San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Apparently Zombies Are Still A Thing

And we took a lot more photos while we were there, so you might want to check them out.

I assume there are folks who can handle the San Diego Comic-Con without drinking -- children, for example -- but I'm not one of them. And while it's true the convention is one of the primo people-watching events in the world, the constant marketing drones handing out flyers for the next network sci-fi TV series (Revolution, this fall on NBC!) and flabby Wolverines before retreating to the nearest tavern for a belt or three.

But in the interest of journalistic authenticity, I have done my best to get down some initial impressions from my first go-round at Comic-Con. My hangover salutes you.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this thing is huge. Your only option for parking, if you're one of those people too stupid to obtain a permit for one of the "nearby" Petco Park lots (*cough*), is $30 (per day) for other lots, or joining the endless serpentine of folks looking for street parking.

The Padres wisely schedule road games for the weekend of Comic-Con, and I wouldn't be surprised if businesses downtown and in the Gaslamp district don't just tell their employees to stay home.

Check-in for us was surprisingly quick, though I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with this giant bag they gave me. My 19th century aversion to carrying a purse wouldn't let me just drape it over my shoulder and give the CW free advertising for their horrible Vampire Diaries show, so I folded it up and crammed it in my messenger bag. A bag in a bag, how meta.

I elected not to check out any panels on Thursday...well, maybe "elected" is the wrong word. More like, I'd just gotten out of a three-hour flight and didn't feel like sitting in a goddamn line for another 90 minutes to wait and grab a seat for the Frankenweenie jerkaround.

I have the Resident Evil 5 dog and pony show today, anyway. Have to pace myself.

There's also little effort made anymore to gloss over the fact that there's plenty about Comic-Con that has nothing to do with comics, or sci-fi, or geek interests in general. Case in point: the massive line for autographs from 50 Shades of Grey authout E.L. James. Next to her, a bemused Richard Hatch ("Apollo" from the original Battlestar: Galactica) with nary a person in line:

I imagine 2012 feels kind of like a letdown after last year's con. I mean, everyone was jazzed about some real heavy hitters coming down the pike, like The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. This year we're making do with The Man of Steel (hooray, we're going to retell another origin story less than a decade after the last one) and, well, Frankenweenie.

So what's big? Zombies. I know, still? But with Twilight winding down and nothing on the horizons aside from Vampire Diaries (in all fairness, True Blood has a panel, too, but that has more in common these days with 50 Shades of Grey than vampire fiction), the undead flesh-eaters remain hot. Not only does AMC's The Walking Dead have two panels this year, there's also a Walking Dead obstacle course/zombie run through Petco Park that I may or may not attempt to get in on this afternoon. And zombie makeup is second only to busty girls crammed into leotards in popularity around the convention center.

As it should be.

We closed up the night following some stricken-looking folks in hospital gowns to 1st and J Street, where there was a promotional event for a coming A&E miniseries based on Robin Cook's Coma (which, if you didn't recall, was already made into a movie in 1978). It was suitably gruesome, even though my friend and I opted out of the complimentary tattoo.

All in all, a pretty long day, but I'll be out there again today, braving hordes of Sailor Moon fans and interesting aromas for your reading pleasure. Stay dry, Houston.

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