Comic Con 2016 Recap: Preview Night – But First, Let Me Take a Selfie with LEGO Batman

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San Diego Comic Con International 2016

Another year of Comic Con has come and gone. This was my TENTH consecutive time attending for all four days plus Preview Night! I’m what they call a “lucky duck.” Now I’m just going to assume you are all familiar with the largest pop culture convention in the world that takes place in San Diego, California, every year.

Comic Con is basically like Christmas in July. Except you have to wait in really long lines for your gifts. It’s like entering into the world of Narnia and then a few days later getting spit back out into the real world. Four magical days (five, including Preview Night) and then it’s back to regular life again. But Comic Con is so draining and exhausting that we probably need those 360 days to recuperate every year.

While I’m in my recuperation period, I thought I’d share some of my highlights, memories, and photos from the long weekend! Starting with Day Zero AKA Preview Night…

The exhibit hall opens early on Wednesday night for a select number of attendees before the rest of the con madness starts on Thursday. Preview Night doesn’t offer up as much swag as it did in years past, so for me, this is usually the perfect time to do a quick sweep through the hundreds of booths, make any purchases, and do some fun photo ops.

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I think I made a wrong turn somewhere. (AMC’s The Walking Dead Booth)

I’m always impressed with AMC’s The Walking Dead booth every year. It’s not only crawling with realistic zombies, but they always recreate some epic location or scene from the show, such as the prison or Terminus, or this year: season six’s cliffhanger with Negan and his kneeling victims. They had some Madame Tussauds-level wax figures up in that booth. So incredibly lifelike!

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Wax figure display of Negan and his victims at AMC’s The Walking Dead Booth

There’s always a long line for the AMC booth photo ops, but just look how cool! Definitely worth snapping a photo with these guys. The above picture was taken before they added dirt to the booth, which made it even more realistic, but a little messy to kneel down in.

As I wandered the exhibit floor, it wasn’t hard to find the giant Lucasfilm section, AKA Star Wars, AKA take all my money right now.

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Lucasfilm Booth, all things Star Wars.

This place is crawling with all the best Star Wars merch. Clothes, socks, automotive accessories, tech accessories, purses, backpacks, plushies, skateboards, wall lights, greeting cards, replicas — basically EVERYTHING every Star Wars nerd needs. I had to stop myself from buying all of the everything. Instead, I settled on two simple Star Wars shirts from WeLoveFine. Apparel booths tend to run out of certain sizes as the week goes on, so you gotta snag those must-have clothing pieces early on!

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Loving that Han Solo inspired cardigan with the Corellian bloodstripes!

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Her Universe and WeLoveFine are always two of my favorite clothing booths. They have such great fan-designed pieces and they’re bound to be a little more unique and rare than something you’d pick up from Target. And they even include some of my other favorite fandoms like Marvel, Doctor Who, and Star Trek!

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Star Trek art featuring Spock (Lightspeed Fine Art Booth)

Being both a Star Wars AND Star Trek fan, I was pleasantly surprised to see all the extra love Star Trek was getting this year with it being the 50th anniversary! Mac Cosmetics just debuted a new Star Trek makeup line, the new Star Trek Beyond movie premiered during Comic Con’s Preview Night, and there’s also the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery TV series coming to CBS. So much Star Trek!! As someone who was raised on Star Trek TOS (the original series), I was oozing with nostalgia the whole week. Is it weird that I’m wearing my Star Wars shirt in all my Star Trek photos? WHO SAYS YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE JUST ONE?!

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Captain’s Log, Stardate 94173.25 (Roddenberry Entertainment Booth)
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Live long and prosper, from me and giant LEGO Spock. (LEGO Booth)

The LEGO booth always has some incredible displays since they can basically make ANYTHING out of LEGOs these days. But this little photo op for The LEGO Batman Movie caught my eye and I grabbed my sister, Amanda, for a pic.

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Selfie-ing with BATMAN. Nbd. (LEGO Booth)

This is actually one of the coolest selfie photo ops I’ve seen BECAUSE IT’S TOTALLY REAL. Like we didn’t just take a picture and then they digitally added Batman over there in the corner with #LEGOBatmanMovie. Okay, fine, the text is added. But Batman is LEGIT holding a selfie stick and camera! Check out the behind the scenes here as we take a photo from LEGO Wayne Tower complete with the Bat-Signal on the roof and everything:

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Photo Inception! Photo within a photo. (LEGO Booth)

Look at him with that selfie stick! Isn’t that so cool and clever?? I think I was too amazed by this photo op. Also, that’s my dad creeping behind me in the photo above.

The three hours that the exhibit hall is open for Preview Night flew by much too quickly. Before I knew it, we were already making our last rounds. We stopped by the WB booth and picked up some swag in the form of the signature TV Guide magazines with special Comic Con covers featuring Blindspot, The Flash, Supergirl, and Supernatural.

And then we heard a familiar voice boom throughout the hall: “The Exhibit Hall is now closed. Please make your way to the doors and blah blah blah.” We get it, we’re going. On our way out, we made sure to snap a quick family photo since we never have enough of these.

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Family photo with me, my sister, and my dad in the convention center lobby.

We headed back to our hotel, the Marriott Gaslamp. This is the first time in eight years that we haven’t stayed at the Marriott Marquis and Marina hotel next door to the convention center. It was different, but I think it worked well! In a way, the Marriott Gaslamp is closer to the middle of the convention center and is easier to access the infamous Hall H. Plus, it’s in the San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district and made for a more scenic walk back.

We grabbed some food at this cute little place across from our hotel. Their 2 for $5 Nathan’s hot dogs sign drew me in. We ate, relaxed, and dropped our stuff off at the hotel then headed to a nearby bar for a blogger meetup, Game of Bloggers, that my sister had signed up for. She writes about it much more detail on her blog The Geeky Fashionista.

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My sister and I at the Game of Bloogers meetup.

I was mostly there for moral support but ended up having a great time as well! After we both did some wallflowering, of course. Networking is hard! Sometimes you need a buddy. And when all else fails – look like you’re struggling to take a selfie and hopefully someone will come to your rescue and offer to take your picture for you. BOOM — instant conversation. This was one of the few times that I’ve gone out after regular Comic Con hours. If you’re not too exhausted, or even if you are, you really should go out! There’s so many cool events happening offsite, and what better place is there to meet and befriend some fellow geeks?

So, Day Zero of Comic Con was a success! Despite some terrible traffic from L.A. to San Diego. But in comparison with the rest of the week, the evening was still pretty chill. The calm before the storm. My main regret is not getting to see any of the sneak peek pilot screenings that are shown in Ballroom 20 every year. This year they screened the pilots for Riverdale, Powerless, People of Earth, Frequency, and Time After Time. I guess I’ll just have to catch them in the fall like everybody else!

And that concludes my Wednesday Preview Night highlights. Check back if you want to see how the rest of my week went! Spoiler alert: Thursday includes a wedding.

**CLICK HERE to read on for Day One: Thursday’s Recap

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