Comic Con

SDCC: A Gamer’s Paradise

Ten years ago the Exhibit Hall at SDCC was open enough to host Pokemon and D&D tournaments.  That might be hard for some of you to believe.  Soon the game enthusiasts were moved upstairs into large meeting rooms so that they could play without being surrounded by the masses.  Some of those games remain in the meeting rooms, but most have been relocated to the Marriott and the Hyatt.

When you enter the second floor of the Marriott you’ll find whole ballrooms full of Pathfinders, Dungeons & Dragons, and Magic enthusiasts.  They play until 2am every day during the Con.  The game rooms are also conveniently located next to the Con Hospitality Suite, which is a great place to grab snacks and relax when you need a break.

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One of the really cool things about this area is that you can check out board and card games to play with friends.  That way, if you’re not a Pathfinder, you can hang out with Monopoly or Munchkin or Cards Against Humanity…

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At the Hyatt, Xbox hosted a lounge in the 4th floor ballroom where anyone can go an try out the newest games and platforms from Xbox.  There is also a large area in the Exhibit Hall dedicated to video games.  Marvel and DC also offer their latest game offerings at their booths with plenty of screens to try the games out for yourself.

The bottom line is that if you play it, you’ll find other people playing it at Comic Con! 

SDCC Day 2: Celeb Sightings in the Exhibit Hall

I met Michael Rooker. It was a complete accident. I was in the right place at the right time (ie at the Marvel Booth) and he was signing and I was pulled from the crowd to meet him.  He was awesome.

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Rooker is playing the nemesis Yondu in the new Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy. You might know him as Merle from The Walking Dead.

You never know who you might run into on the Exhibit Hall floor.  I apologize in advance for not having pictures.  But sometimes you don’t know that you’re about to see someone famous.

Today’s list includes the cast from the upcoming Agents of Shield spinoff, Agent Carter; Lou Ferigno of Hulk fame, Hulk Hogan, Mike Tyson (who has a cartoon coming out…), and M. Night Shyamalan.

You never know who you’ll see. And that’s why you have to pay attention at all times!

More from SDCC Day One: The Exhibit Hall

The Comic Con exhibit hall floor is an amazing place. You can literally find anything here. Every fandom is represented at the hundreds upon hundreds of booths.

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This year I really think that the booths and exhibits from the big names are the best in years. 

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2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman and DC is celebrating in a big way.  They have the new cape and cowl from the Ben Affleck incarnation of the Dark Knight.

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Now that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars, they dominate the floor, and yet Disney itself is not as well represented.  Images of the new Thor and Captain America are all over.

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Keep checking back for more coverage of SDCC 2014!

Comic Con Day 1: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

It was Day One at San Diego Comic Con and the crowds were assembled en masse for the event. The hot ticket items at Hasbro sold out quickly and excited fans carried their huge bags with glee.

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This year Lionsgate took The Hunger Games outside of the Convention Center.  Last year there were too many people crowding the booths during the Mockingjay pin giveaway, so instead there was a cool photo op with Capitol guards and a few posters, but in order to get the pin you had to go across the street to the Hard Rock Hotel.

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After a two hour wait in line (during which time we got to see celebs like Adam West, Jeff Bridges, and the stars of Gotham leaving the hotel through the side entrance) we finally got to go inside.

It. Was. Amazing!!

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We got to choose a treat from Peeta’s Bakery and Haymitch’s Elixirs.

There were costumed staff members and movie memorabilia everywhere:

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You could make a custom t-shirt or backpack, take the District Quiz (I’m District 5), and take a picture in the throne with a hologram image of Peeta and Johanna.

It was well worth the wait.  And the pin at the end was the icing on the cupcake….

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So Much to Watch, So Little Time

I don’t watch a lot of television. It’s not because I don’t want to, rather I just don’t have enough time.  I see all of these shows and I know that even if I taped everything (yes, I was born in 1980 so I say “taped”) I probably wouldn’t get to it.  I know people who have no less than 6 TVs with 6 cable boxes and they are constantly recording shows. Who has time for all of that?

