The SDCC Daily

24 JUNE 2016

So we're 4 weeks out from Friday night of the Con - 4 weeks from The Killing Joke screening, from the Eisner awards, from the midway point where you stare out your hotel room window and wonder if Comic-Con is really worth it and why does everyone seem to get invited to better parties than you. Excited yet?

Here's one thing that happened today: the Big Bang Theory mixed with Star Trek and we got these figures from Entertainment Earth. Everyone seems to like the idea of Sheldon on the holodeck so I'm sure these will be popular. So much that I'm starting to worry my conquest of the Entertainment Earth Booth on Preview Night will not be a sure thing - that it will be the Mattel Bloodbath of 2013 all over again.

Where's my badge? is the rallying cry across the land. If you don't have your badge, you are in fine company. They're shipping out in batches and most attendees I know do not have theirs. So don't fret.

That said, if you do get your badge, and you feel compelled to photograph it and saturate social media with the picture like 29384 other attendees are doing, maybe pose your cutest iguana with it or something. It's going to be a long summer if every other tweet is a picture of Negan and Lucille.

Was Seth Rogen mercilessly toying with us when he hinted that Sausage Party might come to San Diego Comic-Con? Because this looks like it would be the perfect chaser to a long Comic-Con day. (And if you didn't watch the trailer above but it assumed it's a cute animated flick for kids, not so much - this is adult fare about when food realizes it's going to be stabbed, burned and eaten alive by humans.)

Hey, Lucha Libre fans: El Santo is delivering unto you a cool lithograph, t-shirt and signing session at the Con.

If you're an independent comic creator and you're going to be in San Diego a day before SDCC kicks off, you can hear Terry Moore share his wisdom at "Rise of the Independents" at the library. This is happening Tuesday, 19 July, at 4 pm. You'll hear from attorneys and creators on topics like protecting your IP and choosing between print and digital. Because I love terrible puns, I would have titled this event "Independents' Day."

Here's another contest, but this one is just - "just" - for the Star Trek premiere. 

Gerard Way is going to dazzle you with DC's Young Animal imprint at a special panel. You'll get a look at 4 new titles: Mother Panic, Shade, the Changing Girl, Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye and Doom Patrol. Okay, mostly new.

Teachers and educators: you can attend a free comics conference during SDCC even if you don't have a badge. I'll post more on this later.

The SDCC Daily

23 JUNE 2016

A month from tomorrow is the last day of Comic-Con. How is that possible?

In case you don't have a badge, you still have a few days left to enter Collider's amazing contest.

Speaking of badges, was anyone else hoping attendees would have a different non-Lucille badge image? Maybe something from Suicide Squad or Archer or Doctor Strange or if TWD, Ezekiel and his tiger?

Of course, Lucille is definitely the belle of the SDCC ball, given that you can pick up a Lucille key chain or bat.

Sideshow Collectibles is bringing a cool just-off-the-factory-line R2D2 and a Russ Meyers-inspired Poison Ivy. And Entertainment Earth is going to scare the crap out of you with this ghoulish Joker-in-the-box that looks like it might come to life and murder you in your sleep.

If you're going to The Retailer Lunch at SDCC, you'll pick up these freebies from DC, Boom, IDW, Marvel, Valiant and Titan.

Speaking of DC, with Rebirth in full swing, will there be panels afoot to sell us on it the way there were a thousand of them promoting The New 52? I'm guessing yes.

We got a fresh trailer for Fantastic Beasts today that includes more creatures, including one that looks like Groot impregnated a mantid.

Everyone knows the fan love that goes into cosplay, but not as many people see the passion that fuels fan fiction and fan films. Today CBS and Paramount unleashed new guidelines for Star Trek fan films, and they go way beyond disclaimers. Will this discussion make it into some of the legal creative panels at Comic-Con? Probably.

What will almost definitely be at Comic-Con: news about the Star Trek series.

You can start voting in the MTV Fandom awards, whether or not you're going to the Comic-Con Thursday night party.

The new Sharknado movie is called "The 4th Awakens" if you need cosplay ideas for the panel.

