So it seems arriving at 8:30 for a 10am opening is far FAR too late. We had to park several blocks away and walk, though it was pretty easy to get our bearings by following the costumed people.
The friend I'm staying with had a coworker who had arrived at 1:45am to get in the Twilight line, and she estimated there were somewhere between 500 and 800 people ahead of her, depending on how many of them were saving seats. Yikes. We walked a bit farther back to see if we could find the back of the line -- see, the Twilight panel wasn't until 1:45, but if you wanted to see anything before it in that room, you had to be in the same line. Failing to even find the back of the line we gave up on seeing the morning's Disney 3D panel and headed back to the exhibit floor to wander a bit. It was even more crowded and disorienting than last night, and the people in costumes tend to cause huge traffic jams as large crowds gather to take pictures. We failed, by 10 or 15 people, to get one of the giant Doctor Who bags BBC America was giving out, but we were able to see Julie Benz (from a distance-- she was signing at the Dexter booth which had a GIANT line, but it was still nice to point and say, "Look! it's Darla!" And, thanks to a strategic text message from my much-more-experienced friend, we got our tickets to the Dr. Horrible signing event on Saturday (the whole Whedon clan will be there). So, yay, we get Joss Whedon's autograph! Also, great, now we can worry for 48 hours about whether we'll sound like asses in front of Joss Whedon. I HATE that about being a nerd.
I'm having trouble identifying a lot of the costumes I'm seeing, probably because I'm not into Manga or most anime. Hold on, there's a flexing Superman across the hall. He is ROCKING those tights. Maybe I shouldn't try to write these updates from the floor. There is a group (all of whom are in very good shape, damn them) of DCers (Supergirl, Batgirl, Batman and Green Arrow) that are quite good, and the scattered members of the 501st legion (Star Wars Stormtrooper group) is always fun to see. Saw an adorable couple with their baby in a stroller, all dressed in steam punk regalia. I rather enjoyed spotting Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable later in the evening. And LOTS of Dr. Horribles and Captain Hammers (not to mention Groupies)-- a good portion of whom didn't even get a spot in the sing-a-long (more on that later).
Another custom of which I was not aware: the "free hugs" sign. Seems to this Ohioan-raised, non-touch-y microbiologist a good way to transmit disease, but they seem to enjoy themselves so who am I to tell them otherwise? There's a lot of that though, the "well, that's not my particular cup of tea, but have at it yourself" vibe. Oh, and one good parody I saw was a guy dressed as Nacho Libre with a sign that said "Free Pile Drives to the Face."
Afternoon was mostly panels. In order to claim seats for the "Women Power Icons" panel, we arrived early to the previous one, for "Quantum Quest," an animated 3D movie that uses data and images from the Cassini mission. It has crazy star power (no pun intended, seriously), though only a few actors were present (Robert Picardo [of "Star Trek: Voyager"], notably). They joked that since they got Chris Pine, William Shatner, James Earl Jones and Hayden Christensen (who actually slightly got booed) they managed to have two Kirks and two Vaders. Anyway it does look pretty, and I do like science, so we'll have to wait and see how that goes.
The Women Icons panel was pretty cool, though honestly they should have just had Sigourney Weaver by herself. No offense to Eliza Dushku, Zoe Saldana, or Elizabeth Mitchell but come on, Sigourney Weaver. She mentioned that MTV recently ranked Ripley the second biggest badass, after Clint Eastwood, but, as she says, "I think she could take him." To much applause.
I caught the spotlight panel with Gail Simone, which was cool for me, and one of the few actual comic-related things we've done so far. I love her writing-- she's done a lot, but her current big project is Wonder Woman which RULES. Sadly, comic fanperson questions are much more uncomfortable -- lots of continuity minutiae and iffy social skills.
Next was the "putting the science in science fiction" panel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. ["Caprica" producter] Jane Espenson, as well as writers and science advisors from Eureka and Fringe were there discussing how you fit science into stories without sacrificing either.
Right after that (actually a little before it ended) we scurried off to the line for the Dr. Horrible sing-a-long. For some inexplicable reason, even though last year they ended up using THREE rooms, they put it in one of the smaller ballrooms this year, while something about superhero kung-fu smackdown got the bigger one (and we just checked, it's not full at all). So we missed the cut by FAR. I pulled out my laptop, which conveniently had the DVD in it, and held it up over the dispersing crowd. A few people gathered around and we tried to salvage our evening, but without sound (even with closed captions) it just wasn't going to happen.
So, on the bright side, I have time to write this update. On the less-bright side, I can hear all the people inside singing and laughing and having fun. Boo. Note to self: get to the Buffy sing-a-long three days early. I'd better close up though, some people might leave before the showing of Commentary! the Musical so we *might* get in.
Postscript: we did get in. :) And Zach, Maurissa and Jed were there at the end to thank us and assure us that more is coming! Yay!
Thanks for the report, Robin!