Last week i attended my sixth San Diego Comic Con. This one had a something going on that i have been waiting for, for many years. The Green Lantern live action motion picture was being presented in Hall H. Other than Star Wars, Green Lantern has been one of my longest running geek followings. He has always been my favorite super hero and i have been following him in the comics since i was 12 years old. Going to this Comic Con had me more excited than any in the past. But this year, i did a lot more than just pine after Ryan Reynolds and Geoff Johns. I had a lot of great times over the course of five days and would like to share the highlights with you here.
Last Wednesday i got up bright and early, finished packing and hopped on a train leaving Anaheim at 8am with my good friend Lenny. We arrived in San Diego around 10 o’clock. We had a room at the Embassy Suites for one night. It was a really nice place and they let us check in and put our luggage in the room right away, which is lucky, because we thought we would have to check them in at the convention center. I didn’t want to have to drag around that big bag all the way to the convention center.
We headed over to the convention center where we waited in line for about an hour to pick up our badges. They told us that the badge pickup wouldn’t be begin until three, but it opened at one. Talk about awesome! Everything was going so smoothly.
Since i did not have a “preview night” badge, i left Lenny to get into the exhibit hall, as i went out and got some lunch. On the way back from lunch, i ran into Adam Horowitz. He was one of the writers of LOST. He saw my Dharmalars bag and Canton Rainier t-shirt. I told him that i was a big fan. He responded by saying that LOST is done. I said i know, and held up my Encom badge. He looked at it and said, “Hey, you know i wrote Tron”. I said, “Yep, that is why i am so excited to see you”. His eyes lit up and we took a picture.
Since i could not get into Preview Night, i decided that i would head up to the Sails Pavilion and meet up with some friends. The place was already packed so i headed out to the large patio area that overlooked the bay to catch some fresh air. While i was out there i ran into Steve Lisberger, the creator and director of the original Tron. Considering that i did not have a pass for Preview Night, i was pretty stoked on how much i had accomplished. It was Comic Con and i felt like anything was possible, so i decided, then and there, that i would sneak into Preview Night. I put my badge on and headed down to the Exhibit Hall and found a nice big group of people walking in. I snuggled right in with them and walked passed security. As i passed by i laughed, “ha ha…a duck”.
Inside the exhibit hall i headed over to the image booth, where i ran into non other than Walking Dead, Invincible and Astounding Wolfman creator Robert Kirkman!! I am a big fan of all three of those books and was happy that he was willing to get his picture taken. i found that as the week progressed, people tended to get tired of the picture taking. After a long night of walking around in the exhibit hall, i headed back to the hotel for a good night sleep.
Thursday morning, me and lenny went down and got a great free breakfast at the hotel and headed over to Hall H. We stayed in line for about an hour and a half and bullshitted about TRON. Once we entered Hall H, we sat through the panel for Megamind. I had no idea what Megamind was, but as it turns out, it is an animated 3d movie about an evil villain. It starred Will Farrell, Jonah Hill and Tina Fey, who were all on hand to show some footage from the film. It was really entertaining to watch those three on stage as well as seeing the 3D footage. It was cool that they gave us Real 3D glasses! Once Megamind was done, we got treated to Disney’s TRON panel!
The TRON Legacy panel was awesome. Garret Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges were all on hand to talk about the film and answer questions. Patton Oswalt was the moderator and kept things moving. It was a lot of fun and the director Joseph Kosinski brought along 8 minutes of footage from the film and it was in 3D.
The footage showed Sam Flynn as soon as he enters the world of Tron. He is taken prisoner and is transported to the pit cell via a Recognizer. Once he is suited up he is then escorted into the game grid. They showed a bunch of cut scenes from the game grid arena, including the cameo from Daft Punk! They looked super badass in their Tron garb! This was definitely a highlight of the convention!
After the Tron panel, i went to the exhibit hall and checked out the body of Abin Sur, who is the Green Lantern of sector 2814 that passes along the power ring to Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern film. It was pretty amazing to see his body in person. I know that he is still a fictional character, but it was pretty emotional to see the body there in person. I was really stoked!
As i walked around the Exhibit hall, i ran into the BBC America booth and Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper from “Look Around You” were doing a signing. I got them to sign a Look Around You lab coat for me. I told Pete that my wife was in love with him, and asked if I could get a picture of him pointing at her and winking. He obliged.
Later that afternoon, i met up with Anthony! and Cathryn for the Look Around You panel. The panel was so much fun. Pete and Robert showed clips from the series and busted out their copybook that had all of their ideas for the show. They decided to share some of the more outlandish ones that didn’t make the cut. Then they showed us a sweet video called The Markets of Britain.
