July 21, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
San Diego Convention Center During Comic-Con 2011
Here we go again! Comic-Con 2011 has officially rolled into San Diego and I was there with my press pass in hand, to bring you all the photos and insight from preview night you could possibly desire. The view you see above was taken from the new pedestrian bridge that spans over Harbor Drive. This new bridge offers people a second option across Harbor Drive besides the Gaslamp Trolley station to get to the Convention Center. The white tents you see (on the left) provide shade for the people in line for Hall H screenings. Yes, people had already been camping under them for over a day!
The Crowds Gather
They started handing out badges at 3 p.m. but the doors didn’t open until 6 p.m. which meant every security person in the building had the job of keeping 100,000 people out of the exhibit hall… For the next 3 hours! Here’s the thing about Comic-Con, it creates a mob mentality at every turn. Look at the scene above. If the people in front can’t talk their way in, do you think the people in the back will be able to? Of course not, yet the mob has now formed. Meanwhile, about 100 feet away…
A Better Way To Enter The Exhibit Hall
I joked with these two security guards about how people were already acting crazy. They agreed and then let me into the exhibit hall. The lesson here is that you will be able to see and do more things at Comic-Con if you DON’T do what everyone else is doing. If there’s a crowd, there will be a line and that means you have now been demoted to “sheep.” Wander around and look for doors that are guarded but don’t have a crowd, like the one above. I did so I got to roam around Comic-Con, practically all alone for about 30 minutes. Until the crowds finally came crashing in.
Sail Pavilion At San Diego Convention Center
The Sail Pavilion is the main area where autograph signings take place. I would imagine this area has more celebrities per square foot that any other part of Comic-Con. There can be upwards of 20 signings going on at a time, and they go on all day for four days! This is really the place for great, candid shots of your favorite Hollywood stars. Of course, you won’t be alone when you attempt to do this. The chaotic scene above is what the Sail Pavilion looked like last night, and the celebs were not even in the building yet!
Comic-Con is not just for fans, it’s for the celebrities and those who will become celebrities as well. The Winner Twins (above) are sisters that have, at the age of 16, become award winning novelists and created the Strand Series of books. They have a youthful enthusiasm about their lives and their work that is very inspiring. Most people are still trying to bang out their first novel when they’re old & grey, so I can only imagine what these two will have done by the time they reach their golden years. Andrew WK (above right) was in The Cartoon Network booth doing TV promos and generally just being cool!
Slave Leias are an overplayed, overused and very welcome part of Comic-Con. I’m serious; keep ‘em comin’ ladies and encourage your friends to cosplay as slave Leia too because it’s hot and you just can’t get too much of sci-fi’s greatest fantasy. The dude in the photo above was trying to record an intro bit where the slave Leia seductively slides her chain over to him while he’s talking. I think it was the highlight of his night! Spiderman, in many different shapes, styles and sizes can always be seen hanging around Comic-Con. It was Spiderman that introduced me to comics back in 1990.
Actual Car From The Movie “Back To The Future III”
That wraps it up for preview night. There are two Back To The Future cars on display. The car in the photo above is the actual car used in the third film. At that booth they have a lot of other props too like Bif’s cane, Mr. Fusion and the hoverboards. Elsewhere in the exhibit hall is a replica of the car from the first movie. I hope this post gets you excited for Comic-Con because this was just the preview night… We still have four days to go! Be sure to look at my posts and photos from Comic-Con 2010 for pics of celbs and costumes. Cheers!