The time it was SDCC 2016

Posted July 25, 2016 by Stacee in Signings / 19 Comments

Going to San Diego Comic-Con is not always a sure thing, but it has been for the last 20 years.  And even though I’m seriously showing my age here, it has been so much fun watching SDCC evolve and change and get bigger.  The first year we went, we walked right up to the door, paid $10, and walked in.  Now everything from badges, to hotels to parking is all done online.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been lucky enough to have press passes, so for me, a lot of the stress leading up to the show was gone.   We did have a bit of a snafu with Hubs’ badge, but that was worked out easily.

Ready to settle in? This baby was almost 8 pages when I typed it up on my phone.

Wednesday

There wasn’t a real plan for preview night, other than to go in. Katie was flying in early and Michelle and I planned to meet up early too. So we all met around noon and immediately headed to Lolita’s for the obligatory pre-game.

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We had delicious food and soaked up the a/c and just sat around for several hours. Eventually we left and Michelle and I headed to the convention center and Katie left to wander around since she didn’t have preview night.

We walked over to one section and they told us that since we were press, we would be let in at 5pm. They directed us to a section to stand and wait. Once 5pm came around, we tried to go in and a security guard told us to another section to get in. And that other section guard told us to go back to where we first were. Eventually we were just standing in a volunteer line to kill time.

They finally let us in right after 6pm. Our first stop was to head over to Random House to flash our First in Line email to get a tote with an arc of Gemina. The woman working the booth remembered me from YallWest and said it was nice to see me again.

We started to make the rounds to say hi: Mysterious Galaxy, Macmillan, Hachette, Harper, Hyperion, and Simon and Schuster. We knew people working the booth at every one of them. We grabbed booth schedules and headed out with a lovely stack.

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Michelle and I split up there. I met back up with hubs and his friend and we people watched for a while. We ran into Jason Mewes and talked with him for a few minutes before calling it a day.

Thursday

Thursday morning had Hubs and I getting downtown around 7:30. I found a Starbucks that charged normal prices {not double the cost + a per drink service charge like the Hilton Starbucks} and after getting my tea, we headed out into the mild crowds.

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We went over to the set up for South Park, but it wasn’t open yet.

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And then went into the Hard Rock. I’ve been in there several times, but I’ve never seen the hand written lyrics and notes they had on the wall. They had stuff from Joey Ramone, Billy Corgan, Debbie Harry, and more.

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We found a VIP section in the hotel and were able to procure some goodies and find the phone from CBGBs.

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We ended up waiting on the corner by the Hard Rock and waited for Katie and and Michelle. There were a lot of great costumes.

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On the way to the convention hall, we ran into Alwyn Hamilton. We chatted for a minute before going into the convention hall. We were going to try to get a line ticket for Sarah J Maas, but once we got outside and found that the end of the line was like 8 miles away, we left Katie to try and went back inside for the a/c. Michelle and I headed to Penguin to get line tickets for Alwyn and we succeeded!

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We wandered around more, eventually found Katie again {who was successful in getting two tickets for SJM} and ran into a Harper Collins giveaway.

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When we got up to the booth, it was like bingo. You spun the wheel and then had to look away to pull a ball. The color of the ball indicated what part of the table you could selection book from. I got an arc and Michelle ended up getting the mega ball and was able to pick a signed Neil Gaiman.

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From there we headed up to the autograph area to hang out and people watch to kill some time.

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Katie met back up with us and we headed over to the line for Sarah J Maas. We got in the official line and were able to catch up with Lizzy from Bloomsbury before heading over to Sarah.  She saw me and jumped up to hug me. And then she asked to see my Night Court tattoo. We took a photo and then her husband took a photo on my phone.

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We stood with her for a few minutes, holding up the line. She told us that she wished that she would have worn something a bit more fandom, but felt that as a special guest, she should look professional. But she was dying of heat.

From there, we headed over to AA09 to get in line for all of us to say hi to Christina and Lauren. After chatting with them for a few minutes, we went down to the Penguin YA booth to see about lining up for Alwyn. The line went through quickly and when we got up to the woman who we gave our ticket to, I asked if I could keep it. I told her she could write whatever she wanted to void it, but I really loved it and wanted to use it for a bookmark. She said she understood, wrote an X on the back and gave it back.

