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Category Archives: Book panel

Top Ten Bookish Encounters at Comic-Con

Comic-Con is such a blast and I look forward to it every year, but boy is it exhausting! I planned to blog every day from San Diego, but after 16-hour days I just didn’t have it in me. So, I have a few wrap-up posts planned, kicking off with today’s look at the book panels and signings I attended at Comic-Con. This year there was more of an author presence than ever before – I wish I could have gone to all of the events. Unfortunately I had to make some tough choices this year. These are the bookish events I was able to attend, in chronological order.

1. Hungry for Dystopia author panel – The dystopian trend isn’t showing any sign of slowing down judging by the books featured at Comic-Con. And at this panel authors explained why they are drawn to the genre, and talked about the marketing of their books and what makes the subject matter relevant to today’s readers. Anna North (America Pacifica) moderated with panelists Neal Shusterman (Unwind trilogy), Lissa Price (Starters), Paolo Bacigalupi (The Drowned Cities), Michael Grant (Gone series, BZRK), Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse series), Gennifer Albin (Crewel), and Marie Lu (Legend trilogy) in attendance.

Paolo Bacigalupi, Michael Grant, Marie Lu, Lissa Price

I’ve been a little burned out on the dystopia genre but this panel re-energized my interest. I could probably write up a whole post about this panel, it was really fascinating. The panel was asked about their inspiration for writing about a dark future, and the consensus is that they draw from today’s issues such as the environment, reproductive rights, and the economy. Being that the books are targeted to YA, they also consider hopeful solutions when writing their books. Price and Lu both live in Los Angeles where their books are set and they say that LA is already kind of dystopian and a good source of inspiration. Lu visits famous LA landmarks to decide which ones to destroy in the Legend series. Neal Shusterman was also inspired by news stories about abortion, and an extreme reaction to the safe haven law, where frustrated parents were dropping off their teens at hospitals in Nebraska where there was no age limit to do so. Paolo Bacigalupi made a funny comment about parents wanting to drop-off their teens nowadays that made me laugh. There was great discussion at this panel from all the authors.

2. Hungry for Dystopia group author signing – I bought books to be signed from Mysterious Galaxy ahead of time: Unwind, The Wind-Up Girl, and Robopocalypse. And they were giving away ARC’s of Unwholly and Crewel.

Unwholly signed by Neal Shusterman

3. The Scoop at Simon & Schuster! publisher panel - I really enjoyed last year’s S&S panel so made sure to attend again this year. And this panel was quite popular – it was standing room only by the time I made it in the room. I accepted the raffle ticket and Hush, Hush tee and watched the presentation. The team from S&S showed slides of the latest books and what to look forward to later in the year. The S&S team was really enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the books, and with each presentation came a raffle giveaway. The prizes were awesome, but I didn’t win anything. It was fun to hear about all the new books though and to see everyone’s reactions to the new releases.

Hush Hush t-shirt S&S panel

4. Art of the Thrill Kill group author panel – While I was at this horror panel, my daughter was next door at the My Little Pony panel- the audience looked quite different as you may expect! These authors write the psychological thrillers that keep you up at night. Moderated by Lauren Beukes (Zoo City) with participants Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers), Michelle Gagnon (Don’t Turn Around), Johan Harstad (172 Hours on the Moon), Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Partials), James Rollins (SIGMA Force novels), Mark Z. Danielewski (The Fifty Year Sword, House of Leaves), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (The Devil’s Bait), and Chase Novak (Breed). 

Horror is not my usual genre, but I’ve been wanting to read Barry Lyga’s and Dan Wells’ books and this was the perfect opportunity to hear more about them and other new releases. Since both Wells and Lyga wrote books about serial killers, something that has been done before- Lyga worried that his book would be seen as a copycat of Wells’ book, and Wells worried that his book would be seen as a Dexter copy. Johan Harstad talked about writing what he thought was a book for the middle grade audience, only to be told that it was to adult and more suited for YA. Michelle Gagnon described her book as Girl with a Dragon Tattoo for teens. The moderator got me very intrigued with the book House of Leaves- she kept talking about it during the panel and what a weird/disturbing/creative book it is. At the signing that was probably one of the most popular books people brought.