FX news to thrill and sadden you: American Horror Story won't be at SDCC. But Archer will and it's been renewed for 3 more seasons. Let's hope we get more good exclusives this summer, though last year's face pillow will be hard to beat.

Tomorrow is supposed to hold some exciting news. We'll see.

The badge scam game has changed this year

23 JUNE 2016

It's that time of year when CCI reminds everyone not to buy fake SDCC badges - or to put it more bleakly, to surrender all hope of attending Comic-Con if they don't have a badge already.

But as you know, the RFID badges have changed the scam game a bit this year and that means people may be more willing to take a risk. Let's review.

Traditionally, scalpers either:

1) printed up a fake badge and sold it to you
2) stood in line, got their badge and sold it to you
3) realized you had never been to Comic-Con and sold you a bill of goods about picking up a badge under a certain name or some other scenario omitting the need for a photo ID

Now our flashy new RFID badges are flying around the country in generic white envelopes, changing the time-honored tradition of standing in line to get your badge. (At least for Americans. International attendees will pick theirs up in person still and show ID.) Scalpers know it and the smarter ones have lined up buyers through in-person efforts to avoid CCI's task force that monitors Ebay, StubHub, Craigslist and other sites. So can you buy a scalped badge - or sell one for that matter?

Answer: It's possible, and some people undoubtedly have, but overall it's risky and you shouldn't.

First of all, you have no way of verifying the badge is real. Confirmations can easily be faked. CCI says they're seeing "a huge increase" in international brokers selling counterfeit badges. And even if it is real, CCI can turn it off remotely, rendering it nothing more than a Walking Dead-themed souvenir. There's also the possibility of getting spot-checked by security and asked to prove its your badge (this has happened to people I know so it's not that rare.) CCI will block you from SDCC if they catch you in some kind of badge fraud.

If you're determined to go to SDCC, this probably hasn't persuaded you against buying a scalped badge. But you should really calculate the odds on pulling it off before you hand over your cash.

The Exhibit Hall Map is live

22 JUNE 2016

Today is a critical day for first-timers. Why? Because the Exhibit Hall map went live, and that presents a test that will determine how much a new attendee will get out of their Comic-Con experience.

Tell me if this is you: you hate reading directions, you can figure out pretty much everything on your own, you prefer spontaneity and rolling with your own personal Tao as opposed to following roadmaps, and you often feel blessed by serendipity. Yeah, me too. But I still study the Exhibit Hall map and plot my course - and you should too.

This is what CCI just published:

The valid Exhibit Hall map

The list of exhibitors

The list and map for Artist's Alley

The list and map for Small Press Area

The Fan Tables map

Here's why they matter: because the Exhibit Hall is a mindblowing colossus of noise, crowds and visual stimulation, and you will not accomplish your goals if you try to wing it.

"But I don't have any goals," you might be saying. To which I say: "Hogwash" and point out there's no point in merely shuffling along zombie-like with the crowd, which is what you'll do if you don't have some kind of plan upon entering.

I mean, you can just trudge around and see what there is to see. But if you have any kind of collectible, comic book or general idea in mind - you'd like a new shirt, you want to Christmas shop for your nerdy sister - it helps to look up vendors in advance. Sometimes you'll see a publisher you didn't know would be there, or get an idea for something you do want. You don't have to memorize everything, that would be impossible, but you will get a little more organized. And you won't be on a flight home Sunday night and realize you never did see that amazing Walking Dead photo op everyone else is posting on Instagram.

Here are the myths and realities of the Exhibit Hall.

You can see everything by walking up and down every aisle. No. The crowds are too thick and the booths too crowded for you to spot every single item. I've walked right past favorite artists doing signings because there are just so many people around. The above video has background music that obscures the sound factor, but it gives you an idea of how crowded it is.

You'll remember everything on your list. First of all, you'll have your own list and the wish list from coworkers, roommates and friends - and much of the latter will take the form of "If you see a Ms. Marvel statue" or "Any Spiderman toddler shirts" etc. And once you're on the floor, with video games thundering in your ears and Darth Vader blocking your path and footage flashing on multiple screens, a lot of thoughts will fly right out of your head.