Friday came and i really didn’t have any panels that i wanted to go to. It was great, because i really wanted to explore the Exhibit Hall. I got to check out some really cool booths and it gave me the chance to hang out with friends. I met up with my pals Justin Shady and Sean O’Brien. I was glad that Shawn had a camera, because i was about to meet some very cool people and i didn’t want to continue using my iPhone for this booth signing.
At 2pm-3pm in the DC Comic’s booth, the writer and artists of Green Lantern were doing a signing. I didn’t stand in line too long to meet Geoff Johns (DC Creative Director/Green Lantern Writer), Ivan Reis (Green Lantern Artist) and Joe Prado (Blackest Night Artist). They were all really great and friendly and laughed at my jokes. They all signed my Blackest Night hardcover books.
At about 2:30, i jumped in line to have my Green Lantern Corps book signed by GLC Artist, Patrick Gleason. I was about 10th person in line and it had already been capped. The guy working the booth said that i had to get out of line. I didn’t understand why it was going to take a half hour to get a book signed when there was only 1o people in front of me. Then i realized that he was not merely signing books, but doing full marker sketches for people. I just wanted a signature, so i stayed in the “line” until 3:20 and Patrick was kind enough to sign my book. He was a standup guy and i now wish i had gotten a sketch from him.
Speaking of Sketches! Right after i was done at the DC booth i went over to the Image table and picked up a Sketch from Invincible artist, Ryan Ottley! On preview night i had asked him if he would draw me a Madman holding a Ping Pong Ball Gun. This is what he did! It looks so much better in person. I will have to scan the picture and post it.
Friday night i went out and had some drinks with some of my favorite people on the planet. Lost podcasters!! I met up with Jay, Jack and Dylan. I also ran into Dharmalars fans Steph, Desiree, Alirio and Family, Kelly, Rob, Robin, Cesar, Colleen and everyone else. I was also able to catch up with Ryan and Jenn from The Transmission. The best part about drinking and having a good time, was that Chris from Boston gave me a kick ass New Era fitted Green Lantern hat!!
After plenty of drinks and Poutine, i left the bar at 11:45pm, stopped by my hotel room and went to sleep in the line for Hall H.
That’s right. I have been waiting a really long time for someone to make a Green Lantern movie and there was no way that i was going to miss out on this! Considering that it was cold and damp outside, i got a pretty good night sleep outside of Hall H. Our hotel was located right across the street from the hall, which made it easier to lug blankets and take a shower in the morning. I waited in line with Lenny and Shawn and we just hung out and talked about nerd things. They let us into the hall at about 10:30am. The panel started at noon. I could barely contain myself. There was so much anticipation bundled up in my gutty works, that i wanted to explode. The fact that i was in a room with about 6,000 other people who had the same feeling, amounted to a huge ball of energy. It was insane!
Some rando came out and introduced Geoff Johns, who is the man who brought Green Lantern back to relevance in the comic book world and who just so happens to be the new Creative Director of DC Entertainment. He is over seeing the Green Lantern film and showed us some footage from the film! The footage that was shown in Hall H has still yet to make it to the internet. Apparently there was so much anticipation in the room, nobody decided to bootleg the footage. I guess that is what makes the Green Lantern panel so special. Only the people who were there at that moment got to see the first glimpse. No more, no less. I feel honored to be in such a elite group.
The panel then started and we were introduced to Martin Campbell, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and Ryan Raynolds. There was a lot of great information given at the panel. We learned that we will see Kilowog, Salaak, Tomar Re and Bzzd in the film along with the rest of the 3600 Corps members. I am pretty sure that we will also be seeing Mogo in that group shot. This is going to be pretty amazing!
The best part of the whole panel was when a small child came up to the mic and asked Ryan Reynolds a question.
It was amazing. As soon as Ryan Reynolds started to recite the Green Lantern Oath, the entire hall went silent. This was the first time that he had ever said it in public and it was the perfect forum. The Green Lantern panel was my favorite of the whole week. There is only one thing to do when you just enjoyed the greatest moment of Comic Con. Leave.
That’s right folks, i left Comic Con and headed to the Embarcadero to enjoy the rival of Comic Con. AWESOMECON!!
Hosted by Awesome Show’s Tim and Eric, AWESOMECON is a celebration of all things bizzare. I got to witness an egg toss event, a costume contest, this thing and James Quall. Awesomecon is as if the Doo Dah Parade had sex with a company picnic. It is fast paced, frenetic and FUN!! I had such a blast that i didn’t even realize that i had burned the side of my head!
It was a pretty long day and i decided to just relax and enjoy the rest of my Saturday in the Exhibit Hall.
