I have been going to San Diego Comic Con (AKA Comic-Con International) since 1987, when I was 14 years old, but have until this year always stayed in Downtown San Diego apart from one time I stayed at Humphrey’s By The Bay on Shelter Island. Planning my travel and accommodations for 2015 was actually the first time that not only did I not get my first choice with the Travel Planners “lottery” style system for reservations and special rates for booking rooms, I did not get any room with them at all. As registered press, it has always been convenient for me to stay at the adjacent San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, which is where I’ve stayed in the previous four years. With not a lot of options, I ended up booking a room at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort on Coronado Island (see my review here). While I was disappointed with the service of the hotel, and the distance to Ferry Landing (which offers a short five minute boat ride directly from Coronado Island to the Convention Center), I did find that not only is staying on Coronado feasible, but there are some significant benefits as well. So I thought I would share my findings with those who might consider staying on Coronado in future years. [Read more…]
San Diego Comic-Con 2015: Photography Journal & Photos of The Convention, Cosplay, Exhibit Hall (#SDCC)
As in past years, this is a photo journal from San Diego Comic Con 2015, showcasing photographs of the exhibit hall, around the convention center and the Gaslamp District, and some of the popular cosplay participants. Images are from Wednesday (Preview Night), Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. [Read more…]
San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Photography Journal (Cosplay/Costumes/Sights of The Convention) (#SDCC)
As I have been covering San Diego Comic-Con on my sister site, The Original Prop Blog, since 2007, I am sharing some of the photos of the people and sights in and around the exhibit hall and the Gaslamp Quarter for this year’s event. This feature focuses on photos of people in costumes. [Read more…]
San Diego Comic-Con 2014: Photography Journal (Sights Around The Convention Center and Gaslamp Quarter) (#SDCC)
As I have been covering San Diego Comic-Con on my sister site, The Original Prop Blog, since 2007, I am sharing some of the photos of the people and sights in and around the exhibit hall and the Gaslamp Quarter for this year’s event. This feature focuses on photos of the convention at large. [Read more…]
Comic-Con International in San Diego 2014: Blake J. Harris and “Console Wars” Discussion Panel of Sega vs Nintendo
This is off topic from music, but I thought some readers might enjoy… During my coverage for The Original Prop Blog at San Diego Comic Con last week, the one “must see” discussion panel for me was the one that came about from the Blake J. Harris book, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation. Panelists included Sega of America’s former President Tom Kalinske, and former Director of Marketing Al Nilsen, as well as Nintendo of America’s former Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan and former Director of Marketing Bill White. [Read more…]
Tori Amos (Unrepentant Geraldines Tour 2014) at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay | San Diego, California | 7/24/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)
“He had all these things there… Sandman comics… things like that…” Tori Amos, coincidentally playing in San Diego during Comic Con week, reminiscing about her brother (who was in attendance) back in the day, and the inspiration for her song, “Flying Dutchman”, which was third up on her phenomenal setlist at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay. This was my second show seeing the “Unrepentant Geraldines Tour” (having seen the show in Oakland on Monday night at the Paramount Theatre). As with that show, Tori is ever full of surprises, and the two shows were completely different on many levels. The most obvious being the venues, with the indoor, ornate, classy and historical Paramount Theatre having a certain sophistication, while the outdoor Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is more relaxed, with the unmistakable coastal air and open feeling sitting out under the stars. With the setlists from the respective shows sharing only three songs (opening with “Parasol”, closing with “Cornflake Girl” and having “16 Shades of Blue” in their encores), it was two very different shows in terms of the music as well. The show in San Diego was at least to some degree a celebration of “Under the Pink”, as it was highly represented in the song choice. I loved both shows, but I’d have to say – for me – my love for Oakland’s was on more of an intellectual level, while San Diego’s was because she played more of the songs I truly love (and if I had to pick any one song for her to play, it would be “Bliss”, and she totally killed it on stage at Humprey’s. One of those rare artists that has the ability to completely change up her show night to night, this is definitely one of the best tours of 2014.
Photography Journal: Comic Con International in San Diego and Cosplay/Masquerade/Costume Photos and the Sights of San Diego Comic Con 2013
One of the most fun things about Comic Con International in San Diego each year is checking out the costumes created and worn by many of the other attendees. Some dress up for cosplay and others hope to win the annual Masquerade Party, but in any event it seems to get more and more impressive each year. And then there are the funny costumes… as well as the “photobombs” that have been know to occur (some of which can be found in the following photos). [Read more…]
Metallica (San Diego Comic Con “Secret” Concert) at Spreckels Theatre | San Diego, California | 7/19/2013 (Concert Review)
“What do you think? You’re scared… you want to know more, you want to see the whole thing”… Capping off “Metallica Day” at Comic Con International: San Diego (i.e. San Diego Comic Con) with a “secret” concert at Spreckels Theatre, the metal band’s front man James Hetfield makes a mid-gig reference to the IMAX 3D film, Metallica Through The Never. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band gave away tickets to the intimate 1,463 capacity concert venue during their Comic Con Hall H appearance earlier in the day (and funny enough, Hall H accommodates a much larger crowd of around 7,000. I know from picking up my own ticket at the special will call earlier in the day that many Fan Club members were also in attendance, so it was a pretty great energy from the crowd. Though the show was not too long (they came on an hour late at about 11 PM and finished up well before 12:30 AM), it was a fairly relentless onslaught of the metal music fans came to hear.
Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse at Balboa Theatre | San Diego, California | 7/17/2013 (Concert Review)
“This is a song for you young lovers out there. I was in love once. When I picked my guts up afterwards, I wrote this tiny little song, I hope you enjoy it; it’s called Wonderful.” A twisted sort of sentiment about his most mainstream song, New Wave icon and post-punk pioneer Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse kicked on their 40-city North American tour in San Diego last night, at the classy Balboa Theatre. Adam Ant launched his first album in 18 years, Adam Ant is the Blueback Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, earlier this year. Somehow last night’s show felt even more spectacular than the one I caught in San Francisco last year. Adam Ant was like a rock star possessed; perhaps more confident and somehow… joyful? At one point deep into the set, he tossed his mic stand, which landed on his bass player’s effects pedals, completely shorting them all out. One of the stage crew came out and messed with it briefly, then unplugged it and plugged him directly into his amp… the relentless onslaught of music could not be stopped, or even paused due to technical difficulties… and the near sold out crowd was perhaps treated to a more raw version of what was planned. A lot of music acts continually reinvent themselves, over and over, sometimes to the point where they become a series of completely different artists. Adam Ant is different. He is today what he was more than 30 years ago, in terms of his identity, style, and sound. He has evolved, of course, but stayed true to what he was and has always been – one of those rare artists who maybe got it perfect the first time.