Scenes From Inside Comic-Con's "Rave of Thrones" and Other Nerd Parties

Scholastic Books' party was more like a backyard barbecue.EXPAND
Scholastic Books' party was more like a backyard barbecue.
Katie Buenneke

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really a party person. My Friday night plans typically involve snuggling up with some comic books and specifically not going to a hot new club. But, in the spirit of trying new things, I decided to dive headfirst into the Comic-Con club scene, attending three parties last night.

Scholastic gave out a free bag of books — perfect for people who'd rather be home reading.EXPAND
Scholastic gave out a free bag of books — perfect for people who'd rather be home reading.
Katie Buenneke

First up was the Scholastic Books party, held at the Hotel Palomar, about a half mile north of the Convention Center, in the Gaslamp Quarter. It was my kind of party, in that it's the kind of party where they give you free books and free tacos. It got off to a quiet start (again, because it's a book party), but as more people trickled in, the conversations started buzzing. It never got too loud to talk. It felt more like a really ritzy birthday party or a backyard barbecue than a traditional party — there was a face painting station for the kids (and adults), and the overall vibe was very family-friendly.

Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor on Game of Thrones, did a DJ set.EXPAND
Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor on Game of Thrones, did a DJ set.
Katie Buenneke

Next was the Nylon party at Omnia, a club in the Gaslamp Quarter. Outside, it was a mess, with security and the event staff giving guests conflicting information about where to go and what was allowed inside. People were dressed to impress in typical club attire (tight, short dresses for women; suits and expensive casual wear for men). Inside, the waitresses were wearing skintight superhero (and supervillain) costumes and offered guests alcoholic popsicles (which it turns out are a terrible idea if you're wearing white).

The crowd was, again, pretty low-key, though some of the male attendees were checking out the waitresses in a creepy, proprietary manner. Everyone was clearly excited to see Kristian Nairn (who played Hodor on Game of Thrones) DJ, and once his set started around 11, the rooftop VIP party — which was lacking in any notable VIPs — started to clear out as people filtered downstairs to watch Nairn. He's good, though my taste doesn't tend toward house music, which is Nairn's specialty. Still, it was cool to watch him do a techno twist on the Game of Thrones theme song before he segued into a lot of "untzes." Rumor has it DMX performed later in the night, but I had to head to the next party before my feet gave out.

Scenes From Inside Comic-Con's "Rave of Thrones" and Other Nerd Parties (4)EXPAND
Katie Buenneke

Next I headed to the Power Rangers party at Petco Park. It was already in full swing by the time I got there, with a motley crew partying on the mezzanine of the stadium to a mix of hits from the '80s to now. There's so much space that it didn't feel claustrophobic; it felt more like a house party, if famous people showed up to your house parties.

Joss Whedon danced up a storm (and somehow, despite his status as a geek icon, went mostly under the radar) while Hank Green (of Vlogbrothers fame) filmed a YouTube video in the corner. Max Landis, the personality-filled screenwriter behind movies like Chronicle and American Ultra, photobombed a group picture holding a nacho while Chris Daughtry (from American Idol) held court with fans, and Adam Savage (from Mythbusters) showed off his moves in a dance circle by the DJ booth. It was a somewhat surreal experience, partying alongside such a varied group of well-known personalities. Even though I was in San Diego, the sheer normalcy of such an absurd situation made it feel peak L.A.

That said, I've learned that — for me at least — alcohol and The Avengers don't mix well, as my phone is now the proud vessel for a selfie with Whedon, which totally violates the cardinal rule of being a non-asshole in L.A.: Don't bother the celebrities in their natural habitats. Or ever.

Pictured: one writer with no shame and one nerd god who is regretting letting this girl take a picture with him.EXPAND
Pictured: one writer with no shame and one nerd god who is regretting letting this girl take a picture with him.
Katie Buenneke

But c'mon, it's Joss Whedon at Comic-Con! Though I'm ashamed at my basic-ness in asking for a picture with the writer-director, I think I'd be even sadder if I hadn't gotten photographic proof. After all, as the kids say on the internet, "Pics or it didn't happen."


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