One day at San Diego Comic Con

As you may know, I was not fortunate enough to get badges for Comic Con this year during pre-registration, and after several years of issues registering for badges, I gave up even trying during open registration. However, I am fortunate to have friends who got badges and were happy to include me in their merriment this year. So I went down on Sunday to see what I could see.

I saw a lot less cosplay than previous years and other cons. (Though that might be true of all Sundays of long weekend cons.) I didn’t have any panels to see so I roamed the main hall and the Gaslamp district with my friends. As you’ll see from the photos: 1) I didn’t take a lot of cosplayers and 2) I borrowed Chris’s fisheye lens for a while.

I got a couple of books that I wanted to read (The Wicked and the Divine and Black Science), a couple of t-shirts for my girlfriend, and a CBLDF patch in return for a donation. But that was really it. I enjoyed waking seeing the convention and feeling like I was a little bit a part of it this year, my 8th year going. But I definitely missed out on the con experience. I feel bad about that but I also feel like San Diego is pushing me away a little bit. As much as it’s been a “local” con for me and the mothership that got me into comic conventions in general, its strange exclusivity when it isn’t all that exclusive is a little off-putting. But as I said in my article linked above, maybe I’m just old and tired of standing around and fighting through crowds.

I really had a great time at the convention, crowds and back pain aside. However…my cushy experience the last few years when I’ve gotten a parking pass or simply stayed with friends in town and taken the trolley in had caused me to forget the nightmare that is returning to Orange County after Comic Con via Amtrak.

I punched out of con almost half an hour before it closed at 5pm so I was at the train station at 5 or before. I grabbed an iced tea and wandered around the station only for a few minutes before an Amtrak employee told us to get in line already for the 6:45 train. That just began the evening’s travel woes. We waited outside for nearly two hours to board, boarding took 20 or 30 minutes, and the train was so full that people were standing, sitting, and lying in the aisles. Then Amtrak told us we were picking up 150 more people at the first stop, Old Town.

So, don’t take the last train of the day. Get to the station hella early. Pee before you board. And definitely don’t book out of Old Town or Solana Beach–those passengers didn’t have a prayer of getting a seat.

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