Dead Calm and Free Fear: SDCC 2015 Commences

Kids, you’ve spent time in Vegas and you understand the polar difference between Vegas at nighttime, and Vegas in the daylight. Vegas at nighttime is a wild, weird good time full of sensory overload from which it oft takes a good week to recover. Vegas in the daylight, notably the early-morning, is unnervingly tame. Depending on the state in which the previous night left you, daytime in the desert oasis can prove almost too serene, with nothing to distract you from the headaches, blurry vision and all those pix and oh-so-deep musings you wish you hadn’t posted. Except for the inner panic of Who the hell’s spurs are these?!, daytime Vegas air is clear, sound levels are blessedly stilled and the culling and deletion of most photos has proved successful, mostly.

Preview Night at SDCC 2015 was essentially early-morning Vegas: placid and tranquil, yet with a whiff of the circus, (and who knows what pix?) to come. Soon, it would be Thursday, Day 1 of 4, and the noise levels would skyrocket, the crowds would bloat, the senses would fry and the silent screams of inner panic, upon seeing lines for Ballroom 20 –William Shatner reading aloud-, and Hall H -AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead panel-, would begin to rise in earnest.

Ballroom 20, SDCC 2015. The calm before William Shatner's Thursday reading. Photo: JSDevore
Ballroom 20, SDCC 2015. The calm before William Shatner’s Thursday reading. Photo: JSDevore

San Diego Comic-Con (San Diego Convention Center July 9-12, 2015) is back in town. Whether you’re a local Spongebob Crabbypants who shakes his fist at the influx of chubby zombies and slutty Captain Americas, or a grateful business owner whose whole year is saved during this one summer week, Comic-Con is a boon to both the San Diego and state economy: infusing the City with some $135m each year, according to AP.

This year’s downtown crowds should bloat the streets, and banks, like a dead whale in the Cabo, summer sun. Fri/Sat/Sun crowds expect to inflate five times the Preview Night/Thursday numbers, according to the hometown rag, S.D. Union-Tribune. Security is also at an all-time high, similar to this year’s WonderCon Anaheim in April. A cop on the beat told this little geek security numbers are doubled over last year and law enforcement counts on three incidents per 1,000 people; they are expecting some 300K to pass through the Gaslamp this year. That’s a lot of incidents, kids. Hold hands with your loved one and keep the other hand on your bag.

Realizing there is more marketing worth in this pop-culture phenom than just inside the convention ctr, preying only on the 130K badge-holding attendees, majors like A&E Networks, NBC, FX and HBO, have installed a plethora of free, off-site activities. Whilst marketing reps will not give solid figures, many will admit, including an ad sales chap at Robert Rodriguez’ El Rey Networks, that many companies make more money via their social outlets (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) than they do via traditional distribution. If they can tap into the fandom inside and out at something like Comic-Con, whatever they spend on a pop-up installation, the better.

For those whom enjoy the overall spectacle, but aren’t determined enough for Badge Quest or fiscally carefree enough for the $50/day badges, fans can spend five whole days at what San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer calls “the Comic-Con Campus”. The un-Badged can enjoy everything from Battleborn laser tag (2K Games), to Heroes Reborn virtual reality (NBC), to Assassin’s Creed obstacle course (Ubisoft) and, best of all, a Beagle puppy petting zoo, promoted by The Peanuts Movie. (Animals all very well cared-for, I trust; and, moreover, not from a real-life Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, I trust.)

One does not need a coveted badge to nab free swag either. Everywhere a geek turns in the Gaslamp District, on the Convention Ctr periphery, he or she will find some form of proffered freebie: SyFy Sharknado 3 foam shark-saw; Sanrio fans; Viking-horn cups from the fierce Norlanders at The History Channel and A&E Networks. “May the Norse Be With You”

Yes, fear does begin here. AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” off-site installation at SDCC 2015. Photo: JSDevore

If you were blithely vanquished by Badge Quest 2015, fret not; there’s plenty to short-circuit your senses throughout the Comic-Con Campus and the Gaslamp. Be sharp, have fun, watch for rogue zombies and keep the very wee ones clear of any gratuitously gruesome and gore-laden installs. Stop posting every observation and look up from your phone once in a while to truly absorb it all. Keep eye for gratis graft and peripheral plunder and, please, kids, beware of sharks dancing badly in shiny mini-skirts offering free foam fangs. Worst. Sharks. Ever.

Oh, Hell No! Sharks in mini skirts? Tell that to the Outer Banks. Sharknado 3 frenzy at SDCC 2015. Photo: JSDevore
Oh, Hell No! Sharks in mini skirts? Tell that to the human hors d’oeuvres boogie boarding off the Outer Banks. Sharknado 3 frenzy at SDCC 2015. Photo: JSDevore

Check back here for full SDCC 2015 coverage, pix by our own Dr. Lucy and floor Tweets @JennyPopNet and @GoodToBeAGeek! If you’re at the Con, keep eye for‘s Hannah Hart and Dr. Lucy dressed as Peanuts girls Lucy Van Pelt and Peppermint Patty this year. What’s true is true, Chuck!

Abyssinia on the Con floor , cats!

Here comes the Funcooker! Hannah Hart (a.k.a. Jennifer Susannah Devore) at SDCC Preview Night 2015. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Oh, BTW, yes … author Jennifer Susannah Devore made it into the official SDCC Souvenir Book again! 75 years of Catwoman chic! Check back for a reprint, here on GoodToBeAGeek!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online? and

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