• Yoko

My San Diego Comic-Con Journey!

It feels strange to know I should have been in San Diego this week for my eighth straight San Diego Comic-Con.


Instead, I am spending the entire month of July at home for the first time in years, and as it turns out, I'm not totally mad about that. I used to say that I was always missing the best week of weather up in the Pacific Northwest during SDCC, and this week is proving me right, with a long stretch of beautiful sunny days reaching the 80s. I've been able to spend more time with my family, help them with their garden, take the dog on long walks, get some color on my approaching-translucent skin, and most importantly, let my parents feed me.



Having said that, I miss my friends! The best part of any con is seeing everyone; your local friends, those who travel out to the shows, and the other vendors and artists who become your friends after hitting that con circuit together for so long. I am realizing how much I have taken seeing them on these trips for granted.


SDCC was the first con I traveled for (although I have been going to Emerald City Comic Con for a long time), and yes, I actually went for fun before I "had" to go for work!


Let's take a look back, starting back in 2013.

2013


Check out these terrible photos I took at SDCC 2013.



My decision to go to SDCC this year was made on a bit of a whim, which could never happen these days. I recall buying tickets in a final round of sales that no longer exists, at some point in the spring, after people returned unneeded tickets. I just wanted a taste of the show and was thrilled to get a pass for Sunday. And, something else that doesn't happen anymore, I had been able to score tickets for Fundays easily too. 


I checked out some of the stuff outside the convention center on Wednesday, before everyone was set up, just to get an idea of what it was going to be like, and I was already blown away by the scale of this con. In fact, I would totally recommend this schedule for any first-time SDCC goers who are apprehensive about the crowds: Pick one day for the con (probably Thursday or Sunday), one day to explore all the outside stuff (not Wednesday, as everything won't be ready yet), try to get Fundays tickets if that's your thing, and then just enjoy San Diego!


Based on my photos, the only thing I purchased at the show was a pair of Tokidoki Unicornos!

This experience was enough to make me fall in love with SDCC, and I knew I would be back for more. 


2014


I believe I managed to get four-day passes this year, just no Preview Night. The highlight was making it into the big DC TV panel that previewed the third season of Arrow and also premiered the pilot episodes of The Flash, Gotham, and I think Constantine as well, although I admit I sneaked out before that one.



Another highlight was successfully snagging Nerd HQ tickets for the Stephen Amell panel, which was a blast. Isn't it amazing how photos taken back then, which doesn't feel that long ago, still look like they were shot on potatoes?



I believe LEGO may have changed how they do their special minifigure giveaways now, but before, you'd have to wait in this loooong line (preferably with friends, so you can take turns), and then hit a button and find out if you're a winner or... well, a loser. I hate long lines, but I love Unikitty, and I was so excited that this wait paid off. She is the most precious.



One final tidbit from SDCC 2014- I entered the custom contest at Fundays and honestly I can’t remember exactly what place I got, but I placed! I'm still proud of my little Avengers Kitties.


2015



I had been ready to go back to SDCC for the long haul again, when my plans were swerved after being hired by Funko a couple months prior. What I remember about this con is working so hard to prove I belonged there... and this was the Fundays that things got a little intense in the crowd (I was shocked when I won the Funatic Spirit Award, though!). 


2016



I was super lucky and was able to have the Guardians of the Galaxy cast sign a poster... and this is the exact moment I told Chris Pratt I loved him on The O.C.



One of the greatest moments of my Funko career was meeting this little rock star who just wanted to chug some corn. Her name is Josie and she is the best. She is legendary. And also I got to wear a pretty red dress. 💃


This year was also "Operation ReDorbz" where artists customized giant Captain America Dorbz that were auctioned off for charity. I was thrilled to get to make one myself, and made this homage to my favorite Marvel character, Agent Carter. I never did find out who won this piece, I would still love to know.


Where did you go!?

2017


This SDCC was super exhausting, because it arrived on back-to-back weekends with D23 Expo. There were plenty of fun moments, but back-to-back cons, folks, maybe with a parks day in between, let me tell you... it's a lot.


(I would totally do it again in a heartbeat!)



But, this is my favorite outfit. Like, ever, in any context, probably. And I was once again surprised, this time getting to join the Hall of Fame alongside some of my favorite people.


2018


I was so involved in the prep of this Fundays that I really didn't spend a lot of time at the booth this year, and I missed those interactions.



I did get to do a couple cool experiences, like the Rocket League party at Petco Park and the incredible HerUniverse fashion show. I wasn't able to go last year, but the HerUniverse fashion show was something I had definitely hoped to check out again in 2020. Make that 2021!


This would turn out to be a bittersweet Fundays for me, my final one.




2019


My little booth that could. I was back at SDCC again, this time with my new employer, FiGPiN. I lost so much sleep leading into the show, worrying about how FiGPiN’s inline 10x10 shoe box of a booth was going to handle its new, hungry, growing fan base. It was chaos, but it was organized chaos, and we survived!



That "END OF LINE" sign still haunts my dreams sometimes.


Thank you to everyone who helped make all these special memories over the last seven years! Whether you helped me snag an exclusive, brought me food or coffee, went to a panel with me, or just gave me your support in my most exhausted moments, it was all so appreciated and wouldn't have been the same without you. I miss you all so much and can't wait for cons to resume again.


As we look ahead to 2021, please feel free to share your favorite SDCC memories with me, either on social media or here in the comments!

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