It started on Wed night of last week with the preview night for Comic Con. They were expecting 100,000+ people over the next 4 1/2 days... and I think they all stepped on my foot at one time or another. It was crowded, but standing at six and half feet tall it bothered me not nearly as much as some of my shorter compatriots... and understandably so. I did the smart thing. I stayed off the trade floor on Thur, Fri, and Sat and glued myself to a seat in the various panels upstairs. That's where it was at.
Mooch had a great party on Thursday night, providing a nice contrast and respite to the chaos of the rest of the next 3 days.
If debauchery, movie stars, and sneak peaks at upcoming cinematic releases is not your thing then
There is a butt-load of info and there are already great reports of all the panels and appearances at aintitcool.com and other sites on the web. I'll simply drop some names and give my impressions of the things that struck me the most:
Bruce Campbell, a fan favorite, was there to talk about the Sky High movie (which he stars in) and The Evil Dead computer game. He treads the line between caustic humor and bitterness. Methinks he may have done one too many conventions because it seems like he really is tired of the whole thing. He ranted about the MPAA and about mainstream Hollywood in general. Careful of the hand that feeds you, Bruce, unless you wanna do indies for the rest of your life! (I agreed with him on many of his points, but his manner was less persuasive that it was ranty.)
Racheal Weiss (the Mummy and Constantine) is gorgeous and engaging. What a smile. The ten minute clip of her new movie, The Fountain, with Huge Ackman, looks like a mind-bender (set in at least three time periods), albeit a visually vibrant mind-bender.
Virginia Hey (Road Warrior ultra hottie and Farscape bluegirl, Zahn) was signing autographs upstairs for not that many people. She looked horrid. Obvious pulled back plastic-surgery-face, puffed-out collagen-lips... and an airheaded disposition that made me wish I had never happened past her. I have fond memories of the first time I saw her in Road Warrior and I'm afraid they've been dispelled! Ah, the squashed memories of a fan boy! It's true what they say... you can never go home!
Well, the momentary unpleasantness of that encounter was completely washed away by the Stargate SG-1 (Ben Browder, Beau Bridges, Chris Judge, Amanda Tapping), Battle Star Galactica (BOOMER!, Helo, Baltar, Starbuck, Appolo) and ABC (Shannon and Sawer from Lost) panels. Did I mention that I love Boomer and Shannon? Hot babes with charming on-stage presence... yeah!
Damn, the Serenity panel was great too, with almost all the cast present. The preview for that new movie looks awesome and I'm looking forward to it mightily. Sci-Fi, butt-kickin, and fun. Whada I know? It may end up being a simple popcorn thrill ride, but might move up a notch or two if Joss Whedon has anything to say about it. Babes aplenty at this panel too. Is this becoming a trend with me?
The excellent and acclaimed graphic novel, V For Vendetta, had its movie preview and panel... and was compelling! It had fallen under my radar. Hadn't heard much about it. But there was Natlie Portman in person, looking beautiful even with a crew cut (it's shaved in the movie)... and damned if the few minutes of her acting in the preview didn't beat all the so-called acting she did in the last three Star Wars movies combined! Musta been the director.
What didn't I care for? Well the presence of stunning Jessica Beil and Jamie Fox couldn't dissuade me from thinking the preview of Stealth that they brought with them was a turkey (Wing Commander anyone?). Maybe if Jessica gets naked the movie will be able to eek a profit. Maybe.
Zathura looks like Jumanji in space. Same director I think. Kids may like it. Utterly predictable though.
The sneak peak of Harry Potter, Narnia, and King Kong were all spectacular and created a lot of buzz in the hall. Great panels accompanied them too, of course, and wasn't the crowd atwitter when they revealed a 2 1/2 minute fight sequence (work in progress) between Kong and the T-Rexs? It made me, finally, excited to see this movie. The Narnia preview was all that I hoped it would be, especially the Aslan sequence. That one item could have killed the movie, but it looks like they're on the right track. If you read this series as a kid prepare to be taken back to that magical time in your life.
However... what's the idea of giving Lucy's older sister a big rack? She's all of what? 14 or so? Pandering to the older male audience are they? Sly devils. It might work. Cynical, bad Hollywood.
Nostalgic, semi-sad moment- There was a panel in one of the main halls for the big three, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, and Forrest Ackerman. The lifelong friends are quite old now and Ray H. is probably the only one that could be called not-feeble, but they can still talk! They told some great stories of yesteryear and the large audience was rapt for the most part. Ray Bradbury fell asleep in his wheelchair part way through the panel, and I felt a sadness at seeing that, but the guy is 85 years old. He's entitled! I'm glad I got to see the three legends together.
You might not believe it, but there were a ton more things that happened involving stars, previews, and the like, but too much of my good fortune is boring as hell to read. For the 3 readers that have made it this far I must tell you I had a great experience just as the Con closed. I was at my friend, Chocolate Paul's, dealer table making plans for a get together later this week, when who stops by but Richard Hatch ("Appolo" from the original Battle Star Galactica and "Tom Zarick" in the new series). It seems that Paul was selling some 1970's vintage Appolo action figures that Richard wanted to buy a butt load of so he could sell them at his autograph table at future cons. we started talking and I told him how pleased I was that they had made a spot for him in the new series. He said he didn't know how far it would go, but he was gonna ride it for all it was worth cause it was a hell of a ride. we musta talked, the three of us, for about five minutes and then this girl 20 years Richard's junior showed up and asked him if it was time to go. I don't think it was his daughter. Nudge, nudge, say no more. Way to go Richard!
A conversation with Appolo was a great way to end the Con. Oh, and the fact that there was this plain looking girl at a booth across from Paul's table that kept smiling at me. I offered to help her break down her table and she agreed. She asked if I wanted to take a picture with her for no charge. I think to myself, "Honey, you should be pleased I don't ask you for money to stand by me"! I said yes, even though her plain looks were somewhat offputting. I'm a giver, what can I say?