It's all overpriced crap that's available cheaper on Amazon anyhow. No... er, not always. Yes, some of those "rare finds" aren't so rare once you check online. But you will see unusual gizmos you can't find anywhere else and if you have even a few nerd molecules in your blood, you'll probably spot some weird item you can't live without. My friend's girlfriend was so not into Comic-Con when he took her, but she was thrilled with a Lily Munster figure she found, and that happened only because he steered her to a small booth of vintage horror stuff.

Artists' Alley and Small Press are just indie people who don't have much commercial appeal. No a thousand times. This is exactly where you find new artists, books and work that are magnificent. There is so much talent operating outside the big houses these days. These areas may not be your cup of tea but if you have any comic/art/lit interests, you should make them a destination.

The Exhibit Hall is all Hollywood studios, with nothing for comic book geeks. Not true. Yes, there is plenty of studio bombast. There are also aisles offering books from Fantagraphics, Last Gasp, Boom, Drawn and Quarterly, Oni Press and others. Lots of back issue dealers. Graphic novels that get cheaper every day. I won't pretend San Diego Comic-Con is what it used to be in this regard (it's not) but this comic nerd always finds a few treasures to take home.

You've come so far on your Comic-Con journey. You've spent serious money on badges and hotel rooms and maybe cosplay and airfare. The last thing you want is to show up and not understand how to navigate the booming chaos around you - so please take a look at the maps and use them to shape your agenda. Because your mind will be blown the moment you walk into the Exhibit Hall for the first time.

Did you sign up for Comic Creator Connection?

22 JUNE 2016

Love is in the air - or at least creativity, if you're planning on attending SDCC's Comic Creator Connection. Are you looking for your comic book soulmate? The person who can draw your ideas or write your story? Then you will want to attend SDCC's version of speed dating for comic creators.

Who Can Go

Anyone, but you should have some kind of solid offering before you sit down at the table. If you've never written or penciled in your life but might want to some day, this isn't for you. This is for emerging professionals looking for collaborators who can sit down and do the work. Yes, it's okay if you're just starting out and have no real credits to your name, as long as you're committed to making a partnership happen.

How It Works

You spend a few minutes with prospective partners to assess each other's style, skill and personality. Just like dating, the chemistry is there or it isn't. If it is? Exchange contact info and samples, with something to visually jog their memory later. If it's not? Be polite and thank them and say you'd like to think about it. If you get shot down, be gracious. Usually both people kind of vaguely thank each other when they know it's not a match.

Where and When It's Happening

Friday from 7:00-9:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm. Both sessions will be in the Santa Rosa room at the Marriott.

How to Sign Up

Email and tell them if you're an artist or writer and which day you'd like to attend. Artists can go both days; writers, you have to pick just one.

What to Bring

  • Water
  • Business cards with a link to your digital portfolio
  • Digital business cards if possible to connect right there
  • Good samples
  • A good pitch that sells your project and offers your skill set/credentials without bragging
  • A succinct summary of your goals, your influences and your availability
  • Something to take notes on
  • A positive attitude and realistic expectations

What to Expect

The potential to make new friends and contacts. If you go in guns blazing and notify the artists across from you that you're the next Brian Vaughan, or if you expect to meet the next Jim Lee and will accept nothing less, your Comic Creator Connection experience will not be a success. Instead, get to know the people you're meeting, be gracious even if you think they're hacks, and recognize them as part of your community. If you do make a career for yourself in this industry, you'll be surprised at some of the people who come up with you - so try to stay on decent terms with everyone. And don't let your ego get in the way; ask your new comrades how they're networking and getting ahead. You'll find out who's publishing new writers, which house is looking for inkers and other tips that established pros often have no clue about.

And maybe you will meet that perfect collaborator. It could happen. But your experience will be valuable even if it doesn't.

Other Tips

You'll meet anywhere from 1-2 dozen people, so don't expect to remember everyone's face, name and work style. Collect cards and jot down visual reminders and a numeric level of your interest on a scale from 1-10.

