This past weekend, over 130,000 people flocked to southern California for one of the biggest geek conventions in the world: San Diego Comic-Con.
The annual four-day event, which takes place at the San Diego Convention Center, celebrates everything pop culture, from movies and TV shows to video games and comics.
SDCC attendees have the opportunity to show off their cosplay, shop for exclusive merchandise, attend panels and meet their favorite stars at autograph signings. However, you don’t need a badge to the convention to join in on the festivities. There are plenty of off-site events and parties to attend.
Last year, I was lucky enough to attend SDCC. It was the best weekend of my life, and I got to meet cast members from some of my favorite TV shows.
Flash forward a year later and here I am, ready to crash SDCC again. This got me thinking, “Can I top last year?”
To kick off SDCC weekend, I decided to avoid the convention center altogether. Instead, I wandered around the area, seeing what off-sites this year had to offer. One stop on my itinerary was Adult Swim’s On the Green, an off-site with tons of games, cameos by Adult Swim characters and a free t-shirt bar.
As I waited in line for a free t-shirt, I spotted Nolan Gould, who plays Luke in “Modern Family,” standing in line too. Excited, I was able to maintain my composure and ask for a picture with him. He obliged and I walked away that day with a free “Rick and Morty” t-shirt and a photo with Gould.
Now Friday is where the real fun begins – waiting in line for autograph drawings. After camping out from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., I was able to successfully draw winning tickets for the “Teen Wolf” and “The Originals” signings.
Later that day, I won a wristband for the “Twin Peaks” signing. The SDCC gods were clearly on my side.
When the “Teen Wolf” signing began, I was star-struck. In addition to the cast, I met Tyler Posey, who plays the series’ main character Scott McCall. After shaking his hand, I told him I asked him a question at a panel last year and he asked what it was.
“Do you want the show to end on a happy note or a tragic note?” I said.
He immediately remembered me and gave me a fist-bump. He then signed my season one DVD, despite security telling me he can't sign anything but the posters. My life was made.
I ended up camping again at 2 a.m. for a chance to draw for the “Riverdale” signing. By the time I got the front of the line for the drawing, “Riverdale” was gone – and so was my lust for life. However, I wasn’t going to let that ruin my day so I went for “Gotham” instead and drew a winning ticket.
Immediately after, I ran to Ballroom 20, where many of the panels were held. Luckily my buddies, who were near the front of the line, saved me a spot. When the doors opened at 9 a.m., I was able to snatch a seat in fourth row, which gave me a pretty good view of the stage.
I spent my entire day in the ballroom, except during the “Gotham” signing. I sat through many panels, such as “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Riverdale” and many more.
Later that night, I attended an exclusive screening of a brand-new “Rick and Morty” episode, presented by series creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon.
It was surreal being surrounded by 4,000 other fans, screaming “Wubba lubba dub dub” and “Get schwifty” all night long in anticipation of the episode.
I can safely say that this weekend definitely topped last year. It was an extremely exhausting weekend, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience SDCC for the second year in a row.