So, quite aware that this might all be for nothing, I decided to go down early to see what was going on. papilio_luna texted me during lunch that Tennant and RTD were seen in the press area, but I couldn't find where that might be till a good twenty minutes later. I hit the exhibit hall for a while; it was crowded, but as usual the worst part was around the big studios and it wasn't totally insane. Or by now my definition of 'insane' had become distorted. I was surprised to discover that the Hasbro booth, which had up till now been so crazy that they were distributing tickets in the autograph area for the right to just get in line, was deserted. Barely a dozen people were there. I thought maybe they were sold out of all the exclusives, but no, it was just some freak thing. Hooray! I got the My Little Pony after all.
After that, I went upstairs to the Room 6* area, just to see what the lines and crowds were like. It was only 4:00 or so, but I'd never been in 6DE before and wasn't sure how large it was, or how many people would show up for the screenings. The last panel before the screenings, at 6:00, was going to be Venture Bros, and I figured I'd probably sit through that. I've at least watched some episodes with Ken.
It turned out that the lines in that area were short to nonexistent... except for one. The 6DE line followed the path laid out in the map, and then folded back onto itself and did it again, and then folded back yet another time and trailed back down the hall. They'd at least put some tape down to demarcate the layers of line (when I went Friday, there was a wrapped line in which not everyone knew how they were wrapped, and it was chaos when it finally moved). The line was so huge that I panicked and did what everyone seems to do when they see an enormous line at Comic-Con: went all glaze-eyed and stood in it. Listening to the people around me, it seemed that everyone was there for the Venture Bros panel, and many were not sure they'd get in at all. The panel before that (Fables, whatever that is) had not yet started.
There seemed to be a lot of conflict between Comic-Con volunteers and the Elite security people this year, many of them working at cross-purposes when trying to manage the lines. A guy in a green shirt kept telling us we were okay, but a guy in an Elite shirt was saying they'd have to officially cut off the line and we should all go away. Various people declared the end of the line to be slightly ahead of me, or all the way at the top of the hallway where it folded for the second time. An "end of the line" sign appeared and then was taken away. The green shirt guy told us that we could just stay and be unofficially in line, or at least in line to get in line, but if the fire marshals told us we had to go then we'd have to go. I suspected that the room was going to clear out after Venture Bros anyway, but couldn't bear to just wander off; besides, what else did I have to do? There was some shuffling about, and finally the Fables panel started filling in, clearly with people who wanted nothing but to claim seats for the Venture Bros panel. Poor Fables panel. It took forever for our pseudo-end of the line to move, and we stopped more than once, but then we were within the taped area, officially in line. Except it looked like that was it; we stopped dead, well back, and it seemed like that was all the movement there was going to be. We'd never get in. Then all of a sudden they either started feeding the head of the line into an incinerator or discovered a whole slew of open seats, because we got moving again. I ended up stopped barely ten people from the door when the 4:45 Fables panel started. Of course I couldn't leave after that.
I sat. I listened to music. I opened my My Little Pony. I explored the web-surfing function of my cell phone. Surfing the web on a cell phone SUCKS, but after a lot of farting around I got logged into LJ, and the one thing I did have was time. I couldn't work the posting screen on the phone, and I hadn't set up txt-to-LJ, but I could read my flist. The line was officially declared closed, for real this time.
Finally Fables let out, but almost nobody left; they started very carefully counting off people to allow into the Venture Bros panel. I made it, but had to scout around a while to find a lone empty seat. The room was wide but not very deep, which was weird; I got a seat about halfway back, and only realized after I sat down that I was in the section of seats in front of the giant screen, and the panel table itself was one seat section to my left. It wasn't too bad, though -- like I said, wide room. There were many worse seats. There were whole worse sections.
The Venture Bros panel was funny and very raunchy, and though most of the questions were of the "Will [obscure character I don't know] be back?" variety I enjoyed it. I felt a little bit guilty about taking up a seat that could have been occupied by an actual fan, but my guilt was tempered by knowing I'd been sitting in line since 4:00. Here we have the cast showing off their legs:
And then it was over, and yeah, EVERYBODY LEFT. (After stopping up at the front to say hello to the cast and get autographs, that is -- I was surprised that it was allowed, 'cause it's not in Ballroom 20. But in a much smaller room, I guess it's less likely to be pandemonium. I don't know what 6DE held -- a thousandish? I'm terrible at these estimates.) I scooted up to the front of the section I was in, in front of the screen, on the aisle closest to the panel table; I considered hopping across the aisle to the section directly in front of the panel, but it would leave me with a poor view for the actual screenings, and the first two rows of that section were reserved seating. (Reserved for whom, I don't know -- a few people came and went during the screening but they stayed mostly empty. There was also an empty row in front of me reserved for disabled access and Deaf people using interpreters, but only one person sat there.) I finally decided that being two rows up and a few extra feet over was a reasonable compromise, and settled down to wait as the room filled in.
Then papilio_luna texted me that Twitter had exploded with "David Tennant just walked by!" messages. I sure as hell hoped that that meant he was coming to the screening, because seriously, waiting in line a couple extra hours shouldn't cause me to MISS that kind of thing. I will content myself by assuming that, since the line wrapped all over the place, I would have been in the wrong portion of it. It was complicated, what hallways were used for entry and exit and whatnot. So I would have missed him, right? RIGHT?
Directly in front of my seat, under the big screen, was the curtained-off area where people waited to come on stage. The curtains were not perfectly continuous, and I, well, knew what Tennant was wearing (I AM NOT A STALKER I JUST READ ELLJAY). And that is how it was that I was able to get enough of a glimpse to text papilio_luna quickly before they got started. I don't think I'd have been able to spare the attention to do it any later.
And here are the pictures. There's a fair bit of blur on a lot of these -- the best ones were when I caught someone else's flash, actually, but I wasn't willing to flash in everyone's faces a million times. Keep in mind that I was using no zoom. The smaller pictures are ones I shrunk because they were too blurry to be tolerable at larger sizes.
Then they started the screenings (Torchwood first, then Planet of the Dead). Nobody came out between or afterward, but I had to stick around just in case, y'know? Which meant I got home at 10:30, while planning to get up at 3am.
Preview of Sunday:
More to come. When, I don't know...