Ask questions. Don't make it all about you. Just because someone has a pretty sample doesn't mean they're responsible, finish projects, listen to other people's ideas or handle business intelligently. If you like someone's work right off the bat, dig in and find out if they've got chops beyond talent.

Bring hard copies. Showing off on your iPad and shooting them a link is all well and good, but giving them something physical is more likely to keep you top of mind. Yes, San Diego hotel wastebaskets are full of crumpled fliers and promotional junk, but this is a situation where someone wants to see your work. Offer enough samples to showcase your versatility (short punchy dialogue vs. narrative description, different art styles) and package them in a way that protects them and maybe makes the recipient feel guilty about tossing it. I once was at an event where I received samples from 11 writers, and  one had packaged hers like a restaurant menu with elaborate design and thick plastic. I kept it (and remembered her) for a long time just because I felt bad about throwing it away.

Finally, be aware that you need badged access for Friday and/or Sunday to attend. These are good days as you probably had the option for a Sunday badge if you got a badge at all. Which one is better? I'm guessing most people will choose Sunday afternoon over Friday night, so factor that into your decision.

I'll talk more about marketing yourself as a creative at Comic-Con over the next week. But if you're an aspiring comic creator, this is a great place to start.

The SDCC Daily

21 JUNE 2016

What did we learn today?

Attendee badges are shipping out in batches. Did you get your email? If so, check the name and address listed to make sure they're correct - a few people are saying their email has outdated information.

Conan is sharing a look at his Pop! figures for Comic-Con tonight on his show. Here's how this works: you get lucky/quick enough to grab a ticket for one of his SDCC tapings; when you attend, they bestow the figure of the day upon you. Then as you leave, creepy collectors step up way too close to you and softly say bidding amounts in your ear. Not exaggerating, it was a bit unsettling last year.

CCI and Cox Communications are providing free WiFi for downtown during Con. I know you'll miss the bizarre KFC Colonel Sanders statues from last year.

In pilot news, you can see The Exorcist and Son of Zorn at the Con. The Exorcist is being called a "psychological thriller" which tells me it will be stripped of its head-rotating, crucifix-violating disgustingness, but I may give it a shot.

Hotel reservations opened back up. Remember when that actually meant something? The rooms left aren't exactly top-notch, but it is a place to stay during the Con. And remember - while you do need to pay a 2 night deposit, you can still cancel your other nights pretty much up to the last second. So feel free to keep searching out other digs if you don't mind changing hotels midstream.

Titan is bringing you a variety of cute things from Doctor Who, Star Trek and Adventure Time.

Another splashy Thursday night event: The Reuben Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is hosting a Comic-Con party. To be clear, this is 21+, with cocktails, cosplay contests and IDW creators. Tickets on sale now.

Behold the beating heart of my Preview Night: this Jokerized Batman from Entertainment Earth, my favorite 2016 exclusive so far.

But you might like this better: a dapper Bruce Wayne, courtesy of Kotobukiya. Or maybe you'll like the Micronauts and Visionaries lines from Hasbro.

For those of you who got excited over the Rocky Horror panel, be aware that it's featuring the cast from the Fox special this fall. Not saying that it won't be good, but people are already pre-swooning over Tim Curry and no, wrong cast.

Stan Lee's new series Cosmic Crusaders will launch webisodes during Comic-Con.

And I'm not sure why everyone is so excited to see Ben Affleck at SDCC, but apparently his imminent arrival is huge news.

Watch your mailboxes!

SDCC hotel reservations are open again

21 JUNE 2016

Are you still homeless for San Diego Comic-Con? Because hotel reservations are open again - and no, there are no downtown hotels available but these rooms will put a roof over your head.

This is probably good news only for the very desperate. But remember, a hotel is just a place to fall asleep at night. It really won't impact your SDCC fun as much as you think.

The SDCC Daily

20 JUNE 2016

What a day. Let's prioritize.

First off: the badges are coming, the badges are coming! And they'll be sneaking into your mailbox in white envelopes that are the precise opposite (bland, white, generic) of all your SDCC badge feelings (tumultuous, multi-colored, ecstatic.)

