Friday, August 22, 2014

No Destruction

Happy Friday! Of course, being unemployed, Fridays are much the same as every other day of the week for me... except there are less jobs posted online. Which is why I have made Friday my house-cleaning day! Though I don't get a lot of help from my companions.


This week has been very uneventful for us, mostly because Simon's schedule has been packed. He had his second improv class on Sunday afternoon, and spent every night after work this week working on assignments and the final project for his graduate course. But we did do some extracurricular activities last week.

Last Thursday night, we had a couple of things going on. I got last minute tickets to Good Neighbor Live at UCB, so we headed there first. Good Neighbor is a sketch group, composed of Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Nick Rutherford and Dave McCary, that used to make videos and perform at UCB NY. It was a popular show, and the group even made a pilot based on their show for Comedy Central. However, the pilot did not get picked up, and group members Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney ended up on SNL last season, so the group did not have a chance to perform for quite some time. However, that changed last week.


Nick, Beck and Kyle performed a few skits together, and then screened the previously unseen pilot episode for The Good Neighbor Show. After watching all of that, the videos they've done for SNL make a lot more sense to me. These guys are, for the most part, really funny, especially with no network television censorship. I understand why their show did not get picked up - there was a lot going on there - but I hope that they have continued success.


After that show, which was over by 8pm, we went to Blue Palms Brewhouse to get dinner before a concert at the Fonda. The band we were there to see wasn't going on until 11pm, so we had plenty of time to kill. After dinner, we walked next door to grab balcony seats.


Once we found seats, we listened to the second opener, Gary Wilson, finish his set.


I had to look him up after the show, since I had never heard of him before. Apparently, he is a performance artist best known for an album he released in the late 70's. He was singing, and his band was playing music... but there was also a lot of rolling around on stage with mannequin parts. I doubt you'll ever get a chance to see him live, since he performs on an irregular basis, but you can watch the documentary that was made about him or read his Wikipedia entry. Interesting guy.

The headlining act, Foxygen, finally came on shortly after 11pm. We saw them play at the Echo last year and really enjoyed that show, so I was excited to see them again in a bigger venue, with more performing experience.


The show was both awesome and disappointing, though it unfortunately weighed more heavily toward the latter. In the year since the last time we saw this band, the lead singer has turned into the most energetic person I have ever seen on a stage. While I am sure a good percentage of that energy is fueled by illicit substances, it is still very fun to watch someone be so uninhibited in front of over a thousand people. He was all over the stage, in the audience, back on the stage, standing on speakers, back in the audience, laying down in the middle of the stage, and falling on his ass repeatedly throughout the show. His look is very androgynous now, in contrast to the last time we saw them; his hair is shoulder length, and he wore a v-necked jumpsuit reminiscent of 70's glam rock fellas. He kept pulling the sleeves of his jumpsuit down throughout the show, leading to several very revealing wardrobe malfunctions.


All of this was entertaining and distracting in equal measure, but the vocal performance is where I was let down. When we saw the band last year, they were energetic, but still vocally coherent. This time, the lead singer clearly didn't care at all about singing the songs, and had the three peppy back-up singers do much of the singing for him.


I don't mind when singers riff on their own songs, since I am sure it gets boring singing everything the exact same way night after night, but this was beyond that. The music sounded great, but the vocals were so messy that at times, it was hard to tell what song they were playing. Even though I was disappointed with the show, in all honesty, I would probably see them again in the hopes that they eventually even out the performance with the music. For better pics of the show, check out this link or this link; my terrible balcony pictures definitely undersell the craziness of the stage show that we witnessed.

Saturday night, we went back to UCB to see Snowpants.


This is Ben Schwartz's show, where he has regular improvisers plus a guest who has not done improv before, or in this case, someone who has only done it once before.


This was our second time seeing NBA player Blake Griffin do the show, and once again, he was very funny. I'd love to see more professional athletes doing improv, but I suspect that most of them wouldn't be nearly as good as he is.

This weekend is packed. Tonight, we are going to a couple of shows at UCB, which will give Simon a break from the grind of the past week. Then, we are spending much of Saturday and part of Sunday at FYF, which is a music festival in downtown LA. We went last year and had a good time, but there was a lot of standing and overpriced beer, and I swore off festivals afterward. But the line-up was so good this year, I had to relent and buy tickets. Hopefully I won't regret my decision. Talk to you soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bangarang

Hey! Hope you're all doing well. We're fine, but man, has it been a terrible week for the world. I know this is a clunky and depressing way to start off a post, but I think it would be disingenuous not to mention a couple of the things on my mind right now.


