SDCC 2016 [Panel Reviews]: Suicide Squad / Game of Thrones / Animaniacs.
Like all San Diego Comic Cons, lines are a nature of the beast. Be it the fabled camping out at Hall H to see all of the big studio “exclusive” trailers (ha!), or the less enchanted line for exclusive toys. Stepping outside of the Con, you can find a wealth of activations just stewing with nerdom. All have tons of cool things to do and swag to receive.
So for the first time in a long time, GHG is gonna give you the goods on the biggest and brightest SDCC off-site activities and outdoor activations. How do we judge ’em? One, on how well the off-sites were willing and eager to work with the press; two, what the exhibits actually have to offer; and three, how they compare to the previous year. And because fans trek down to the Con, sit in lines and spend hard earned dollars, they should expect some respect. Yes– this Traveling Nerd will fight for your nerd right with every peck of the keyboard.
SDCC OFF-SITES/OUTDOOR ACTIVATIONS
(Disclaimer, not all activations were hit, and only the main ones with activations were covered. Some outside activities involved crews of paid brand ambassadors to walk around promoting media — i.e., Ash Vs Evil Dead; though awesome, they didn’t really have anything to review besides awesome swag.)
SUICIDE SQUAD: SAMSUNG EXPERIENCE – Aptly timed, this was hands down the best activation at SDCC this year. Once you made your way through their lengthy line–that could have taken you all damn day–you were welcomed into a true nest of nerdom. With an exclusive VR experience in the POV of Harley Quinn, the Squad was forced to fight through shadowing enemies. You truly felt like you were in the head of the crazy one as you/she shoots and bats your/her way through inky enemies. Next, you were welcomed into the Belle Reve prison cell for your 360″ photo surrounded by bars, followed by a psych profile photo op — complete with the whole bad-guy-gone-good “dress up”. Attendees also had the opportunity to create their own HQ shirt emblazoned with their own Suicide skull and name. 5/5. – Lance Paul
HBO PRESENTS GAME OF THRONES: THE HALL OF FACES – Previous years have watched GoT take the cake as the best off-site exhibit at SDCC–but, this year, that went downhill. You couldn’t tell from lines though! It was still packed with geeks hoping to have a similar experience as previous years. Once inside, you had the choice of two different photo-op sessions: the honor of placing your face among the many gods on the wall, or the usual sitting on the throne. Sadly, it come off as if HBO showed up just to show GoT was present. 3/5. – Lance Paul
You can read our Monsignor’s coverage of the Game of Thrones panel in the respective link.
NBC (Timeless, Emerald City, The Happy Place) – The third activation that I stopped into was NBC’s multi-show takeover of the famed Tin Fish restaurant by the Omni Hotel. In attendance was Timeless with a graviton and photo booth, Emerald City with a photo-op and The Happy Place serving soft serve frozen yogurt(!!). The best part besides Moody missing a lick of Strawberry Swirl was seeing new footage for the time traveling show, Timeless, coming this October 3rd; unfortunately, Emerald City had no footage and no release date to mention, although (from what I can gather) it’s going to ride off of the fame of Once Upon A Time — and does look intriguing. 4/5. – Lance Paul
ANIMANIACS LIVE! (Sunday) – Lost in the shuffle of all the Hall H(ollywood) madness — and those long waits for off-site exhibits, as our Traveling Nerd just conveyed — were massive lines for smaller, yet still wildly popular cult show panels. Joined by my fellow GHG brethren, “Brother” Myke and Ryan “Salvation” Scott, your “Dynast” was lucky enough to find a seat for Animaniacs Live!. Yes–that 90’s classic is back, and will be touring, singing and playing unforgettable numbers from the hit show. TMNT‘s Rob Paulsen (Yakko) and original songwriter Randy Rogel moderated the panel/performance and included little tidbits about how the songs come to fruition and what influenced them. They were later joined by Tress MacNeille (Dot) and Jess Harnell (Wakko). The trio sound just as great as they ever have, perhaps even funnier, and the songs remain as infectious as when we first heard them in the 90s. The tour is expected to commence in April of 2017 and you can bet the GHG gang have already made plans to catch the first leg of it. 4.5/5.