5. Art of the Thrill Kill group author signing – I bought books to be signed from Mysterious Galaxy ahead of time: I am Not a Serial Killer, I Hunt Killers, and 172 Hours on the Moon. And they were giving away ARC’s of Don’t Turn Around.

Don’t Turn Around signed by Michelle Gagnon

6. Remixed Fairytales and Superhero Lore group author signing – Sarah Maas, Marissa Meyer, Rae Carson, Paul Tobin, Tom King, Michael Scott, Tracy Hickman, Cecil Castelluci. I missed this panel because of a scheduling conflict but went to the signing afterwards and bought Cinder for my daughter, and they were also giving away Throne of Glass ARC’s.

Throne of Glass signed by Sarah J. Maas

7. Paranormal Love Potion group author panel – Romance of the paranormal kind was the topic at this Stephanie Perkins moderated panel. This awesome panel included such high caliber authors as:  Tessa Gratton (The Blood Journals), Andrea Cremer (The Nightshade series, Rift), Marjorie Liu (The Mortal Bones), Sylvia Day (The Renegade Angels series), Shawntelle Madison (Coveted), Aprilynne Pike (Wings series), and Kelley Armstrong (Thirteen).

Kelley Armstrong was asked whether she’d consider any crossover opportunities between the Darkest Powers YA series and the Women of the Otherworld adult series. She said that the adult characters would just send the kids away and take over so she didn’t think it would quite work. She also said that though Thirteen is the last book in the series, perhaps the twins would take over the series in a few years or so. Stephanie Perkins did a great job with the moderation and keeping the focus on paranormal and kissing.

8. Locked and Loaded author panel – This is the military and combat writing panel. Another genre that’s outside my comfort zone, but since I’m currently reading Insignia I wanted to hear more about it.  This panel featured:  Myke Cole (Control Point), Taylor Anderson (Destroyermen Series), Jack Campbell (Lost Fleet Series), Harry Turtledove (The War That Came Early), and S. J. Kincaid (Insignia), and was moderated by Stephen W. Saffel of Titan Books.

Into the Storm signed by Taylor Anderson

It was interesting to hear about all of the research that goes into writing military thrillers, getting all the historical and technical details right. S.J. Kincaid said she drew inspiration from the fact that in the future there will be fewer people on the battlefield, and remote technology will cause more of the combat to be automated. I happened to meet author Taylor Anderson earlier that day at his publisher’s booth where they were giving away his book Into the Storm, and was able to get it signed.

9. Spotlight on Gail Carriger author panel – Comic-Con special guest-Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate Series) and her literary agent Kristin Nelson discuss all things steampunk, tea, fashion and writing at Gail’s spotlight panel. I’m a big fan of the Parasol Protectorate series so I was thrilled to see this panel, and it was a full house too! It was quite a well-dressed audience, with many attendees decked out in steampunk attire. (Really great costumes, but sometimes hard to see over the big hats!) Gail talked about her love for YA and that she’s excited for her new YA book Etiquette and Espionage (Feb. 2013.) She also talked about the exciting news that the Parasol books were optioned for a TV series! Here’s hoping it happens. I was sitting in the last rows so I didn’t get a good picture but Gail looked fabulous.

10. Author Signings at the Penguin Teen and MacKids booths: Marie Lu and Marissa Meyer. I met Marie Lu at the Penguin Booth where she was signing a Comic-Con edition of Legend, and limited quantities of Prodigy, and I was thrilled to pick up both. Lu had a big presence at Comic-Con, with frequent book signings as well as panel appearances. I also met Marissa Meyer again at the MacKids booth to pick up an ARC of Scarlet, a book I’m dying to read. Meyer looked fabulous in a little red riding hood cloak that had a wolf pin closure.

Marie Lu signing Legend & Prodigy

I didn’t get to do everything on my Comic-Con wish list, but since Comic-Con is insane I’m pleased with what I was able to do. Stay tuned soon for a recap of the books I picked up at Comic-Con and a giveaway!

Bonus: One of the most popular signings was the E.L. James ticketed signing event. I was walking past and snapped a couple pics of her and the mob at her signing area:

E.L. James signing line

E.L. James signing 50 Shades trilogy

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Bookin’ Around WonderCon: Recap & Once Upon a Time Journal Giveaway

This will be my fifth year attending San Diego Comic-Con, but my first visit to WonderCon. When my sister offered me tickets last week to attend WonderCon, I couldn’t resist heading over to Anaheim to check it out. I didn’t know if it would be a mini Comic-Con or what to expect at all. Tickets were still available even during the event, so it was a nice option for locals shut out of Comic-Con tickets. The halls and panels were busy and crowded but not overwhelmingly so. It was a relaxed atmosphere and the smaller scale made for a more personal experience. My main interest was to go to the author panels and signings, but we managed to do some of the TV and movie panels as well.

We got up early Saturday and braved the pouring rain to pick up our badges at the convention center. The convention center seemed to be a similar size to San Diego’s but we found out when we entered that only about a quarter of the convention center was used for WonderCon. The rest of the convention center was used for a girls cheerleading and volleyball competition held at the same time. My husband thought it was strange that all these young girls were cosplaying as Claire from Heroes, but that was not the case. It certainly was amusing to see the cheerleaders walking amongst the stormtroopers, zombies, and superheroes in the convention center halls. It was a piece of cake to pick up the badges and it was easy to find our way around.

Saturday was the day for movie panels, so we mainly stuck to the Ballroom on the third level (about the size of San Diego’s ballroom 20) to check those out. Sunday was the day for TV panels, as well as the YA author panel, and several author signings throughout the day.

Some of the highlights from my visit to WonderCon:

1. Spotlight on Ernest Cline – The author of Ready Player One and screenwriter of Fanboys was on hand to talk about how he got his start in writing. Like a few other authors and filmmakers he started out by working in a video store. Ernie is a very engaging speaker and he talked for an hour about the turbulent making of Fanboys and the writing of Ready Player One. My husband and I both loved that book and it was great to see so many fans of the book in attendance. Ernie talked about his next book, which will be a coming age book about growing up in the 1980′s. Can’t wait to read it! There’s a good recap of the panel here.

2. 20th Century Fox Panel featuring producer Tim Burton’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Ridley Scott’s Promotheus – The Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter panel started with a video explaining why Tim Burton would not be there and showed a bizarre clip of a fake decaying body (Tim Burton) attended by two attractive nurses and by doctor Andrew Weil. We were asked to #PrayforTim when the clip ended. So strange! The trailer looks awesome, and I am more interested in seeing the movie than I had been. The author Seth Grahame Smith moderated the panel and said he was inspired to write the book when on book tour during Lincoln’s 200th birthday he would see a display of Abraham Lincoln bios side by side with a display of Twilight books. Damon Lindelof moderated the Prometheus panel with guests Sir Ridley Scott, Charlize Theron, and Michael Fassbender. This was most likely the most popular panel of the whole Con and the crowd was enthusiastic. I still don’t know that it’s my type of thing, but it was an entertaining panel regardless. Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender acting out the Prometheus trailer was a standout moment.

3. ABC’s Once Upon A Time – For this panel there was a screening of the episode that aired Sunday (Heart of Darkness) followed by a short q&a with series creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horovitz. They said they would love to add the Little Mermaid, Mulan, and Rapunzel to the show at some point. The panel ran a little late and I had to run to attend the…

4. Shivers, Shakes, & Swoon: The Young Adult books we can’t put down panel – This panel was moderated by author Andrea Cremer (Nightshade series) and included Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Kami Garcia (co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels), Gretchen McNeil (Possess), Lissa Price (Starters), Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky) & Ann Aguirre (Enclave). Great line-up, right? Andrea was a fabulous moderator and asked about their books and their favorite cosplayer at the Con. The authors took some questions from the audience, and premiered the book trailers for Starters and Under the Never Sky. There were a lot of people coming into the panel late that didn’t look like YA fans, and it turns out they were there for the next panel: Naruto: Shippuden! New YA fans in the making?

