A Personal Highlight of the Entire SDCC 2011 Trip
San Diego Comic-Con 2011: VideosTo get the ball rolling on the fresh material from this year I have discovered and uploaded two videos from the convention this year. One of the videos is an interview with the executive producer for several Batman movies: Michael Uslan. The other video is several elements of the Cirque du Soleil stunt that was performed along the side of Petco Park stadium where the Padres play all their home baseball games.
SDCC Journal Entry: July 20, 2011It is Wednesday afternoon and my mind is racing through all the possibilities of how my trip to Comic-Con 2011 will play out for me. This will mark the first full convention trip for me and I am not completely sure what to expect. I attended a Sunday afternoon trip to Comic-Con last year, but it did not offer a complete rendering of the hot water that I possibly landed in this year. The most obvious elements I can expect would be the overabundance of people, most all of them will be fan boys and fan girls, swarming downtown San Diego like never before. Word on the street is the lack of deodorant being used by some of the fan boys. Shall I make a killer sized profit this year by selling nose plugs to everyone? As hilariously awesome of an idea it might be I would not have a sellers permit on hand if a cop stops to ask me a few questions about the validity of my business. I am kidding, SDPD! There will be no illegal activity that I will be involved in this year. Two of the nagging concerns that I keep thinking about during my preparations for the convention would be the schedule and ensuring that I do not miss any events that I would like to see. I do have a work shift scheduled on Thursday evening and Sunday morning which would limit my options to the discussion panels and any other special events that are slated during those time slots. In addition, while I am at the convention I know there will be a lot of events going on, but I will not be able to attend every single one that I would find interesting. Some of the events that will happen this year are discussion panels, autograph signings, parties, and a few other happenings that are not widely publicized. The best approach for me would be to attend the events that would fit into my schedule and not sweat over missing the small stuff. There will always be next year for more opportunity to attend more convention events. Good times!
SDCC Journal Entry: July 21, 2011Wow, what a first day at Comic-Con 2011. It was a half-day event for me, because I was scheduled to work at my paying job on Thursday evening. My arrival to the convention center around 9:00 AM offered enough time to pick up my convention badge and begin organizing any last minute plans for the next several hours. One of the first activities I had to face was reorganizing the free magazines and oversized shwag bag they gave me alongside the messenger bag and camera tote that I already brought into the convention center with me. The process of cramming of rearranging all that material took a good fifteen minutes or so. Upon a reasonable success of cramming the shwag bag into the messenger bag I was off to the races in taking a few photographs here and there of the cosplayers who were loitering around waiting for the exhibition hall to open at 9:30 AM.
Once the doors were open I moved rapidly through the exhibition hall taking as many pictures as I could manage of the comic themed props, cosplayers, booths, and whatever else struck my fancy before I moved along to the first panel discussion of the morning. It was a featured panel with Felicia Day, Doug Jones, and a couple members of the production staff of a new web series adaptation of the Dragon Age video game. I first heard about Felicia from her work on The Guild, a personal favorite web series, and she appears to be the epitomic image of the sexy geek girl. Doug is a recognizable actor when he is wearing tons of special effects makeup such as noted in films like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Legion. He is an extremely nice guy in person, which I was extremely fortunate enough to talk with him for a couple of minutes after the conclusion of the panel.
The only other discussion panel that I was able to attend was for the animated adaptation of Napoleon Dynamite for the FOX television network. The entire primary cast from the film arrived for the discussion panel to promote the film and it was a standing room only event. Everyone had a great time during the hour long panel and I was able to ask a couple of questions to Tina Majorino, one of the questions left her with her jaw hanging open as if she was experiencing an epiphany. Yes, I am just that good with my questions. I had asked her if the character she portrays in the film, Deb, would ever consider working for a Got Milk advertising campaign. If you have ever seen the movie you would know the connection between the dairy product and her character.
It would be nice to go into greater detail about the day, but I am in a rush at the moment to attend to other matters. There will be photographs that will be published online as soon as I gain a bit of time to peruse through the photographs to select the best ones to share with you all. Hopefully, I will be able to offer a meaty review on Friday after I plan on spending the majority of the entire day at the convention.
SDCC Journal Entry: July 22, 2011The time is nearly 12:45 AM on Saturday morning. I had a full day at Comic-Con on Friday leaving me running a bit low on brain power. I promised there will be a more in depth review of the weekend sometime between Monday and Wednesday after I have finished recuperating from the convention. A quick recap of the events and activities for today includes visiting two separate panel discussions with Dave Gibbons (illustrator for Watchmen), the first one was about his career and the second one was about the new lineup of Dark Horse comics, specifically the Dark Horse Presents series. Veteran artist and creator Jim Steranko made an unannounced appearance at the Dark Horse panel to present the remastered edition of his popular story Red Tide. The panels they showed the crowd were utterly fantastic. In addition, I was attending a small scale panel with Michael Uslan who is an executive director for multiple Batman movies, including the Christopher Nolan trilogy. To wind up the day I attending the world premiere of the new animated feature length film Batman: Year One which will not be released to the public until the middle of October of this year. The movie was very entertaining and I would highly recommend it to you when it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. The material is based upon the graphic novel by Frank Miller and has garnered a strong fan base already. The time has arrived for me to wrap up for the evening. My legs are sore from all the walking and standing around in long lines that I need to spend the next several hours trying to recover from the day. In several hours from now I will be heading right back down the line to downtown San Diego for round three of Comic-Con.