I started watching The Strain last night. Great show.  I also want to start The Leftovers. And then I need to catch up with all of my other shows.  There are so many great shows to watch right now. It makes me laugh to think that most people aren’t watching them on TV these days.  TV is finally worth watching and everyone is streaming things onto laptops and tablets. Or if they are watching a television, they don’t watch live TV so as to fast forward through commercials.

A Mexican billionaire proposed a three day work week recently.  He says that working longer days would be a good trade off for more time out of the office. This kind of plan would allow for more TV viewing…but I couldn’t stay seated that long. 

In my ideal world, I’d have a stationary bike set up with a desk attached so I could pedal and write.  Watching all these shows while riding a bike would be a useful thing…but only if there was time.

San Diego Comic Con is coming this week and every year I get excited about new shows until I realize that I probably won’t have time to watch them.

I’m still working on a solution to this problem.  I just felt the need to share.

Nerdvana in San Diego: It’s Time for Comic Con 2014

Eight years ago you could buy a 4-day pass to Comic Con and walk in the front door when the Exhibit Hall opened.  Syfy had huge installations in the middle of the floor, and their booth was surrounded by Pokemon and D&D gaming tables.  

Now, people enter a lottery to be able to buy badges, and the Exhibit Hall floor is crowded beyond belief.  Vendors are on a waiting list to get in.  Syfy has moved across the street to the Hard Rock.  In fact, many of the neighboring hotels have taken advantage of SDCC by sharing their ballrooms and convention spaces for extra panels.  Even Petco Park has cashed in as it hosts The Walking Dead Escape.

Personally, as a native San Diegan, I think that SDCC is a welcome boon to our city and I support anything that needs to happen to keep SDCC here.  SDCC was born here, after all, and the money generated from out-of-town guests is more than we’ll ever see from the Chargers.  I think SDCC should be a city-wide event, spreading beyond the confines of the Gaslamp to other areas of San Diego.  

I get as excited about the SDCC banners going up along Harbor Drive as I get when I see the first Christmas trees during the holiday season.  

SDCC is a nerd’s paradise.  I’m so glad to be a part of it!

(That said, watch for my coverage of SDCC here on my blog and on Twitter @SarabethPollock

True Blood Recap S7E2: I Found You

(Spoliers for “I Found You” below)

True Blood Season 7, Episode 2: I Found You

Airdate:  June 29, 2014

Summary by: Sarabeth Pollock

 

It’s nighttime in…somewhere.  Suddenly Jason comes upon Eric.  Is this real, or is this a dream?  Jason has questions, Eric might have answers.  Eric mixes a drink and offers it to Jason, and then Eric asks about Violet.  Jason can’t get Eric out of his head.  Jason figures Eric has heard that line a lot, but Eric replies that he’s only ever heard it twice.  Then they get naked.  Um, what?  And then Jason kisses Eric.  Ok, this is definitely a dream.  Right?  More kissing.  Nakedness.  A fire in the fireplace.  More kissing.  Heavy breathing. 

And then Jason wakes up in church.  He’s breathing heavily.

Yeah.   So begins Episode 2.

Jason walks outside to find his sister with Alcide.  The town is having a meeting and Andy and Sam are trying to figure how to find the missing people of Bon Temps.  Sookie suggests identifying the body she found in the woods.  Perhaps the strange vampires brought her with them, and they can track them.  Reverend Daniels asks Sam what the people should do with themselves during the day.  Sam tells everyone to keep going, that Arlene would want them to keep things running.  Andy wants to take Adilyn home, but she suggests that she stay with Wade because he’s family.  Lettie May wants to go visit Lafayette.

In Shreveport there’s a fight brewing with the vampires.  One vamp decided to eat one of the hostages, which drains their reserves.  There’s an argument about not having enough food and taking too much.  That means there needs to be another hunting party.  They choose a vampire teacher to do the dirty work.  The teacher, Betty, goes down to grab another victim.  She sees Arlene and chooses another victim.  Arlene asks Holly if her kids had her as a teacher.  She might be their way out.  Arlene attempts to raise spirits by giving a rousing speech. She’s been through too much to “die in a fucking vampire bar.”

