With San Diego Comic Con returning after a two-year hiatus, it has me thinking about some of my favorite Comic Con memories. This one is my best one- the story of how I ended up on Entertainment Weekly for their coverage of San Diego Comic Con. It was an event three years in the making, and when it finally happened, it ended up being the best Comic Con ever. Even though it started out as the worst time ever due to illness and plane delays.
For three years in a row, someone from Entertainment Weekly had contacted me and asked to feature me in their coverage of San Diego Comic Con. They had met me at SDCC in 2011, when I was dressed as Princess Leia wearing the infamous gold metal bikini (usually referred to as “Slave Leia“) at the Gentle Giant booth, hanging out with a life size Jabba the Hutt. You can see footage of that in the Morgan Spurlock documentary Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.
The first year I couldn’t go, so I recommended my friend Victoria Avalor, who had also done some modeling for my costume shop. The second year I still couldn’t go, so I recommended well-known cosplayer Yaya Han take my place. The third year I was finally ready to make the trek back to San Diego, and I woke up so sick I could barely get out of bed.
But there was no way I was going to miss this trip! I dragged myself out of bed and got on the plane, only to have it be delayed repeatedly. I was supposed to shoot the day I arrived, but would not be arriving until late that night. I was actually glad because I was so ill I was huddled in a little ball the entire flight, hugging a barf bag and trying to will myself into feeling better.
They ended up scheduling coverage for both me and Yaya, so they were able to shoot her stuff that day and move mine until the next morning. The plan was to shoot a series of getting ready shots while transforming into our cosplay characters.
Time for the Wonder Woman Transformation
Unfortunately, I still felt like death the next day. But I still got up, put everything on, shot pictures for Entertainment Weekly, and then as soon as the photographer left, I threw up and crawled back in bed for the rest of the day. So what was supposed to be a super awesome experience was pretty much torture.
I spent the whole day in bed while my husband went out and enjoyed Comic Con. I was so miserable! But I was feeling better by that evening and planned to finally go out the next day. We had worked pretty hard on our Chewbacca and Han Solo outfits and I was looking forward to wearing them. I had Chewie ready to go, but we were making Han right up the last day. I was obsessed with making the vest just right, while my husband had bought leather, stained it and tooled his own gun holster.
The Cosplay Nightmare Come True
I woke up the next day finally not feeling like death and started to get ready for our big day. I had my make-up on and was getting dressed when I realized I was missing a very important piece of my outfit- Chewie’s bandolier! I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten it, It was one of my convention stress nightmares coming true! So many times I had dreams where I forgot my costumes, and now it actually happened. But I wasn’t going to wear a half-ass costume to SDCC! So we made an emergency trip to Wal-Mart.
I wandered the aisles trying to find stuff that would work. I got a purse, a belt, foam board and silver duct tape and the whole thing actually turned out pretty good! With another crisis averted, we finally got to go out and enjoy the convention.
On our last day I still wasn’t feeling great, but the Entertainment Weekly party that evening and there was no way I was missing that. I can actually thank Yaya for that one, since she’s the one who asked if we could attend the party. And it was the most AMAZING celeb-filled party ever. Normally you are not supposed to bug the celebrities for photos, and I’m usually too shy to even ask, but I figured this was probably my one shot since I lived in Florida and didn’t exactly have the chance to attend celebrity events often. So my husband and I got photos with everybody we recognized!
Just a few of the celebrities we hassled at the Entertainment Weekly SDCC Party:
It ended up being a pretty amazing trip even though it started out pretty awful. I haven’t had a chance to get back to SDCC since then, but I don’t think I can ever top that trip!