SDCC: Preview Night pandemonium

The Slightly Less Stormy Calm Before the Storm

This is the pandemonium that has become the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con preview night.  Massive hordes of zombified professionals, exhibitors, badge holders and press just trying to find the right line.  The Wednesday night pre-Con, usually just a bonus for 4-day badge holders and VIPs to roam the floor in quiet, unfettered bliss, was something new and unrecognizable.  They created a monster.

The line for press credentials took over an hour–which I’m sure that anyone who’s had to wait in the badge holders line is crying us a river–but it was more a result of bad planning than sheer numbers, supposedly cut down from years before.  The wait, the combination of anticipation, frustration and the desire to decapitate the next person who bumps into me brought me back to the good old days, when I was a badge holder, too.  And that’s how I’ll cover the Con, on the beat, as one of the horde.

For my first post on, I’ll follow the lead of Patrick and the rubied heels of Dorothy Lin by paying tribute to those behind the scenes.  If you never been to a Con, getting inside is like being transported to alternate dimension, a pop culture paradise, where everything is reproduced for you live and everyone is okay that your dressed like a pirate. These are they guys and gals who make it happen… with Stargate before and after.

Inside Preview Night

“It’s never been this big.”  That was the general consensus from the exhibitors tending the booths on the exhibition floor.  Exclusive figurines and toys were getting sold out on Night one.  The new He-Man at Mattel was gone almost within an hour.  Preview Night should was a misnomer… it’s Opening Night and if it’s any indication of what the floor is going to look like when the rest of general population is let out, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

So, I can’t walk the floor without some form of costume, not with entire families of X-Men running around.  I did not, however, come prepared so I’ll have to improvise.  Luckily, I found a Dark Knight Joker’s goon mask to wear for the Preview.  They must have been rare because no less than 15 people asked me where to find it.

The time passed quickly, it’s only 3 hours, not nearly enough time to cover the floor for most fans and the floor near the big booths was shoulder to shoulder traffic, and mostly at a standstill when anyone started throwing out free stuff.  But even with the growing mustiness of the floor and the knocks and bumps from errant Yoda backpacks, staffs, lightsabers and zanpaktu, it’s a blast.  And it’s maybe the only place outside our darkest fantasies that you’ll find Captain Jack canoodling with Jaba the Hut.


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