Andy, Jason, Sookie, Sam and Alcide find the dead woman in the woods. She’s from two towns over.  Sookie quotes a gravestone that talks about the indifference of life.  Now the gang needs to take a road trip.

Lafayette finds Lettie May at his door.  They are both holding up all right, but Lettie May reveals that she made peace with Tara the night before.  She tells Lafayette that she wants more.  She wants to hold her, and she says that Tara needs help before she can head up to heaven.  She needs some V so that she can communicate with Tara.  Lala tries to convince his aunt that this isn’t what Tara wants. “You’re going to hell!” she shouts.  “That’s what this is,” he replies.

There’s a cleaning crew at Bellefleur’s.  Adilyn tries to console Wade.  Vince strolls in and mocks the people who are following Sam’s orders.  The fact that all of the town’s law enforcement is gone doesn’t leave protection for the town.  Hoyt’s mother finds dead people in the freezer.  Vince tells everyone that the vamps are going to come back.  He tells the story of what he saw the night before, that Sam is a shifter.  Mrs. Fontenberry reveals that she saw Sam transform and had previously blamed the Nyquil. Vince rallies the townspeople into protecting themselves.  Adilyn hears a woman who knows where some extra weapons are stashed.  She grabs Wade and tells him they have to leave.

Arlene and Holly tell Betty that they know who she is.  Betty thinks that they want her to let them go, but they convince her that she was the best teacher their kids ever had.  Betty’s afraid.  She goes to Arlene for a hug.  You can see the effects of Hep-V taking their hold on her.  Arlene tries once more.  Betty’s legacy is at stake, no pun intended.  She can make a choice to help them.  Betty promises to figure out a plan to let them go.  As she leaves, she takes one of the men back upstairs.

As Andy drives through the next town, the group is shocked to discover that the whole town is empty.  The streets are empty.  It’s a ghost town.  Buildings are boarded up. Messages are scrawled on churches and stores.  “FEMA, HELP US” is written on a street in a nod to the Katrina disaster.  Sookie comes across a pit that’s filled with bodies.  Everyone is left.

Adilyn tries to tell Rosie that the Bellefleur mob is going to come to the police station and grab the guns stored there.  Kenya leads them inside and they grab the guns just as the mob arrives at the station.  Vince demands the guns as part of his second amendment right to pretend himself.  The mob starts making Kenya doubt her role with Andy, reminding her that she was passed up for a promotion because she’s a woman of color.  Kenya decides to arrest Adilyn, who blasts her with her Faery powers.  That wakes up Jessica, who is sleeping under Andy’s house.  Wade tries to reason with his brother Rocky, but you can’t reason with a mob.  Jessica tries calling Sookie, but Sookie threw her phone away.  Back at the jail, the mob wastes ammunition with target practice.

Andy and the gang goes into a house where the dead woman once lived.  Jason tastes the pizza on the table and decides that the residents were last in the house two days prior.  The vamps must be raiding each town until it’s entirely cleaned out.  Andy sees a wedding picture and vows to make an honest woman of Holly when he finds her.  “A man ain’t nothing without a family,” he tells Jason.  Sookie wanders into the child’s bedroom and goes through a diary on the desk. Alcide walks in and tells Sookie that it would be ok to read her journal.  Sookie reads that the girl fell in love with a vampire named Henry, who takes her to Fangtasia.  She flashes back to the first time Bill took her to Fangtasia.  She recalls how excited she was going home and getting ready for her trip, a trip that wasn’t a date. “Like I said, I can’t fight it.  I am his, totally and completely,” she reads.  Then she finishes with an entry about an attack on a church.  Henry is infected with Hep V as well.  Sam finds a baby toy in the crib and becomes emotional.  Andy sees blood on the walls.   Mary Beth, the missing girl, writes that she hopes the vamps will spare a child.

Lettie May burns her wrist while she’s cooking.  She decides to burn her hand intentionally so she can call upon Willa for help.  But Willa has never been awakened in the middle of the day.  Willa says Lettie May should go to the doctor, that the Reverend said not to give Lettie May any more blood.  Willa relents when Lettie May begs, and Lettie May has another reaction.  She looks around the cellar and sees a cross in a forest.  Someone is calling to her.  She sees Tara on the cross with a yellow snake on her.  Tara is talking but Lettie May can’t hear her.  “I need the answer,” Lettie May cries.  Willa watches helplessly as Lettie May talks to someone in her vision.