4. Author signings- One thing I missed from Comic-Con is group author signings. Because all of the signings were held at the tiny Mysterious Galaxy booth, they could only accommodate two authors at a time. So every hour I would dash back down to the 1st floor exhibit hall from the 3rd floor other end of the convention center, dodging cheerleaders along the way, to get to the MG booth for the next signing. Snuck in some good exercise there! I was disappointed to miss the Gretchen McNeil & Andrea Cremer signing in the morning but was able to pick up signed copies of Possess and Ten later. Yay! Kami Garcia was paired with Ransom Riggs so I got my copies of Beautiful Chaos and Miss Peregrine signed. There was not a rushed feeling at all, and the authors had time to chat and sign. Next I met Veronica Rossi who is really sweet and told me she is working on writing the next book in her series (Under the Never Sky). Finally, I met Lissa Price and Ann Aguirre. Mysterious Galaxy was giving out ARC’s of Ann’s book Outpost with a purchase of Enclave, so I snapped those up. Ann has written a lot of books – very impressive! And Enclave is her first hardcover book. Lissa Price had a big line of Starters fans, and she was ready with swag in hand. She told me she had heard of my blog and I don’t know if that’s true or not but it made me happy.

5-7. Alcatraz, Fringe, and Dr. Horrible – The Alcatraz and Fringe panels featured the cast and writers and took audience questions. I don’t watch either show but the panels were interesting anyway. The Con closed out with a  screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. I hadn’t seen it before but my daughter is a big fan. It is hilarious!

8. The Exhibit Hall – There were a good mix of exhibitors and no big studio booths at this Con. You could walk around without too much pushing and crowding. Good comics presence and Artists’ Alley. My daughter was happy to find a My Little Pony Doctor Whooves t-shirt. The only bad lines at WonderCon were the food lines, which I avoided altogether.

9. The Sound of My Voice panel – The first 12 minutes of this cult drama about a woman who claims to be a visitor from the year 2054 were screened. If you like cults this may be the movie for you. I’m intrigued by the creepy mystery of it.

10. Cosplay – It’s always a fun part of the experience to see the creative costumes attendees put together! I didn’t have my camera with me, but here’s a gallery of highlights from Comic Vine.

I was not able to attend Friday, and missed a few other big movie panels like Snow White, Spiderman, and Looper, but I’m pretty pleased with what I was able to get to. A great time was had by all at WonderCon, and I would absolutely go again, even if/when the event returns to San Francisco. With tickets to Comic-Con so hard to come by, WonderCon is a nice easy-going alternative.

Giveaway has ended:

The winner of the Once Upon a Time journal is Reut! Congrats!

Comic-Con recap YA Sunday & Book Giveaway

Sunday:

This is the last day of Comic-Con, time to pack up and head to the convention center one last time. Sunday there were a number of huge TV panels scheduled for Hall H: Glee, Dr. Who, and Supernatural. Of the three, I would have loved to attend the Glee panel as I have the last two years. Unfortunately there was a conflict with an anticipated YA book panel and my daughter and I decided to regretfully skip Glee this year in favor of that. Apparently there were tons of fans turned away from the Glee panel anyway, probably due to the combination of the three TV fandom’s wanting to secure their spot in the Hall. Hopefully I’ll get to try again for Glee next year!

My daughter and I headed to the convention center to line up for the “What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction” panel with dozens of other YA book fans. We got in the room with a good spot towards the front, and chatted with other YA fans about books and the goings on of the day. This panel featured many of my favorite authors and included Andrea Cremer, Amanda Hocking, Tahereh Mafi, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor and Kiersten White. That’s an all-star panel, right?

Author Nathan Bransford moderated the panel, and he asked the guests a series of questions about writing for young adults. Amanda Hocking chimed in that she thought that recalling first moments make YA appealing to adults. The panel also stated that they don’t talk down or censor when writing for young adults. They believe that kids should not be underestimated; if you are open with them they will make the appropriate book choices for themselves. Parents are the gatekeepers who should monitor their children’s reading, and usually kids will be able to choose books with the appropriate level of darkness or maturity for themselves. Tahereh Mafi said that kids could feel like they are not alone when they read books about someone going through a difficult time, or kids can also learn empathy through their reading. The panel gave writing advice to aspiring authors and encourages writing from your heart and not try to emulate others style or trends. Kiersten White wrote a couple books on her road to publication before Paranormalcy, but things fell into place when she stayed true to herself and her voice. Stephanie Perkins advised to be persistent but be good to yourself. Regarding social media, the panel said it’s good to choose the outlet that is right for you. It can be important for your self-promotion but consider author Suzanne Collins who hardly has any online presence and that has certainly not hurt her book sales. This was an awesome panel, and afterwards the authors held a book signing.

