And we're back from the biggest show of the year! This is it. Another
incredible Comic-Con is in the history books. Let's take a look back and see why this was definitely one of the best
cons in many years. First, let's dive right into Wednesday, otherwise known as Preview Night.
I got pretty lucky as a friend of mine had secured a very sweet
spot in line. As soon as the doors opened, he made his way to the Hallmark booth to hold a spot for me. You may recall that
every year, hitting the Hallmark booth on Preview Night is my top numero uno priority. Once I secured my exclusive ornaments,
I could breathe a minor sigh of relief. Then it was off to the races I went. Typically, this day consists of getting my bearings,
finding out what booths are located where, and picking up either any other exclusives I want or at least finding out where
those booths are located. I got out of there pretty early though, as I know this will be my last night to get some decent
amount of rest. It was time for dinner and bed.
Up and at 'em early! Today, Thursday, Day One, is when the full on
madness begins. I had my morning pretty free so I roamed the exhibit hall. I knew that Anchor Bay was giving out The Walking
Dead bags but like many freebies, it boils down to right place right time. Luck was with me as I scored my first swag not
fifteen minutes after the doors opened. Then I swung by Underground Toys to get the free Doctor Who lanyard they were giving
away. My wife is a big Whovian so I knew I had to score this for her. Mission complete! Picked up a free headband from Symbiote
Studios for Warframe. I knew they had free shirts too but you had to play Rock Paper Scissors. One game, one chance. Mission
complete! Next on the agenda was to fly by the Mattel booth to score the Skeletor token for access to the Super7 offsite location.
After scoring on the swag, I made my way to the Profiles in History
booth. This booth every year showcases original screen used props and models from films. This year was something special as
it was the debut of the screen used model of the Rebel Blockade Runner from Star Wars. Those of you scratching your head,
this is also known as Princess Leia's ship from the opening scene. I wasn't going to pass up my chance to see this baby in
person. Along with several other props and models from Star Wars was the added bonus of the Winnebago from Spaceballs.
This was my day to score swag after swag as I just kept finding
myself in the right place at the right time. Buttons, comics, and all sorts of knickknacks found their way into my bag. The
only problem is there is so much hype built up for Comic Con that before you know it, the days can just fly by. My first day
ended (already!?!) with the world premiere of Scooby Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, featuring the vocal talents of
the legendary rockers themselves. Man it was good to sit for awhile and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It has got some pretty
trippy visuals though. I'm not sure that kids will get everything they are watching but they will be entertained. If you've
always wondered how Gene Simmons is able to breathe fire, you will finally have your answer. The film also features an all
new original song, as well as six classics. All you KISS Army members have something new to pick up when the Blu Ray goes
on sale next week. I stumbled out of Hall H, I made my way back to the hotel for some much needed grub. Day one in the books!
Friday was THE day that Star Wars fans have been waiting for since
the announcement was first made that there would be a Star Wars presence at Con this year. More on that later. Lots of news
to be unveiled today. The big news, and that's putting it mildly, is that Hasbro is making a The Force Awakens Tie Fighter
for the 6” action figure line! This sucker is HUGE! (With a huge price of course, MSRP is $169.00). Even though I don't
collect the 6” line I gotta say this beast is impressive. It comes with a pilot figure but the cockpit can actually
hold two figures. Look for this bad boy on shelves later this year.
Ok, it was announced a few weeks back that even though expectations
for the Friday night Star Wars panel was at a fever pitch, there would be NO new footage or trailers being shown. That still
didn't stop J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy from putting on one hell of a night to remember. While there was no new trailer,
they did present a three minute behind the scenes video as well as the original trilogy of stars; Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
and Harrison Ford. Just when you thought your night was complete, at the end of panel everyone and I mean EVERYONE was escorted
by a squadron of stormtroopers outside to the symphony hall behind the convention center for a concert celebrating the Star
Wars music of John Williams. Everyone was given a collectible badge for admittance as well as lightsabers marked with today's
date. Williams wasn't there in person but he sent a video message. At the end of the concert, the sky lit up with fireworks.
Now THAT is how you close out a panel in Hall H.
