After the Once Upon a Time panel I immediately had the Archie panel. The Archie panel was located several hallways over, which meant I had at least a 10 minute walk or a 5 minute dash ahead of me if no one was around. Add thousands of people and I was attempting the insane. I pushed, shoved, and ran. I made it to the line and was completely out of breath. I texted Cesar to let him know my current location and proceeded to wait. I didn’t have to wait long before some rude Comic Con staff member informed everyone around me that there was no shot we were getting in. This caused a lot of people to leave the line, but I stayed. Several other staff members came by to the say the same thing, but I was determined to get in. People were trying to sneak into the panel room, but they got caught. The issue was the panel was extremely popular, but they gave the panel one of the smallest rooms in the convention center. Not good planning. They let a chunk of the line is and told the rest of us to leave. Wasn’t happening. I’m stubborn. An Archie hotshot comes down and apologized to us about not being able to let us in, but the room was just too small. He was upset. He got a roll of tickets and gave everyone still on line a ticket. The ticket would be good for a $100 Archie swag bag. Sweet!! They told us we had to redeem them in exactly 1hr at the Archie booth. I planned on getting there early.
Next on my list was to meet Raphael Sbarge. He plays Dr. Archie Hopper on Once Upon a Time. There was a very small line. The girl behind me in line was dressed as Regina aka the Evil Queen. She looked great. When I saw her it dawned on me that I easily could have dressed up as her as well. O well, too late now. I turned around and was face to face with an older gentleman. I knew I knew him from somewhere and then it dawned on me that he was Stan Lee. I was too stunned to take a picture and then I remembered as he walked away from me. I decided to get an autograph and a picture of Raphael. All the money would go to charity. It cost me $40 total. Raphael was super nice to everyone. I had him sign a picture of me in Steveston outside of his character’s office. He loved the picture and asked me about my time in Steveston. He also asked me how the Once Upon a Time panel was. He wrote me such a sweet note about missing me at his office. We went to pose for our picture and the woman who took it got really close to us. I was also very stupid and pushed my hair to the back. I HATE WHEN I DO THAT. When I do that I look like I have no hair. Grrr.
I headed up to the show floor to head to the Archie booth. I texted Cesar to meet me there. I explored the other booths as I headed to the Archie booth. There was already a line and it was still really early so I got on line. After a short wait they had us come up one by one and gave us each a bag. The bag was so heavy. They weren’t kidding about the $100 worth of swag. I was super excited. I went to another booth and got a free Marvel poster. Cesar met up with me at that point and we hit all the booths that I knew had free swag. We picked up free 50 Shades of Grey buttons, Marvel comics and pins, a signed Superman poster and postcard, a Lemony Snicket t-shirt, and I grabbed a tote bag. I was so happy for the tote bag because my arms were breaking with all the separate things I had. Cesar bought an Adventure Time book and it came with a free medal. We wandered around the show floor taking it all in. Cesar bought some bacon lollipops. We passed insane bathroom lines. There were even lines for the Men’s room! We passed a cart selling super yummy grilled cheese sandwiches. They were about $6, but in the end I decided not to get one. 😦 They looked so good though.
We headed to Artist Alley next. I wanted to get my Thor magazine signed by the two people who drew it. I couldn’t find the first guy even though it said he was there. At that point we were both exhausted so we took a break. I used the restroom which was the first one without a line all day! Then we sat and munched on snacks we had brought. Cesar fiddled around with the instruments he had bought. We discussed teaching and observed all the different costumes. We headed back to the autograph area to wait on line for Cesar’s Adventure Time autograph session. The line was insane and wrapped around two corners. It was probably going to be at least an hour wait. I was willing to wait with Cesar, but he said no. Back to Artist Alley.
This time we were determined to find the other artist (Michael Mckone) who worked on the cover of my Thor magazine. It didn’t take that long before we found him. When we got to his booth there was a fan there discussing big money items so we patiently waited until they were done. I didn’t want to interrupt a big sale with my free autograph. While we waited we listened to the guy next to the artist make reservations at an Italian place on 37th and 9th ave. We listened to the guy go on and on about it. We even heard the name the reservation was going to be made under. Cesar and I teased about showing up to the restaurant at the time and joining them for dinner. Michael eventually finished talking and I asked him to sign my magazine. I was nervous that he would say no since I wasn’t buying anything. However, he was super nice and even offered to personalize it for me. He said he was surprised no one else had asked. The guy sitting next to him then picked up one of the magazines and asked him to sign it. Cesar and I then started to wander through the aisles. Cesar told me he had spent too much money and not to allow him to spend anymore. It didn’t take long before he had his hand back in his wallet.
We stumbled upon an artist neither one of us had heard of. His name is Daxiong Guo. We didn’t know it while we were speaking to him, but he’s led an incredible life. The short version includes him being arrested in 2008 and was sent to a prison in China because his art offended the Chinese Communist Party. In prison he was tortured for about two months, but was then rescued by friends in the U.S. His work was so beautiful that we couldn’t help but stop and admire. He was so talented. Cesar decided to look through a book of the artist’s work and he made a comment under his breath about the artist being talented. Daxiong went, “Thanks, I know.” This of course cracked us up. We loved all his work. While Cesar was going through the book he stumbled upon an Egyptian themed one. It was awesome! They decided to cut Cesar a deal so he bought several prints, including the Egyptian one for me. 🙂 Here’s some of his work below:
After that we decided to purchase plastic holders for the prints and we pooped out on the stairs. We were way too tired to move. A girl on the steps admired our prints and asked me for more info on the one Cesar had bought me. It was my first time really examining it and I noticed the cartouche on the man’s clothes indicated that he was King Tut. I also noticed Abu Simbel, the pyramids of Giza, the Nile, papyrus, and Kheper Ra. After chatting for a bit on the steps and discussing the metal hair clips Cesar bought for the girls in his family we decided it was finally time to get up and go home. We were wiped. As we left Artist Alley we walked behind Snow White and Captain Hook. On our way back to Madison Sq. Garden aka the train station, we looked up at one point and there was a nice looking Italian restaurant. My mind flashed to the guy and his reservation so I looked up at the street signs and sure enough it was the place. Too funny. We teased about crashing the reservation. Then I remembered the special code words to say to the Marvel booth for special free stuff. Too late now. After 3 days at Comic Con I was exhausted. I had no idea how Cesar was going to do another day. Turns out he decided not to. My first Comic Con was a success. Here’s to next year…