February 18, 2022
The first in-person convention from Comic-Con International was San Diego Comic Con: Special Edition held Thanksgiving weekend, November 26-28, 2021, at the San Diego Convention Center. This event was to be much smaller both in terms of attendance and space.
We arrived in San Diego on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, as one of us had a volunteer shift that day. I spent the day walking around the convention center and Gaslamp Quarter after completing my COVID-19 vaccine verification and badge pick-up.
Badge pick up for Special Edition was very different, especially on Wednesday as there was no line whatsoever. There were very few people picking up their badges that afternoon, and there were over twenty badging volunteers just waiting for attendees to arrive. The badge pick-up was housed in Hall H, and it’s another example of how small the convention was expected to be.
When I arrived for the first day of SDCC Special Edition on Friday, the first thing I did was check out the La Brea off-site and get some pictures and one of the giveaways. I got a water bottle and filled it up at the water station they had. I line to enter the exhibition floor was located in Hall G, and it consisted of several chutes with three lines in each chute. From the chutes we entered the exhibition floor in the artist’s alley section. I was determined to get to the Yesterdays booth to acquire some of the SDCC Special Edition Exclusive pins they had. I saw a friend while I was at the Yesterdays booth, and we chatted for a bit before she had to head off to a panel. I spent more time walking around the floor before heading over to the Comic Con Museum shuttle stop. I had tickets to the Comic Con Museum, and that’s where I spent a decent portion of my day.
I really enjoyed the Comic Con Museum whose exhibits were Pac-Man, Gene Roddenberry, Chas Addams, and Archie to name a few. The Pac-Man exhibit incredibly well done, although the actual exhibits are limited it does have a few Pac-Man games for complimentary play. The room is decorated in an immersive style that makes you feel as though you stepped right into a Pac-Man game. The Comic Con Museum also has a workshop on the second floor which they are currently requesting some donations or sponsorships to acquire more equipment for a Cosplay Workshop. While I was there Connor and Lee Bauer were hosting sessions where visitors created their own cardboard Captain America shields.
The second day of San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition I went to a Kevin Eastman: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle panel and walked around the exhibition floor to see everything I missed on Friday. The third day of the convention I attended the Bobby Herbeck panel then I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages due to the pandemic.
Comic-Con Special Edition was nice and lowkey with plenty of space to walk around the exhibition floor and smaller panels. There was only one panel I couldn’t get into as it had double the amount of people wanting to attend than there were seats in the room. There were a couple of off-sites, La Brea and Peacemaker with John Cena making an appearance at the off-site Saturday night. Unfortunately, I had also injured my foot two days before the convention which made standing or walking incredibly painful. This made me extremely thankful for the lack of lines and crowds. I still walked an average of 11,000 steps each day from Wednesday through Sunday, and by Sunday morning the pain was tolerable. I’m hoping WonderCon in April 2022 will be just as spacious and un-crowded as SDCC Special Edition, and here’s hoping I don’t injure myself again right before the convention starts. That being said, I really hope the next San Diego Comic-Con will be back to its crazy and crowded self in July 2022.