Comic-Con Time With the Raroos[GameSetWatch has -- in a startling journalistic feat -- sent GameSetWatch columnist Mister Raroo and his family to San Diego Comic-Con to report on their adventures there. We'll be running daily updates from the Raroos as the convention progresses, and the first segment is about Preview Night.]

Wednesday, July 22: Not-So-Exclusive Engagement

There was once a time not very long when San Diego Comic-Con’s Preview Night was a much different affair than what it is today. Even just a few years ago, it was possible to navigate the aisles and not bump into other people at every other step. Booths were free from massive lines and it felt like a truly exclusive affair.

Those days are a long gone. Comic-Con’s main floor may actually be busier on Preview Night than on any other day due to the fact that there are no panels or events to attend, so wandering the aisles and checking out the booths is the only thing to do. With so many people packed into one place, it didn’t take long before the Exhibit Hall felt like a sauna.

Without a doubt, one of the most hectic areas of the entire show floor was the store at Capcom’s booth. Attendees were anxious to spend money on goodies, and Capcom was all too happy to rake in the cash. I promised JC from Tiny Cartridge that I’d pick him up a ServBot keychain, and I’m glad to say I came away successful. But it was quite a memorable battle!

This is F***ing Terrible!

For whatever reason, Capcom decided not to have buyers form a line, and instead let everyone crowd up to the counter and push their way ahead of one of each other in a wild effort to be helped. I literally got elbowed out of the way by some overzealous guy hoping to buy a Mad Catz fighting stick.

When he found out they’d already sold out, all I could think was “Ha ha!” Seriously, though, it felt like I was caught in a mosh pit, and at one point I turned to Missus Raroo and exclaimed, “THIS IS F***ING TERRIBLE!”

My annoyance was not all Capcom’s fault, to be honest. Part of the blame falls upon a Comic-Con representative named Guido who couldn’t figure out how to print out a pass for my son Kaz. The initial press line was smooth and efficient, but I had to go to a second line to get Kaz’s pass, which is where I encountered Guido. He kept blaming “the computer” for not working correctly and was nervously laughing and shaking his head in befuddlement at the monitor.

As anyone who’s ever assisted in tech support knows, anytime “the computer” is fingered as the culprit, the actual fault usually lies with the ineptitude of the operator. It took Guido almost half an hour to issue Kaz a simple Child’s Pass, and by that point my blood pressure was higher than it should’ve been. Thankfully Kaz was in good humor and waited as patiently as anyone could expect from a two year old, and he was handsomely rewarded for his behavior later.

Kaz's loot Honestly, it was almost an evening of debauchery for my little son. His two favorite movies as of late have been Cars and My Neighbor Totoro, and we purchased him a toy car in the form of DJ from Cars as well as an adorable little Totoro doll.

We also treated Kaz to a small Slurpee on the trek back to our car, and he was singing the whole ride home about DJ, Totoro, and the yummy “juice” he got to drink.

It’s worth pointing out that Missus Raroo is 10 weeks pregnant and has been suffering from terrible nausea and fatigue. I was amazed at how well she did given the stuffy, crowded environment of Comic-Con. Unfortunately, on the walk back to our car she started feeling really sick and eventually began throwing up. We almost made it home before her nausea struck again and she got terribly ill in the car. After a quick shower, she went right to bed and slept soundly all night long.

[Mister Raroo is a happy husband, proud father, full-time public library employee, and active gamer. He currently lives in El Cajon, CA with his family and many pets. In addition to writing for GameSetWatch, Mister Raroo irregularly writes content for his blog, Moments. You may reach Mister Raroo at [email protected].]