easier, any helpful tips I add will be highlighted in CAPS and come after a pic, sound good?  Great!  The CRAZY Comic Con Countdown lands in 2016 this time around, so enough jabbering about and let's get to the pics!  Enjoy...

A true Comic Con tradition and part of the conditions you sign when given a badge: You MUST take at least ONE pic of the SDCC logo through one of the circle arches!

TIP:  This seems like a no-brainer, but the best way to get this shot is from an escalator.  Dumb as it sounds, people have scaled over railing and risked life and limb for a shot that could've been easily AND safely taken from several sets of insanely slow-moving stairs!

 Shipwreck and Duke are ready to fight for freedom wherever there's trouble!

Now presenting your nightmare for the week, courtesy of FX's American Horror Story!  Believe it or not, this was tame compared to the large wraparound they had plastered to the north side of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel!

TIP:  The lawn outside of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, adjacent to the Hall H line on the South side of the Convention Center, is home to one of the biggest Offsites offered at Comic Con!  It is FREE for all to attend, badge or not!  However, it does tend to crowd, so the earlier the better!  Also, it's outdoors, so bring LOTS of water and don't forget the sunscreen!  Comfortable walking shoes are also a must for ANY part of comic con!  Your toes will appreciate you not wearing sandals!

The Lego booth, featuring the video wall I built!  Most booths that have video walls usually build them out of LED tiles.  This wall simply used LED monitors.  It's not as clean-looking or seamless, but it still gets the job done and is far easier to put up than those horrific NEC monitors!

Childhood icon right here!  Marc Summers is welcome to throw pies at me anytime he wants!  So wild that this dude is obsessed with cleanliness and yet hosted the messiest show ever!

TIP:  Autographs aren't as easy to get as they used to.  Larger booths, like Warner Bros, Fox and the above Nickelodeon booth, have raffles that require logging into Comic Con's or the participating studio's websites just for a shot at a shot at getting in line!  Point is, it may not be worth the headache of trying to get that line spot.  Conversely, a good many other booths, like Shout Factory, only require that you make a purchase or show up at a certain time and simply get in line!  Easiest way to keep up on these things is to follow the social media pages of participating booths.  Most post their info days in advance so attendees can prepare accordingly.  Always keep an eye out!

The Sharknado crew always brings the fun to the people strolling the Gaslamp Quarter looking for free scores!  This year, sadly, will be the last year they come as the final Sharknado movie is set to air soon.  Never before have a group of filmmakers prided themselves on making purposely bad movies!  On the plus side, the Discovery Channel some big plans set to promote this year's Shark Week over at The Experience At Petco Park!  Definitely worth a look if you'll be in the area!

TIP:  The Gaslamp Quarter is, obviously, open to all as is the The Experience At Petco Park, badge or not!  The Experience used to be known as the Petco Park Interactive Zone, but this year it's being expanded into a whole new experience with all sorts of fun planned and it's FREE for all!  Hell of a bargain, no?  If you're not familiar with the area, the huge pedestrian bridge spanning Petco Park and the Hilton Bayfront is the way to go!  Just enter at the Hilton side and exit at the Ballpark side and it's immediately to your right!  Also, for those looking for some great photo ops, outside of the Con has some of the best cosplayers around roaming the streets!  Like the FXX Experience at the Hilton Park, sunblock, water and shoes are a must, so don't forget!

Dick Tracy loves him some Magic The Gathering!

TIP:  Weren't lucky enough to get a ticket to Hasbro or Mattel's Toy Shop lines?  For those patient enough and with lowered hopes, by Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, both shops usually open the line to all con-goers!  However, there is a catch: It usually opens up because the most sought-after items have already sold out.  But, plenty of cool things are still up for grabs because I've benefited many times from these line openings, so keep an eye out!

The Batmobile, Version 6.0!  The DCEU has certainly gotten quite an emotional response from moviegoers.  It certainly got off to a rocky start but there are good things hidden within that are starting to surface.  I did like this current version of the Batmobile, as it's more of a hybrid between the Burton and Nolan vehicles.  Now if only the next movie would feature some updated Bat-Shark Repellent!

TIP:  The grassy areas adjacent to the Omni Hotel and Petco Park have also surfaced in recent years as a pretty cool spot for offsites!  They are adjacent to the Trolley tracks and directly across the street from the Convention Center, so they are hard to miss!

The much beloved, and missed, NERD HQ!  This really was an awesome offsite that gave people who couldn't get badges a real taste of the con experience.  Not to mention, for a small donation, you could have access to exclusive panels in a far more intimate setting than what the meeting rooms at the Convention Center offer.  For reasons not fully made clear, it's highly unlikely that NERD HQ will ever come back.  We can always dream though.

"An African swallow or a European swallow?"

Captain N!  It's crazy how many kids are cosplaying as old school characters now!  I realize Captain N: The Game Master is now on DVD and streaming, but it just doesn't seem likely that anyone younger than my age group would even think to watch it!

The Garthim!  The Dark Crystal spawned some truly jaw-dropping creatures and effects on audiences!  I'm really looking forward to the new Netflix series!

TIP:  A good spot to get great cosplay pics is in the lobby of the convention center.  Try and keep away from Hall entrances though.  Security can be VERY overzealous during Comic Con.

Disney Warrior Princesses!  Too bad first-run syndication's no longer viable!

The short-lived ConX from Entertainment Weekly!  This offsite was a lot of fun and had some great swag at it.  Sadly, it was just too far away to really lure people over to come see during the day.  Although it's nighttime lineup had a little more interest.  Who knows?  Maybe someday EW will give it another shot? 


Damn!  That's gotta be the best Lego cosplay ever!

Normally I'm not down with the "Christmas In July" concept, but I'll make an exception for these two.  Elf was a hilarious movie!

The FORMER Petco Park Interactive Zone!  Now don't worry folks, it ain't leaving.  As I said earlier in the posy, it's being revamped and expanded to offer even MORE fun things to do for FREE!  The one downer about this particular year?  The Ferris Wheel wasn't free!  Cheap bastards!

Street Fighter Stormtroopers... This has potential!

Man, I really gotta dig deep sometimes to find some great pics to share with y'all!

And so ends the latest installment of our countdown.  2016 was a mixed bag.  I had fun for sure, but was kinda bogged down by other circumstances.  Still, I picked up some really cool books and toys and made many wonderful new friends!  They can't all be perfect, but they're always a lot of fun still!

And so it is that another week passes.  We only have two weeks left and one of them doesn't even have pics yet!  We will be back next week with a look back at last year's show, so be sure to come back.  As always, my final tips for those going to Comic Con are as follows: Stay hydrated, stay clean, stay calm and stay kind.  It's gonna be hot, so water is a definite must!  Cleanliness is probably the most important thing you can do.  Besides being a common courtesy, staying clean goes a long way towards NOT getting sick!  Con crud sucks folks, so bathe daily, use hand sanitizer and take vitamins!  Calm and kind pretty much go hand-in-hand here.  With crowds this large, it's easy to get overwhelmed and for tempers to flair.  If we all just try to keep moving along and be courteous, it makes for a nicer experience for all.  And that's that!  Take care, be safe and be sure to keep an eye out on my Twitter feed (@JonsCrazyTweets) for updates on meet-ups, provided I get any kind of cell service this year!  Anyway, I'll catch y'all at Comic Con!  Later!

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