Death Star Window

Death Star Window

Partway down the central escalator at the San Diego Convention center, you can look down the long cylindrical skylight that makes up the roof of the lobby, rings forming the appearance of concentric circles. Years ago, a friend of mine referred to it as the Death Star Cannon shot, and it’s a popular one to take, both during Comic Con and at other events.

Death Star Cannon

At this year’s Comic-Con International, I found myself looking at the windows surrounding the stairs instead. My first thought was to mix things up with the classic cannon shot, but when I got home and looked at the results, I realized: This really does resemble the windows in the Emperor’s throne room. It’s still a Death Star shot, but a different part of the station!

If you’d like to see more photos or read more about my experience at the convention, check out I Survived Comic-Con 2013 at K-Squared Ramblings.

San Diego at Night

San Diego at Night (with boat trail)

Downtown San Diego’s nighttime skyline, seen from Harbor Island across the bay to the west. You can see the light trails from a couple of boats. The yellowish sky is the reflection of street lights on low-lying clouds. I have a wider shot that shows how much darker the sky is away from the city.

This was taken during last year’s Comic-Con. I figured I’d post it this week because the first round of hotel rooms go on sale this Wednesday. These are non-refundable, outside of downtown, and in some cases specific packages with minimum stays, but if you already have tickets and want to avoid the “Hoteloween” rush when the rest of the rooms go on sale, it might be worth taking a look.

Either way, you might be interested in my collection of Tips for Comic-Con.

San Diego Hotel: Holiday Inn on the Bay

Holiday Inn on the Bay

Hotels went on sale for Comic-Con International this week. I sat things out this year, since we’re only making a day trip. Naturally, everyone I know who was trying to get a room ended up with the smoothest experience in more than five years, rather than the crashes, timeouts, frustration that we’ve come to expect.

In case you didn’t make it through, or if you decide to just chuck it all and do something else, here’s a link to some ideas on how you can still get a hotel in San Diego.

Comic-Con: Down the Barrel

Death Star Cannon View

Comic-Con International sold out this weekend. The convention isn’t until July, which makes the January sell-out surprising enough…but tickets didn’t even go on sale until this past Saturday, and were all gone by the end of the day!

In past years, tickets haven’t been a problem. This year, they’ve become as hard to get as convention-rate hotel rooms. And those? The con hasn’t even announced when they’re going on sale.

This is the view from one of the escalators in the San Diego Convention Center lobby. One of my friends once referred to it as the “Death Star Cannon” view, inspired by the shot of the inside of the cannon firing near the end of Star Wars.

If you got your ticket to San Diego this year, I’d recommend you check out one of these handy guides I’ve put together:

Professor Jones’ Grail Diary

Indy: Grail Diary and Bullwhip

Today, a group of comics bloggers have gotten together to recommend lesser-known gems of the comics world. Comics are more than Brightest Day and Heroic Age, and you just might want to…read this too!

(Photo: Indiana Jones’ Bullwhip & Grail Diary at Comic-Con 2010.)

San Diego Convention Center

Pool and Convention Center

Over the weekend I attended Comic Con International in San Diego. It was fun and exhausting as always. I’ve posted over 150 photos of people, costumes, displays and sightseeing on Flickr. If you’re interested in write-ups of events, stories, quotes and such, I’m keeping an index of all my posts over at K-Squared Ramblings and Speed Force.

Marriott Towers and Pool

Towers, Pool and Fountain

The Marriott Hotel in Downtown San Diego, right next to the convention center.

Hotel reservations for Comic-Con International go on sale at 9:00 Pacific time tomorrow morning. For the last several years, demand for hotel rooms has been so high that hours spent redialing a phone or trying to get into the website have been typical. The travel agents have set up an entirely new procedure to counteract it. I’ve posted some thoughts on the change over at K-Squared Ramblings.

I guess we’ll see tomorrow how well it works.

Update: Better than I expected, at least for the first part. Here are my thoughts on how the process worked.

Update 2: The request may have gone smoothly, but the rest of the day turned out to be an exercise in frustration.

Update 3: I’ve posted some tips on how to get a hotel for Comic-Con if you couldn’t get one through the convention.