How was the 1st post-pandemic Comic-Con?

The feeling near the Convention Center was not one of emptying. At least, not for someone who, like me, had no other reference than what was in front of their eyes, that is, the crowds in the hotel lobby, on the crosswalks, at the entrance to the activations and, of course, at the doors of the hotel. space that for years has hosted the most traditional Comic-Con in the world. In fact, if they hadn’t told me, I’d say the event was packed. On series activation House of the Dragon, in which the visitor had a taste of Westeros from the heyday of the Targaryens and their dragons, for example, there was a day when the wait for the experience exceeded six hours. Even to enter the booth of funkowhere the brand sold exclusive dolls from productions such as Ted Lassoit was practically impossible — and let there be no doubt: I write this report still disappointed not to get my dreamed Richmond FC manager collectible However, from day one, my traveling companions Marcelo Forlani and Thiago Romariz surprised the number of people participating in the event. “There must be people still insecure because of COVID, right?”they bet. “On Saturday it should fill more”. And it even filled up, but not by the parameters of the two SDCC veterans.

The requirement for the use of masks and proof of vaccination (or negative COVID test) must indeed have alienated a portion of the public. But we discovered, by chance, another probable reason for the slowing down of motion. A girl sitting behind Forlani in Hall H said that she had bought her ticket and that of her husband in 2020 – in this case, for the edition that was eventually canceled because of the pandemic –, but that only she can attend this return from the event to the face-to-face. With no possibility of transferring her husband’s credential to someone else, she had no choice but to go alone. I can’t say if she died with that down payment—maybe his work appointment came at the last minute and he missed the deadline to ask for a refund? — but the whole point was: those who had a ticket since 2020, needed the luck to have a free schedule or to be attentive not to miss the organization’s return deadlines; those who hadn’t secured their credentials years ago were either subject to a bidding war on eBay, in some cases worth more than $1,000, or were left out altogether.

Still, as I said, the impression that was left was not of a small event. On the contrary. Seeing how the downtown streets form a kind of expanded pavilion highlighted how San Diego really didn’t stop embracing Comic-Con. In addition to the promotional arts for the series and activations, all outside the Convention Center, the bars offered special menus for visitors, with drinks named after heroes of the A.D and gives Marvel; the cosplayers took a break from their day of shopping and went, with all their gear, to eat a quick hot dog on the shores of the Bay; even my hotel attendants wore themed t-shirts and offered to exchange my key for a more geek. Even after the break, SDCC is still part of the city, and this ensures a truly unique pop culture celebration experience.

The particularities of San Diego Comic-Con, however, are not limited to that. used to the CCXP, what was my surprise when I realized that the Artists’ Alley and the shops mix in the pavilion? Well, the artists are spread all over the Convention Center and, in the turmoil of promotions and queues, it is sometimes easy to walk right past them — except for the space dedicated to the works of the Alex Ross. This one is readily found given its size, even though the author himself has been absent from the event for years. Nor can it be said that he expected to discover the existence of a familiar figure in the corridors as kitty man (“man of the kittens”, in free translation), a mysterious guy who leaves a stuffed animal by his side and disappears before being noticed — for the sake of transparency it is good to say that, unfortunately, this story is not mine, but ours collaborator Diego Peresfrom whom I didn’t have the courage to steal the cute gift as much as I wanted so much.

But perhaps my biggest shock this first time in California for the convention was the post-event nightlife. in the tavern of Dungeons & Dragonsa special activation for the movie starring Chris Pine, Forlani and I were expelled as soon as the clock struck 9 pm — and expelled is not a figure of speech, no. Literally a man came to escort us out and luckily, by that time we had secured our mugs, posters and, by the way, a photo simulating the most awkward sword fight you can imagine. The bars, in turn, punctually turned the chairs over the tables at 11 pm, and there was no night out that could postpone the end of the night. Neither on Friday nor on Saturday. It’s even funny: you’d even find a slice of pizza or a milkshake at dawn — by the way, thanks for the tips, azaghal and Young nerd! —but finding a beer after midnight took effort.

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