Sunday was not only the last day of the convention, it was also the last day I’d have to volunteer. No more taking time out of the day to go wait in line for the next day’s assignment. Come 11:30 a.m., I was free.
But first was working Artists’ Alley beginning at 8:30. The first thing we had to do was walk around and make sure there was no trash on the floor and chase away any exhibitors who didn’t belong there. One thing I’d learned was that SDCC had a rule all exhibitors needed to be at their booths 15 minutes before the exhibit hall opened. As with everything at SDCC, one never knows how much that rule is obeyed given the number of exhibitors and their pals out buying exclusives before the rest of the lumpenbourgeoisie is allowed into the convention center. I’ve heard that exhibitors get regular badges in addition to their exhibitor badges and will switch them out to avoid the 15-minute booth rule and get a jump on the exclusives lines.
Artists’ Alley is located right by the Funko booth, meaning that as the exhibit hall opened to the public at 9, people were trying to run through Artists’ Alley to get to Funko. Our job then consisted of telling desperate Funko seekers to stop running. I’ve been in those shoes before, heh heh. I was telling people to keep it to a trot or a brisk walk.
Little by little the artists started arriving to peddle their wares and draw. Early on, Rob Liefeld dropped by his booth and I had to quickly do some crowd control before Liefeld split for an appearance at Conival in Petco Park. He was due back at 1:30 p.m. but that was after my shift and no longer my problem. Katie Cook quickly got a line at her booth, but other volunteers got that one under control. Otherwise, what I did was wander around, check to see if it got crowded at particular booths, and kept the rows clear. People would stand four or five people thick with their big ol’ backpacks and made it impossible for others to get by.
Time went by fast and at 11:30 I was handing in my assignment card and ending my 2015 volunteering run. I didn’t bring lunch on Sunday so I ended up buying a turkey sandwich outside of Ballroom 20. It was too much of a hassle to go anywhere else. After lunch I went and checked out the art show/auction, which curiously I’d never really done before. Some of it was pretty good and quite expensive, some of it was somewhere between “school craft project” and “Etsy.” I didn’t buy anything there. Down in the exhibit hall, it was packed. Desperate shoppers who had spent their con in lines or in a hall were making their buy-now-or-regret-it-later purchases. The Vikings blood splatter booth had its longest line yet. I was also scrambling around making buys I’d been on the fence about since Thursday. Sometimes it paid to wait. One booth had cut its prices on stuff by ten bucks. Other booths still had ridiculous lines. I’d considered getting a Darth Vader samurai figure from one booth but the line was still really long. I checked on my phone to see if it was available online and not only found it on more than one site, I found it cheaper than the booth’s price.
At one point I was walking past the Fox booth when its American Horror Story signing started. I almost got squished by the crowds pushing in to get a glimpse. No Lady Gaga or Jessica Lange but I did see Kathy Bates. Thankfully I was working in Artists’ Alley when the guys from Supernatural was doing their signing at the WB booth but I could hear the screams of their fans.
I decided to flee the convention center at 3:30 or so. If I waited until closing at five, I might get stuck in traffic from everyone trying to leave at once. Another Comic Con done and under the belt. Wish me luck for 2016!