Continuing on with my travel, within the cafeteria area, there was a small table with two people looking at other people's comic books. The issues were being CGC graded (I think it stands for Certified Guaranty Company) and encapsulated by Desert Wind Comics. Walking past this I reached the lounge and rested my feet. I encountered Uncle Yo and his friend and spoke with them for a bit. Then I was getting hungry and decided to go to the cafeteria. This time I went into the SHORTER line, about 10 people, for Chinese food. Two choice of sides and rice cost me $10 something. It is better than the cost of chips. When I was in line to pay for my food, the man behind me asked about the price of a small bag of chips. The cashier said $2.50, he did a double take and asked if he had heard right. He threw the chips right back into the basket.
After paying for my food I went to the press lounge and ate my lunch. While I was eating another press person said “you're lucky you have time to eat.” I was dumbfounded. I thought people would be given the time to eat or take a break from press work. I looked around me and people were recording podcasts and working on their laptops. Sorry, but my stomach comes first. I cannot work on an empty stomach. We all need food in our stomach!
After finishing my lunch I decided to journey my way to the panel area. Well, there was quite a traffic jam. Even though it took approximately 5 minutes to travel through, it felt like forever! (-_-) You would not believe what caused it! It was people coming out of the Speed Dating event! I initially thought it was a crowd that filled up the entire hallway, but apparently there was a standstill of people from the event. I was like what?! Seriously? Please move or step to the side, because it will help the flow of traffic. Thanks! :-)
Dark Horse Panel, the line to go in and the waiting line.
The line for the Beavis and Butthead panel.
Finally, I reached the panel area, but oh dear, I could not believe my own eyes. One of the panels about to begin was from Dark Horse, and there was an actual waiting line. Yes, a WAITING line, not a line to wait IN. Then there was a separate line for those who could enter the room until it reached full capacity. At night there was another extensive line, but it was for the Beavis and Butthead panel. It was insane! I am sure that the majority of the people were not allowed in. After witnessing this for certain panels that were very popular, it makes me wonder how there will ever be a room large enough to accommodate all fans? Now, I wish there were signs in place to state the maximum capacity of each room. Because once I know that there are more people waiting than allowed waiting to enter, I will just be on my merry way. Seeing a waiting line is enough to convince me to go accomplish something else. At least the line should be cut off early, so that the fans will know whether or not they will be allowed in. In the end, I do not think there will be enough room to accommodate even 50% of the people waiting in line. You might as well wait until someone puts up a video on YouTube (shrugs).
On Saturdays at the convention there is a big and popular event, the Masquerade. This has been an annual night time event that happens after the closing of the show floor. Because I found out prior to the event that there was to be no press line and feared that the performances would be less than appealing, I decided to attend the CBLDF: Defending Manga panel that was happening at the same time. After my panel finished, I walked around to take pictures and then went to the IGN theatre area to take a picture of a display car. To my surprise, there was a group of people lined up outside and the theatre was completely empty; expect for staff going in and out and a few performers on stage. I saw my friend outside the theatre and asked him what is going on? He told me that he has been waiting to enter, but has not been allowed in. I asked him about the line that he was in and what happened to the press line? He told me that he was on the VIP line and there was no separate line for the press. This was five minutes to 9pm. My friend did not enter the theatre until close to 10pm. Keep in mind that the show is roughly about two hours. Knowing the situation, I am so glad that I did not wait for the masquerade and went straight home. Tomorrow was another day, and I needed my sleep so that I would be ready for Sunday.
After my Saturday experience I was dumbfounded on a few things and perplexed by other situations. There are definitely a few things that need to be explained and improved upon. Some things are out of ReedPop's hands. However, for things that are under the company's control, hopefully, for next year certain situations can be prevented. We shall see what happens next year.
© 2011 Linda Thai
Photography by Linda Thai
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