My post-Comic-Con report, part three
by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 31st 2008 3:05PM
(Check out part two of this four-part report)
This should have felt like the home stretch. I should have felt like the end of it all was near. But a glance at the day's schedule reminded me I was going to be running around like a madman all day, trying to make some of the most popular panels of the weekend.
Saturday was a schedule that Rich and I had been contemplating since the schedule was released. The problem: With only two people, how would we get me from the extremely popular Lost panel in Hall H, all the way over to the other extremely popular Dollhouse panel, while Rich covered The Office? It simply wasn't possible. So, we made the decision that Rich would sit in Ballroom 20 after covering Futurama and The Simpsons, right through the oddly-placed Dean Koontz panel, and save my seat for Dollhouse. The Office would have to suffer.
Now, let me tell you about the line for Hall H. First of all, the night before, my cab driver pointed to the convention center where, I kid you not, people were camped out already for the Heroes panel. The Heroes panel, mind you, didn't start until 10:45 Saturday morning. Knowing this, I made sure I'd get to the line at least an hour before I planned to.
So, as I arrived at 7:45 AM for the line, I thought I'd be fine. Then I started to follow the line ... and follow, and follow. It grew behind the building, into a courtyard, where it snaked about ten times before continuing on behind another part of the building. I thought there was no way I was getting into that hall. I started to feel a lot better about my spot in line, as wave after wave of people continued past me to add to it, which eventually stretched on out of sight. By the time the line started moving, I read in twitter from people who were in line about a half-mile behind me!
Lucky for me, I did get a seat, but it was clear not everyone in that line was getting in. The room was already about 2/3 full, and with a half-mile of a line behind me, there was just no way.
I feel bad for the people who come to Comic-Con and want to see their favorite show, only finding out too late that they had to sit through one, two or three panels ahead of it to get in. The people who set out to see Lost and not Heroes were S.O.L. The standard procedure at the 'Con is that rooms are not cleared between panels, so those who got in early can stay right where they were sitting all day long, if they want. Some were saying they imagined this being the last year they don't clear rooms, but then what? If you go to see Heroes, then they clear you out for Lost so people waiting can attend, is that any more fair?
Needless to say, Hall H is massive -- with the exception of the nearby Petco Park, this was the largest venue in the area. 6,500 people can pack into that room, with plenty more if they allowed standing (which they don't, due to fire laws).
After sitting through the Heroes and Lost panel, I texted Rich that I was on my way to Ballroom 20. Surprisingly, I made it less than ten minutes. I gave Rich another text, he came out with a return ticket for me, and I swooshed in to take his place while he went off to another panel. Finesse, I tell ya.
Ballroom 20 is where I stayed for the rest of the day. I was next to (and sometimes in) the press area of the room, which was pretty interesting, since it was many times filled with stars and writers from the others shows at the 'Con. For example, Zachary Quinto (Sylar of Heroes) sat through at least a couple of panels, as did Lost's Damon Lindelof. During the Chuck panel, Chuck's Mark Christopher Lawrence was sitting there hanging out -- why he wasn't on-stage, I haven't clue.
By the time Fringe came up, I was going stir crazy. In my report, I tore into the moderator, TV Week's Joe Adalian a bit. I think by the time I got to that panel and then to writing it, I had had enough. I'm sure Joe had nothing to do with the accusations I made about his "resume reading," though his strange questions to the panel I have no answer for other than he was probably tired too.
Luckily I got about an hour, finally, to walk the exhibition hall. I hadn't been there since Preview Night. Woudn't you know it, Robert Smigel was walking the floor as well, with Triumph. Do I need to tell you how hilarious he was? Didn't think so.
In part 3.1, I'll get into the party from Saturday night, since it has a few snippets of interviews as well.