SDCC Journal Entry: July 23, 2011During the third day of Comic-Con 2011 it was reserved for non-stop celebrity panels including my first visit to the infamous Hall H where I sat for three consecutive panels without having to wait in line. The panels included an appearance by Francis Ford Coppola to promote his new Gothic horror film TWIXT, which is the first time since Bram Stoker’s Dracula that he has directed a film in the Gothic horror genre. He spent a large portion of his time promoting an interactive technology which he was demonstrating on what appeared to be an Apple iPad tablet. It allowed him to rearrange the individual sections of a ten minute preview clip of his film right on spot without having to use a digital linear editing system. The technology was a cool idea, but Coppola still needs a few more dress rehearsals with the computer program before going on his wish list thirty day tour with it for his new film. He was joined by Val Kilmer who spent the majority of the hour quietly sitting behind a pair of sunglasses, which I wondered how late he must have been up the night before. After the panel was over I stuck around for the Relativity Media panel featuring the cast and director for the new action film The Immortals. The trailer and preview clip they showed was filled with blood, guts, and a lot of well-choreographed fighting maneuvers. Sitting through the panel was rather boring for me since the cast of the film were offering rather bland answers to the questions that were asked. The director of the film Tarsem Singh, was the only animated person on the panel entertaining enough to listen to. Finally the third discussion panel begins where I get to see actress Summer Glau in person, I am a huge River Tam fan. She was on the discussion panel for the comedy film Knights of Badassdom. During this panel I was able to meet the Comic-Con unofficial mascot Bob Stencil (look his videos up online) in addition to the opportunity of asking Summer a question. I asked which one of her characters would win a face off battle. With a bit of prodding for me as well as others in the crowd she said River would win the battle. The perfect answer I wanted to hear! In the other panels that I attended today I was able to watch the pilot episode for the new CW 2011 fall show The Secret Circle and the pilot episode for the new ABC show Person of Interest which was very entertaining to watch. I also caught the last ten or fifteen minutes of Joss Whedon’s discussion panel before the cast of The Guild appeared on stage for their hour long time slot. Both panels were interesting and fun to sit in the audience for. I would like to offer more details about the day, but I will be writing a broader overview of the entire weekend by next Wednesday or so.
SDCC Journal Entry: July 24, 2011The last day of Comic-Con is the shortest day of the entire week, discounting the preview night from the mix. I have spent the majority of the day wandering the exhibit hall checking out the various booths that are spread throughout the entire floor. Originally I had planned for an entire list of panels that I would run from one to another as I had done for the majority of the previous days, but then I reconsidered the idea since I had not really checked out every last row and aisle of the floor to see all the exhibitors who have arrived for the convention this year. One of the booths that were at the top of my list was the one where my local comic books shop had settled down for the weekend. It was awesome to see that one of the store employees had dressed up as an Oompa Loompa with an amazing amount of detail attention to her costume. Pictures of the convention will be posted later when I have more time to shuffle through the couple hundred pictures to pull up the quality shots and have them uploaded to the internet. The crew of the comic books store had brought in boxes of the collectible items to entice the hardcore collectors to buy from them, which is a completely logical plan for a comic book convention. Although I did not buy any comic book issues from them today there will always be another day when I can drive up the street to visit the store all year round. However, I will admit to buying the movie Suck (2009) on Blu-ray, which has been reviewed on Matte Havoc recently. I discovered a three for one special at the exhibit booth for Elvira’s merchandise. If it was not for the occasional viewing of Elvira’s Movie Macabre the film would not have appeared on my radar for a while. Along with the Blu-ray copy I was able to purchase an Elvira double feature DVD containing Night of the Living Dead and I Eat Your Skin. With the purchase of an Elvira disc I was able to receive a free Elvira t-shirt as a promotional item. In total I received three movies and a t-shirt for the price of one new Blu-ray movie (depending on where you buy your movies). In addition, I also purchased two prints from an illustrator by the name of Bill Pulkovski who caught my eye with his artistic rendition of Harley Quinn from the Batman universe. Hopefully, I will see him again next year with a fresh supply of new material. Oh, did I mention that I discovered Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis sitting at an autograph booth together? Yes, I am a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan that would recognize these two actors hanging around a comic book convention. I also found Danica McKellar, also known as Winnie Cooper, signing autographs at the Cartoon Network booth for her new cartoon series. I will be posting more Comic-Con related articles over the next day or two in order to allow my brain to recover from the long weekend. I will continue jotting done notes whenever I can so that I may forget anything if it is even possible.
San Diego Comic-Con 2011: PhotographsThe photos taken by Matte Havoc photographer and writer, DJ Heinlein, can be seen here with the embedded slideshow or visit the online Picassa photo album.