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For the first time in a few years, Ben and I managed to get passes for preview night. Of course, his co-worker Alvin said that there was a drawing for the Star Trek red carpet premiere on the marina starting at 11 that Wednesday, so of course we had go early.

We went to the Original Pancake House for breakfast, where I ordered the Swedish pancakes because I love lingonberries... also, they're fun to roll up. It was nice, because it was a Wednesday, so we managed to get a table fairly quickly. Though, by the time we left, it had started to get packed.

We went straight to the marina, and I was shocked that I could not for the life of me find my Unico umbrella from Zambicandy. It had been sitting in the bottom of my purse for the past two weeks exactly in anticipation for this occasion, since it is not a very good rain umbrella. It's not a parasol, either, but it would do in a pinch. If I could find it. It's now been more than a week since the end of Comic Con and I have no idea where it is. :(

Anyway, we stood in line under the heat of the sun with no shade and no sunscreen for two hours. So naturally Ben was burnt as a lobster and I more or less like slightly burnt toast on my neck and arms. My face wouldn't start peeling until Friday.

There was a little old black couple just in front of us in line who were just the cutest: a man in full Starfleet uniform and his wife. They were so friendly and sprightly! Anyway, a group of folks came up to him before the drawing started and straight up gave him a ticket for the showing, but they stayed in line because they still would need to try to draw tickets for his wife.

A little later on, after the drawing had begun but just before they started winding us around the final stretch, the man was stopped again by none other Michael Giacchino, the composer of the music for Star Trek Beyond. Michael gave them yet more tickets! But they still went to see if they could draw tickets for their kids. Which they did, because the line lady let him peek in the bag! It couldn't have happened to nicer people, though.

Plus, Paramount hired an ice cream truck to give away free ice cream to the people who were standing in line for Star Trek. So we got consolation ice cream.

From 2016

From 2016

The double cone that Ben got was a feat of engineering, I tell you.

Preview night started with me making a beeline for Mattel and then abandoning my attempts to get into the line after about 5 minutes of pacing back and forth in the general area. In the end, I wound up able to get the exclusives I wanted because there was practically no line the following days. The things they ran out of surprised me, though.

In terms of fun freebies, I got a little Mega bloks Enterprise, which is my favorite free toy thing I've gotten since my Jake the Dog keychain a couple of years ago. We bought an art print of Patrick Stewart and a wolf from the painter of light, himself, Brandon Bird, and I got the new Camilla d'Errico coloring book, which is gorgeous even though it's double-sided. I was really looking forward to trying my copics on it, but there's too much bleed and too much pretty on both sides to just go for it. I wound up buying a second copy off Amazon (it's $6.76 right now, off of $15.99), since she signed the copy I bought at Comic Con.

After the floor closed, Ben and I went to the Super7 store for their special screening of the new He-Man (Skeletor? I mean, it was Skeletor-centric) episode and sale. Alas, the whole thing was sort of disappointing. The highlight of it all was that we wound up standing behind the designer of the new She-Ra doll, who actually was carrying the doll around with him and taking pictures. For some reason, that felt really validating, lol.

Ben wound up buying a shirt and some M.U.S.C.L.E. figures... which I really don't get, but after standing in line for an hour to uncover the mysteries of this Super7 event, we had to get something. He figures maybe he'll use them for D&D minis. Maybe.

Thursday was pretty chill. We met up with Bobby and Alvin for Geek and Sundry (even though we're still a little bitter toward Felicia Day about the whole near-death Fulfillment Room pin debacle) and the Nerdist, because both Ben and I nurse a huge crush on Chris Hardwick. (I joke that it's one of the reasons I married him, but the truth is that I didn't know about it until after we'd already tied the knot.) The Nerdist Panel was really good, and they had some great things to say about maintaining your public on-line presence and how to not feed the trolls. I'm only sad that I didn't make it into the Sherlock Panel on Sunday to see CH moderate that.

Afterwards, we grabbed some Stuffed! burgers at the funfair across the street (Oh gawd, the Bang! with the fried onions and blue cheese is just decadent... I got it twice last year), then headed back to the car to debut Ben's costume.

From 2016

He got stopped for an interview with Screen Junkies,

From 2016

and Funny or Die. By the way, if you're going to dress up as a Pinball Wizard, you better know the song.

From 2016

We met fellow video game veterans, Guile

From 2016

and Wario and Waluigi.

From 2016

Apparently, in addition to ancient earth sports, Sisko has an appreciation for ancient earth entertainment technology, as well.

From 2016

From 2016

Suffice it to say, Ben's costume was out of this world.

I didn't debut my costume until Friday because I didn't want to have to deal with wielding my warhammer and trying to steer Ben out of the way of knocking down small children.

