This weekend we went to the first comic con in San Francisco in a long time. While there are cons in Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and other nearby locations, the city itself hasn’t seen one since the WonderCon days.
The two and half day show was in the heart of downtown at the Marriott Hotel on 4th and Powell. While the celebrity list was short, it was jam packed with Manu Bennett, Ian McDiarmid, Jenna Coleman, Gray DeLisle, Chris Sabat, and Janet Varney. The famous heavyweights drew crowds to the already popular area.
We arrived Friday afternoon to pick up our badges. There was a lot of confusion around this. We had to go down two floors and down a hallway to show our tickets, but there was no internet in the basement, so we had to make sure we loaded the page before going down. The ground floor also had the vendor area, which was open that afternoon. We checked out a few of the artists and exhibitors before going to figure out the autograph situation. The second floor was the signing area. The third floor was info and photos. Fourth/Fifth were gaming, tabletop and video. While this makes it sound like the con was huge, it wasn’t. We had parts of floors and not nearly enough room for everyone (but this wasn’t an issue Friday).
Saturday was autograph day. We were very excited to meet Ian McDiarmid, so we prepared to be in line for him at 10:15. The crowds were serious. Hundreds of people milling through, trying to figure out where to go for badges. Since we already had ours, we went to the autograph room and stood in line. In our Star Wars gear, we happily shook his hand and chatted with him a bit at the table. He’s a wonderfully pleasant man, and it was great to meet him. We attended his Q&A in the afternoon, which consisted on him answering fan questions and telling amazing stories. The 501st walked him in to the Imperial March. He regrets not keeping the clasp that held the Emperor’s robe together. Apparently, it was just picked up from a regular store and had no special meaning. When he had to do the reshoot for Empire, he was disappointed that the makeup was from the prequels and not the Return of the Jedi makeup. He also loved the idea that Palpatine was going to see a Sith Ballet with Anakin instead of the water show. It was a fun hour of stories and impressions.
We were back at it Sunday, starting the day looking through the vendor room at different artists. The crowd was definitely smaller, but still sizable in the cramped space. We picked up some interesting artwork and watched one of the artists sketch. In the afternoon, we went to the Manu Bennett Q&A, which was surprisingly amazing. Our friends are fans of his shows, which is why we went. We learned all about his life and his shows and his works and that he loves talking. 🙂 He’s a fascinating and genuinely good person, and we will definitely check out his shows. The day flew by, and suddenly, it was all over.
Overall, the show was a lot of fun as they always are. The logistics were a little messy, but it was the first time in the city, so I have hope for the future. After all, Silicon Valley learned from Wizard World. The food situation was fine as we had plenty of places to eat downtown and didn’t have to rely on con food. As usual, I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Show link and information: http://sanfrancomiccon.com/