Comic Con International 2015 : Weekend Review

Comic Con International is one of the biggest events of the year.  And every year this is one of those events that come with the good, the bad and the crazy.  From panels, shopping, autographs and meeting up with friends there’s never a dull moment at this event.  This here is the highlight review of the Comic Con 2015 weekend.  Following the panels that I went to, the booths that made the most memory for me and the friends that I met up with.  Following we will share some Comic Con Panels, some more detailed reports and even a major discrimination report about Comic Con.  Let’s start with the fun.

Comic Con started on Wednesday for Miki and I as we were dropped off at the convention center.  First thing we did was use bag check for our bags.  We were there just in time for opening, getting to go and get our badges marked for handicap.  Miki with a broken neck from 2013 and me, because of my RSD which has been mentioned many times here on Cowabunga Corner.  While waiting for the doors to open Tokka joined us with a friend.

First booth we went to was Nickelodeon’s booth, and I got in line right away to pick up what I could from their TMNT toys.  I always love this booth, it’s big and colorful with TMNT all around.  As well as a thick carpet which feels good on the feet during the weekend when looking for a booth to hang out at.  I went through and picked up some of the TMNT merch at the booth.  It really is disappointing that they stopped carrying adult size Ninja Turtle shirts, those are some of my favorite things they use to have at Comic Con.

I got my hand on the schedule for the Nickelodeon booth and was surprised and thrilled to see that the Ninja Turtles autograph session was not directly after the Nickelodeon Panel.  Last year this caused a problem, as there was a TMNT panel right after the Nickelodeon panel so people had to make the choice between an autograph session or the 30th Anniversary TMNT Panel. I choose the panel.  This year the schedule had the same feel to it, as directly after the Nickelodeon panel TMNT fans could head to the Playmates Toys Turtle panel.  Which I was not going to miss.

After checking out the Nickelodeon booth it was time to wander around the convention.   Wednesday was all about saying hi to friends and seeing what booths were around this year.  We spent a lot of time at the Varner Studio booth.  Walked around Artist Alley.  And checked out the Warner Brother booth.  Found and got to say hi to many friends that we either know from conventions, other events and the internet.  We stayed in there till it was closing time.

Thursday was the start of panels as now more people could enter Comic Con.  There was not much on the scheduled I wanted to do this day.  Miki went to Hall H, so I started my day at the Nickelodeon booth again.  This time I picked up my ticket for the Friday TMNT autograph session.  After that I headed over to the Hilton for a panel, this is the first time I ever went to a panel for Comic Con International that wasn’t in the convention center.  I was heading there for the Voice Over Celebration with Cartoon and Video Game Actors, though as tradition for me I got there for the panel before and got to sit through “The Super Story behind the Pixar Short Sanjay’s Super Team”.  I love Pixar’s work so that sounded very interesting.  The walk to the Hilton wasn’t a bad one and there didn’t seem to be nearly as many people there as there was inside the convention center, giving it all a different feel.  Felt more like a normal sized convention while in the Hilton.

“The Super Story behind the Pixar Short Sanjay’s Super Team” is really a cool story.  Sanjay is the name of the director/writer of this short.  And it’s based off of his father and him.  They showed the clip, talked about the history.  Showed the creation of the characters and talked about how they decided to make these characters move and even had a video of Sanjay’s father after seeing the short for his first time.  Overall this was a heartwarming panel, while I don’t know much about the one of the main plots within the short, I do understand the underlining story very well.  This panel was enjoyable.  I did not record, because a lot of the panel was based on footage and pictures on the screen, which is against the rules of Comic Con International to record.

The “Voice Over Celebration” panel started which I did truly enjoy.  I’ve had the honor to meet three of the voice actors in the panel, some which I call my friend now.  It was good to hear them all talk and goof around up on stage.  Here is the video of that panel for everyone to enjoy.