I got up to Alwyn and we said hi again. I asked her how she was doing. She told me that she had some coffee and was doing better. They were giving away finished copies of Rebel with the arc, so I was able to get that too. When they handed me the arc, I asked if Alwyn could sign it. The Penguin person said no, that she wasn’t signing arcs. Alwyn said that she would sign mine, but that I was only the second person she signed for.

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Hubs and I got done with Alwyn before Michelle and Katie, so we went over to stand by Random House. I started chatting with the lovely people there and I was able to get a copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning. We also talked about Gemina and how I was killed in the book. They were both so excited and said “dreams do come true”.

We had to do a car swap, so I was able to dump everything I had and pick up the books for the 6pm {and final} signing of the day. We ran to Tor and said hi to Ksenia and then we commandeered a signing table and just hung out. While we sat there, I was able to see Ursula and talk with her for a few minutes.

We headed over to the signing area about 30 minutes before it started. Renée Ahdieh got to the signing area early, so I went over to say hi. She introduced me to her publicist and then said some of the nicest words about me. We chatted for a few minutes and then hugged a few times before I stopped losing my mind all over her.

They let us line up just before 6pm. The line to get to the authors goes right through the buy table and since there were so many people buying, they opened the gate up and let the 4 of us go right to the front.

We got to Renée first and I gushed a bit more to her. She signed a book I had for Christina and then I headed over to Marissa Meyer. I legit word vomited all over her abut Heartless and how I think it’s the best thing she’s written so far. She told me she was so happy to hear that, that a new book always makes her nervous. I seriously don’t know what else I told her, but there was a lot more fangirling.

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After that, we were done. Thursday was a really long day and it felt like the last day even though it was the first.

Friday

Friday morning had me running for signing tickets since Michelle was running late. I got to MG first to get Sarah tickets, then over to Penguin for Renée and Sabaa.

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Hubs and I started wandering around and we walked by a booth that had this advertisement.

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I was talking to the booth worker about it and telling her that Colin/Captain Hook was the only reason that I watched the show. She started laughing and said that I pretty much needed to do it. I asked a few more questions and found out that it wasn’t guaranteed, but they were certain that he would be able to get through a lot of signatures in the hour he was there. So I took a chance and bought one.

We ran down to artist’s alley to find Karen Hallion. I wanted to show her my Hatbox Jack tattoo. We chatted for a second before running back down to the other side of the convention center for Sabaa.

We lined up right before 11. We got to Sabaa and she said hi. As I was taking her photo, I noticed that she was actually signing the book instead of drawing the mask. I said that I was surprised that she was signing. She said that she would only draw the mask when she had time. Then she proceeded to draw her new thing which was a torch and said that Tahereh Mafi helped her with the design.

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We had Renée and Sarah both at 12. Since I saw Sarah the day before, Hubs and I went over to get in line for Renée and Michelle went over to MG. The line started right before 12 and we were able to get close to the front. We got to Renée and said hi. I asked her to just sign the copy of Wrath and I also asked if she would sign the artwork they were giving away. She did and then asked if I wanted another piece of the artwork for a giveaway….so of course I said yes.

After Renée, we didn’t have a real agenda, so Hubs and I wandered around doing more people watching before leaving early.

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I was helping Mysterious Galaxy with the Gail Carriger signing at the store. We grabbed a leisurely lunch and then went over to MG. While waiting, I read Michelle’s copy of Gail’s new novella and it was so so so much fun. I went back and forth with whether or not to recap and decided to just listen for the first time in a long time.

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Saturday

Saturday morning found us getting downtown super early to get good parking because Saturday is the busiest day. We settled into the HRH lobby, got some free coffee, and did some people watching.

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We headed into the convention center at 9:30. Hubs headed over to the booth to get in line for Colin {thanks to Jessica for letting me know there was already a line} and I headed to Harper to say the secret phrase for Frost Like Night.

I walked up to one of the women in the booth and whispered the line all super secret spy like. She laughed and said that she worked in the adult titles and though it sounded familiar, she didn’t know what arc to give me. She walked over to another woman and told her. That woman’s said yes and went to get me the arc. I started book shimmying like a lunatic and she started laughing. She said that they had very few left so that’s why they were doing the secret phrase. I told her how Hubs went to get in line and I went to the booth and she asked if she could share the story with her co-workers when it was all over.

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I then ran back to the car to get my statue and swap batteries and officially get into the Colin line. They had people coming by to open the box and use a box cutter to cut through the tape.

