T-minus 9 hrs 32 min.

On this, the eve of my much anticipated trip to San Diego for my second Comic Con, I thought I’d share a little blurb I wrote about my experiences last year.

It was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed. No midnight showings of Lord of the Rings, or the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows could compare to this.

Fans. Fans everywhere, from every fandom and persuasion.

I’d been to California a few times during college, but never to San Diego, and never to a convention of any sort. I only became acutely aware of the existence of such an experience after watching everyone’s favorite nerds from The Big Bang Theory camp out with their laptops in attempts to procure tickets to this mecca:

San Diego Comic Con.  On July 23rd, 2014, I fell completely and utterly in love.

A friend and I had first discussed trying to get tickets back in December of 2013, so we signed up, created user IDs, and waited for the badges to go on sale. I fully intended to take off work to babysit my computer, a la Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj. But when that email was delivered, it spoke of a date only four days in advance.  The EPIC Waiting Room would open on a Saturday in March, right in the middle of a shift.

As a last ditch effort, I begged my mom to keep watch on my behalf, and I armed her with my credit card and two pages of notes (“Do NOT hit refresh!”) while I went to work.  My job was hardly important: I was a checker at my local grocery store, but it helped pay the bills, especially the student loans (still earning mountains of interest) for my MFA in Screenwriting.

I watched the clock, trying to pay attention to customers, but covertly checked my phone between orders. My friends, seated in front of their own computers with their own choice of caffeinated beverages, were constantly texting me. In less than an hour, it was all over.

Carolyn:  < Preview night is gone.>

Rosemary:  < Crap, Friday is gone already. >

Carolyn: < Saturday’s gone. >

Rosemary:  < Message just popped up saying all badges sold out. >

Carolyn:  < Sorry Andi, Thursday and Sunday gone. Next year? >

Then, a picture message from my mom:


Attached was a screencap of the order confirmation page. And my countdown began.

I may have only had the bookends of the jam-packed week, but I still managed to see everything. I watched a panel for my favorite show, The Blacklist, and screamed with everyone else when James Spader coolly took the stage. I got to see a preview for the upcoming film Air with Norman Reedus, when he introduced it in the panel that immediately followed. I got to sit in on an author’s talk with James Dashner, writer of the bestseller The Maze Runner. I had my picture taken with Smaug on the convention floor at the Weta Workshop booth. I spent entirely too much on a retired Loki FunkoPOP! bobblehead. I met with artists, attended tutorials on comic creation, and made some amazing friends.

San Diego Comic Con is like college for pop culture nerds, without all those pesky classes to spoil the fun, and this nerd simply cannot wait until the next semester.

See you there!

– andi

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