Comic-Con 2016 (+Giveaway!)

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Another year, another Comic-Con. This year marked my 5th consecutive year attending Comic-Con international in San Diego (also known as SDCC)! I love making the trip every year for the all the pop culture but it is also amazing to see my friends. Definitely check out Stacee’s recap (she has all the pictures!) This year was the first year I went alone (how dare none of my friends want to come with this year), so I spent a lot of time with Stacee and Michelle. Wednesday was preview night, which I did not have this year, so no recap of that! One note about Wednesday was the Carne Asada fries from Lolita’s and a Mud Pie donut from Donut bar.

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Thursday (or books and Ursula dress) 

Thursday started with my standing in line. Outside. In the hot sun. I was in line to get a ticket for an offsite panel and possible Sarah J. Maas signing ticket. The wacky thing Comic-Con did was put all the lines together (including those for celebrity talent) so it was a very long line. Luckily I was in line behind two fellow Sarah J Maas fans and told them all about Maas Thirteen and how that got started. Once the line moved, it went fast. I got a ticket for my panel and two tickets for SJM signing (one for myself and one for Stacee).

After I got my tickets, I headed to the floor and picked up more tickets for various booth signings. I appreciate the tickets because it allowed me to not have to stress about getting somewhere early enough to get in line. We did end up in a Harper line for a bingo drawing of a sort. This line prompted this photo (which is stolen from Stacee). I was very excited to be the line break. Also Ursula dress.

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We split ways after that and I headed to my panel (The Smitten Word: Romancing the Reader) off site at Horton Grand Theatre. I didn’t love this. The theatre itself was nice but the panel was half empty. I think the ticket part turned some people off. The panel itself was wonderful and the authors covered everything to why they write romance to advice to aspiring writers.

I headed back in the heat. I don’t usually complain about summer because I love it but I like the small reprieve I get when I head to southern California but it decided to act like Chicago this year. I met up with Stacee and we got in line for SJM. I was really just there to say hi since I was fortune enough to see Sarah a few months ago and had all my books signed. I got to see Sarah freak out over Stacee’s amazing tattoo and then got to chat with the lovely Lizzie from Bloomsbury.

Right after that (and basically right next to where Sarah was signing), the ladies who were on the romance panel had a signing. I wanted to go to this to meet Tessa Dare (who I have recently been binge reading and loving) and also say hi to Christina and Lauren of Christina Lauren. I got my books signed and fangirled. We went down to the exhibit hall for Alwyn Hamilton’s booth signing (ARCs of Traitor to the Throne!) and got a copy of Gemina and A Shadow Bright and Burning from Random House.

There wasn’t much else to do until a panel signing late in the evening, so we found a spot to camp out. This turned out to be a table where there are usually autographing sessions happening so people would slow down to see who we were. This made me laugh.

The panel signing started and I was able to see Renee again and get my copy of The Rose & The Dagger signed. I also had a copy of Heartless for a friend, so I stopped and chatted with Marissa. Alwyn was also signing, so I got to say hi to her again. My day one haul below!

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Friday (or the day of comic books)

The first year I went to Comic-Con, I could’ve cares less about comic books. This year I had an entire day full of comic book signings. I got to the convention center about an hour early and got in line for the exhibit hall. Soon after being let in, I headed to the Image booth to get wristbands for several of their signings. After that I headed to the publisher booths and picked up a few tickets for their signings throughout the day. I had time to kill, so I got in line for this photo booth thing at DC. It resulted in this SUPER nerdy photo of me.

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From there I bounced back and forth between Image and Penguin booth. I manage to meet Cliff Chiang & Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls), Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda (Monstress), Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and The Divine), Brian O’Malley and Leslie Hung (Snotgirl). I feel terrible because I was talking to 2 girls in line and believe we follow each other on Instagram BUT I DIDN’T GET THEIR NAMES. I am dumb because they are Image fans and YA fans. Stupid Katie. I also got to see Sabaa Tahir and Renee Ahdieh. They each were signing in booth and Penguin gave away copies of their books. Some time during this all I passed the Disney booth and grabbed a copy of Spindle by EK Johnston. Almost everyone I met on Friday was super lovely and/or adorable. Oh look I took no pictures! Go me.

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I was done will everything on my agenda by early afternoon so I decided I would make my way into Ballroom 20 for the iZombie panel. If you don’t watch iZombie yet, what are you waiting for??? One of my favorite shows on TV right now. I managed to get in the room during the prior panel and caught the second half of EW’s Fan Favorite panel, which features several familiar faces that all together created an entertaining panel.

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I wasn’t ready to call quits on my day, so I walked around downtown San Diego. I knew Henry’s Pub had several Game of Thrones beers on tap and decided to grab dinner there. Plus side to traveling alone? Being able to sit at the bar and not have to wait for a table! The bartender was very friendly for being in the middle of SDCC craziness. I got myself an Iron Throne and some fish tacos, I was in heaven. If you ever happen to be in the San Diego area, I would reccomend stopping here even if they don’t have GoT beers!!