At the book signing, ARC’s of Shatter Me and Daughter of Smoke and Bone were given out to attendees. Unfortunately, there were no Lola and the Boy Next Door copies to be found in all of Comic-Con. My daughter is a big fan of Stephanie Perkins and she got to get her book signed and take a picture with her. They both have blue streaks in their hair so it was cute to see them together.

After the signing we got a tip from some fellow book fans that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl were doing a t-shirt signing, so we dashed over there to get a spot in line. Next we walked around the exhibit hall one last time before heading to the last panel of the day. The “High School Bites” panel featured another more all-star authors including Scott Westerfeld, Laini Taylor, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Debbie Viguie, Anna Carey, and Heather Brewer. They talked about their books, and discussed whether they would ever want to return to their high school years. I believe everyone on the panel said no to that with the exception of Debbie Viguie. Scott Westerfeld said he would like to give himself a code word in case he has to time travel back to high school. He also announced at Comic-Con that his Uglies series would be heading to the big screen with a film adaptation in the works. The panel talked about trends such as dystopian books. Anna Carey said that she was inspired by the events of September 11 to write the dystopian book Eve. She was a freshman at NYU at the time of the tragedy. Heather Brewer stated that her high school years were very rough, and she worked through that experience by writing the Vladimir Tod series. There was a young boy at the panel who is a big fan of that series and asked Heather if there were plans for a movie. She stated that she couldn’t say yes or no at this point, but she did talk about her new spin-off series called The Slayer Chronicles. These books will take place in the summers between each Vladmir Tod school year novel. This was another interesting panel that also led into an author signing.

We got Eve signed by Anna Carey, but I unfortunately forgot to bring my copies of the Uglies series to be signed. It gets heavy carrying books around at Comic-Con. Maybe I’ll get another opportunity next year.

That wraps up my Comic-Con adventure! We had tons of fun, it was good family bonding time, and I really enjoyed meeting other bookish fans, attending panels and meeting authors. I did not get to do everything I set out to do, but it’s almost impossible anyway. We did not end up finding the elusive Mockingjay pin unfortunately, but I’m sure they will be plentiful when the movie arrives. I did come home sick with a cough and sore throat, probably from not taking great care of myself over the week. Looking forward to getting some reading done now. Thanks for letting me ramble on about my Comic-Con experiences!

Giveaway:

The giveaway for the ARC of Clive Barker’s Absolute Midnight (Abarat #3) & YA book swag has ended and the winner has been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Comic-Con recap Friday – Saturday & Giveaway

Friday:

Started out the day in the wee hours of the morning (4:30 AM!) and headed to the long pre-registration line for Comic-Con 2012. I know it seems ridiculous to spend time during Comic-Con to wait hours in line for next year’s event, but this is what we did. A limited number of tickets were available to attendees Thursday-Sunday mornings and these tickets sold out each day. My daughter is actually the one who wanted to make sure we not only secured tickets for next year but preview night tickets as well. Ticket prices actually went up by nearly 70% over last year, but that did not keep the crowds away. On Friday by 5am the line looked to be 1-2k people long and snaked around the boat peninsula. People had camped out starting on Thursday to make sure they would get tickets. By 9am we did end up as one of the 2400 (?) people to score 4day preview night tickets for 2012. Please note that Comic-Con is not sold out for next year, and tickets will be sold online probably in the fall sometime.

After that ordeal my daughter and I headed to the convention center and the first stop was Starbucks for a caffeine fix and a walk around the exhibit hall. Next we headed to the Penguin Teen booth to queue up for the Vampire Academy graphic novel giveaway. My daughter recently read the whole series, and I’m a fan as well so we were eager to check it out.

With the graphic novel secured, we headed to the massively long line for Ballroom 20 to try to catch the True Blood panel at 5:30. We queued up about 4 hours in advance to wait for this panel, which is usually filled to capacity. There were a lot of very popular TV panels scheduled that day for Ballroom 20 including The Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory and people had camped out overnight to secure a spot for the approximately 5000 capacity room. I think all of these shows should be moved to the higher capacity Hall H since thousands were turned away. We got into the room almost 4 hours later and grabbed spots in the very last row. We caught the panel for Eureka in progress, followed by Warehouse 13. The cast of Eureka actually came out to the line to say hello and pose for pictures ahead of time. Both shows air on Syfy and I haven’t seen them before but it seems they have a lot of fans and the concept sounds pretty interesting.

