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My Overwritten Journey To SDCC 2017: Day 4 – Breakfast Burgers, Con Flu, And Recording Our Thoughts

Sunday 23rd July 2017 by Derek Kraneveldt

Read day 0 here.
Read day one-ish here.
Read day two here.
Read day three here.

I have no idea what time I passed out at last night (or this morning, more likely), but I got up today feeling substantially more awake and energized than I did yesterday. It must have been the litres (gallons? US gallons? Why can’t America be the same as anyone else) of water that I’d consumed as an attempt to feel better.

I did wake up today with a bit of a sunburn on my neck, and at this moment I realized that I haven’t even thought about putting on sunscreen once so far this week. My fiancé packed it for me and everything, it just slipped my mind until it was too late. Now, typically I avoid sunscreen anyways because it feels gross and I don’t like doing things that feel gross, but I swear this isn’t one of those times. I told my fiancé that I had forgotten all about it, and she called bullshit no matter how I tried to save it.

I began to wander around the Gaslamp district in order to find some breakfast. I planned to hit up the Hall of Justice Subway that Jonathan and I ate at a couple of days back, but he texted me to let me know that they were closed on weekends. As I walked by dark restaurant after dark restaurant, I realized that apparently so was everywhere else (or they didn’t open for several more hours). I even went back to the Horton Plaza outdoor mall, as I assumed (incorrectly) that something in the food court would be open at this time. Heading here did, however, help me make up my mind about the Nikki Bella signing, which had a substantially longer line than the Sami Zayn event from days prior, even though you had to buy a specific package to take part in this one.


Somehow, a burger place called All American Burger was the first open locale that I came across, and thankfully the restaurant was nearly empty, meaning that I could walk in without waiting in any lines. Amazing. Do people not want burgers for breakfast? Or is everyone just in the Hall H line so they can see the Marvel reveals later today?

The burger was pretty tasty,  though also pretty expensive (especially factoring in Canada’s worthless dollar), and the coffee was much appreciated.

Tasty, but not $30 tasty.

The show floor was open following breakfast, and I waded through what felt like the most crowded show floor ever (or at least of this week) to make my way back to the booth. Jon was here, and we took the time to record a segment for the post-SDCC episode of the flagship Geekscape podcast. We chatted about Puyo Puyo, our experiences thus far, Sonic Mania, and more, and as we mentioned video games this once again makes Geekscape the number one video game podcast on the network.

We finished this up, and I watched Matt Kelly tell a ~10 year old girl in a princess dress about how the Horror Movie Night shirt he’d been slinging features a ghost with a boner. He also performed some sort of rap shortly afterwards.

Not the ghost boner moment, but not far from it.

I took this as an opportunity to leave the booth and to walk a bit more of the show floor. I headed towards Artist’s Alley in search of a print for my dad. In previous years he’s sent with with some cash, and I’ve added some cash of my own (as a birthday present) to get him a commission from a neat artist. This year I’m so broke that this just can’t happen, so I need to find something cool as a consolation prize.

I’m also in search of a cool looking Deadpool cosplay to take a photo of. One of my friend’s kids is a huge Deadpool fan (doesn’t he know that Deadpool isn’t for kids?) and asked me to snap a photo of one for him. Naturally, prior to this request I saw a myriad of them, but following the request I’ve yet to see a single one (even while legimately searching for one). Lame.

After some walking around, I decide to head across the road to the Petco Interactive Zone. Here, there are installations for things like IT, some sort of game called Recoil, photo ops for Game of Thrones, Luke Cage and more, some sort of World of Warcraft ice cream, and more. The lines for everything here were pretty long, and I was beginning to feel a bit off (could the con flu be coming on?) so I decided to head out without experiencing any of the content.

I took a walk around the outside of Petco Park to witness just how far the line for the upcoming Impractical Jokers Block Party stretched around the park, and it was nearly all the way. I’m talking thousands of people waiting to get in to experience the White Castle food truck, Sumo Wrestling, and other odd activities.

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but it was one of the longest lines I’d seen this year.

I wandered back up to the convention centre, went upstairs to see if Ballroom 20 had a lineup at this time as there was a The Simpsons panel here that sounded pretty interesting (it did, a very, very long one), and just sat down in the hall to get some writing done. At this point in the day I’m feeling pretty ill (I should have consumed more Emergen-C in the past few days), and instead of wanting to do anything else at the convention centre at this time, I kind of just want to have a nap.

I decided to sit down for a little while, and found an area outside of a panel room that wasn’t too packed. I continued to feel more and more nauseous, and as I knew nearly nothing that had been announced at Comic-Con thus far, I decided to scroll some news feeds. I watched a bad-ass first trailer for Ready Player One (I need to read the book again before the film comes out), the fantastic first full trailer for Stranger Things 2, and learned that Todd McFarlane was directing a new Spawn movie for Blumhouse.