We also heard about Con-X, your newest outdoor billowing Con carnival courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. Even if you make it a policy to avoid staggering around in the sunlight from festival to festival, you may want to swing by this one at night as it promises concerts and nightly entertainment. Free; for badge holders only.

Kevin Smith and Marc Bernadin are hosting Fatman on Batman Thursday night of the Con. Tickets are on sale now.

Last night Penny Dreadful was staked in the heart, shocking fans who like seeing pretty Victorian goths every Sunday night. So no Season 4 in Cairo with a mummy and no SDCC panel this summer. #Heartbreaking.

Hey IDW, are you bringing the first issues of this Star Trek anthology to Comic-Con? Because you really should. I don't know what this "September" release date is you're talking about.

One thing that is definitely coming to SDCC: this Saga set of Alana and Marko who are just begging to be released from the box so they can fight these Catwoman and Harley Quinn biker Barbies.

Though all 4 would be trounced by the brawniest ever Clark Kent from Kotobukiya, (but probably not by Entertainment Earth's Ant-Man and Giant Man set.)

Finally, CCI started rolling out their Comic-Con tips. While you will read similar tips about 83162 more times over the coming weeks, their list today is solid so you may as well start your shopping list now. What I will add; bringing cash isn't just about avoiding ATM lines but being able to get the exclusive you want. Some booths won't take plastic and that item could sell out by the time you run to the lobby and back. It's happened to me. Also, bring a small drugstore to alleviate headaches, hangovers, throbbing feet, the effects of too much restaurant food, potential offspring, etc.

With just a month to go, the momentum is definitely rolling. Oh, and we'll be finding out a lot more about Syfy Presents this week - so stay tuned.

Your badge will arrive in a bland white envelope

20 JUNE 2016

                                                 From @kyleewho at Nerdphiles

Happy Summer Solstice! You know how we all joked about thieves intercepting our mail and stealing our coveted SDCC badges? CCI apparently took that to heart, because the badges are shipping out in plain white envelopes that resemble:

1) A credit card offer with a high interest rate
2) A mortgage refi offer from a shady company
3) A class action award notification from some failed electronic you bought in 2007

Seriously - I hate snail mail, and I deal with mine by quickly pulling out anything I recognize as necessary and dumping the rest in the recycle bin. I never would have looked at this envelope and thought, "Badges!" And I get that that's the idea, kind of, but come on, CCI, throw us a bone here. Use a colored envelope, or a code return address like Wayne Manor. This white envelope is some James Bond-level covertness.

Now: CCI is emailing us to notify us of our badges' imminent arrival. So that helps. Bake a little treat for your mailperson if you already have a rapport with them. Stalk your mailbox like a mountain lion. But if you live with other people, you'll need to prepare them for the white envelope as well. Because really, your dad or roommate could roll in from an irritating day and chuck it right in the garbage, or assume it's some dull legal business they'll handle themselves and stick it in a pile of monthly crap to address later. Make sure they know that all mail is sacrosanct and to be sorted by you alone during these critical days.

Again, make sure you know whose badge is going to who and figure out the best way to make the exchange. Don't take it personally if the person whose badge you receive seems anxious or paranoid. This is going to be an emotional process. If for some reason your buyer says they haven't received it, contact CCI at

Fun SDCC trivia: apparently they used to ship out badges, because they said "Thank you for your patience and support as we ship out badges for the first time in many years." I'm guessing those badges rolled off a dot matrix printer, but it's still interesting.

Welcome to Con-X, yet another SDCC offsite

20 JUNE 2016

So yes, it's a month today to the magical portal of Preview Night. The official whistle has blown and it's time to get that night-before-Christmas jittery feeling. And just to make you feel even more dazzled by your options, EW and CCI have rolled out another major offsite event.

Con-X - not to be confused with SLCC's FanX event, because of course CCI would never want any confusion between SDCC and SLCC - will be a "unique experiential oasis" where "fans can relax, refresh and recharge while complementing their Comic-Con experience." Another outdoors offsite sounds exhausting to me, but you whippersnapper attendees probably feel differently.