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Hubs would make a lap or two around and then he came to stand in line for me while I ran back to Harper to get an arc of Replica. I talked to the same woman as before and she was so lovely.

I got back to the line and it had been super condensed. We had to stand in single file line and if you didn’t have a statue, you weren’t allowed to be in line. The women behind us had two statues and then they had two friends join them. I don’t know if they had statues as well or if they were just hanging out. They made the already cramped line even worse.

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This particular woman was so close that she kept stepping on me and almost knocked my phone out of my hand. It was quite trying, but at least there was plenty of time to look at the cosplayers.

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They came around eventually and slooooooooowly moved us to line A. We were told that it was a pretty good chance that we would be meeting him, but still not guaranteed. And then we could see that people were slowing down in the hall and taking photos, so we knew Colin had arrived.

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The line moved quickly. When we got into the booth, I handed the statue to one person and my phone to another and Colin was in front of me. He said hi. I died and said hi also. He signed my statue and took a photo. The entire thing took maybe 60 seconds.

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From there I did a car drop and headed over to Leigh’s signing up get the mega poster. I met up with Katie and Michelle and Ursula joined us as well. They lined us up right away and we settled in to wait.

The panel ladies got to the table right on time. We said hi to Sabaa and chatted with Kiersten White before getting to Leigh. I showed her my tattoo and she said she loved it, especially the color. She said that she was impressed with the detail and was so honored that I had gotten it tattooed. I asked her to sign a poster for me and she did!

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Michelle and Katie had plans to go to a panel and since I didn’t have any ambition, I planned to go with. As we were waiting for the bathroom, Hubs sent me a photo with Tom Felton, so I immediately called him. He was in the press area in the Hilton, so I decided to pass on the panels and find Hubs.

Tom Felton had walked by again right after I got up there, but there was a bunch of security, so I couldn’t get a photo. He came out again a bit later and I asked for a photo. His handler said no, but when Hubs told Tom I was his wife, Tom stopped and put his arm around me and said of course. And then he took my phone and selfie’d like there was no tomorrow.

Now. Instead of going into detail as to how all of this went down {partly because I’m too lazy}, I will tell you that while we were in the press area, I saw the entire casts of Arrow, Once Upon a Time, Teen Wolf, and The Flash. Elijah Wood said hi to me and Morgan Spurlock waved. It was all pretty amazing.

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By then, Hubs had met up with friends and Keiko and I decided to go back on the floor. I wanted to see if I could get to the Heartless arc signing. It was 10 minutes before the signing time, so when I got to the booth, they told me that the line was capped. Keiko and I ended up hanging out with Kelly from MG {the booth next door} and I relayed my celebrity encounters.

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Somehow, that turned into me waving the “NEXT” sign for the Fierce Reads booth, which was the indication that the mega line could send a couple of ticketed people over. I may or may not have been severely over caffeinated, so I fear the Fierce Reads ladies might now know that I’m a lunatic. At the end of the line, one of the girls handed me an arc and I was able to get Marissa to sign it.

We called it a night and Keiko and I headed to some sushi restaurant for a Deadpool party.

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Sunday

Sunday morning was all about the YA signing panel. We went to the HRH to hang out in the lobby, as usual and then headed over to the convention center right at 9:30. I forced everyone to go to the signing area with me until I met up with Michelle and Katie.

We got right to the side where the line would start and settled in. One of the women from MG wanted to make sure I knew that the signing was 11, not 9 like previously announced by some publishers. We had security come over and disband us, but said we could line up at 10am. At 10:01, I got in line and made Hubs wait there while I confirmed the line placement. Maryelizabeth told me we could just get into the shute, so we did.

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We were getting ready with our books and post-it’s as the authors started showing up. Annnnnd I started losing my mind. Michelle and Katie were laughing because I was so excited about seeing Michelle Hodkin.

Michelle was the first author and this is what I remember:

Michelle: Hi. It’s so nice to see you again.

Me: {unintelligible sounds}

Michelle: I know exactly what teaser I’m going to put in your book. I’ve been thinking about it. {Flips through notebooks filled with writing} Look at how full this is. Some of it is mine, some not. I’m going to write it in the back, is that okay?

Me: You can do whatever you like.

Michelle: {as she’s writing} I’m struggling to write my own words.

Me: {more sounds}

Michelle: Please don’t post the teasers or I’ll know. But, I think that one might hold you over until next year.

Me: I won’t. Also? I’m trying not to lose my shit right now.