At this point I was fading fast, and decided that I needed to grab some food and head back to the hotel to chill for awhile. I made my way back up to the Horton Plaza which at this point seemed like the only affordable food in the area, and ended up getting another round of Panda Express in before my long trip back to Canada the next day. I figured that I should buy something to augment the free things that I’d obtained thus far, so I made my daily round through the WWE FYE Pop-Up Shop (read all about it right here) and settled on some Bayley Gummy Bears and a The New Day Water Bottle. It was a cool $16 total, which seemed fine until I realized that I’d just spent more than $10 Canadian on Gummy Bears.

I arrived back at the Westin, gave my fiancé a quick call, and then napped for an hour or so. This was probably the best decision I’d made all day, as I woke up feeling pretty damned refreshed, and substantially less nauseous than I did previously. When I awoke, there was a notification from Expedia on my phone letting me know that I could now check in for my flight back to Vancouver. This reminded me that this year’s journey would soon be coming to an end.

At this point it was about 5:45PM, and I was under the impression that we’d be recording Geekscape Games in the morning, so I didn’t think that I’d have an opportunity to hit the show floor again after today. I opted to take a quick Lyft back to the convention centre so that I could have as much time as possible (the driver, Marcia, was very interested in what I’d experienced at the convention thus far). Here, I walked through Artist’s Alley once more, adoring all of the art that I couldn’t afford, walked by the weird hentai grab brags and missed Shane once again, and once again tried for a Stranger Things hat for Mikaela (no go, sorry sweetie). The convention floor closed, and we all booked it to Rockin’ Baha for one last dinner together (making 2017 the first year that I was able to experience the mango/pineapple salsa twice).

Matt, Courtney, and I made our way back to the hotel and decided to hit up the whirlpool as a means to relieve our aching feet. On our way back, Matt spotted a Deadpool without a mask. I noted that “Without a mask he’s useless to me,” to which Matt yelled “Yo Deadpool put your mask on for a second.” It worked, and I got the shot for my friend. I never would have asked him myself, so I guess thanks are in order.

At this point we had decided that we’d actually record a Geekscape Games podcast tonight, as some events ended up being booked for Sunday morning. Josh was unable to join due to an impromptu Michelle Branch (and not Sarah McLaughlin) concert, Adam was at a Sonic Mania, and Shane didn’t come to Comic-Con, so we invited Matt to be our third (especially as we’d mostly be talking about Comic-Con rather than video game news).

In the whirlpool, we met a guy who was in charge of designing Hot Wheels for Mattel. He noted that he’d worked in the auto industry for over a decade before getting a random call from Mattel, and that he took the job as it sounded like a fun departure. He told us a story about designing cars for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, noting that he’d designed a car based on a really cool character who ended up barely present in the final cut, and how weird it ended up being for a toy like this to come out when nobody would care (or even be familiar with) the character. Matt took the lead on the conversation (it kind of sounded like he was trying to take this guy home too), and he certainly had some incredibly interesting stories to tell.

Upon returning to the hotel room, we found Gui asleep meaning that this nice, quiet location was no longer an option. We ended up going downstairs and using the outdoor patio, which was quiet for the most part (aside from the occasional ambulance, musical pedicab, or train). Matt, Courtney, and I chatted about our favourite moments of the convention (this was Courtney’s first convention ever), things we were looking forward to tomorrow, the future of Geekscape, and much more. This was a really neat episode for me to be a part of, as it felt a little more in depth and personal than what we typically record. I’ll update this piece with the link to the episode as soon as Shane posts it (and works his audio magic as we did not use a monitor this time around).

Echoing what I said yesterday, I feel like I only just arrived, and it’s crazy to me that tomorrow afternoon all of this is coming to an end. I’ve shared a lot of great stories and laughs, and have had some deeper serious moments at this convention, not to mention all of the neat actually convention related things that I’ve been able to do. I’m not done with my family here just yet, and at this point I don’t want to go.

As I finish this piece, I’m the last one awake in the room. This is the last night that I’ll hear Jonathan’s insomnia-inducing snores until next year’s Comic-Con, and soon the wonderful face to face conversations that I’ve been having with everyone will again be relegated to text (or podcast, if I’m lucky). This is pretty sad, as I’m just not ready to say goodbye to these people. I wish I had a few more non Comic-Con days to spend with these folks once the insanity settles down, and on previous years, I would have.

In any case, I’m truly grateful that I got to spend some time with these people at all. I once again feel a closeness to them that was substantially weaker when I arrived, and it reminded me of how important these relationships are to me, and also of just how much these people care about me. I hope that I can take these thoughts and feelings home with me, and continue what we once again started here from afar (also Courtney lives pretty close to me, so I could totally see her for real).

It’s still hard to believe that there can be this many people in one place.