So what can you do at Con-X? You can buy t-shirts, participate in trivia events and "fan-focused content," charge your devices - okay, this just got intensely useful - and eat, drink and relax in "shaded green outdoor areas." And we'll get nightly entertainment on stage. Since this all sounds free and is right at Embarcadero Marina Park North, that should be welcome news to nerds on a budget who are looking for low-cost/free things to do at night. The press release promises an "epic after-party atmosphere."

Not anyone can get in; Con-X will "accommodate badge-holding attendees with entrance allowed on a first-come, first-served basis." Anyone who's seen the lines for the Adult Swim and other activations knows how that goes; sometimes you get right in and usually you don't. Given that this will offer up a place to eat, drink and charge your phone right by the Con, I'm guessing it'll stay consistently busy.

First-timers, it's probably becoming clear that Comic-Con is far more than its programming. The panels and tournaments and screenings inside the convention center are worthy of your time, but by now you've heard the siren's call of offsite parties and events - and you'll only hear about more from here. So if you haven't started making a list or spreadsheet or agenda of some sort, you really should start one. The next 4 weeks are going to unleash a flood of information.

The SDCC Daily

19 JUNE 2016

I'm back in the world of the Internet-connected and should be safely here for the next month, so let's get to it. Where are we with San Diego Comic-Con?

Press badges are shipping out - but if you've got one coming, you probably know that already.

And if you're still plotting your way into the Star Trek premiere - here's a contest to not only attend, but meet the cast and hit the after-party.

Skybound's Negan and Glenn exclusive is getting non-comic-readers in a tizzy. So remember: this is based on the comic book, not the show. Should you get it anyhow if you're just a TV fan? I say yes, if only because the box says "Comes with exclusive smashed Glenn head."

Wonder Woman's invisible plane will be at SDCC (though not in her upcoming movie) as a symbol of her "global appeal and the special place she holds in the hearts of generations of girls who have imagined wielding their own lassos of truth." That's not what girls imagine, PR exec. Anyhow, the plane will light up at night, making it a cool photo op, and in one of the weirdest comic book merchandising deals ever, there will be Wonder Woman stuff at Pottery Barn. Tastefully minimalist, I'm sure.

If you're a first-timer, you may be wondering how people are getting tickets to the Conan O'Brien tapings, Syfy presents and other offsites everyone's talking about. While tickets are hard to get for the top events, you can lay the groundwork now. Join Team Coco for Conan tickets and pay strict attention to when the sale is announced - they will be gone in minutes.

Speaking of Syfy Presents, we know Will Arnett is hosting - and the event will have an "outdoor stage." Hmm. That sounds very MTV-spring breakish.

It seems like HBO is committing to making Westworld a success so let's ignore its previous SDCC history and hope this is one of the more interesting peeks we see this July.

One peek I think people should NOT anticipate: the Harley Quinn movie in development. Expecting that is a bit premature, though everyone is hyped about it. But it has been announced that the movie will feature other female DC heroes and villains, so maybe Warner Bros will drop a few plot details to help you plan next summer's cosplay.

Same goes for the Battlestar Galactica movie. Too soon.

NYCC verification deadline extended till Weds

14 JUNE 2016

If you really care about going to New York Comic Con this fall, you should have completed your Fan Verification profile already - the deadline was yesterday, after all. But if for whatever reason you didn't get around to it, or didn't hear about it until it was too late, ReedPOP has generously given you the gift of an extension.

You now have until Wednesday, 15 June, at 2:00 pm EDT. Again, this doesn't obligate you to even participate in the NYCC ticket sale. All it does is give you the option to do so, should you inherit a windfall or talk your best nerd friend into going with you. So you may as well sign up at

Win tickets to the Star Trek premiere

13 JUNE 2016

I'm in Kansas right now with limited Internet access and limited everything else too, so I'm somewhat cut off from SDCC news - but I did want to make sure you all knew this.

Obviously tickets to the official Star Trek red carpet premiere on Wednesday, 20 July, behind the Con are hard to get. So here's a contest that's somewhat dependent on skill.

How to enter: follow @Skydance, share the trailer and write a tweet about your Star Trek fandom, one that's so dazzlingly clever it eclipses every other tweet. Tag them. Pick out your red carpet outfit.