I don't know how you guys felt about Robin Williams, but his death affected me very deeply. I realize that's a selfish way of looking at it, but it doesn't make it any less true. Perhaps it's because I grew up watching him on TV and in movies, or because he was so funny and talented, or maybe it's because of the manner of his death. No matter the reason, I was crushed by the news, and obviously I am not alone in feeling that way. I've seen this sentiment shared several times, and I agree: I hope that his death helps to shed more light on mental illness, and takes away some of the stigma associated with depression and other disorders that millions of people struggle with every day.

In even more awful news, I really hope that the situation in Missouri doesn't escalate further, and that the families of those who've been hurt and killed get some justice for their loved ones. It's hard to believe that the pictures all over Twitter are from a city in the United States and not a war zone.

After briefly touching upon those depressing and complex issues, it feels very superficial to talk about what we've been up to in LA. But it's all I've got, so I will get to it. Last Sunday night, we went to the August edition of Gravid Water. One highlight was seeing Tony Hale (from Arrested Development and Veep) doing the show for the first time.


The other highlight has a little more backstory. One of the show's regular actors, Tara Copeland, recently had a baby. So she and the director conspired to surprise the improviser in her scene by using a scene featuring a baby, and actually having her baby onstage. It worked out as well as they could have hoped, because the scene was absolutely hilarious.


The baby didn't cry at all, the audience was awwwing all over the place, and improviser Thomas Middleditch never faltered. Well played, Gravid Water.

The first half of the week was pretty relaxed. When Simon was home, he worked on school stuff or we played video games. But Thursday night, we went back to UCB to see the reunion/goodbye show of an old UCB NY team, Dillinger. One of the founding members was moving to the South, and wanted to do one last show with the team.


That team was the first UCB house team for some of our favorite improvisers (Zach Woods, Joe Wengert and Anthony King), so it was cool to see where they came from, so to speak.

The next day, I had a job interview (spoiler alert: never heard back from them), and then we went back to UCB to see Brand New Ball, a show featuring a bunch of improvisers that we like.


Remarkably, the ladies outnumbered the men seven to two, which you sadly don't see very often in comedy.


On Saturday night, we took the bus down the street to the Wiltern to see Jenny Lewis play. I'm a casual fan of hers, but she was playing one of my favorite venues in the city, and the combination of those factors made me eager to go to the show.


Tig Notaro, a stand-up comedian that I have been very interested in seeing for a while now, opened for Jenny, and she was super funny. Then Jenny came on.


She played stuff from all of her solo albums, and even a few Rilo Kiley songs (her former band), which I appreciated.


She's one of those artists who sounds better live than they do on their album, which was a pleasure to experience. And she encored with one of my favorite songs, "Acid Tongue", while her band sang backup.


If you like Jenny, I would recommend seeing her live. Good stuff.

Sunday morning, we got some breakfast at Lulu's,


and then Simon went to his first UCB improv class! They offer eight week courses in improv and sketch comedy at various levels, and Simon has been talking about taking one for awhile. Finally, the scheduling worked out and he signed up for Improv 101. He had a good time at the first class, and is looking forward to the class this weekend.

Later that night, we went to UCB for my favorite show, Hot Sauce.


This was the first show with all three members of the group in six months, and it was definitely worth the wait. We both left the theater saying that was the best show we'd seen in awhile.

But another great one was on the way! Monday night we relaxed, but Tuesday night we went to see the Improvised Shakespeare Company for the third time this year. The show was at the Lillian Theater, as it was the last two times, and had the same cast members as well. Only this time, there was an extra guy on stage.


If you can't tell who I'm referring to, look at the second man from the left. 


Yes, that is Sir Patrick Stewart, of Star Trek and X-Men fame! I didn't take pictures during the show since they asked us to wait until the end, but I can tell you that he was excellent to watch. He's incredibly quick on his feet, both mentally and physically - 74 years old, and ran around the stage with the other guys like it wasn't no thing. Definitely a welcome surprise that I will remember always.

Well, that's it for now. Love you guys, and talk to you soon!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Good Morning, Starshine

Hello! I'm writing to you on an unusually dreary afternoon here in LA. Thankfully, we didn't have anything outdoorsy planned for today. Hope your weekend has been good so far; ours has been excellent!

Wednesday night, we drove east to Echo Park for a show at The Echo.