My night ended with a lot of laughs. My wife had purchased tickets
for us to see Chris Hardwick's Funcomfortable Tour. Almost 90 minutes of jokes and stories later, I practically had tears
in my eyes from laughing so hard. The highlight was towards the end when he was taking questions from the crowd and someone
asked if they could have hug. When Chris said sure, this BIG guy stood up. I'm talking easily 6'8”. Next thing you know,
this guy is giving Chris a piggyback ride around the room while Chris waved a lightsaber and screamed with delight. You really
had to be there for this. I just wish photography was allowed in the theater. I would seriously suggest checking out his tour
dates to see if he's performing anywhere near you.
After the excitement of Friday night, how do you possibly
top it? Oh right, you start off Saturday with a huge ninety minute Warner Brothers panel. Actually, late the previous evening,
Zack Snyder drove up in the new Batmobile and tossed out t-shirts to the Hall H line gathered outside. By the time the panel
started at 10:30, the crowd was in a near frenzy. If you recall, last year we got our first teaser of footage but Snyder only
spoke for about two minutes and the presence of Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot together on stage but not taking questions
only whetted our appetites. After a look at the incredible new trailer, the stars took questions from excited fans.
We also got our first look at Suicide Squad. We know the film had
been in production for some time but we actually got to see the first trailer. The majority of the cast made their appearance
on stage as well. I'm happy to report that the chemistry of the cast seems to be quite infectious. Hopefully that will translate
I also got to witness a touching tribute to Andre the Giant as
his daughter, Robin Christensen, has teamed up with Lion Forge Comics for an authorized graphic novel biography based on his
life. Robin shared stores about growing up in the protective shadow of her father and how long it has taken to get this project
off the ground. So many people were protective of Andre's legacy that it took a lot of convincing to get some of those closest
to him to be willing to talk about the man.
Speaking of giants, the only proper way to end Saturday was with
a giant 20th Century Fox panel featuring what was probably the largest collection of superheroes on one stage. You had the
casts of X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool and Channing Tatum, the future Gambit all joined onstage along with surprise guest Stan
Lee. We got our first look at what Apocalypse will look like when the film hits theaters next May. As for Deadpool, look I'll
admit that I am somewhat skeptical about Deadpool but that primarily stems from the fact that I'm unfamiliar with him. Ryan
Reynolds assured the crowd that this would be a hard R rated film in keeping with the tone of the comic and that while a rough
trailer was shown (twice at crowd insistence) we would see a cleaned up trailer in about three weeks. After a bite to eat,
I hit the hay. I'm bushed and I still got Sunday to look forward to.
One last day to go! Traditionally, Sunday is known as Kids Day
with a lot of programming aimed at the wee ones. For me, the day consists of getting up early and packing up the car so that
when I'm done at the Con, I'm ready to head home. Once the car was loaded, then it was time to hit the exhibit hall floor
one last time for all those last minute bargains. I tend to wait until the last day to do my shopping, unless it is an exclusive
item I'm looking for. Sure, I run the risk of a vendor selling out of something I wanted but at the same time, vendors are
more willing to make a deal. For instance, I got a vendor to knock five bucks off an action figure I'd had my eye on all throughout
the Con. I was also able to secure Peter Mayhew's (Chewbacca) autograph on a Star Wars 7” vinyl record. I missed out
on a few things but was able to score a few other things so the day pretty much balanced out for me. I love how you can see
the looks on some peoples faces that just say 'crap, I still gotta do that one thing' or 'dammit what aisle was that comic
book in'. Been there done that. I'm still that way. But you know, it's part of the fun and energy that is the Con.
I made my way around for one final sweep. Said a few goodbyes.
Kept my streak alive at 11 years of NOT winning anything from the 501st booth. (One of these days, its gonna pay off huge.
One of these days.) Took a few more pictures and essentially just soaked it all in. As I left, I ran into someone I hadn't
seen in seven years. We briefly caught up before it was indeed time to leave. One final example of the magic that is Comic
Con. Tired and hungry, it was time to go. Thank you San Diego Comic Con for the memories. I'll be back next year to create
About the Author: Abel S. a.k.a. "Honest Abe"
has written reviews for Dark Horizons, JoBlo and MusicTap. He has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade.
He can usually be found at his keyboard ranting and rambling about the human condition or watching Beavis & Butthead.