I know I’m a little slow posting this year’s SDCC recap, but there was a lot for me to take in. This year’s Comic-Con was beyond my expectations. Plans were made, changed, and cancelled, but it was, by far, my favorite San Diego Comic-Con.
I think I visited more offsites this year than I have in the past. I usually keep myself in or around the convention center, but this year, the offsites really drew me in. That’s not to say offsites in the past weren’t amazing (The Taco Bell pop-up will always be my favorite). This year’s sparked an interest in me I usually don’t have.
The Amazon Prime Experience
If you’re wondering what Amazon Prime could possibly be spending all that money we pay them every month on, SDCC 2019 definitely took a huge cut of their budget. Prime came to San Diego Comic-Con with wraps and art that could be found all over the Gaslamp and panels highlighting their latest original shows, but it was their offsite where fans could immerse themselves in the worlds of The Boys, Carnival Row, and The Expanse.
Carnival Row is set in a Victorian-style industrial town called The Burgue, where creatures such as Pucks and Fairies (among others) have come as refugees. Driven out of their homes by The Pact, they struggle to find their way in a world that doesn’t want them. Starring Orlando Bloom (Philo), Cara Delevigne (Vignette), Tamzin Merchant (Imogen Spurnrose), and Jared Harris (Chancellor Breakspear), this Amazon Prime Original is certainly binge-worthy.
Produced by Seth Rogen (Preacher) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural, Timeless), The Boys takes place in a present-day world where superheroes (“Supes”) care more about their approval ratings than public safety. Imagine if Watchmen were a comedy. The Boys is a group of misfits who have been screwed over one way or another by a selfish Supe and have determined to get back at them. Starring Karl Urban (Billy Butcher), Laz Alonso (Mother’s Milk), Elisabeth Shue (Madelyn Stillwell), Chace Crawford (The Deep), and more, I binged this Amazon Prime Original as soon as it went live. You’ll never look at the Spice Girls the same way again.
Maybe I’m biased, but my good friend, DeAnna Cali, totally rocked this experience. She absolutely killed it as one of the RCE agents. Although The Expanse technically didn’t start off as an Amazon Prime Original, its cancellation by SYFY gave Amazon Prime the chance to add it to their growing collection of programs. Here’s a taste of what we got to see:
The Orville Experience
The production team behind Hulu’s (formerly Fox’s) The Orville is the best in Hollywood. I don’t say that because of any awards (they do have some); it’s what they were able to put together in two weeks’ time on a shoestring budget.
The Orville Experience, located at 390 11th Avenue, treated fans of the series to displays of props and costumes used in the series, production art, screen-ready displays, photo ops, and my favorite, Bortus’s Mustache. Fans walked away with hats, enamel pins, and a hardcover book giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the show.
The offsite was a giant thank-you to their fans, and fans definitely appreciated.
FX’s SDCC offsite has always been one of the best at Comic-Con. While it’s often nothing huge or elaborate, it is very immersive. This year, fans were treated to looks inside AHS 1984 (which I totally can’t wait for), What We Do in the Shadows, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Mayans MC. Cast members from their shows were also making appearances either before or after their respective panels, which I found out after bumping into the What We Do in the Shadows cast. Kayvan Novak (Nandor the Relentless) and Harvey Guillén (Guillermo) even stuck around for some photo ops and were insanely nice and gracious. So much so that they waited for me to come back from the men’s room to take a pic with me (with a little stalling from Carolyn).
I didn’t make it to as many panels as I normally do this year, thanks in part to the many opportunities that presented themselves. The panels I did make it to (in addition to the panels mentioned above) were all very entertaining, to say the least. As usual, there were panels I didn’t expect to love but did, surprise guests, and a little swearing. Ultimately, I got to see some actors I’ve fanboyed over for a long time, some decades. Panels like Cobra Kai and It Came from the 90’s gave me the opportunity to see Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid), Orlando Jones (Evolution, Office Space), and Milana Vayntrub (This is Us, “the AT&T Girl”) in action. And, of course, Veronica Mars…
And I’d like to create a gallery specifically to highlight the many expressions of Orlando Jones:
The Exhibit Hall
Like the panels, I didn’t visit the Exhibit Hall nearly as much as I have in the past. One of the reasons for this is that my favorite artist, Justin Harder (CLAUS Studios) was unable to get a booth this year. Also, while there were so many awesome exclusives this year (i.e.: Truck Torrence’s Dumpster Fire), I wasn’t willing to kill myself over trying to get them.
That being said, there was some amazing tech on display, as well as a LEGO He-Man, a life-sized Terminator 101, and one of my favorite cannabis brands was even represented. But the Wynonna Earp cast signing blew me away. I am always impressed by the way this show has embraced its own fandom. They consistently go above and beyond to show their fans appreciation. From the creators, writers, and producers to the cast, everyone stopped and chatted with Earpers.
This years Comic-Con was an absolute blast. I can’t wait for next year’s con. Of course, I had the most fun writing and reporting for the SDCC Unofficial Blog. I am honored and humbled to be part of such an awesome group of people. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store.