Also, you've probably heard by now that the hotel waitlist is quite picked over. So if you STILL haven't gotten a room, it's time to shut the door on your waitlist hopes and make other arrangements. Sorry for the bleak news but I think it's what most of us expected.

Deadline: verify yourself now for NYCC

12 JUNE 2016

Remember how last month New York Comic Con reported that its ticket sale would change this year? No? Well, ReedPOP has altered the process just a bit, by requiring ticket buyers to complete a Fan Verification profile. Yes, this is similar to CCI's Member ID account. You'll need to do this to participate in the ticket sale - and tomorrow, Monday, 13 June is the deadline. You have until midnight EST.

Maybe you still aren't sure if you even want to go to NYCC. That's fine, but if there's even a tiny percent of a chance that you might want to go, then complete your profile now. It doesn't obligate you in any way and you'll safeguard your eligibility for the ticket sale.

You can read all about their reasons and rules here.

Will Suicide Squad be the best VR at SDCC? Probably.

11 JUNE 2016


The last few years of San Diego Comic-Con have featured assorted virtual reality activations that ranged from okay to disappointing to kind of cool. We all know we're in the covered wagon years of VR and AR so I don't think anyone was too devastated by this.

However, I think this is going to be a bit different. Warner Bros is transforming the Hard Rock into the Belle Reve penitentiary, including a live-action VR event that will let you "fight alongside the Squad." You'll also get your own skull "ink" at Harley Quinn's tattoo parlor and you'll be able to take photos in a prison cell.

And again, in case you missed it below - DC is doing a Squad Up cosplay contest that will send 11 winners to Comic-Con. That's right. 11.

San Diego isn't liable for Zombie Walk accident

11 JUNE 2016

I still can't believe the Zombie Walk car crash was only 2 Cons ago, but it was - and today we moved a step closer to ending the whole saga. A Superior Court judge has ruled that the city of San Diego is not liable for damages and was not negligent when it came to the accident.

If you've forgotten who was suing who - because at this point, who can keep track - victim Cynthia Campbell who was pinned under the car and Matthew Pocci the driver and his passengers all sued the city. They contended San Diego should have arranged detours and closed roads to make the whole zombie parade safer, but the judge said no dice. Previously Pocci was found guilty and sentenced mainly to probation.

The SDCC Daily

10 JUNE 2016

6 weeks from tonight we'll be watching The Killing Joke. But in the meantime, we have other tantalizations to occupy our minds.

Like this latest Mattel exclusive of Wonder Woman in her invisible airplane. Serious collectors say it's just a rehashed 2010 exclusive - but I still think it's cool. Mattel also is bringing Halo and Minecraft items.

In news that sparked a collective fangasm over Chris Pratt and Benedict Cumberbatch today, Doctor Strange is already in San Diego - and yes, the movie will be at SDCC. James Gunn hinted that Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. will be there too.

3 people have asked me to get them this Panda Man exclusive from Suicide Squad.  Speaking of which, you can win a trip to San Diego Comic-Con by dressing up as a main character. See above. Hopefully there's leeway to be Killer Croc with an actual crocodile head, because it's just visually cooler.

 Entertainment Earth understands that the ventriloquist episode of The Twilight Zone has haunted you for years, and now you get to have a tiny version to creep you out right in your bedroom.

Adventure Time fans - do you want to play in the Card Wars Doubles Tournament at SDCC? You can compete for the championship with the new cards before they're released.

Luke Skywalker/the Joker won't be at SDCC this year - most likely. It's all about Mark Hamill's schedule so who knows, maybe something will change and he'll make one of those miracle appearances on stage to thunderous applause.

There's going to be a Wynonna Earp meetup on Saturday at 5:30 pm - but the time could change depending on programming (wise move) so if you want to make this, follow @earpermeetup.

Of all the Kidrobot figures, Street Fighter Shin Akuma seems to be very popular.