It's a small venue (capacity 350, similar in size to the Troubadour) that we've been to once before. The band we were there to see, Hooray for Earth, was actually there to open for another band that we never heard of before. The show we went to at the Echo last spring was for a band called Foxygen, and it was sold out, so on that occasion the venue was absolutely jam-packed with people. But this show was a marked difference from that experience, in that it was much less crowded and more mellow. So we got there just a few minutes before HFE's set and joined the 100+ other people in the audience for a short but good set.


The band first came to my attention with their singles from a couple years ago, "No Love" and "True Loves". But I forgot about them entirely until I heard the single from their newest album, "Keys", and loved that, too. When I saw that they'd be at The Echo and that tickets were $8, there was pretty much no reason to not go.


They played for almost an hour, and we enjoyed their set. Then, we left and went home since Simon had work the next morning. Hopefully they'll headline a show in LA in the near future.

The next night, we went to the Arclight Hollywood to see Guardians of the Galaxy.


It opened this weekend, made bucketloads of money, and was actually really good! We both loved it. There are not-so-super heroes, lots of jokes, a talking raccoon and a fighting tree. Okay, that summary may sound strange, but I am definitely looking forward to watching it again.

Friday night, we drove south to Inglewood for our first visit to The Forum.


It's a huge venue with a 17,500 person capacity that was built in the 60's, and then closed in 2012 for renovations. It just reopened earlier this year, and one of our favorite bands, Arcade Fire, scheduled a couple of shows there.


We had general admission tickets (no seats) and we didn't buy any drinks, so I don't have too much to say about the venue. They absolutely gouge for parking, and there are no other parking options since the venue is between a cemetery and a residential neighborhood. But aside from the parking costs and the miserable Friday night traffic getting there, we had no troubles getting in. We found a good spot to stand on the floor, and stayed in that general neighborhood all night.


The show was fantastic. We saw Arcade Fire play a warm-up show for their tour last Halloween, and they sounded great then, too. But for that show, which was at a venue 1/4 the size of this one, they played just their newest material, and only played for about an hour. This show was two full hours of old and new songs, with lots of lights, costumes, a cool stage set-up, and an excellent sound system.


The setlist from our show:


Not only do they sound better live than they do on their records, the crowd makes it an excellent experience. We had our fair share of overly touchy & dancey people, but most of the crowd was able to stay in their own personal space, dance, and have a good time.


And like last Halloween, there were confetti cannons!


Bottom line: If you like Arcade Fire, go to one of their shows! They are a lively, fun, and unique experience, and 100% worth whatever cost and hassle buying tickets and getting there will entail. I was actually kind of sad we didn't get tickets for both of their shows, but we will definitely see them next time they come to LA.

The band rented out The Forum for an extra hour after their show for a dance party with fans who elected to stay, but since Simon isn't much of  a dancer and it was 11 pm, we decided to head home and go to bed. We are definitely old folks at heart.

Saturday, we slept in, and then Simon spent some time working on school stuff. That evening, we checked out a new ramen place in our neighborhood, Tatsu Ramen.


We've both had better ramen, but it wasn't bad, and their fried rice is excellent. After dinner, we drove north to Hollywood & Highland and took the shuttle to the Hollywood Bowl to see a performance of the musical Hair


We got there with plenty of time to spare before the show started, and had pretty good seats. 


It had been humid all day long though, and by the start of the show, it was still pretty muggy and warm.


The Hollywood Bowl does a musical every year, and every year there are some stars involved. This year, it was a cast of 35 headed by Kristen Bell and Hunter Parrish

 

Other cast members included Jenna Ushkowitz and Amber Riley from Glee, and Broadway veteran Benjamin Walker playing Berger. I have never been a huge fan of this musical, but I do like the music from it, so I was eager to see what a capable cast would do with it. Variety and Entertainment Weekly gave it fairly good reviews, and I would agree with their assessments for the most part. Here's a snippet that someone recorded:


Parrish's Claude and Walker's Berger were the clear highlights of the show, with Bell, Ushkowitz and Riley all doing a nice job as well. The boys weren't hard to look at, either.


Things I didn't like about the show included the rain, which started just after intermission and kept up through the entire second act, chasing a good tenth of the audience members to their cars and drenching those of us in the audience who decided to stay. It hasn't rained here in forever, but last night was the night, and we were caught off-guard despite the persistent humidity. It was really distracting for about twenty minutes, because half of the audience decided to start talking about it while the show was happening. However, once everyone quieted down again, it wasn't too bad, and the cast even made some jokes about it.

