Monday, August 17, 2015

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2015

Before I begin rambling about everything I did at Comic-Con this year, I want those of you who have yet to experience the Con, to understand how you feel at the beginning verses the end of Comic-Con.   
Beginning of Comic-Con:

End of Comic-Con:

Those two gifs are slightly over-dramatic, but they get the point across. Last year, I was fortunate enough to score a Sunday badge at Comic-Con 2014, but this year I got all FOUR days PLUS Preview Night. I thought Sunday was amazing last year, but it did not compare to all the amazing things I did this year in the span of five days. 

I am not going to give Preview Night it's own section because my parents and I did not do too many things that require mentioning. But, my parents and I did mange to get quite a bit of books; one of which was an ARC of Wendy Higgins' Sweet Temptation. If you follow me on Twitter, which you totally should, you know I would have given my soul to get a copy, so I was ecstatic when I manged to get one, at Comic-Con of all places. 

The other really cool thing on Preview Night was getting to meet Nolan Gould, who plays Luke Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family. It is amazing how many stars are walking around the convention hall. 

(Me, Nolan Gould)

Marie Rutkoski's Signing:
(Me, Marie Rutkoski)
Surprisingly, Thursday was one of the busiest days. I started off by attending Maire Rutkoski's in-booth signing at Macmillian, where I had her sign my copy of The Winner's Curse and bought a copy of The Winner's Crime there for her to sign.

"The Buffy Effect" Signing
(Me, Kiersten White)
(Me, Rachel Hawkins)

(Me, Rae Carson)
(Me, Brittany Geragotelis) 

(Me, Valerie Tejeda)
Next, I attended the signing for "The Buffy Effect" panel. I met authors like Kiersten White, Rachel Hawkins, Rae Carson, etc. Rachel Hawkins was the only author on that panel who I had read, but I had met Rae Carson previously this year at BookCon. I had Rachel sign my copy of Hex Hall and Rae signed my copy of The Crown of Embers. This was the first signing that I had authors sign my library card bag. All of the authors at the signing were extremely nice and I must say, Kiersten White is so adorable!

"The Modern Fairytale" Signing 
(Renee Ahdieh, Me)
(Me, Julie Kagawa)

Following "The Buffy Effect" signing, I went to "The Modern Fairytale" signing to see Julie Kagawa, who I had interviewed earlier in the day, and Renee Ahdieh. Julie was the only author on the panel who I had read and I had also met her a year ago at BookCon 2014, but it was nice to sit down and chat with her since she was one of the original authors who got me into reading. Julie signed my copy of Talon, Rouge and my ARC of The Iron Traitor. Renee signed my copy of The Wrath & The Dawn

"Authors of Epic Fantasy" Signing:
(Me, Susan Dennard)
Then, I attended the "Authors of Epic Fantasy" signing to get a signed, limited edition poster of Susan Dennard's Truthwitch. I interviewed Susan later on in the weekend and saw her multiple times at different signings as well as walking around the exhibit floor. Susan is such a sweetheart; I highly recommend going to see her if she is attending any events in your area. Marie Rutkoski was also at this signing and I had time to chat with her again. While in the line I also befriended a fellow blogger, Jasmine from Not A Picky Reader.

"Resurgence of Science Fiction" Signing:
(Margaret Stohl)
After reading a flyer from Disney-Hyperion, I was under the impression that Margaret Stohl was signing ARCs of Black Widow at the "Resurgence of Science Fiction" signing, so I sent my mom to get in line while I was at the "Authors of Epic Fantasy" signing. It turns out that Margaret was only signing chapter samplers of Black Widow, which I currently have an abundance of. The silver-lining is that I finally have a signed chapter sampler. 

"Worldbuilding" Signing:
(Me, Josephine Angelini)
(Me, Sabaa Tahir)


At the "Worldbuilding" signing I met various authors; the most mentionable were Josephine Angelini and Sabaa Tahir. Like Julie Kagawa from "The Modern Fairytale" signing, I have read Josephine Angelini's work for a few years now and she is one of the authors who fueled my love for Greek mythologies. Josephine signed the first book in her latest trilogy, Trial By Fire, and I am so excited to start reading it! I have yet to read Sabaa Tahir's An Ember In The Ashes, but I purchased a copy there for her to sign after all the hype I have heard surrounding the book. 

