What started as a simple comic book convention where fans gather and celebrate their medium has now exploded into the international phenomenon we call San Diego Comic-Con. Over the past couple of years it has become the go-to event for movie studios, TV networks, book publishers and video game makers to launch new products related to sci-fi, horror, anime, animation, and gaming. Which is great for those who enjoy getting first-hand knowledge about their favorite anime characters, but means another round of Xanax for those who are terrified of waiting in line. Before this year's convention, we decided to come up with a list of booths we're pretty sure you wouldn't have to camp out for the night before. Call it a hunch.
The View Booth:
In past years, The View's booth was a great place to swing by to check out the greatest cat fight since Catwoman met... well... the other 50 Catwomen at Comic-Con. This year, however, View co-hosts have been jumping ship like passengers fleeing a Carnival Cruise Line with a dysentery outbreak. Whoopi Goldberg is currently the only host confirmed for next year's season. That means that this year's panel is basically just Whoopi signing old Jumpin' Jack Flash posters and showing off her latest big, manly shoe purchases.
-- Liz Brown
The John Wilkes Booth... Booth:
Comic-Con is a haven for has-been and chagrined performers looking to capitalize on their fleeting fame and notoriety. Nowhere is this more evident than the John Wilkes Booth Booth, where fans can have their picture taken with a hologram of the murderous thespian. "Sic semper terrific!" Attendees can assassinate their friends with jealously with their very own Booth action figure and conspirator bubble-gum cards: "I'll trade you my Mary Surratt for your Jack Ruby." We hear the VIP section is a blast, but not worth losing your head over.
-- Courtney Hyde
The Duncan Booth:
The Duncan Booth attracts a variety of fandom: aficionados of Community's Prof. Duncan, yo-yo enthusiasts, and a number of attendees who mistakenly presume they will be given the opportunity to knock George RR Martin or Norman Reedus into a tank of water. Alas, many are sorely disappointed to be greeted by the sunny grin of Sandy Duncan who will happily sign your copies of The Hogan Family DVDs or her YA novelizations of The Cat from Outer Space.
-- Courtney Hyde
The Yule Log Booth:
The Burning Yule Log is not quite a perennial favorite (yet), but it has a lot going for it: coziness, consistency, and simplicity. Its lack of overall pizazz is admittedly unfortunate, as far as booth appeal goes -- the Yule log will surprise no one. What you see is what you get: a slowly burning log with intermittent crackling. It's marginally better than watching paint dry. Stand in front of it and calm your nerves in its zen qualities, or do yourself a real favor and move on to the next booth already.
-- Katherine Rea
The Naked & Afraid: Outfits Exposed Booth:
Hoping to capitalize on attendees' love for random stuff, the Discovery Channel is sponsoring a booth for their unique reality show about people attempting to survive in the wild with literally nothing but their wits on them. The Naked & Afraid booth touts that you can "see and buy the actual outfits worn by your favorite contestants!" So.... nothing? In addition to the clothing exhibit, the booth will also feature a live performance of the new "Naked and Afraid" theme song, a Weird Al spoof of Iron and Wine's "Naked as We Came."
-- Kelly Lin
The Kale Booth:
At first glance, the booth proves to be promising. There's even buzz that big name celebrities are manning this station: Joel Mc"Kale," Mindy "Kale"ing and "Kale"y Cuoco (no affiliation whatsoever to their sound-alike Hollywood counterparts.) The line should keep moving quickly -- much like your digestive system if you indulge in this booth's offerings. Fresh kale. Frozen kale. Nothing prepared to eat. Just Kale -- forcing you to tote around kale for the rest of your visit at Comic-Con. Note: If you ask, they do carry a small selection of Swiss chard under the table.
-- Richard Ogawa
The Verbal Abuse Booth:
We were uncertain of what this booth entailed, exactly. So we sent a friend of ours who is pretty knowledgable about these things to sniff around for more info for us. This is what they said.
"You don't seem like the type of person who would understand this booth, so I'm not going to spend a lot of time explaining it to you. Basically, the Verbal Abuse Booth is the best experience at Comic-Con, full of Real Housewives, Chef Ramsays, and other cultural elites who berate you. For free. Everyone will probably think it's weird, but for those who actually get it, it's pretty awesome."
-- Christopher Rowe