Overall, it was an enjoyable show despite the rain. The bowl seems really well suited for musicals despite its size. Simon was not a fan of this show due to its lack of plot, but says he would like to see another show there.

That brings us to today. Other than breakfast, Lego Hobbit & schoolwork, we haven't done much. But now we are off to Gravid Water at UCB. Talk to you soon!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SDCC 2014

Hello! Hope you're all doing well and enjoying the pleasant weather. We are back from a long weekend of walking around at San Diego Comic-Con, and are now enjoying many seated activities.


Last Saturday, I picked Simon up from the airport around dinnertime. We were both really psyched to be reunited after almost two months of on-and-off travel and strange schedules. We went out to dinner at Blue Palms, where Simon eagerly ordered American style food and enjoyed it thoroughly.


For the next few days, other than going to look at potential apartments, we didn't do a whole lot. Simon worked and struggled to get back on Pacific time for a few days, and I continued my usual quests for housing and jobs. But on Wednesday night, we packed our bags, and Thursday morning we headed down to San Diego for our first experience at San Diego Comic-Con.

To be honest, neither of us reads many comic books. But SDCC serves a wider array of interests than comic book fans. New and existing movies and TV shows, games, and books are all given a fair amount of attention in the way of panels, autograph signings, photo opportunities, and off-site events. SDCC literally takes over the downtown area of San Diego every year, and related events happen all over the area.

After reading news and Twitter coverage from the event for years, I decided last year that we should try to get tickets for SDCC 2013. Unfortunately, the demand for tickets far outstrips the supply of 130,000 tickets for Comic-Con attendees, so that was a no-go; they sold out before I had a chance to buy. I was determined to make a better effort this year, so on the day of the sale, Simon and I sat down at our computers, logged on early, and waited to see if we'd get the chance to buy tickets in the random lottery. I never did, but at the last minute, with just Sunday tickets available, Simon was able to sign in and buy two.

So we had our tickets, but not a hotel. The convention organizes a hotel sale a couple months after the ticket sale, but again, the supply is very limited. If you can't book a hotel through the convention block, it is extremely tough to get one for a reasonable price otherwise. Again, the day of the sale, Simon and I both filled out a form and submitted it as fast as we could to see if we would have the chance to reserve a hotel. Simon was shut out, but I got our first choice... the Gaslamp Hilton, just across the street from the convention center. Now that we had a hotel and tickets, we were in business.

Even though we only had passes for the last day of the convention, we decided to make the most of our weekend by arriving on Thursday and enjoying everything outside of the convention for a few days. Because the parking at the hotel was $41/day, we decided to park at the San Diego airport ($46 for the whole long weekend) and take the trolley into downtown.


Even the trolleys were in the Comic Con spirit.


After stopping at Pizza Port in Carlsbad for lunch, we got on the trolley with our luggage and enjoyed the short trip downtown. We got off the trolley at the Gaslamp District stop, and saw that the convention center across the street was already pretty busy.


In fact, the whole area was insanely busy.


We checked into our hotel and spent way too much time figuring out some toll related details before going out and walking around through the madness. There were cos-players and figures to pose with,


offsite displays devoted to TV


and movies,


and some plush Adult Swim characters walking around. Here is Simon posing with Err of the Mooninites.


The lines for everything were already in full swing,


and we weren't ready for dinner yet, so we walked to the nearby Mission Brewery to have a few beers.


Inside, the brewery was all decked out for Comic Con. They had games to play,


and a bunch of art featuring video game characters.


The longer we were there, the more packed it became.


After a couple hours, we walked over to Lolita's to try a San Diego specialty, Carne Asada fries.


It was my first time trying them, and though we could barely eat half of them, they were AMAZING. Will be getting again next time we visit San Diego.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel to freshen up. Our friend Dale was in town to work at Comic-Con, so we met up with him at his employer's party, and then went out for drinks with him at our favorite San Diego bar, the Knotty Barrel. Afterward, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

Friday

Despite the hotel being in the middle of the chaos that is Comic-Con, the room was soundproof and we both got plenty of sleep. For breakfast, we walked to The Mission, a well-reviewed and very busy San Diego breakfast/lunch spot.


We waited a bit before being seated, but the food was delicious and definitely worth the wait.


After our breakfast, we wandered around the city for a bit,


then got in line to check out a Game of Thrones offsite exhibit.


The line was long. Very long. We waited in line for nearly three hours to go through the exhibit. But there were lines for everything, so there was really no avoiding a line if you wanted to do anything at Comic-Con.


