Let's start with the most important thing: save your badge. You need it to pre-register - if you're masochistic enough to want to return for 2014, that is. I thought that CCI's email about saving your badge went to everyone but I've already met 2 people who tossed theirs. Magnet yours to the refrigerator as soon as you get home.
Onto Comic-Con. How was it? Besides cold. This was the chilliest Con I can remember - both in terms of the weather and in overly air-conditioned rooms.
The lines were unpredictable. I met people who got into Hall H after only 105 minutes and other people who failed to get into the smaller rooms after 3 hours of waiting. The staff were inconsistent with their monitoring - I was in several lines where a staffer would provide updates and insinuate we had a good chance of making it into a specific panel. Then poof, the staffer would vanish and we'd have to send a scout to find out the panel was full.
There were more and longer lines than ever on the floor and the staff were clearly at a loss as to how to handle them at times. I saw some nasty arguments brew up over badly-managed lines and sold-out exclusives.
There weren't as many parties this year - in this I'm including Hollywood parties and regular people parties. I have a theory that because getting a badge is more unpredictable and lotteryish, it's harder for large groups of friends to all attend, and more likely for a bunch of disconnected strangers to be there - and thus the kind of get-togethers that used to happen, don't as much these days.
On the subject of badge unpredictability: I kept meeting couples and families and friends who all wound up with different badges, even though they registered at the same moment, which made it hard for them to enjoy the Con together. We knew this would happen, given the current system, but it was jarring to see how it played out.
The Gaslamp is unbearable at night, and it's not just because of us. Tons of people are migrating to that area to soak in the energy and look at the outdoor attractions, and then there's that subsection of people who don't actually attend the Con, but still come for the parties and networking.
One nice change: the studios are putting up their own sizzle reels and trailers on YouTube, sparing the rest of us from those shaky, grainy phone-recorded videos.
At least 1 out of every 3 people I met was there for the first time. Is that a reflection of Registration Day randomness or have a lot of former attendees bailed out on the whole production? Probably both.
I noted this before the Con, but it was especially clear this week: there are so many career panels and workshops for that Comic-Con is becoming a destination vacation for aspiring creatives.
Gossip and reveals
Ultron is the Avengers villain.
The Little Mermaid will be part of Once Upon a Time's Season 3.
Steven Moffat allegedly said that if any SDCC footage wound up online, Dr. Who and Sherlock would not return.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is "an in-betweenquel" and will involve a lot of time travel, with X-Men meeting older and younger versions of themselves. Peter Dinklage plays mad scientist Bolivar Trask.
How ominous: Summer Glau has joined the cast of Arrow.
Zack Snyder made nerd hearts explode when he announced the Batman/Superman showdown by reading aloud from The Dark Knight Returns.
The Governor is still a force to be reckoned with on the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.
Did you know it takes 10-12 weeks to render one ape shot in Planet of the Apes? If you were in Hall H yesterday, you do. You also got to see this incredible image of Caesar as he leads apes into battle:
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes releases 18 July next summer, during the actual Con, so hopefully we get a cool giant banner of him scaling the Hilton Bayfront or something.
Speaking of giant, Godzilla is massive, and not the only monster in the film. Though he is the biggest. This Godzilla movie is all about size, Freud be damned.
Also rich with monsters: the Seventh Son, which seems to be straddling low expectations and guilty pleasure status.
Breaking Bad thoughtfully put together a 2.5 minute summary of the last five seasons to prepare you for 11 August and the final season.
George R.R. Martin news: Skin Trade was optioned by an indie producer, and Martin met with a producer at Comic-Con to discuss turning Fevre Dream into a movie.
You can look forward to a magnificent bathroom scene on the upcoming season of Supernatural, as Castiel is now a human with, well, human needs. Bobby is back, too.
If you're a hardcore space geek, your feelings on Cosmos may be mixed as it's being produced by Seth MacFarlane, for FOX, and features special effects. Being a softcore space geek, I like it. Astronomy for the peasant masses or gateway drug into science? Your call.
Buzz awards so far go to: Orphan Black, the 2015 Batman/Superman movie, the Zero Theorem, the Veronica Mars movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, World of Warcraft movie, Loki in Hall H during Thor, The Sandman: Overture. But really it's premature to say right now. Over the next few days, as reactions coalesce and turn into media, we'll know who the winners are.
Rumors that weren't true: Flash and Justice League movies were not announced, despite high expectations they would be; ditto the Sandman movie (a rumor that sprung from the DC head simply saying she'd like to see it made into a movie); we didn't get an update on the American Gods HBO show; Marvel didn't discuss Dr. Strange or Ant Man movies; Archer panel didn't show an episode; the new Dr. Who was not announced.
All in all, it was a peaceful Con. In recent years, we've had a stabbing, a dead Twilight fan, a bar brawl between a Marvel editor and a Marvel writer, and a company served with a summons during their own panel. There really wasn't much drama of that kind this summer (that we know about it.) Probably everyone was too busy and too tired for such shenanigans.