As the Summer convention season chugs on with PAX Prime, Dragon*Con, and GenCon all in upcoming weeks, I’m still busy recovering and unpacking my San Diego Comic-Con dreams, memories, and swag. Last week, we took a look at the growing video game presence and a tip for what panels to check out. This week, we’re taking a look at childhood glee and how to enjoy Comic-Con even if you don’t have a badge:
Place Most Likely To Make Your Inner Child Happy
Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland
Like many of my fellow Gadchicks, I love all things kawaii. For fans of cute things, SDCC is full of adorable plush toys, fetching gothic lolita costumes, and all sorts of tiny figurines for sale. However, this year Sanrio made a huge splash with the Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland which was as much fun to visit as it is to say aloud. Featuring a Hello Kitty nail art tent, Hello Kitty inspired lolitas, and a roving truck driving around San Diego asking you to visit, it was hard to miss their colorful corner and their outside appearance only built on what you could see on the Convention floor which included visits from Tokyo-based Sanrio illustrators.
Best Place To Hang Out Without A SDCC Badge
In its third year, Zachary Levi’s Nerd HQ has become the best geek clubhouse in San Diego each year that doesn’t required a Comic-Con golden ticket to enter. Supporting Operation Smile, Nerd HQ runs intimate panels with nerd luminaries and provides a lounge area for attendees featuring photo booths, video games, and parties each night. The panels are then broadcast over the internet for everyone to get an opportunity to participate and create gifs to post all over Tumblr.
This was my first year attending a Nerd HQ panel and it was a truly special experience. While SDCC panels are a great opportunity to see your favorite actors, authors, and artists in person, they are usually experience with a few thousands of your dearest friends. Nerd HQ panels are limited to under 300 people and this year featured stadium seating, allowing for a more relaxed environment. I highly recommend trying out one of these events even if you aren’t attending SDCC and just live in Southern California.
Every year when I leave San Diego Comic-Con, I swear that this will be my last year and that there are other nerd conventions out there to explore. Every year, two weeks after leaving San Diego Comic-Con, I’m already plotting for my next trip and wondering who will be in attendance.
Readers, what does 2014 have in store for SDCC? Will it be the first glimpses at the new Star Wars? Will it be a look inside who will be taking over the cowl when Batman and Superman team up? Leave your predictions and your 2013 highlights in the comments.