Once we were inside, there was plenty to look at. They had costumes from the show,


and a visual effects area, where you could get your picture taken with one of Dany's dragon. Since Simon and I were both wearing variations on green, we blended into the background a bit.


They also had an area set up where you could try out an Oculus Rift in a Game of Thrones themed simulation. You were virtually taken to the top of the wall in the lift, complete with cold air, snow, and sound effects. Then, you fell off the other side of the wall. It's obviously not as polished as it could be, but it was still pretty cool.


Finally, they had a version of the Iron Throne on display that you could sit on for pictures. In the short line for that, they had the King's Landing costumes set up, and they are all gorgeous.


Margaery's dress especially... that train!


We each took a turn on the throne...


which was a lot more comfortable than it looks. After a couple more shots,


we passed by some people getting actual tattoos (!) on the way to pick up our free t-shirts and leave.

Next up was a stop at Wired Cafe.


This was an invite only, open bar spot that we ended up at thanks to a high school friend. She noticed via Instagram that we were at Comic-Con and offered to put us on her company's VIP list, and we happily accepted. They had the newest Game of Thrones beer by Ommegang, Valhar Morghulis, which doesn't come out for a month or so. It's an incredibly tasty, easy drinking Abbey Dubbel ale, and it's 8%, which I didn't realize until after I had two and was a little woozy. Can't wait til it comes out!


Just before we left, we spotted Stephen Moyer, aka vampire Bill Compton from True Blood.


He took a few pictures with fans, but was being hustled around by handlers, so we left without bothering him. We braved the masses to get back to the hotel..


where we relaxed for a bit before heading to dinner at Banker's Hill Bar and Restaurant.


We went to Banker's Hill on our first trip to San Diego a few years ago and loved it, so we thought we'd return, especially since it's at least a mile outside of the Gaslamp and thus much less crowded.


Somehow, it was even better than it had been last time. We split a cheese plate,


then each had a steak with scalloped potatoes and green beans.


It was a fantastic meal; I think I could eat it every night and not tire of it. San Diego has some amazing beer and food.

After our meal, we returned to the hotel to relax for a bit. Then, we walked to the Balboa Theater to see a live version of the television show @midnight.


I bought tickets for this when it was announced, assuming there would be some Comic-Con specific guests, and that was not the case. However, with Brian Posehn, Grace Helbig and Steve Agee manning the podiums and no cable censor, it was a good show.

Saturday

Saturday morning we grabbed breakfast at Cafe 222, then headed over to the Nintendo Lounge right as it opened.


It was still crazy busy, but we had the chance to play the new Super Smash Brothers, new Mario Kart,


and Sonic Boom.


I was terrible at all three - in fact, several small children beat me soundly at Mario Kart - but it was fun to try them out. Simon wanted to try out Hyrule Warriors (which looks like a two player Zelda game) but the lines were super long and he didn't want to wait, so we left.

Our next stop was Nerd HQ,


a free (and accordingly crowded) experience at Petco Park.


They had video games to try, photo opportunities with celebs, couches (all full), laser tag, and a variety of other options. Since it was super crowded, we mostly just sat in the stadium chairs to relax for a bit.


After we realized there wasn't much more we were dying to do, we went back to Wired Cafe for more beer. It had just opened, so it was much less crowded, and I enjoyed my beer while Simon tried the Oculus Rift experience again.


They had free munchies, and also the most amazing thing ever - beer floats.


Wasn't sure how Gilly's Catastrophic Crunch would pair with beer, but it was excellent, and helped cool me off on the 90 degree day. Simon didn't love it, but he's not a huge fan of ice cream either.

While I was waiting for Simon, I saw Anthony Stewart Head having lunch in the VIP area. I wasn't about to bother him, but I was admittedly super excited to see Giles in person.

After going back to the hotel to rest for a bit, we walked over to the Heroes Brew Fest at the Embarcadero Marina Park behind the convention center.


There were over 50 breweries set up, and for less than $50 a person, you had unlimited tasting privileges for three hours.


After about an hour, the sun got caught behind the clouds, and the experience became ten times more enjoyable.


We tried beers from various breweries - nothing was mind-blowing, but we had a good time. There were a lot of people there, some in costume, but not so many that we had trouble getting beer. All in all, it was a really nice way to spend the afternoon.


After we had our fill of beer, we walked back to the hotel to regroup for a bit.  We had physical tickets for both @midnight and the Nerdist Podcast, but I had completely forgotten about them and accidentally left them at home. For @midnight, we just transferred them to Simon via Ticketmaster and he printed them out, but it wasn't letting us do that for the Nerdist podcast. So we walked over to the Balboa to see if we'd be able to get in, and the lovely woman working at the ticket window had our tickets printed out in ten seconds.

