Throngs of Twi-Hards Hit Comic-Con for Twilight-New Moon

What do a mother of three, a single mom of two, and a Junior High librarian have in common? All three traveled to America's Finest City to spend the night outdoors in line, and left significant others behind, to see the cast of Twilight at Comic-Con 2009 — something that cannot be experienced on Time Warner Cable!

They consider themselves 'Twi-Hards,' and were among the estimated 1,000 people who exchanged a warm comfy mattress for the cold hard ground outside the San Diego Convention Center to secure a good seat for the much anticipated Summit panel and preview presentation of The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

A diehard Twilight fan sleeping outside Comic Con 2009

Jenni Rathsman traveled from Phoenix, Arizona with her father as her companion to her first Twilight event. She left her husband on daddy-duty with their 5, 3 and 1 year old children. “My son totally supports my obsession. He'll tell me when “Eggward” is on TV!”, she told me when I asked what her family thought about her trip to see the protagonists of her favorite movie.

Single mother of three Denise Parone-Brookes from Arlington, VA, brought her 18 year-old daughter as a graduation present. Her daughter wanted to come to her first Comic-Con, and the Twilight affair is “something for mom”. Prone-Brooke's daughter did not spend the night in line for the vampire panel, but mom did!

Erika Gangnath ventured from our not-so-distant neighbor to the north, Anaheim, CA. She's a librarian at Brookhurst Junior High School, where she leads a book club she started with the Twilight book series. She currently has ten members, but the keeper of the school's books has been to thirty movie-related events like author signings, movies, DVD release parities, and Jason Rathbone's (Jasper) 100 Monkeys band concerts.

Jenni Rathsman (far right) with Twilight fans playing cards in the dead of night at Comic Con 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon panel discussion was scheduled to take place at 1:45pm the following day, but the line started forming around 8am the day before. Three other panel discussions were on the program before the long-awaited vampire reunion at the Convention Center, but since Hall H holds about 6,000 people and the hall is not emptied between presentations, these dedicated Twilighters were not about to leave things to fate to get a good view of their favorite cast members. The only way to secure a seat in the section closest to the stage, was to join the crowd who brought food, sleeping bags, a Twilight board game, (of course!) and stake their claim outside the glass doors.

Fans determined to get a good seat for the Twilight panel at Comic Con '09 brave the night outdoors 

When the cast was finally brought on stage after a 22 hour wait, fans got what they wanted: close to 45 minutes of Q&A with the cast –who were pretty candid with their responses– plus never-before-seen footage of the upcoming movie to be released November 20th, 2009. One of the scenes in the movie features Taylor Lautner taking his shirt off, which elicited wild screams from the audience.

The cast of The Twilight Saga: New Moon at Comic Con 2009

When I asked Jenni what her husband thought about her fixation with this movie she said: “It's my husband's fault I'm here. He loves vampire movies and brought Twilight home for us to watch together one night. I thought I was going to fall asleep watching it, but instead, I fell in love”.

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