Last Saturday, a small group of us went up to Rhode Island Comic Con. We went last year and it’s SO COOL but also a big bundle of stress. I remember going last year and telling myself “Okay, so the panels are awesome, but if we ever go again, can we NOT go on Saturday?!” So of course, we went on Saturday again.
RICC is one of the biggest fan conventions on the east coast, right after NYCC. I live a lot closer to Rhode Island, so that’s my con of choice. Like SDCC and NYCC, it’s huge. It has celebrities from all sorts of walks and it’s super fun, but they also sell to capacity, so be ready to be SQUASHED. If you want to have a dream of seeing the early panels, you need to either buy the VIP pass or queue up hours before opening.
We left at 5:30am and reached the venue by 8:00am. It was about 13-degrees outside and miserable.
Seriously, even Spiderman was cold.
Fortunately, we remembered how cold it was from last year when we waited in line three hours to get in (an hour after opening) so we wore our winter jackets. I wore my comfiest shoes, my Chucks, so my feet were cold. But otherwise, we were much better prepared. The people in line in front of us had recreated a little robot thing from MYST3K, so that was cool.
Waiting in lines for a convention, you see the most fun and most amazing costumes. Even bundled up, I was amazed by the devotion of all the Harley Quinns and Poison Ivys to their very revealing costumes. They must have been freezing.
We got in the con by about 10:12. This was awesome compared to last year’s 11 since we almost missed our panel last year. The boys went upstairs to the Walking Dead panel, and I decided to hang around and check out the vendor space while they were in there. I am so glad I did, because it wasn’t too crowded yet and I was able to do some early shopping and get the lay of the land down there. It’s also where quite a few celebrities set up for autographs and photo ops, so that’s fun. I met one of our friends and did a couple laps with him. Then we split ways and he went to get a couple autographs from Star Trek: The Next Generation and I went upstairs to hide from the swelling crowd.
Head’s up – if you have any type of social anxiety, a comic con is a really bad place for you. You need to have a plan. You need to be with people who make you feel safe and you need to know where you can go to decompress when you feel like you are choking from the sheer amount of people. I was able to find a place to sit against the wall where people weren’t crushed all around me and I waited for the boys there.
Next, we went over to the Dome to get our autographs.
This was before it was too crowded so that we came to an actual should-to-shoulder standstill. Also, Mattie’s not a hardcore redneck or anything, he went as Bobby Singer from Supernatural. I was going to do Charlie Bradbury, but the wig was aggravating me and I decided I didn’t care that much.
Getting into the Dome wasn’t bad, as they were still processing the line. The area where celebrities were signing was actually really lovely and quiet and peaceful, probably my favorite place. They tend to put the more popular people in there – we had Elijah Wood, Billie Piper, Paul Bethany, etc. Mattie and I are HUGE Back to the Future fans so I broke my rule of never talk to a celebrity, never meet a celebrity, never take a picture with a celebrity and we got the Back to the Future package. So we got in line for Tom Wilson (Biff) and Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown).
Okay, so first of all, Tom Wilson is the nicest man! I am a super awkward muffin with REGULAR PEOPLE and that’s why my No Celebrities Rule exists. I freak out. I don’t know what to say or do and ACK. So he was super nice and talked to us a bit and was just a really cool dude. Christopher Lloyd also seemed really nice, but again, I’m an awkward muffin and bumbled all over everything. They probably thought I was horribly rude. My social skills are terrible. But they were great, honest.
Afterwards was one of the WORST experiences ever, which was getting stuck in a crowd that WASN’T moving but all the people behind us were and slowly they were pushing and crushing and I got separated from my people for a moment and it was truly, truly terrible.
Then we got out and went straight to get in line for the Rick & Morty panel, and everything was better. But there was a good 20-30 minutes of horrible. Again, if you have social anxiety, avoid comic cons. If you must go, HAVE A PLAN.
We got in line for the Rick and Morty panel an hour early and barely got in.
But it was excellent. It was just Justin Roiland and he talked a lot about how much he loves working on the show and how much fun it is voicing the characters and praising his coworkers and just being super chill and funny and normal. It was great. I like the show – Mattie loves it – and I’m really glad we were able to get in.
Our next stop was the Stranger Things panel at 4 (we got out at 2:40). They had Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Sadie Sink (Max) in that one. Sean Astin was also at the con, but not in that panel. The line for the panel was already wrapped around the entire floor and doubled back so I sucked it up and acknowledged that I was not going to get into that one. Super bummed, because I was REALLY looking forward to it. We saw Millie Bobby Brown last year and she was excellent. I heard from someone later in the day that the fire marshal came in and kicked a bunch of people out because it was overcrowded.
After that, we walked around a bit more. We had to kill time until the photo op with Christopher Lloyd, Tom Wilson, and the DeLorean at 6. In this time, we looked at a lot of stuff. I got a bunch of new Pops and we got Rick and Morty monopoly. We ended up flopped on the floor in the vendor area for a while because there’s nowhere to sit in the con. Our feet hurt.
This is an inevitability of a con. Unless you are made of sugar and caffeine? I don’t know how people do the full 8 hours and leave with the same amount of energy? I was a grumpy puss. But I guess I have also been sleeping badly, working long hours, and I am 28… not a youngling. So that contributes? Eventually we wandered over toward the photo area.
Where I met probably the coolest looking Thor ever.
Other than actual Chris Hemsworth, or the Lord of Thunder himself. I don’t usually ask cosplayers for pictures because I feel stupid doing it and also people are scary? But this guy, OMG amazing. He was pretty nice and funny, too. He gets all the points for his costume and I think that in the future I would ask more cosplayers for pictures because they are less scary than celebrities.
The Back to the Future photo op FINALLY happened at 7 (an hour late) and I was grumpy BUT everyone else in the line seemed way more grumpy. The guy in line in front of us complained endlessly about the cost of autographs and standoffish celebs. OMG they’re people too? But the girl in front of him had a pink dress just like the one Lorraine wears to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and she was a delight.
The picture is super awkward, though. Here’s a picture of the picture because I’m too lazy to scan it. There was an AMAZING Marty McFly look alike and I kinda wish he’d been in the picture too.
I wish I had been standing at the front of the car so it would be less squashed, but it was cool, and once again Tom Wilson was amazing and joking around and making people comfortable. Christopher Lloyd seemed tired. I forget that he’s nearly 80. He has so much energy when you see him on screen (Back to the Future, but also things like Dennis the Menace, Clue, My Favorite Martian, Star Trek). But he was less stiff at the photo op than the autograph table. He did seen nice, really! The photo op was really fast because they were closing and everyone involved was ready to go home.
And that was it! We went out and trekked to the car in the freezing cold and went home. The con went by very fast, and it was both fun and incredibly stressful, but I really recommend it. It’s so cool to see the people and the costumes. I wish they allowed outside food and drink – I think that would have helped.
Also, side note, my little brother is there today and I want to share his celeb photo op because he’s too funny.