We decided to get dinner before the show, but if the Gaslamp had been crowded before, it was absolutely unbearable on Saturday night. Traffic was jammed in every direction, and huge crowds blocked the sidewalks everywhere we went. We passed up on so many places that were obviously completely stuffed full of people. Finally, we found Southpaw Social Club near Petco Park. They, too, had a big line, but it was actually for an event that was going on in a separate part of the restaurant - there was no wait for dinner.


They had a great draft beer selection, the food was really good, and the cover band that was playing somewhere in the restaurant was excellent. We were pleasantly surprised that we stumbled across such a good find. After we finished eating, we walked back to the Balboa for the live podcast.


Again, I bought tickets for this because I thought they would get good Comic-Con related guests - in past years, they had people like Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, and from those choices I thought they'd get someone else to my taste for this year's event. Unfortunately, not the case, but the guest (CM Punk) was pretty funny.

Sunday

The last day of our trip was also the first day we could actually go to the convention. We started out at the SyFy "Ascension Cafe", which looked insanely creepy from outside


but much less so indoors. This cafe is on the ground floor of the Hard Rock Hotel, across the street from our hotel, and they redress it for the week based on an upcoming show or movie every year. The food was insanely overpriced, which was (thankfully) our first time really running into that at Comic-Con, but the restaurant was close to the convention center so we ate quickly and left.


We lined up to get our badges and picked them up very quickly, but then we realized they were out of swag bags. I was pretty annoyed by that, but Simon was carrying a bookbag anyway, so it didn't make much difference.

While the check-in process was efficient, walking around the convention center floor was not.


The floor of the convention center is half a mile long. So just walking from one end to the other is half a mile of walking, and that doesn't include all the weaving that you do along the way.


There were many cool displays to look at,


including the booth where our friend was working.


Everything on the floor had a line - for exclusives, for signings, for walk-throughs - and we were so, so tired of lines.


After one sweep through the floor, I noticed on Twitter that there was no line for Hall H. Hall H is the biggest panel room at Comic Con, seating 6500+ people, and it often has an enormous line. However, due to the rather lackluster Sunday schedule, there was plenty of room to sit down and check out the Supernatural panel, so we decided to do that. Simon has never seen the show, but he was super excited just to sit down.

This is how far away we were from the stage... and we were only 3/4 of the way back in the room.


I knew beforehand that it was a big room... but seriously. It's a big room.

The panel was fine; I hadn't seen the most recent season of the show but it wasn't tough to figure out what was going on from the clips they showed and questions that were asked. The cast members were funny and charming, and there were plenty of young women in the audience screeching every five seconds.


After the panel was over, we headed back to the floor to walk around some more. It was so densely packed that fairly often, you couldn't even stop to see what was in a booth without security guards telling you to move along. This probably contributed heavily to us not buying anything.


Luckily, Mr. Burns and Groundskeeper Willie had a minute for us.


Along with merchandise, there were gaming areas set up and packed with people.


I can tell you right now that if you are at all anxious around crowds, Comic-Con is not the place for you.


After we walked the floor a couple times, seeing new stuff with each pass, we decided to go to another panel and give our legs a break. The panel we chose was for Lego Batman 3, since we are avid Lego game players. This was in a large room, but much, much smaller than Hall H.


They had the creators of the game, along with several of the voice actors and surprise guest Adam West.


They showed various clips and characters from the game. Batman is not my favorite series of Lego games, but this one looks pretty good so mission accomplished, panel.

After the panel was over, we went cross the street to the Tin Fish (which was made over by The Blacklist) and waited 30 minutes for a late lunch.


By the time we were finished eating, we were ready to go home. Lame, I know, but our feet ached from spending the last several days walking and standing almost everywhere. There were only two hours of the convention left at that point anyway, so we decided to call it a day and get a jump on traffic.


Three hours later we were back in Los Angeles, collapsed on the couch and playing Lego Hobbit. Do I think we'll go again? Yeah, we will probably at least try to get more days for 2015. We had a good trip, but it's hard to judge the convention from just one day of being inside.

We have a lot planned for the next few days - going to a couple of concerts, a musical, a comedy show and a movie. We'll be back with a recap of all of that, and the rest of Simon's trip to Asia, as soon as we get a chance to write it up. Hope you have an awesome rest of your week, guys.