Finally it was time for True Blood and in attendance were Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristin Bauer Van Straten, Ryan Kwanten, Nelsan Ellis, Kevin Alejandro, Rutina Wesley and Deborah Ann Woll. They showed a great preview clip of what’s to come for the rest of the season and answered moderator Tim Stack’s and fan questions. We were too far back to see the cast close up but we had a good spot to see them on the screen. I was curious to see what Alan Ball would say to fans curious about the differences in the show vs. the books. He wants to keep the book readers on their toes by changing some things while keeping to the spirit of the books. Also, since the books are Sookie’s story, it is unrealistic to only keep the focus on one character for the TV series. Next season we should expect to see Pam’s story of how she was made a vampire. Looks to be an interesting season so far. Here is a good recap of the panel. After True Blood we were hoping to attend the “What’s Up With Penguin” at 7pm but we were exhausted at this point and headed back to the hotel instead.

Saturday:

My daughter slept in and planned to spend the day with my husband going to panels. First off for my day was the Immortality book panel featuring Rachel Caine, Heather Brewer, Michael Carroll and more talking about our society’s obsession with “youth” and how “immortality” is represented in their books through their paranormal characters. There was an interesting discussion among the panel of why they write about immortality and how the paranormal creatures relate to readers. Such as, if the authors want to write about someone who feels alienated, they insert an actual alien in their novel. Following the panel I met Rachel Caine and Heather Brewer at their signing. I told Rachel Caine that my favorite character of hers is Myrnin, and she told me that a friend suggested Myrnin might be bipolar. She scoffed at that at first, but then realized she was absolutely right! I can see that in his character. I have not read Heather Brewer’s Vladimir Tod series but picked up the first book, which she signed for my daughter.

Following the signing I headed to the Diversity in YA panel moderated my Malinda Lo and featuring Cindy Pon, Kiersten White, Vera Brosgol, Dave Roman and Elizabeth Bunce. There was a good discussion about why they write YA, where we learned that most of all the authors write what they want to read and that happens to be YA. Great discussion in this panel!

Next I picked up the ARC of Name of The Star from Penguin, then dashed over to the Diversity in YA signing where I got books signed by Malinda Lo, Kiersten White, Cindy Pon, and Elizabeth Bunce.

After this I jogged over to Hall H to meet my family for the Snow White and the Huntsman panel, but first I caught most of the Knights of Badassdom panel. I didn’t know anything about KoB but it is about Live Action Role Play (LARP) who role play as medieval fighters and accidentally summon a demon, starring Ryan Kwanten, Peter Dinklage and Summer Glau. It actually sounds pretty original and funny. Next on the lineup was Snow White and the Huntsman, a movie that has not even started shooting yet. The full cast was on hand including Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Sam Claflin. The director Rupert Sanders showed concept art and talked about his vision for the film, which is a darker and action adventure version of Snow White. The costumes and look so far look intriguing so far.

Two more panels left for the day: The UK Invasion featuring cartoonists from the United Kingdom and the Global Harper Voyager panel which highlighted upcoming releases from Harper in the UF, Paranormal, and YA categories. Author Kim Harrison was also on hand to answer questions and talk about her books.

That concludes another action packed two days at Comic-Con! Just one more day left to recap.

GIVEAWAY:

Today’s exciting Comic-Con giveaway is my copy of the Vampire Academy graphic novel & a Bloodlines tote! The giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Comic-Con recap Wednesday – Thursday & swag giveaway

This year was my fourth Comic-Con and my husband, daughter and I have started to make it an annual tradition / mini San Diego vacation. We each have our own wish lists of panels and events each year. This year my husband wanted to find some comics from his childhood years at the exhibit hall and attend the big movie panels in Hall H. My daughter and I wanted to check out the book panels and meet some favorite authors at signings. For the most part overall we managed to see most of the panels we wanted and had one of our better Comic-Con experiences. I think we were successful this year by planning our schedule in advance, waking up early to score a spot in lines, and focusing in on one must-see a day and scheduling the day around that goal. It helped that we took a more laid back approach and didn’t stress too much about not getting in to certain panels. It made for a more relaxed and fulfilling Comic-Con experience overall. I never take many pictures at Comic-Con and prefer to just enjoy the experience, though I do wish I had pictures once I get home. Luckily there are tons of pictures to be found online of the memorable events and costumes.