And finally, here's a controversy that many attendees will have an opinion on - booths in Artist's Alley that sell prints of other artists' work. This has pissed off Buzz/Aldrin Aw to the point of throwing one vendor out of Wizard World Minneapolis and starting an #OccupyArtistAlley movement. Can't say I care for the hashtag but I do understand the sentiment. Gail Simone weighed in too to lend her support. I realize this isn't the kind of flashy movie/exclusive news that's lighting up the SDCC grapevine right now but it matters a great deal to the vendors, professionals and attendees who connect through Cons as a channel for buying and showcasing original work. Anyhow, check out his Facebook page for his actual letter.

Comic-Con museum at Balboa Park? Why not.

8 JUNE 2016

Well, I guess we have to stay in San Diego now; CCI wants to install a Comic-Con museum at Balboa Park.

This would be in the San Diego Hall of Champions, which has apparently considered subleasing some or all of its location. Enter CCI, spotting an opportunity to make Comic-Con live year round.

It's not final yet by any means, but CCI sounds pretty stoked: David Glanzer said "Comic-Con has been working with the Hall of Champions as part of our continuing exploration of how best to ensure Comic-Con's legacy. Ar this time we are in talks and while no decision has been made, we are thrilled with the direction of those discussion."

That made me stop and think about if I've ever heard CCI use the word "thrilled." And that made me realize how many annoying battles they fight (granted, some are self-initiated, like the SLCC lawsuit) like the people against the contiguous expansion, or their negotiations with local hotels, or the group who slyly implied they were associated with CCI to promote their petition this winter. It's not like they ever get to settle back and just focus on the event itself.

Anyhow, this museum idea is still up in the air but I think we can agree it has compelling potential. I love SDCC history and give the drama of Con stories and the beauty of Comic-Con art, this museum could be masterful. But as with everything Con, it probably won't manifest for a while.

Warning on the Waitlist Process

8 JUNE 2016

Today I awoke to a blessed event: my waitlist email came through! So of course I jumped on, discovered the Hyatt was available and booked the room. Almost.

Right as I got to the name and credit card part, OnPeak said they already had me in the system, was that me? I said sure, but they asked for a password and the one I entered didn't work. Requested a reset, and got taken to a home page that invited me to click on HOTELS. So I did and now all the hotels were grayed out.

I immediately figured out that I had been taken to the regular SDCC hotel page, instead of the Waitlist one. So I did the process again from the start. Hyatt was still available. But once again when they asked if I was me, and I logged in as me, I got a message that said the Hyatt had sold out in the time I was inputting my credit card.

I was semi-livid, but decided those were the breaks and picked the Hilton Gaslamp instead. (I really like that hotel.) Same thing happened - sold out while I was entering my info. At this point, I got suspicious, started the whole process from scratch again, and this time said it was NOT me when they asked. Voila, hotel was available - and the reservation went through.

I was so desperate to lock it down that I confirmed it before I realized the Hyatt might be available too. So I looked and yes, it was. So I called OnPeak with my tale of woe and they started a ticket.

Point being: if this happens to you, be cautious. Your dream room may not be sold out. Maybe this was a singular snafu that happened only to me, but I thought I'd sound the warning.

And since I know you're wondering: yes, there were some great hotels available. I didn't see Hilton Bayfront or Marriot Marquis but pretty much everything else.

ETA: It's been pointed out that the email warns against this. However, I've now heard from 4 other people this happened to - which means that a lot of us are logging in as soon as we come to the link, which is pretty understandable given how quickly rooms sell out. So just be aware of this and click no.

A few reminders

7 JUNE 2016

We're getting to that point in Con season when it's easy to lose track of which event tickets go live when and which exclusives got you so excited 2 weeks ago. So here are a few reminders.

If you have any interest in attending NerdHQ conversations, Syfy Live telecast or Conan O'Brien shows, you will want to start stalking their information flows. Sign up with the appropriate channels and stay vigilant. If you've just heard about these tickets being available, it's already too late.

And on the off chance you don't have a ticket and are desperately hoping for a kind-hearted scalper to make Comic-Con happen for you - maybe try a contest instead? Dark Horse and Collider are both going strong. 

Also, I updated my 2016 page so keep checking back for more news on panels, events and exclusives.