Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Comic Con report (July 26-29)

First off, my impression of every single question to a panel from an audience member: "Um, first of all, I think you guys are great, and love the work that you do, and my friends weren't fans at first and they said, 'That show looks stupid,' so they didn't watch it, but I was such a big fan that eventually they saw that I was still watching it so they watched it with me and they all became huge fans but not quite as big as me. Anyway, I had a question . . ."

We could get in thirty percent more questions per panel if people could just ask their questions. We know you're fans; that's why you're here.

Second of all, I went to Comic-Con again and I survived. But tyranist wouldn't have.

San Diego is more humid than L.A., and I ain't exactly rail-thin no more. Nobody can park right in front of the convention center, so there's walking of Richard Bachman-level proportions involved (you'll often see thin and attractive people offering bicycle-rickshaw rides at the intersections). Also, of course, there are always way more people jammed in than could possibly move around comfortably, and the fanboy's favourite pastime is to be walking in front of you, then stop abruptly.

There are also many many lines to stand in, lines for concessions, lines to get in the doors, lines for panels and presentations you may get into, lines for panels and presentations you've no chance of getting into, lines to cross the street, lines to buy exclusive merchandise, lines to stand in line to buy exclusive merchandise and then be told they're all gone, lines to get or show your badges, lines for autographs, lines for free giveaways, lines for the chance to blow LeVar Burton, and lines just to make your way through the halls and showfloors.

Ostensibly, I was there as a fanboy. But technically, I was there as a representative of the horror film press community (there really is such a thing), and for the first time ever, I was lined up to do interviews. I don't know how it happened, but I got an invitation to interview filmmakers, and when I accepted one, I started getting invitations up that wazoo. Because I'm still living in the 20th Century, I wasn't able to sign up for more interviews, and I really wanted to just hang around and sweat like everybody else (I mean, the press room was air conditioned, and there were plenty of chairs, and there was free water . . . who needs that, really?).

But I did get to do a couple of interviews, surrounded by real members of the press (people with cameras and sound guys and not just a little hand-held tape recorder that they found in a Barnes & Noble). Since that's for the Horror Film Compendium, I suppose I'll post that there. Hopefully, they will see print before those films come out.

The rest of the time, I was walking the floors, lugging around the free cloth Warner Bros. bags filled with worthless junk, and trekking back to feed the meter (I parked in a great spot, but it was only two hour parking).

So, what did I want to share with my blog about Comic-Con? I was thinking I'd stick some short stuff here and then tell, maybe, five stories about stuff I experienced in a second post. So, briefly, here goes:

Kevin Smith is one of the most entertaining people in existence. He's also completely and totally without a sense of propriety. He was talking about dog ejaculation, uncontrollable crapping, and of fellating Stan Lee to gain a tenth of the man's creative genius. Bless you, sir.

Kevin Smith talked about seeing TRANSFORMERS and feeling like he was just too old, that it was all too frenetic and empty for him, and it bummed him out that maybe he's no longer young enough to enjoy this kind of popcorn entertainment. But then he went and saw HARRY POTTER, he said, and was all of a sudden all googly-eyed with wonder about magic and Death-Eaters.

Edward Norton wrote THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

Also, I guess he'll be playing Hulk as well as Bruce Banner. We'll see how that goes.

The Warner Bros. booth had the best bags: these huge cloth "Smallville" and "Animated Superman" bags you could tote a mid-sized child around in.

That comment may come back to haunt me, but I really had no other place to put her.

"Doctor Who" is a lot more popular than I thought it was.

People can be giant A-holes. I'd still rather hang out with a comic book-loving A-hole than a pro wrestling-loving A-hole (or even a film-loving A-hole), but still . . .

Liv Tyler still speaks elvish.
That second NARNIA movie will probably be pretty good. And the guy who plays Prince Caspian is gonna be spleen-deep in 'tang by the time it comes out (if he isn't already).

A booth was selling McDonalds-related toys and paraphernalia. I came about eighteen centimeters from buying a Grimace doll for my long-dead friend Ian.

You know, convention-exclusive collectibles aren't worth the sweat and headache of getting them at the convention. Next time, just pay an extra twenty dollars for one off eBay.

Neil Marshall's new film DOOMSDAY should really have Snake Plissken in it.

People didn't smell quite as bad this year as last. I think it had something to do with no Saturday only tickets being sold.

I saw a lot of people in costumes walking around--I think I'll stick up some of those pictures tomorrow--and I remember how blown away I was by Darth Vader and Stormtrooper outfits I was a mere decade ago (I took pictures at the Special Edition premieres amazed that somebody actually had a Han Solo jacket). But today, that just doesn't cut it. I mean, nothing less than an IG-88, Tauntaun, or Fat Dancer (complete with extra bosoms) will impress nowadays.
George Romero is very humble, and less bitter than I'd be if I'd been screwed over as often as he's been.

Also, I think the poor man only owns one set of clothes.

Robert Downey Jr. is cooler in person than he is on TV.

I never understand how some people can bring little kids or infants to events like this. It's hot, loud, crowded, and uncomfortable (not to mention the excessive time devoted to standing around). Maybe it's just a cultural thing, but I wouldn't subject a child to that, and none of my friends would either.

Sarah Silverman is still funny. In person, too.

WALL-E will either sell more toys than TRANSFORMERS and HARRY POTTER 5 combined, or it will join RATATOUILLE, CARS, and FINDING NEMO as movies I was way offbase in my predictions about.

Seriously, the ones I think look awful turn out to be great and the ones I think will be their first failure at the box office make more money than their predecessors did.

Joss Whedon is a beloved man, and also very nice.

He told this story about how there was outcry when he first turned "Buffy" character Willow into a lesbian, and he issued a statement where he said, "I realise that with the character Willow, we have alienated many fans by having her represent an unpopular fringe group that makes folks uncomfortable, and really, represents only one in ten people out there, and it was a mistake we're going to rectify. So, starting now, Willow Rosenberg will no longer be Jewish."

I went to the IRON MAN panel, since I was just too tired and unmotivated to get out of my seat from the STRANGERS presentation on. They showed us some of it. I'm not a fan of Iron Man, nor was I ever looking forward to the movie . . . but I sure am now. Nice.

Stan is still The Man, and I love him almost as much as Kevin Smith does.

You know, I've seen Stan maybe a dozen times, and I never get over how much enthusiasm and vitality he has, despite being three years older than God. One of these days, he'll be gone, and a part of me will always regret not hugging him at that X-MEN 2 screening I saw him at.

I was just going to go right up to him, as the end credits started to roll, and say, "Thanks for this, Stan." But I chickened out. It just seemed a little stalker-y or crass, and when the time came, I left him alone. Every once in a while, a hug says it better than any words possible.

Worst case scenario: Stan tells his bodyguards to "Get this motherf**ker off of me!" and I wake up in an alley behind the theatre.

Milla Jovavich is just like everybody else. I know this because I ran into her at Wendy's. I'm not a fan of her movies, but anybody who eats at Wendy's is okay by me.

Looking around during the weekend, I found that there are actually people fatter, lazier, and less-attractive than me in the world.

Of course, Robert Downey Jr. begs to differ with me.
It took a lot out of me to do Comic-Con this trip. Certainly I need to lose some weight and participate in exercise that involves more than my right wrist, but that's a matter for another rant.

Rish SDCC Outfield

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