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Saturday (or the day I needed to see Leigh Bardugo)

I had no real plan for Saturday besides to see Leigh and snag a poster. I swear Leigh makes SDCC worth it every year 😛

I got to the convention center a little early because I was attempting to get a ticket for exclusive Tsum Tsums. I missed getting a ticket for the items I wanted by about 20 people. I wasn’t too upset because I already picked up a ton of cool stuff the previous two days and my suitcase was dwindling fast. I went by Random House booth to see if I could get a ticket for one of their booth signings later in the day but they did theirs slightly different than Penguin and didn’t give them out until right before the signing. Hmm.

I ended up meeting up with Michelle fairly early in the day and we did some shopping. I had bought a Loot4Fangirls earlier in the day and if I bought something from HerUniverse I could get an exclusive item. At first I wasn’t going to buy anything (Michelle was going to and let me take her credit) but when we went over to the StarWars HerUniverse display, I saw a Rey sweater that I fell in love with and ended up buying. My exclusive item ended up being Harry Potter socks. Not totally worth it but I am really happy with my new sweater.

Michelle and I lurked for awhile, waiting to line up for Pierce Brown signing at Random House. I needed to see my husband him since I apparently can only see him at SDCC! I gushed to him about Red Rising being one of my hand sells and hopefully down the line getting him to do a signing in Chicago-area.

After the Pierce signing, we didn’t have anything to do until Leigh was signing. We headed up to the autographing area and got in line for the signing. I was also there to see Kiersten White and get my copy of And I Darken signed. After flailing at Kiersten, I made my way to Leigh. She joked that I was only there to get the Crooked Kingdom pin and I said maybe…but also POSTER.

Straight away Michelle and I (and Michelle’s husband) made out way to the Ballroom 20 line to catch the DC television panels. We missed Supergirl but managed to make it in for Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and Arrow. All the panels were fantastic but Arrow might have been the best because it ended with a Hamilton sign-a-long. Well sortof because apparently all the nerds haven’t heard of Hamilton. FIX THIS. One again I took almost no pictures…oops

Sunday (or the final day *tear*)

Sunday was going to be quick and dirty (that’s what she said). Just kidding on the dirty part. I took my time getting to the convention center in the morning since I had to finish packing and check out (or well “check out” of my Airbnb). I took a Lyft downtown and told the driver “oh just get me as close as you can to the convention center” meaning I know it’s crazy downtown and I have no problem walking a few blocks if you want to avoid traffic. This man took it as drop her off in front. I think he broke 5 laws but I was right outside the door. I checked my luggage and made my way upstairs for the YA signing first thing.

I originally had nothing for the signing but grabbed a copy of Replica earlier in the week and had Lauren Oliver sign it. I tried to trick her into picking a side of Replica to sign since part of the concept of the book is for the reader to choose which story to start first. I had no luck but we had a good laugh. They also handed out samplers of Strange the Dreamer and I had Laini sign it. I got to say hi to Victoria Schwab and tell her congrats on all the things that have happened to her in July. Adam Silvera was also there and we hugged and chatted for a bit. I also grabbed a Red guard bandana from Victoria Aveyard. Overall I love the authors that Lauren Billings (of Christina Lauren) brings to SDCC for the YA panel. I was sad I couldn’t stay and see the panel this year but it was too late in the day and I had to catch a flight!

There wasn’t anything else I needed to see on Sunday but I still had some time to kill before I needed to head to the airport. Michelle, Stacee and I decided to sit in on Leigh Bardugo in conversation with Gene Luen Yang. I love when Leigh gets to go one on one with another author. Last year her panel with Rainbow Rowell was one of my favorites. They talked about everything from comics to growing up as an outsider to being authors. This was a great panel to end the trip with. After the panel I said my good-byes to Stacee and Michelle (and hugs, tons of hugs). I grabbed my suitcase and got myself to In-n-Out!

I hadn’t been to In-n-Out since 2013 I think. I remember enjoying it but needed to taste it again while I was in California. Overall it was still very good but I am more than happy to eat at 5 Guys or Shake Shack or PORTILLOS. I wouldn’t trade Portillo’s for anything.

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This year wasn’t as crazy as past years but I still has a blast. I knew going into this year that it was a 50/50 on being my last year for some time. It is still undecided if I will go back next year, but I know if I don’t I will instantly regret it.

Today’s giveaway is for a few copies of books given away at SDCC! First is an ARC copy of Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, an ARC copy of Replica by Lauren Oliver and an ARC copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning. 1 person will take all, US only. Sorry international friends!

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4 thoughts on “Comic-Con 2016 (+Giveaway!)

  1. La La in the Library says:

    I read Stacee’s recap last week and I didn’t realize there was so much bookishness going on at SDCC. It has been on my bucketlist for a few years and now that I know there are a lot of authors there, and book panels to go to, I want to attend even more!

  2. Rabiah says:

    It didn’t let me finish the freebie entry question so here it is: I’m really looking forward to the return of several shows, such as How to Get Away with Murder, iZombie (I agree with you THIS SHOW IS AMAZING), and so much more. Thanks for the awesome giveaway 😀

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