There was no slowing down for San Diego Comic-Con 2013 on its final day, even with shortened show floor hours. This day’s schedule featured two highly-anticipated Disney panels as well as a last opportunity to cram in every remaining experience before the convention doors finally shut.
On the way to the first panel of the day, I spotted Wenda.
And Dick Tracy.
Then it all begin with Capcom’s presentation of the making of DuckTales: Remastered, offering behind-the-scenes details on how they took the classic Nintendo game and recreated it for today’s audiences using HD visuals and newly recorded dialogue from many actors from the show’s original cast.
And they pulled out a few surprises, a singalong of the “DuckTales” theme song, a live performance of a special piano rendition of the game’s famous “Moon theme,” and a chance to hear the new voice of Gizmoduck say some lines in person.
Video – Full DuckTales: Remastered panel
Seeing the progression from simple 8-bit sprites to full HD artwork and animation was fascinating, using designs from the “DuckTales” show and putting their own take on them.
Capcom’s booth also featured a photo op in Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, the last time they will be offering this opportunity before the game comes out in a couple weeks.
After that panel, it was time to finally squeeze in one of the most talked about experiences at Comic-Con this year: the Godzilla Encounter. On the way there, I passed by a chained zombie and Elizabeth from “Bioshock Infinite.”
There aren’t as many costumed attendees on this last day of Comic-Con, so I applaud anyone who went the extra mile. (See much more from SDCC cosplay here.)
Arriving at the Godzilla Encounter was obvious by the giant claw marks in the side of a bright building.
This impressively immersive experience transported Comic-Con attendees to Tokyo under the threat of a Godzilla attack. The walk through attraction was one of the most immersive I’ve ever seen outside of a theme park. In fact, with Universal’s new partnership with Legendary Pictures, I could see this being picked up and dropped directly into a Universal Studios park with nothing changed.
Unfortunately, recording was not allowed during the final climactic encounter with Godzilla, taking place after a frantic ride up an elevator in a not-so-secure facility. It was the first time the new look for Godzilla was being revealed and, well, he looks like a giant menacing monster of a lizard with a shrill roar. What started as a casual exploration of Godzilla-themed exhibits across Japanese streets ended in commotion as lights flickered, thunder cracked, the floor shook, and Godzilla appeared in full form by way of projections outside a “window.”
I captured as much as I could in the video below, including just a taste of the chaos at the end.
Video: Godzilla Encounter at San Diego Comic-Con 2013
Back inside the convention center, a huge group of guys gathered around what appeared to be scantily clad girls dressed as social media networks. They get points for originality and more points for attracting quite the crowd.
Meanwhile, Tinker Bell was being eaten by a zombie Girl Scout.
And female Joker took a casual ride up an escalator with Batgirl.
Then it was time for a panel I was most looking forward to: The Disney Afternoon 25th anniversary. (Technically it’s the 23rd anniversary but no one’s counting…)
This was quite the lineup for Disney fans including Tad Stones, creator of fan favorites like “Darkwing Duck,” writer Jymn Magon, and voice actors Jim Cummings and Rob Paulsen, who performed characters like Darkwing and villain Steelbeak, and artist James Silvani.
The panel was meant to offer a behind the scenes look at how the Disney Afternoon series of shows came to be, from the Gummi Bears to DuckTales to Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers and all the rest. But it flew by faster than anyone could have imagined, as Tad Stones told lengthy stories of how each show was conceived, pitched and ultimately aired. The stories were completely interesting but ran so long that the panel ultimately ran out of time before getting through everything. Fortunately, moderator Aaron Sparrow insisted that the voice actors perform a few of their most famous characters before it all wrapped up.
Video: Full Disney Afternoon panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013
Afterward, Jim Cummings kindly waited around outside to meet and take photos with his fans, myself included.
Downt to the final hours of Comic-Con, everyone rushed around to pack in every last sight possible.
I saw James Silvani along with fellow artist Amy Mebberson frantically finishing and signing artwork at their booth.
Nearby, a few folks were getting a much-needed end-of-Con massage.
Until this point, I hadn’t had a chance to really look at the many exhibits throughout the show floor, so here are a few choice items of interest in no particular order.
More of these exhibits and others can be seen in the photo sideshow below.
Then came the bittersweet moment of leaving the convention center for the last time after 4.5 days of calling it home.
But Comic-Con wasn’t quite done yet. Select experiences remained open for a couple hours past the convention, such as NBC’s Dracula crypt walkthrough, which became my final line for the year. While waiting, I spotted Popeye and Olive Oyl grabbing some drinks and Space Ghost snapping pictures of Ninja Turtle babes.
And around 30 minutes later, it was time to enter the world of Dracula.
Video: NBC’s Dracula experience at San Diego Comic-Con 2013
Not nearly as immersive as the Godzilla Encounter, the Dracula walkthrough was still enjoyable and the show looks halfway decent. The crypt itself was a nice touch, followed by an opportunity to get a picture inside Dracula’s coffin.
And thus San Diego Comic-Con 2013 had truly come to an end. One late night, red-eye flight later and I was back home in Florida, desperately requiring a couple days to catch up on sleep and rest my tired, zombie-wounded body.
But for all the muscle aches and sleep deprivation, every moment of San Diego Comic-Con is worth the stress and strain. With a proper plan, it’s possible to pack every waking second of the event with something wildly entertaining, as showcased by these daily recaps. Perhaps I crammed a little too much into my schedule, not allowing time to rest. But there’s plenty of time for that now, while looking ahead to Comic-Con 2014.
More photos from Day 4 of San Diego Comic-Con 2013: