As you may have heard, a certain person (who runs this website) received their ‘professional’ credentials for Comic-Con this year.  Unfortunately, as a new ‘professional’ there was no way for him to get extra badges so I ended up in San Diego without a badge.  Knowing this going in, I had made alternate plans to keep myself occupied.  Trust me, I needn’t have worried – there was plenty to keep a ‘Comic-Con Muggle’ busy without venturing anywhere near the exhibit hall!

When we got in to town on Wednesday, we headed directly to check-in at the convention center.  Since Bruce had his paperwork in order I just tagged along through the process.  After Bruce received his badge we continued through the line and we were both handed the awesomely huge Warner Brothers Comic-Con bags that (almost) everyone carried through the week.  Even without a badge, I sure looked official!

There was plenty of time before ‘Preview Night’ so we wandered through the Gaslamp District to people watch and grab some food.  We stopped at the Chuck Jones Gallery, got some swag, and ultimately ended up at Nicky Rotten’s for food before Bruce headed back into the mayhem.  Because it had been a long day, I sat and read while he did his thing – it was a lovely, cool evening so all was good.

Thursday was to be Bruce’s big day at the Con so I dropped him off and went geocaching – that way he didn’t need to worry about me.  But, a friend had told us about a Cirque du Soleil event to be held at Comic-Con that evening so we decided to meet up and attend.

When I got back into town, I took some time to explore an area for upcoming movies located in a parking lot adjacent to where I parked.  The movie Cowboys & Aliens (to premiere in San Diego Saturday night) partnered with 7-11 and they were giving away Slurpees and promotional items.  Then there was the giant inflatable Smurf, the shark movie area, and the dog on the remote control motorcycle (don’t ask).  Eventually Bruce and I hooked up and he was stopped to receive some quite interesting swag – deodorant (trust me, he wasn’t the only one)!

We went for pizza at a place Cartoon Network rented out and redid to look like the cartoon Adventure Time (there were also restaurants taken over by SyFy- the Cafe Diem, NBC- The Playboy Club, not to mention various video games).

Cirque Du Soleil was probably the low point of the Con.  Billed as ‘Battle at Comic-Con’ it was to be a 3-D Battle from the show Ka.  We’d heard so much about Cirque from friends that we thought it would be amazing.  The lawn near Petco Park was packed and people were really excited about the show.  First it started a half-hour after it was billed then there were technical difficulties.  But, probably the most disappointing was shortly after it started I thought, “I wonder what they’re going to do for the battle” and then it was the end!  Complete showtime less than 5-minutes.  After this show, I just don’t see the allure of Cirque.

Friday I did take a break and Bruce and I explored Balboa Park in the late afternoon.

Saturday we spent some time wandering downtown.  We ran into the Zombie Walk (remember, Zombies=bad), the Top Gear America theater (no, we didn’t go in since it wasn’t the BBC version), and saw NerdHQ.  This was all before the geocaching Comic-Con Meet-n-Greet.  This was held in a park near the SouthPark theme area that we never even had time to visit.

After the meet-n-greet we headed up to the 4th & B theater for the Nerdist Podcast Live with Dr. Who – excellent!  It was a terrific event with Matt Smith and Karen Gillam as well as special guest star Wil Wheaton (and free burritos at the end)!  I also don’t think I mentioned that the theater was right across the street from the San Diego Civic Center where they were concurrently premiering Cowboys & Aliens!

In all, there were plenty of free things I didn’t see and some ticketed things we didn’t get tickets for.  So, even if I can’t get a badge in 2012, I have a plan to make the most of my Comic-Con time!

Total swag without really trying:  Looney Tunes and Pan Am bags, obnoxiously green Psych sunglasses, blowup sword, Slurpee, Butterfinger bar, bag of PopChips, many, many fliers, coupons, etc.