Wednesday: Preview night

The Vampire Diaries SDCC swag bag giveaway

Summit booth swag & book swag giveaway

After getting settled into our hotel and eating an early dinner, we headed to the convention center. On our way in we saw hundreds of fans camped out on the lawn for Thursday’s Breaking Dawn panel, many of whom showed up on Tuesday. Gotta admire their commitment! We lined up to pick up our badges at the convention center. The line moved very quickly and we soon had our badges and swag bag in hand. Then we encountered our first line to wait for the exhibit hall to open. Once inside, my daughter and I made the rounds of several booths, looked at the exhibits and did some people watching. My husband headed up to Ballroom 20 where they were screening the Fall pilots of Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle and Supernatural: The Anime Series. Back on the exhibit floor, my daughter and I purchased Supernaturally and Wolfsbane so we could get those signed later in the week. The crowds weren’t too bad in the exhibit hall, but after awhile we were getting tired and headed up to Ballroom 20 to check out The Secret Circle. We came in late to the screening but I’m intrigued from what I saw to check it out in the Fall. It is a new show based on another L.J. Smith book series, this time about witches, and put together by the folks behind The Vampire Diaries. I think this show will appeal to fans of The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, or Gossip Girl. The show Alcatraz also got some good buzz and I look forward to checking it out when it airs. After the screening we headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Thursday would be an early morning!

Thursday

Woke up early to hit the Breaking Dawn panel line for Hall H. We secured a spot in line on the lawn about halfway in so we knew we would have no problem getting in to the panel. The fans who had camped out were served breakfast by some surprise visitors. Several members of the Twilight cast walked around to chat and take pictures with fans. I thought it was very classy of Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Julia Jones and Booboo Stewart to surprise the fans like that. Meanwhile, my husband and daughter left to try to secure 2012 Comic-Con badges. These go on sale every morning for a limited amount of time, and by the time they arrived they had unfortunately long sold out for the day.

We finally entered Hall H for the 11:15 Breaking Dawn panel. It didn’t appear to me that Hall H wall filled to capacity, which seemed like a trend this Comic-Con where the TV panels in Ballroom 20 were the place to be. The main cast and director Bill Condon were there to show two clips from the Breaking Dawn, including a steamy scene from the honeymoon. The footage looks good so far.

Veronica Roth signing my daughter's copy of Divergent

After that panel we headed to the Magic & Monsters author panel featuring Kim Harrison, Andrea Cremer, Lev Grossman, Diana Rowland and more. They discussed the magic in their books and the magical creatures that they write about. After that lively panel my daughter and I took off for the Summit booth to queue up for Veronica Roth’s signing. Summit is releasing the film adaptation of Divergent and invited the author to sign posters to promote the upcoming film. My daughter and I both loved the book and were excited to meet her. My daughter even wore her “Dauntless” shirt that day. About an hour or two before the signing, dedicated Divergent fans lined up with their books in hand. The author arrived and signed posters for us, and wrote “Be Brave!” in her book much to my daughter’s delight.

Next we circled back to the Magic & Monsters signing where we met a lovely Andrea Cremer who signed our copies of Wolfsbane (she wrote “Keep on the wild hunt”) and Nightshade (she wrote “Dream Wild.”) Finally we ended the day at The Scoop at Simon & Schuster panel where we learned about upcoming book releases. They gave away t-shirts promoting Clockwork Prince and several books. We didn’t end up winning any books, but at least we got the t-shirt. It was S&S first book panel and they did a great job highlighting Fall book releases.

At this point it was 8pm and time to get dinner and get ready for another early morning! Stay tuned to find out if we ever were able to score tickets for 2012 or find the elusive Mockingjay pin at the Lionsgate booth.

The giveaway has ended and winner has been notified. Thanks to all who entered!

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