Comic Con San Diego 2011

I love this convention, it means the world to me. It's a place for nerds like us to feel comfortable running around geeking out with each other about comic books, movies, artists, and video games. I talked to a few outsiders who bought a day pass and were curious as to why this event is so big and all over the news. They were attempting to understand what all the hubbub was about. For once those folks get to feel "out of place" among *us* while we storm their minds with how incredible our industries are and how strong our pact is to continue to do and share what we love most. Things that define us, intrigue us, and most importantly make us happy - a celebration of nerd culture!


Have you ever flown on 3 different airlines, on 4 different planes, and had to go through 3 security checks in one day? Well that's what happened to us. Our flight from RDU > DFW was smooth and easy (despite having to wake up at 4am). After landing our smiling sleepy faces became frowning opened eyed ones when we noticed our flight to SAN was canceled. By this point it was 9am, the last AA flight was at 10pm... That wasn't an option because Cliff had to be at his Gears 3 panel before 6! After watching the AA agent ferociously slam her long nails on her 1995 keyboard for 40 minutes, she found a solution. Only option actually. Fly from DFW > Tucson then switch airlines to Delta and fly from Tucson > LAX where we continued onto SAN by United. Luckily everything worked and we made it into San Diego by 3pm! Crisis averted.

The Gears 3 panel turned out to be fantastic thanks to all of the hardcore energetic fans who were filled with excitement. Zach Levi (actor, CEO of an organization called Nerd HQ and overall nice guy) came out on stage to start the panel. He explained his mini comic con he had at a small venue that is part of a charity. You could buy admission to his "Nerd HQ" and/or these Gears 3 shirts where the proceedings go straight to a great cause called the "Operation Smile" where they restore kids who are born with cleft palates all over the world. He said that since he is part of an industry where he makes people laugh and he wants to give back confident smiles to kids.


Next Cliff & Rod shared the panel together announcing a few things while showing an all new trailer just to those at CCSD. Later Paul Jr from American chopper showed up and revealed to us the super cool news that they made a customized bike that could fit into the Gears universe. When the bike turned the corner of the crowd everyone's jaws dropped to the floor. It was so beautiful yet intimidating! The remainder of the night I hung out at the Microsoft party and caught up with friends I only get to see a couple times a year at these events. We were exhausted from the day and crashed early.


Off to Los Angeles we went. Only a 2-2.5 hour drive. Cliff participated in this skit that was for College Humor. I can't give too much information as I don't want to ruin it but I've never been to a filming set in a restaurant. It was so cute and seemed to be a complicated process. 6 pages of lines resulted in 7 hours of filming. It was so weird to see the extras mumble nothings while they pretended to be eating and having a great time while poking at sushi rolls. At one point the director said "Cut! Re-cast the sushi and we'll continue!" where they had to replace the demolished rolls with new ones. Spending the day admiring all that's put into a skits gave me more appreciation for actors/actresses and the production teams who do that for a living that's for sure.


Later on that night we popped into the NerdHQ party which pretty much always rocks. They had games set up there to play all throughout the venue including Gears 3 horde mode. Played some of the new 4 player Rayman game and no, he hasn't found his arms yet. It was fun but I found one thing a bit frustrating that I'd suggest the developers tweak. It felt like the character designs are not separated enough; they sometimes blurred together. I would push a color scheme more by having them glow or changing of their clothes because I found myself falling to pit of deaths after I crisscross with another player which tricks my eyes and forgets who I'm playing. Tough thing to do in a 4 player co-op side scroller! The best part of the NerdHQ parties is the open photo booth! It's a temptation you can't refuse. Plus I'm not sure what it is about the camera but it makes everyone look sexy and glamorous. Check out some of our photos:


Finally a day where we could hit up the con floor! Found myself an original 1996 new Tamagotchi that brings back far too many memories. Named him Dookie because he's a super dooper pooper! There are incredibly too many things to buy at these conventions so I had to keep my wallet on a strict diet. Found a tiny pink Halo spartan which will soon be making friends with my Bioshock's Big Daddy on my swag desk. Returned to the NerdHQ venue midday where there was another exclusive panel for Gears 3. This one did cost $20 to attend but once again, 100% of the proceedings all go to charity. Here they uncovered the first ever revealed easter egg from Gears3! Not going to tell ya though. ;)

Afterwards a signing took place and we were off to the floor again. On the way we got hands on with Mass Effect 3!! Being a huge fan of the series with playing 70+ hours of each of the previous games, this was my highlight of the trip. BioWare reps asked if I wanted to do a quick interview of what I thought about the demo. I said an uncertain "Sure?" and jumped in front of a huge camera with lights and a green screen behind me. I'm not used to being filmed so I awkwardly tried my best to shoot out a couple lines of what I thought. One of them I pointed out that there's now ladders you can climb instead of ramps or elevators. Really Lauren? There's more awesome additions to ME3 like a new talent point system with a small tree structure and you talk about ladders? Eee!! Anyway. I survived and was rewarded with a L337 dog tag. Saw a few other things at the show floor, including a N7 shotgun from Mass Effect which makes me want to do a full Female Shepard cosplay. Only thing is that will require a 3D printer and money I don't have. (Maybe one day I'll be fortunate enough to get some sponsors for it...hmmm?) Oh met Garth Ennis who is the writer of comic book series such as Preacher, The Boys, and Crossed. He is such a sick yet talented bastard. I don't think his stories will ever be up for discussion to be made into a movie, at least without butchering what makes them so fun. Finished my Comic Con by camping in line at the Lionsgate booth and scored a mocking jay pin! If you haven't read the Hunger Games books, I highly recommend you do. You will envy my pin!

Last night in San Diego we went to the Syfy/E! party and had a incredible time meeting new people and hanging out with a bunch of the G4 crew. Apparently there was a zombie parade I missed and some cosplay dude brought a real gun to the show floor! Of course he was rejected by security thank god, that kid must be a noobie. At least nobody got stabbed in the eye with a pen this year.

Special shout out to all the jellybeans that make up my L337 FL337 that I got a chance go meet. Y'all were so kind to me! Keep on rocking and thank you! Also wanted to say GG at all the cosplayers out there. I know y'all put a major amount of time, money, and heart into your outfits. One last thing, Cliff and I really appreciated the congratulations we received in person about our engagement. Thanks! ::HUGS::