At the Office - The Comic-Con Experience

By Christina Sims

Going to San Diego Comic Con really is one of the biggest highlights of my year. There's nothing like going to a huge convention and mingling with people who have the same passions and hobbies as I do. You can visit the aisles upon aisles of comic book vendors, stand in line to see a sneak peek at an upcoming movie, check out a panel with hosts that never disappoint, watch the amazing masquerade costume contest, and you can even bump in to a celebrity or two! There's just so much to see and do that I don't even know where to begin!

For me, everything started innocently enough. Wednesday was the day of preview night, and I was on a train from Irvine to San Diego. Taking the Amtrak down to the convention was one of the best ideas ever! It leaves close to work and drops off just two miles from the convention center. Traffic during SDCC is always a hassle, and parking is even worse, so taking the train was an ideal choice. The view of the ocean and beaches on the way down was well worth it. Even Felicia Day, star of The Guild, was on the same train! She was promptly mobbed for pictures as soon as she stepped onto the platform.

The Cryptozoic store looked fantastic as soon as I stepped in, even if we weren't finished with the setup yet. Colorful banners hung from the walls, and posters announcing our upcoming products were sure to excite the crowd.

You could even take a picture in our new Penny Arcade the Game: Rumble in R'lyeh “Bromance” standee. (Because we're Bros now.)

Product lined the shelves and a huge backdrop listing all of our products hung directly above the retail counter. Tables for organized play sat in the back, covered neatly with black tablecloths, while comfortable red couches for demos sat next to the oversized window clings displaying The Lookouts, The Big Bang Theory, and The Walking Dead. Everything seemed perfect. I knew it was going to be an amazing weekend.

When the store was finally set up and ready for our first fans of the evening, I got to settle into my role. My role at SDCC was to be in front of a camera and do fun interviews with cosplayers and celebrities and convention fans and to show everyone watching what Cryptozoic was all about! Armed with a microphone and a camera (with footage shot by the amazing Marcos Payan), we did a quick video of the store's grand opening and got some footage of the first excited people filing in. Our Wednesday preview night was just a taste of what was to come!

Thursday was SDCC's first big day, and we were down in the convention hall filming everything we possibly could. We did manage to catch Batman for a brief interview, as well as visited the booth of the talented artist Jonboy Meyers. He does a lot of art for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and I was thrilled pick up a signed copy of Mistress Nesala, a succubus Monster Hero from our latest set, Tomb of the Forgotten.

The adventure didn't stop there! I got to interview so many amazing people: Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, talked to me after he signed autographs for his raving fans. Ben McCool, writer for The Lookouts and Nevsky was also there for his fans and I was thrilled to interview him! The last of our special guests was Christie Golden, bestselling World of Warcraft author of Thrall as well as the upcoming book Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War.

After all that excitement, I was a little dead on Friday. Actually, I was A LOT dead on Friday:

Get it? Dead? Because I'm a zomb - er...moving on.

I put on the most disgusting, lumpy zombie makeup I could manage and shuffled my way into Petco Park to watch The Walking Dead Escape. I even managed to scare a couple of people in the crowd that weren't expecting a Walker to creep up on them.

We also had Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins on hand Friday night to celebrate the release of The Lookouts and to do signings for the fans. They are so well-spoken and talented and it was an honor to interview them for Cryptozoic as well.

Saturday was shaping up to be just as exciting. Lauren Cohan and Steven Yeun were on hand to sign for the fans, who were lined up out the door and around the block! Our volunteer staff did an amazing job keeping everything running smoothly and organized; I don't know what we would have done without their help! I busied myself in preparing interview questions like, “If Glenn had a different power in the The Walking Dead board game than the ability to scrounge up items, what would it be?” and “Does Walker makeup creep you out?” I know it creeps me out.

Sunday I finally got a chance to see the convention hall, check out the awesome figurines over at Sideshow Collectables, and take a little time to see the sights. The artists over in the artist alley never fail to impress, and the crowds had thinned out enough to the point where walking around wasn't as treacherous as it was Friday or Saturday.

San Diego Comic Con really is a fun time full of sights to see and things to do and swag to take home. However, the one thing you don't want to go home with is con crud, like me. Remember to wash your hands constantly and drink lots of water or you'll end up like me with a faucet for a nose!

I'll see you at our next convention: Gen Con!