By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 27, 2012 at 4:24PM
Comic-Con is great fun if you don't have to be in Hall H. I'd skip it and watch the panels on YouTube if I didn't want to see the early footage. The Hall H security was so tight this year that even the studio PR execs were complaining about trying to get their people in. Hall H reflected shifts in entertainment trends by hosting cable panels for "Game of Thrones" --which announced new cast members--and "The Walking Dead." I bargained for passes for each individual panel, and had to retrieve them in advance and be in the right place at the right time to file into the reserved section. If you missed that moment, tough luck!
But the 6000 fans who filled the hall had long waits, some sleeping on the sidewalk overnight, to see the presentations. One fan waited seven hours and the line was cut eleven people ahead. Another fan tragically lost her life before Comic-Con began by running against traffic and falling into a moving car, as she tried to get back to her place in the "Twilight" line.
Others wisely let it go, and cruised the exhibition floor with their giant Warner Bros. tote bags, looking for cool stuff to buy. That's where the real heart of Comic-Con resides, with the artists and collectors. I always get a kick out of seeing all the costumes at the Con. The problem is that promotion and hype have taken over. (See our photo gallery below.)
The web noise is so great during SDCC that it really doesn't matter how fast you file. Someone else will get there first. Which takes some of the pressure off. (We still have stuff we haven't posted yet.) When Sophia Savage and I arrived in San Diego, we lined up for badges and headed for the exhibition floor, which wasn't going to open for another hour. So we tagged along with a gaggle of journos covering a "Walking Dead" event: the unveiling of next season's survival car--a souped up Hyundai Elantra GT complete with rhino guards and whirring spikes.
"It's a one-of-a-kind engineering marvel!" gushed the PR guy. "The ultimate zombie-proof survival vehicle!" The black car was described by comic-book creator Robert Kirkman (celebrating his 100th issue) and then realized and built by Gary Castillo of Design Craft, who claimed: "The car is 100% zombie-proof!"
Next we checked out the "Art of Frankenweenie." Wandering around Disney's museum-style exhibit of Tim Burton's drawings and miniature sets was a sheer delight. (More details here.) Later we hit two parties, Hitfix and Summit's "Twilight" finale.