Michelle: Why would you lose your shit?

Me: Because I’m insanely excited you’re here. {And then I proceeded to tell her how I freaked out and ran around my apartment screaming when I saw the announcement.} I think I thanked her.

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I saw Laini Taylor, Renée Ahdieh, Adam Silvera, and Victoria Aveyard, but just had brief conversations with them.

Lauren Oliver was next, but she wasn’t ready, so I stepped over to Victoria Schwab. She was a brief conversation as well. She asked how my con was I said good, asked her the same and got the same answer.

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When Victoria was finished signing, Lauren was ready. I went up to her and she asked if we had met before because I looked familiar. I told her yes, but a very long time ago. She said it was nice to see me again and asked how con was. We chatted for that for a minute. It was her first SDCC and she was eager to walk around. Then she laughed and said that she had to sign both sides of Replica.

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With the only signing I had for the day finished, I went back to the car to do a drop and found that someone had thrown baby powder all over our car.

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I called Hubs to meet me at the car and then went to find security. I was told that I could file something with security, but since the cameras are only at the entrances, they wouldn’t be able to do much. We decided not to waste the time.

I met back up with Michelle and Katie and we headed around to the various booths, saying goodbye to various people. And then we headed up to a panel of Leigh Bardugo in conversation with Gene Luen Yang. As always, Leigh is amazing. I didn’t even try to take recap notes, but I did live tweet a few things and that thread starts here.

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From there, Katie and Michelle were done for the day. We all said goodbye and gave hugs and I met up with Hubs. He was ready to go as well, so it was time to leave.

As always, the last day of SDCC is bittersweet.  Half of me is like “hooray it’s over! I can sleep again!” and the other half of me is throwing a fit because it’s already over. I can’t even wait for next year to get here.

Now, if you’ve read this entire thing, I am seriously impressed.  As of right now, I still haven’t read through the whole thing.  And as I promised, there are two giveaways:  twitter is here and instagram is here.

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19 Responses to “The time it was SDCC 2016”

  1. I was there too! We probably bumped into each other more than once on the floor, but I didn’t spend as much time there as I wanted because I needed to get into Hall H and one does not simply walk into Hall H. I’m glad you had fun and got some awesome ARCs and autographs.

    • Stacee

      Did you have a good time? We’ve never really done panels, but I have seen a few in Hall H. I think the only person I would camp out for would be David Tennant…but I saw him in London, so maybe not even then. :D

      Thanks for reading {the entire thing!!} and commenting!!

    • Stacee

      It’s absolutely exhausting, but so much fun. And yes, they have an entire publishing section. I never realized it until I got into blogging and then started seeing the pub schedules, now it’s the only part of SDCC I really focus on.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Tammy V.

    Ok just reading that wore me out! Glad you had fun. I would have people watched too. How cool that Colin signed the statue? I need to catch up on OUAT.

    • Stacee

      The costumes are one of the best parts! I am so so so behind on OUAT, I think we’re close to the end of S2. I will watch it eventually because COLIN.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • Stacee

      Oh, I was pretty dead. It was so hard to function on Monday. And yeah…Michelle Hodkin is the only author so far that I legit cannot talk to out of complete fangirling.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  3. Thank you for the recap! It sounds like you had so much fun there! I’m glad I got to live vicariously through you for this event. I’ve always wanted to go, and perhaps one day I’ll have the money to go. I just hope I won’t have a claustrophobic panic attack like I did at BookCon.

    This may sound weird, but I’m so glad that was just baby powder. My first thought was “omg they smashed your window.” Sorry someone had to be an asshole though.

    • Stacee

      Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. There are sections of the convention center that are less populated, but for the most part there are people every where.

      Slightly off topic, the link that you’re giving with your comment comes up as invalid. Did you know that?

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • Stacee

      We are quite lucky to live here and be able to go as often as we have. I hope you guys make it one year!! And yes, meeting Colin was pretty amazing.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • Stacee

      No, I won’t be at YallFest. One day I hope to make it, but it’s not going to be this year.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  4. My comment isn’t going to be very long, but holy crap I loved this post of yours Stacee :D Thank you so much for sharing about your time there. <3 I am beyond jealous, lol :D Want to go one day so badly. Sigh. I love love love reading about what you did :D And all those pictures. Love! You got so much amazing. And did so much fun. You are the luckiest :) So glad you had an awesome time :D

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