Mary E. Pearson's Signing:
(Mary E. Pearson)
(Mary E. Pearson Signing)

While I was at the "Worldbuilding" signing, my dad went downstairs to the exhibit floor for Mary E. Pearson's in-booth signing at Macmillan. Mary signed my copy of The Kiss of Deception and The Hearth of Betrayal along with some spare copies of The Kiss of Deception that I will be giving away soon, keep your eyes peeled for that.    

Rainbow Rowell's Signing:
(Rainbow Rowell, Me)
The last signing I attended on Thursday was Rainbow Rowell's. She signed my copy of Eleanor & Park as well as some really cool Carry On posters. I have adored Rainbow's work for about a year and a half now and it was amazing to finally meet her. She is such a sweetheart and is absolutely adorable, I know I keep using both of those adjectives to describe all of the authors I met, but it's true. 

My parents and I finished out the day by attending "The Scoop at Simon & Shuster" panel. It was not that great of a panel, and it made us rethink attending all the other panels centered around the upcoming releases of the year; but Harper Collin's and Penguin's panels were so much better. The silver-lining of "The Scoop at Simon & Shuster" was that I got to meet Emma, a fellow book-lover, who was adopted into my family throughout the rest of the weekend.

Leigh Bardugo's Signing:
(Me, Leigh Bardugo)
(Leigh Bardugo Signing)

I read Leigh Bardugo's Shadow & Bone and Siege & Storm back-to-back two summers ago and I really enjoyed them. However, leading up to the release of Ruin & Rising the following summer, I forgot everything except that I loved the Darkling. So, I was a bit nervous to meet Leigh at her in-booth signing since I was not really sure what to tell her. However, I should not have been nervous, Leigh was extremely nice and funny. The main reason I went to the signing was to try to get an ARC of Leigh's newest book, Six of Crows, but there were only fifteen copies available and my parents and I did not make it in line as the first fifteen since I was focused on get signing tickets for later on in the day. Emily, who we also met while waiting in a line together, was able to get one of the fifteen copies and she is letting me borrow it. There tends to be a silver-lining to all the things I did not manage to attend or get.

"Romantic Adventure" Signing: 
( (Photobomb-Sam Skyes), Mary E. Pearson, Me)
(Suzanne Young, Me)

(Gena Showalter, Me)
Following Leigh Bardugo's signing, I went to the "Romantic Adventure" signing to get a picture with Mary E. Pearson since my dad was the one to attend her in-booth signing on Thursday. I also got to meet Suzanne Young, the author of The Program, a book that had interested me for a long time, and Gena Showalter who is the author of Alice In Zombieland, a book that I won from a giveaway a couple years ago.

Josephine Angelini's Signing:
(Josephine Angelini Signing)
(Josephine Angelini)

While my mom and I were at the "Romantic Adventure" signing, my dad was downstairs on the exhibit floor getting me an ARC of Firewalker, the sequel to Trial By Fire, at Josephine's in-booth signing. He also got me another signed copy of Trial By Fire

Rachel Hawkin's Signing:
(Me, Rachel Hawkins)
(Rachel Hawkins Signing)

I met Rachel Hawkins again on Friday for her ticketed in-booth signing in which they were giving away free copies of Rebel Bell for Rachel to sign. I was the first person in line for Rachel's signing and this has to be one of my favorite pictures from Comic-Con. 

Diana Gabaldon's Signing:
(Diana Gabaldon Signing)
(Me, Diana Gabaldon)

Diana Gabaldon's signing was the longest line my parents and I encountered over the course of the convention. It was an extremely well deserved long line since Diana is the creator of Outlander. About a week before the start of Comic-Con, I started watching the television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and I fell in love with the world and the characters. I really wanted to get a ticket for Saturday's signing with the cast, producers and Diana, but I knew that was highly unlikely, so I figured I would try for Diana's signing so I would at least get to meet her. Thankfully, I manged to get a ticket in the morning for Diana's signing and she signed my two copies of Outlander, the original TV poster for the show and my library card bag. It still amazes me how legible Diana's signature is. I know of a lot of lesser known authors that have barely been around that sign illegible, but Diana Gabaldon, who has been an author for over twenty years and has sold millions of books still has a legible signature, it amazes me. Sadly, I was unable to get tickets for the Outlander signing on Saturday with the cast, producers and Diana, but I am really glad I got the opportunity to meet Diana.

We finished the day off by attending the "What's Up With Penguin" panel. This was probably my favorite panel out of all the panels discussing upcoming releases. The people at Penguin were a lot of fun and they have some really fantastic titles coming out this year, a few of which I managed to snag there.