Alcide tells Sookie that she and Mary Beth are nothing alike.  The vampires came out all over the world.  She fell in love with Bill hard and fast.  Sookie appreciates the sentiment, but she’s afraid that Bon Temps will end up like St. Elise.  Alcide knows they could flee right now, but that’s not the right decision.

Betty volunteers to be the sleep monitor.  She tells everyone that she’s the weakest link anyway and they’re waiting for her to die.  She sets the timer for them and then goes down to the basement.  She tells the women that they have twelve minutes to escape, but she needs blood.  Arlene offers her blood, but Betty has to drink from the femoral artery in case they get caught.  That way there are no bite marks.  As she feeds, the Hep V starts to take its toll, and she melts into a pile of goo right in Arlene’s lap.

Jessica’s bite wounds won’t heal, and as she tries to cover them up, Andy gets home.  He’s looking for Adilyn.  Jessica panics, but she knows she has to talk to him.  She tells him she’s in the attic.  She stays with her hands up.  She convinces Andy that she didn’t harm Adilyn, and she vows to find her as soon as the sun goes down.

Sookie and Alcide go home and she tells him to shower before hitting the bed.  She kisses him, and then when he’s in the shower she hurries over to Bill’s house.  When he answers the door, he seems pleased.  She gets right to business.  She wants to know if he can still sense her fear.  “If I get myself into some serious shit, can you still feel me?”

Rhone Valley, France.  Pam is on the hunt for Eric.  She goes down to the basement, where girls cry out that he won’t take their blood.  “You found me,” Eric says.  He’s in a chair, his hair is brown, and he looks years younger, somehow.  Pam stares in disbelief.

Well, folks.  It looks like Eric is back.

This episode moved really fast.  You can tell the writers are trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible, which makes the hour go by incredibly quickly.

So there’s a mob roaming the streets of Bon Temps, Adilyn is in danger, there are more questions than answers and we only have 8 episodes left.  Oh, Jason had an incredibly sex dream about Eric.  What do you think will happen next?

True to the End: Final Season of True Blood

I’m feeling mixed emotions about the season premiere of True Blood tonight. It’s always fun to see what happens after a cliffhanger…but given that this is the final season I don’t want to rush into it.  Before long, it will be over. And I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.

I suppose the burning questions to be answered are who Sookie will end up with, and whether or not Eric survived his sunbathing, amd what will become of Sam and the good citizens of Bon Temps with the crazy hoard of infected vamps bearing down on them.

There are many questions and surely many answers to be found.

I’m not sure Comic Con will be the same without True Blood.  The blood drive has been a huge success because of HBO’s participation. 

Of course, I’ll be watching eagerly tonight.  But there will be a sad undercurrent this season because summer will never be the same again. (Unless there is a spinoff with Pam and Eric. That would be epic)

SDCC Badges…May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

Are you sitting in the waiting room trying to get tickets for SDCC 2014?  Comic Con badges are fast becoming the most elusive ticket around. 

New this year–you get into the waiting room and then you are randomly assigned a number.  You can wait for hours or you might wait for minutes.  Either way, no one is guaranteed a badge.

What this means is that the San Diego Convention Center absolutely needs to expand.  As a San Diego native, the expansion is the only major construction project I support.  Screw the Chargers stadium. We need more room for SDCC.  The folks at SDCC also need to start thinking outside the box…and outside the Convention Center.  Frankly, if they utilized the surrounding hotels and the Gaslamp more, they could have a world class venue.  And why not transfer Hall H activities to Petco Park? Think about it–what a great way to increase the size of the venue and stop the awful lines.  Why not require tickets to the big panels…no charge, just pre-registered, so that people can do more than just spend their time in line.  Less time in line means more people out spending their money, after all.

But these are just random musings.  What do I know?

Good luck to the people in the Waiting Room this morning.  As they say in Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”