After the “Voice Over Celebration” panel I went out in the hall and found some friends, where I hung out for a little bit.  I decided to take it easy this day, so after talking with people I found an area to sit down and charge my phones and cameras.  After taking that break I went out for some food, before heading back to the convention center.  Where I met up with Miki, we hung out some at the Nickelodeon booth before heading out for dinner.  After dinner we went back for the Heavy Metal panel that was listed in the program, getting there early we made it in time for the “Robotech: The Next 30 years” panel.  It was fun sitting through that panel, as we got to see a lot of new stuff they’re working on.  The big surprise for us though was the Heavy Metal Panel I originally came there for, was cancelled.  That was going to be our last panel of Thursday.

Friday was my big day at Comic Con, with two Ninja Turtle panels and the autograph session all within one day.  Before the TMNT panel was the My Little Pony panel being held in the same room.  I made it up there in time to see the My Little Pony panel, which was a lot of fun.  I do watch the series and from time to time read the comic books.  As I have a lot of friends who are into that series.  Here is my video of the MLP panel for everyone who wants to see it.

The Ninja Turtle panel was amazing, it will get it’s own full review with it’s video.  After the TMNT panel I headed right over to where the Playmates Toys TMNT panel was going to be.  The panel before the TMNT toys was “Comic Strips in the Modern Era” to my surprise I knew the host of the panel, it was Andrew Fargo.  He’s the writer of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History”.  It was cool to see a TMNT connection right away in the panel.  Other TMNT fans joined us in the panel room including Andre and Tokka.  I did not record the “Comic Strips in Modern Era” panel due to low batteries on the camcorders.

Next was the TMNT Toy panel, which will get it’s own write up and video posted soon.  After the panel was over I went and talked with Andre in the hall for a bit.  It was nice to get some time to catch up with him, since we don’t always get to do that at Comic Con.  We talked about the different stuff that we saw in the two TMNT panels and caught up in general as we haven’t got to talk since Midwest Media Expo. 

I headed down to the Nickelodeon booth and get in line for the Nickelodeon TMNT autograph session.  This was a fun line as we got to talk to friends who showed up.  I took a few pictures in line, and did take some time to do some recording with the cameras for extra footage to use at some point.  The Nickelodeon crew were autographing these cool prints with Ciro’s artwork.  This is one of my favorite things that come out each year for Comic Con, I love seeing what artwork Ciro is going to have for us next.  There was two from the panel who were not signing the autographs, Andre which is normal for the moderator to not sign autographs but would’ve been fun to have him down there with the crew.  And the other was Seth Green, I heard he was off doing Robot Chicken stuff.  Same thing happened with the autograph session for New York Comic Con 2014.

After the autograph session we ended up hanging out at the Nickelodeon booth area.  We saw a lot of friends we would’ve missed out on.  Met TMNT fans we didn’t already know.  And got some cool pictures with friends.  For me this was kind of an important break, going through the crowd at Comic Con is rough with RSD.  Which makes me really thankful for times where it’s just making new memories with people I respect and care about.

Saturday was a start off easy day.  Did a little shopping, had help from awesome strangers that were in line with me to get some stuff for other friends.  Then I went up stairs and sat down taking an important break.  One of the important things about Comic Con is pacing myself, to not bring on more pain.  Which is why I plan all my panels and lines out in advance to know where and when I need to be.  I headed from my break up to the Muppets Show Panel. 

I got into the ADA line and talked with the fellow Muppet fans around me, to find more Supernatural fans as well.  Once inside the panel room, I was originally thrilled to get the seat I had for the Nickelodeon TMNT panel, knowing that there’s enough room for me to sit sideways without having my arm on the alise.  Though one of the few times, a wheelchair did come and take the space in front of me, the lady had a bad leg that had to be up so her chair was right back on me with my tripod right on my legs.  I still managed to sit sideways on my chair.  Just a lot tighter fit than I was really hoping for. 