Alexandra Bracken Signing Passenger Samplers:
(Alexandra Bracken, Me)
I never actually intended going to Alexandra Bracken's signing for Passenger chapter samplers. I love Alex, but I am not a big fan of chapter samplers. The only reason I went was because I left my parents at the panel for Land of the Lost and stumbled across her signing when I spotted Susan Dennard talking to her. Most of the time waiting in that line I spent talking to Susan Dennard. I am really glad that I went  because Alex was giving out Passenger bookmarks, which are literally the coolest bookmarks ever!  

"My Book Is A Movie/TV Show: What Now?" Signing:
(Me, Victoria Aveyard)
(Me, Lauren Kate)
My first scheduled signing on Saturday was the "My Book Is A Movie/TV Show: What Now?" signing. I met Victoria Aveyard, the author of Red Queen, and Lauren Kate, the author of the Fallen series. Out of those two, Lauren Kate was the only author I had read, I fell in love with her Fallen series when I was about 12. I have since grown out of Lauren Kate's books, but getting to meet a favorite author was really great. Surprisingly, I have yet to read Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen, even though it was one of my most highly anticipated books of this year.

Susan Dennard & Sarah J. Maas Signing:
(Sarah & Susan Signing)
(Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Me)

The award for the most craziest line goes to Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard. It was a stressful mad-dash to get near the front of the line for their signing. Normally it would not have bothered me to be near the end of the line, but this was no ordinary signing. I needed to be within the first fifty people because I was going to get an ARC of Susan Dennard's Truthwitch, even if I had to fight someone for it. Thankfully, it never got to that point, I manged to get a place in the mid-twenties and Truthwitch is safely in my hands. Sarah J. Maas signed my copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses and the free copy of Throne of Glass they were giving away. Susan and Sarah are literally the cutest together, you can easily tell how genuine and deep their friendship runs. I think they should start combining their tours together, they are like peanut butter and jelly, they were meant to be together. 

Marie Lu's Signing:
(Me, Marie Lu)
(Marie Lu Signing)

At Maire Lu's ticketed in-booth signing, they were giving away free copies of The Legend Graphic Novel. I have loved Marie's books for a couple years now and her Legend trilogy is my go-to recommendation when someone asks me what to read next. It was amazing to be able to meet an author I look so highly upon. 

After going back to the condo we were staying at near the convention center for a well-deserved break and dinner, my parents and I headed back to the convention center for the "Choosing the Right Publishing Path for Your Manuscript: Traditional, Small Press or Self-Publishing" panel. If you know me at all, I have no plans of ever writing a book, so the reason I went to a panel about publishing was the fact that Cora Carmack and Sarah J. Maas were two of the panelists. The panel wasn't actually that bad, I learned a lot of interesting new facts I never knew about the publishing world. Afterwards, I interviewed Cora Carmack and if you do not know, I absolutely adore her and being able to sit down and chat with her was amazing.

(Cora Carmack, Me)
(Me, Cora Carmack: Post Interview)

After my interview with Cora, my parents and I went to the "What's New from Harper Collins/Epic Reads" panel, which was another good panel.

"No Cape Required" Signing:
(Me, Pierce Brown)
(Me, Pierce Brown)
Our "Epic" Photo
(Me, Marie Lu)
(Me, James Dashner)

Sunday is always the slowest day at Comic-Con, it is considered Kid's Day and it is a much slower pace.  Many attendees don't stay long that day. Last year, Sunday was the only day my family and I managed to get badges for and the only thing book related was the "What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" panel and signing. This year I lucked out a little more on Sunday, not only was the "What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" panel back again, but there was the "No Cape Required" panel and signing. I got meet Marie Lu, again, but this time I managed to get one of her ten Rose Society ARCs. I also got to meet James Dashner and Pierce Brown.   

"What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" Panel
(Nathan Bransford, Alexandra Bracken, Rae Carson, Susan Dennard, Alan Gratz, Sarah J. Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, Sabaa Tahir)
Unlike last year on the "What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction" panel, I knew almost all of the authors. Sadly, there wasn't an accompanying signing for this panel, but I met almost all of the authors throughout the convention or last year at Comic-Con. Right before this panel I interviewed Susan Dennard and, after the interview, Sarah J. Maas joined us. It was really great speaking to both of them outside the signings.  

Comic-Con was insane this year. I met so many amazing authors. I scored a ton of exciting finished copies and ARCs. I made several new bookish friends. I can't wait to see what Comic-Con 2016 has in-store for me. 

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