Who loves free stuff?? If you’re around San Diego this weekend and are lucky enough to get inside the San Diego Convention Center, Comic Con is the place to be. Comic Con, the annual event that focuses on all things comicbook/superhero, is packed with our favorite celebrities, excited fans, and, oh yea, all the free stuff you could ever want. You can barely walk around without someone trying to hand you something. Cards, pens, temporary tattoos, skateboard decks (okay, not those) and so much more.
For Thursday, I made it my mission to take everything I was handed and hunt down anything I saw that looked remotely worthwhile. My hotel room is now crammed full of this stuff and I’ve got no idea how I’m getting it home.
Here’s what I found (so far.)
Best Swag to Make Horrible Puns About: The Hawaii Five-O Lei (as modeled by my good friend Mr. Lampwick)
I stood in line at the CBS booth for about 15 minutes to get lei’d by a lovely lady. When I finally got up to her, she simply handed it to me. I sighed and put it on.
I had to lei myself. I could’ve done that back home. Points off for not having these girls putting the leis on people.
Still, a cool giveaway. CBS quite nearly brought the Hawaiian experience right there to the floor of Comic Con. Outside the convention center, there were also some very polite young ladies sporting the full-on tropical getaway look.
(note to CBS, my gainful employer: I love you dearly… please do not take the above jab personally. I have already Season Pass-ed Hawaii Five-O and have taken advantage of our gracious “free ringtone” offer.)
Best Way to Scare Children: Faces on Sticks
Why make the world suffer your face when you can put some hilarious OTHER face right over top? Perfect for people who don’t want to rubber band a piece of cardboard to their head, or for those “dude, i’m me. Now I’m Will Ferrell!” moments.
Best Swag I Took Off a Guy’s Body: Perky Jerky
The Perky Jerky guy was wearing a velcro body suit and an iPad that was showing some kind of demonstration movie. That didn’t interest me as much as the the fact that he was wearing Perky Jerky all over him and people were just casually snatching it off.
When I asked for this picture, his handler told me to make it quick. Yes, the Perky Jerky guy has a handler, and she needs you to keep it moving please.
(Incidentally, Perky Jerky is billed as the world’s first performance-enhancing meat snack. I’m in.)
Best Way To Get Your Man On: The Expendables Official Movie Poster
Nobody will challenge your masculinity if you’ve got this baby hanging on your wall.
Coolest Way to Pretend You’re Danny McBride: The Eastbound and Down Hair Hat
Put this on and channel Kenny Powers. You’ll be getting illegitimate offers from second-rate baseball teams in no time.
Best Bag Inspired by a bad SyFy movie: The SyFy Mega Tote vs. Giant Backpack
A couple of SyFy promotions people were spotted with a box of these. A huge line formed next to them until they coughed up the goods. I assume this scene was repeated again and again throughout the entire convention.
Biggest Waste of a Printing Press: Free Bad Comics
It’s called “Comic Con,” so of course there’s s tremendous presence of comic books on the floor. But a word to the wise: if a cute young thing cheerfully puts a promotional comic book in your hands, do not expect it to be good. They make you pay for the good stuff.
(And by they, I mean the comic book people. Not cute young things.)
Here’s a formula though: take one crappy comic book for every trolley stop between the convention center and your hotel. Reading them will help you avoid making eye contact with the other people on the train.
Best Tube: The 20th Century Fox poster tube (sweet shoulder strap not pictured)
The best swag at Comic Con is the utilitarian swag. These movie and TV studios have had it figured out for years now: instead of giving you something to stuff in a bag, they gave you the bag. Comic Con quickly became an arms race to see who had the coolest and most desirable bag.
Now a bag is great, but one of the chief purchases of a Comic Con attendee is movie posters. That’s where Fox fills the void: a nice, high quality poster tube. Hugely popular. These things are slung over every shoulder, yet somehow impossible to come by. I had to beg for mine.
Hottest Lithograph of Felicia Day: The Dollhouse Lithograph (dainty fingers not included)
Fans of the ill-fated show Dollhouse (and of Felicia Day) will be pleased to know it’s getting the Buffy treatment — Fox and Dark Horse are going to give the high tech whore house a comic book makeover, with the hopes of a comic-only third season a la Buffy: The Vampire Slayer’s season eight. Anybody who pre-orders the second season on DVD at the Fox booth will get this snazzy lithograph depicting the cover of the first issue (and the DVD set has said issue contained within.)