Fandemonium: San Diego Comic-Con 2016 & Lessons Learned (PART I)


(There are going to be two parts because SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED.)

I had the absolute pleasure of attending Comic-Con for all four days (including Preview Night) this year. I only went on Thursday last year – so I knew going in that this was going to be an even more wild ride. I had to prepare a lot more for this con, so I did a lot of research. Tony B. Kim’s blog, Crazy4ComicCon was extremely helpful. His “10 Weird Things You Need Before Comic-Con” list was hilarious and gave great context to what I needed to expect going into this behemoth of a week.


Here’s a list of things I ended up bringing with me each day:

  1. A backpack
  2. An umbrella (ESPECIALLY necessary for times where you’re waiting in long lines in the sun)
  3. A foldable chair for hellish lines (there are many)
    *MTV gives tiny chairs out every year in easy-to-carry bags, so definitely head to their booth for this freebie next time!
  4. Bottled water/refillable water bottle (there are water fountains inside)
  5. Chapstick
  6. A ball cap/sun hat (protect your face!!)
  7. Cardigan/sweater for the evening
  8. Two portable phone chargers + cables
  9. Poster tube
  10. List of exclusives I wanted to buy on my phone (SDCC Unofficial Blog has a tab exclusively for…exclusives, lol.)

I looked at the programming schedule and the Toucan Blog (also a fantastic source for tips on how to survive the con) on the Comic-Con International website and used the official Comic-Con app to save information about the panels I wanted to go to! They also provide quick guides for each day at the Convention Center itself so you don’t have to use up your phone battery.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened each day:

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fandemonium: fun times at anime expo and comic-con 2015

time for you all to see how much of a nerd I am. ENJOY! featuring: many photos

“The price of freedom is high. And that’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

As you can tell by the majority of posts I’ve made on this blog, I am a fan of pretty much everything. And there are always conventions for things that I love. However, I grew up a Navy brat – and though I am so, so thankful for all of the opportunities traveling around the world has brought me, I didn’t have the chance to attend nerdy conventions growing up. Bummer, right?! As an avid internet user, I have had to go through several years of Comic-Con pining over panel videos and kick-ass cosplay online.

But, this year, everything changed. I am incredibly grateful that I got to attend the first days of both Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con International 2015. The chance to go to these very large conventions was an absolute blessing (special shout out to the Leyco family for the tickets to both cons). They were also on my bucket list too, so I got to cross both of those off, which was absolutely crazy.

Stepping into the Los Angeles and San Diego Convention Centers and being exposed to utter pandemonium, excitement, and euphoria was very surreal. I had never seen so many people who liked the same things I did in the same room. Thousands of individuals, in costume or not, from all over the country and the world came together to celebrate what united them – their sheer love and passion for popular culture. Needless to say, I was utterly speechless.

People so often mock people who are passionate about any facet of pop culture. Girls and boys alike are criticized for liking boy bands like One Direction, comic book fans are pegged as “elitist” – the list goes on and on. Conventions like these, no matter the size, allow for everyone to unite and let all of these negative feelings go away. It’s very exhilarating to see and hear people discussing the latest issue of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye (which hadn’t been released yet) and what kind of ending “Rio Bravo” would have, people helping out cosplayers with broken props and costumes, people holding other peoples’ camping spots in the massive Hall H lines each day, and fans greeting strangers with so much enthusiasm. What is also very great to see are groups of friends who probably met online meet each other for the first time.

All of that aside, here are a few highlights of my time at both Anime Expo and SDCC 2015.

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