Believe it or not, I did not get kidnapped on my way to San Diego for the annual Comic-Con festivities. I went, I saw, I...well, "conquered" might be too strong a word for it, but I had a great time both in San Diego and then afterwards on a mini vacation to Arizona. Do I have pictures? Oh, my yes, I've got some great images to share with you, faithful readers. Yes, these are pushing a month old right now. But like a fine wine, they get better with age. They'd also be pretty cool right after the fact, but we'll deal with things as they come. Let's look at some pictures from Tuesday, July 22nd - the day before Comic-Con opened!
I left Pittsburgh early on Tuesday morning. The two statues (the figure in the middle is a living, breathing Jeff) are nothing new to the airport, but they present an interesting picture: in Pittsburgh, we put Franco Harris and the Immaculate Reception on the same platform as George Washington (who also had a nice string of victories in the area). Also, check out my beard.
The flight to San Diego was thankfully uneventful. Almost as soon as I stepped off the plane, I was greeted with palm trees and Comic-Con imagery. Comic-Con branding was in full force all over the city, unlike years past. It was clear that, as big as the show was, it keeps expanding every year.
The bridge over the crosswalk even featured some genuine comic book advertising, this from IDW for Walt Simonson's "Ragnarok" series.
Even though it was more than 24 hours away, before checking in for lodging, my wife and I went to the convention center to see how things were shaping up. It was already busy (though this is relative). Lots of displays were being hastily finished. Game of Thrones advertised on a number of the busses this year.
Here's the Homer Dome being built. I believe this one finished late, actually. This picture was taken around 1 pm on Tuesday, and it's easy to see that there was still a lot of work to be done.
It was interesting to see a Godzilla display for the second year in a row. The movie had already been released, so what exactly were they advertising? The DVD release? In any case, this year's convention had a number of interactive exhibits set up on the lawn by the water, a first for Comic-Con (at least in this magnitude). Look for this to increase in years to come. The Simpsons zone, the Godzilla display and the Gotham zip-line were all very well attended throughout the show.
A new library popped up in town between last year's show and the 2014 version. It's architecturally distinct and fairly close to the convention center, so I walked over to check it out. Fans of Sherlock Holmes held a Comic-Con party on the top floor one evening. I missed out on tickets, which was unfortunate as I really would have liked to go. The library itself is top notch and features an art gallery on top along with an observation deck (which was where the party was held). The galleries weren't all the way complete when we were there, but I did see some fantastic items, such as this horse sculpture from China's Tang Dynasty, which I assume was named after the powdered drink mix.
Here's a view from the top, looking south-ish down the coast. San Diego's a beautiful place, but there's some work to do on this side of the convention center. Tear up those parking lots and put in some parks, SD!
I stopped in at the Chuck Jones Gallery on the way back to the car, which is where I saw my first costume of the convention. It's a Chewbacca dog! It counts.
Construction on the Assassin's Creed obstacle course was in full swing on Tuesday. This was a popular outside attraction during the show and it had a prime location at the front of the convention center (across the tracks).
There was a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy branding around town, as the movie release was just a few days away at the time of the show. Marvel had a stranglehold on the lamppost banners, as I saw them.
Next time we'll move on to preview night. Fun times! Comic-Con is always a blast.