A few weeks before San Diego Comic Con, I started to notice more and more people using the hashtag ‘#NerdHQ’— a mystery event. After investigating, I traced it back to The Nerd Machine, a site founded by Chuck’s Zachary Levi. Naturally, I was giddily curious. A NERD headquarter?! I was picturing a giant tree house for nerds. With geek tech blinking and making noises inside, comic books, toys and all that cool shit.
Turned out, Levi’s vision was almost as good as mine and within less than a month he organized an off-shoot Comic Con event. The headquarters established itself and set up its shop a block away from the convention at Jolt n’ Joe bar and restaurant.
You do not need to have a Comic Con badge to enter Nerd HQ but they did sell tickets to the individual “Conversations” events throughout the weekend. The money went to charity, Operation Smile, and the event raised $40k (SDCCblog.org). Pretty amazing but not surprising! Each “Conversation” panel that Nerd HQ offered was only $20 a pop but you spend an hour with the guests and then most of them had a free autograph session afterwards. Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin were among some of the stars that participated in these panels.
Who did Gizzy and I went to see?
The Wired CafÃ©– a little oasis with limited access to convention goers who knew people who knew people who knew people who–well, you know. Lucky for us… we knew people! Hooray for us!
It was a great place to get away and relax for a bit during the weekend on the first two days of Comic Con. The place got a little crazy during Saturday since it was the ‘big’ day that weekend. It was all good tough because I can’t complain about free alcohol and free food. It was nice to get a little taste of the VIP treatment. Gizzy definitely took advantage of it and spent half of her Friday there. She probably went through most of the Tru Blood (true facts).
Gizzy and I share our TOP 5 favorite memories from the Wired CafÃ© this year.
â€¢ The small bar designed to be a mini-replica of Fangtasia from the television series True Blood. The bartender was really nice too and the drinks were refreshing (not the heated red wine though).
â€¢ The veggie plate had asparagus instead of just broccoli and carrots. Wished they had desserts though.
â€¢ Watching Matt Smith and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) do a silly dance for a few seconds. Photos below.
â€¢ Getting to try Just Dance 3 with my boyfriend on the XBox without having to deal with the crazy crowd at the con’s exhibit hall. Party rockin’!
â€¢ Free photo booth sponsored byÂ Cirque Du Soleil.
â€¢ The free alcoholic beverages mixed with Tru Blood and the free food.
â€¢ Getting to be within 5 feet of Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) for twenty glorious minutes.
â€¢ Technically partying with Dominic Monaghan and The Doctor. Technically.
â€¢ Seeing people descend on the free food like locusts during a Biblical plauge.
â€¢ The free booze. And sharing an elevator with Channing Tatum.
Friday, July 22 – the second day of Comic Con was a professional learning experience. I participated in my first ever round table press room and yes, I was pretty scared. I did not go to college for either writing or journalism (can’t you tell?!) and the last time I was even remotely considered a reporter was when I was in the newspaper club during middle school. I prayed that I wouldn’t embarrass myself Â or the LA Weekly. Armed with my puny experience as a local blogger, I dove head first into a two hour back to back session for Torchwood and Spartacus. A special thank you to the Starz Network and Nicole, the hardworking PR woman who coordinated all of it during the convention.
The experience turned out to be a lot of fun. I observed the more experienced journalists and quietly studied their methods. We had a woman who was an absolute natural at asking great questions and getting the most interesting answers out of the actors and writers. She was engaging and fearless. Most importantly, she was well informed– the ideal journalist! She was awesome and I wished I remembered her name because I definitely looked up to her.
The first actor we had at our table was Manu Bennett from Spartacus. I still felt a little nervous and I don’t remember if I actually got a question in (I don’t think I did).
Okay, I admit… he was also super hot in person and I was silenced by all that man-sexy! Ha! It didn’t take too long for me to find my own quiet approach to asking questions and my general cute-ness masked my inexperience. Whew.
I did get brave enough to stand up and tell Lucy Lawless how much I have looked up to her all my life and was rewarded with a hug. I almost died from happiness and she was incredibly gorgeous in person.
Bill Pullman (he is in the new season of Torchwood) was delightful. I’ve always loved him as an actor and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with him. I even got to ask him a question.
Jane Espenson! If anyone should represent successful female writers in the nerd world, it is this woman.
Liam McIntyre, the new Spartacus, seemed like a nice guy who was just having fun with his career. I am looking forward to his interpretation of a role he had inherited from Andy Whitfield.