We first attempted to line up for the Rick and Morty panel, but abandoned that plan because we were both sunburnt and not willing to endure standing outside in the blazing sun. So we went back on the floor where I met none other than my buddy, King:

From 2016

It was pretty exciting for both of us but it was the last time I'd see another 7DS cosplayer all weekend. I didn't keep track of how many people stopped to ask for a picture, but it was a lot. Which makes me feel a little uncomfortable if I think about it too much, because the first year I dressed up for Comic Con, I found exactly one search result for my costume, accompanied by a negative caption, which had put me off going all out on my own cosplay for years. This year, people were really positive, though, and it seemed like there were maybe only one or two people who asked for a picture because I had an impressive hammer rather than because they knew and liked the show.

I think the most funny and delightful thing was that a number of Harley Quinns would come up to me and compliment my hammer.

From 2016

The girl here was dressed as Apple from Turbokid. I was appalled that Ben didn't recognize her at all, since Apple and Turbokid had been one of the options we were considering before he settled on his Pinball Wizard idea.

From 2016

And finally, She-Ra. I've probably mentioned it before, but when I was four and some change and my mom was pregnant with my sister, I told her that if the baby was a boy, he should be named He-Man and if it was a girl, she should be named She-Ra. And they wound up naming her Sheryl. Coincidence?

We wound up bailing around 4 and eating an early dinner at the Boiling Crab.

From 2016

And, yes, I did go in my costume (minus the hammer). The wait staff was pretty excited to talk about it.

From 2016

Saturday, Ben and I opted to do the outdoor stuff, since we RSVP'd to Adult Swim on the Green. In the future, we really ought to do that stuff on a weekday, because it's open to the general public, and people tend to have Saturday off.

The Green was still closed when we got there, so we went through the South Park photo experience.

From 2016

After I posted the above photo on Facebook, Andy responded a bit later with a photo of him doing the same thing.

From 2016

From 2016

From 2016

From 2016

This is perhaps the least flattering photo of me taken, ever, but I'm still amused by it.

Afterwards, we headed out to The Green. It was the first time I've ever been inside the Meatwad tent, and frankly, I'd do it again. I thought that they were going to premiere a show or something, but it turned out to be a really fun and trippy film. Like riding a VR shuttle into stunning visuals, but without getting bounced around.

We didn't try for any free shirts or carnival games, though, it was so packed.

From 2016

Just outside The Green, I met Ash and Pikachu! There were lots of Pokemon Go players. Amazingly, the movements of the players didn't really impact foot traffic in the convention hall, even though we did witness a couple of parents dragging their kids away from trying to catch something.

From 2016

I was a little disappointed that One Punch Man was there hawking One Punch Punch, but hey, free Punch! Also, I wound up seeing at least two other One Puch Man (One Punch Men?) who were Just Cosplayers, later that weekend.

From 2016

Best free thing I got that day.

From 2016

Sunday, we went to my doll panel, which happened to be in the same room as the NASA/JPL panel and the vintage videogames panel that Ben wanted to see.

The bjd panel was much of the same... pretty much an excuse for people to meet and show off their dolls. No one really paid much attention to Molly... I guess no big fans of 7DS there, but I did mostly hang back to guard Ben's costume while he went off to get pizza.

We stayed through the NASA/JPL panel, which was interesting, though I'd have to say that thermal engineer Shonte Tucker was probably the most engaging person in the group. Well, and the last guy who had to arrest someone's grandma for trespassing on the launchpad out in Cape Canaveral. He was interesting, too, but his anecdotes ate into a lot of the Q&A.

As soon as the room started to empty, I helped Ben into his costume. Just before the game panel started, internet celebrity Pat Contri had the room give Ben a round of applause, which was really neat. After the panel, he tweeted this photo of Ben. Ben asked if James (Angry Video Game Nerd) would take a picture, but Pat said that James wasn't really into the Tiger Handhelds. After he left, I commented that maybe James could just berate Ben (as he does to terrible games on his YouTube channel).

Then, on our way out, a blogger for NPR took Ben's photo and asked him a few questions. Also, someone else who stopped him for photos totally recognized him from his Roger Wilco costume.

On the way out, we ran into a bunch of people we knew. Hooper, Jac, and their kids, and also Nicole (the wife of one of Ben's old high school buddies). We were supposed to dine with Kim and Jac, but everywhere close to the center was slammed and everyone was tired. So instead, Ben and I went to El Indio and met with Roberto and his mom. It was nice of them to come all the way out, since El Indio is out of the way of Comic Con. We had a very pleasant dinner and caught up a bit.

Soooo... pretty chill this year. I got my MH exclusive, and I also got the Saga figures, which I didn't know I needed to have. I love Saga! It's soooo good. I wish the set included a baby Hazel, though.
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