The panel started, as they shared a clip from that was used to sell the idea of this new Muppet show to ABC.  After the clip they brought on some of the puppeteers and as the panel went on, the Muppets started to join in on the panel.  I was in shock as excitement filled the air.  I kept my Turtle puppet on my left arm through the entire panel, while keeping my right arm as close to my body as I could to avoid anyone touching it.  The lady in the wheelchair was nice and was totally into the panel so I didn’t mind the situation as I enjoy seeing people embracing their passions. 

The worse thing that happened during this panel was when the Q&A section of the panel started a woman from the middle of our row decided she wanted to ask a question.  Even though she saw the wheelchair and tripod she still choose our way to come out of the row.  Which hurt me bad as I scrambled to get my tripod out of the way and see if there was any way to make myself smaller.  The woman in the wheelchair had to totally readjust how her chair was.  True afterwards, my legs had more room.  I still wish the lady coming out used common sense about which side would be easier to come out on. After all that, she did not get to ask a question before the panel time ran out, and returned to her seat through the same route.  It was a little easier since the wheelchair didn’t have to readjust again. 

The Muppet Panel did become one of my favorite panels over all of the weekend.  It was so cool to have the Muppets there answering questions and just interacting with each other.  Such a highlight of my day, I am thrilled to have been there.  Another fun fact is that the people that were sitting in front of me, were the same people who sat in front of me for the My Little Pony and Nickelodeon TMNT panel.  It was a nice family, that I did take the time to talk with between panels. 

Here is the Muppet panel.  I wish I had better video, as in two cameras with different views.  For chances to switch back and forth to show full reactions and up close of who's talking.  This was truly a fun and exciting panel.  Check it out, hope everyone can hear the jokes over the laughter.

As soon as the Muppet panel was over I headed over to the panel room for the IDW Big TMNT panel. I got there early, so I sat through the Bollywood to Hollywood panel. This panel was different for me, as I never heard of Bollywood before. I did not record because of the battery life left on the cameras.

I did however find it interesting to learn about Bollywood. How it came about and how it is going through their changes. Originally they were producing more movies getting them out faster, now they're slowing down and starting to do things more like Hollywood. This did bring up my interest to see some of their films.

The IDW panel started right afterwards. Once again the panel overview and video will be shared in its own story here on Cowabunga Corner.  After this panel I went down and bought one thing before ending my day early to get into the ADA line for the Supernatural panel Sunday morning. Skipping out on other panels and people I wanted to see, including Townsend Coleman's only day at the convention.

What followed made such a big impact on my Comic Con, that it has it's own write up. If you want to learn how Comic Con Hall H did wrong to ALL handicap attendees that could walk, please check out that story.

I made it into Hall H for Supernatural. Sadly the pain I was going through did make it so I sat with my eyes closed most of the panel. I did join in when the candlelight were held up, when I realized we were on the screen I moved mine different so I could find mine. It worked. Here is the video for this panel.

With this being the last day of Comic Con, I usually go around and say my goodbyes to all of my friends. My pain levels were too high, I had Miki say goodbye as I hide at the Nickelodeon booth. Then for the first time since I started coming to Comic Con, I left the floor early. The last thing we did before leaving the building was file a complaint. The pain was so bad, it lasted 48 hours after the event.

Overall I really did enjoy Comic Con. There was a lot of great panels. Many good friends. Cool things to buy. And most lines respected all Handicaps equal. The only problem this year was how Hall H handled their ADA line, which ended up causing suffering for awhile after the event. I won't let this be my main memory of the convention, but I also won't let this fade away like it never happened. I know I was not the only one hurting, stressed and offended by their actions.

I leave Comic Con 2015 with wonderful memories, which I will cherish. My favorite panel shared here is The Muppet Show Panel. A big thank you to all of the studios for letting us fans feel like we are part of your movies, shows and comics. Another entertaining year at Comic Con International.

Did you go to Comic Con International? What did you do there? Panels? Autographs? Shopping? Please share reviews, comments and questions below!

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