As you may or may not know, Sundays are usually reserved for family events and panels. A lot of people spend this time in the Exhibit Hall and look for deals. A lot of the dealers do not want to load back up their vans and trucks with all of that merchandise, so they put huge discounts on items. This year i spent $15 at the La-La Land Record‘s booth and picked up 5 score albums, then headed over to one of the comic book merchants and grabbed a Blackest Night hardcover book. I never leave Comic Con without actually purchasing comic books.
After a long 5 days in San Diego, it was time to get on the train and head home. I was really happy to be on my way back to my wife and cat. I just wanted to fall asleep in my own bed and finally take in all of what i had actually seen. So many great memories this year to share. This was my sixth year at Comic Con and i still feel like i want to see more. I cannot wait to be in San Diego for Comic Con 2011!
This is the big day. I will be camping out Friday night in order to get into Hall H in the morning. This is my main day. It will be filled with craziness. There will be a lot of running around, so catch me if you can!
1:45-1:15 Warner Bros.: Green Lantern— Get a first look at the upcoming sci-fi action adventureGreen Lantern, directed by Martin Campbell. Green Lantern is an epic adventure that crosses galaxies to bring to life the legendary Silver Age superhero Hal Jordan, who is chosen by the ring itself to become the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps and take on the vast and powerful Parallax as it threatens to destroy the world. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, Blake Lively as Carol Ferris, Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond, and Mark Strong as Sinestro. Hall H
2:00-3:00 Green Lantern: Emerald Empire— No evil shall escape this panel’s sight as the top creative teams on the Green Lantern books drop hints on upcoming stories and take on your questions! Led by group editor Eddie Berganza with Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, The Flash),Tony Bedard (Green Lantern Corps), Joe Prado (Brightest Day), and Ivan Reis (Brightest Day). Room 6A
1:00-2:00 The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack— Father and son team Jay and Jack Glatfelter have one of the oldest and biggest podcasts dedicated to ABC’S Lost. Discuss the stirring series finale, and learn about the huge dedicated online community for TV’s most mind-twisting drama. Join Jay and Jack for this special interview and Q&A session! Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina
2:00-3:00 Little Lulu Fan Group— One of the most memorable kids’ comics ever created,Little Lulu has generated a fan following around the world. Learn more about this classic comics character and the renewed interest in the other works of the great John Stanley, and join in for the annual scripted reading of a Golden Age Little Lulu story. All are welcome! Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina
3:00-4:00 NBC’s Community Cast and Creative Team— The cast and producers — Joel McHale (The Soup), Chevy Chase (Hot Tub Time Machine), Donald Glover (30 Rock),Yvette Nicole Brown (Rules of Engagement), Danny Pudi (Greek), Gillian Jacobs (Choke),Alison Brie (Mad Men) and executive producers Dan Harmon (The Sarah Silverman Program),Joe Russo (Arrested Development), Anthony Russo (Arrested Development), Neil Goldman(Scrubs), Garrett Donovan (Scrubs) and Russ Krasnoff (The Soloist) — are on hand for an animated discussion and Q&A session about what’s in store for viewers this fall. Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront
4:45-5:45 Universal: Paul and Cowboys & Aliens— Universal presents two upcoming films in this exclusive Hall H presentation.
Paul— Scheduled to appear for Universal Pictures’ sci-fi comedy-adventurePaul are a who’s who of film comedy. Director Greg Mottola (Superbad) will be joined by cast members Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Kristen Wiig (Date Night), Bill Hader (Forgetting Sarah Marshall),Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover), Joe Lo Truglio (Role Models), Seth Rogen(The Green Hornet), and Sigourney Weaver (Baby Mama) as they discuss the movie about two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage to Comic-Con ultimately takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who takes them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. Q&A session to follow.
Cowboys & Aliens—Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man series) discusses what’s happening behind the scenes of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks’ action-thriller Cowboys & Aliens, based on Platinum Studios’ graphic novel. Currently shooting in New Mexico, Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford and takes audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. Q&A session to follow.Hall H
7:15-8:45 Kevin Smith— He’s back! Spend a quiet, refined evening with the one-and-onlyKevin Smith, who will no doubt solve all the bad things in the world for you or, at the very least, make you laugh a few hundred times. Hall H
I WILL GET TO WHATEVER I CAN. I WILL DEFINITELY GO TO THE GREEN LANTERN FILM PANEL AS WELL AS THIS…
There is not a lot of stuff going on for me on Friday. This is going to be a great day to just hang out, enjoy San Diego and walk the exhibit hall. It’s nice to have a break every now and then.
11:30-12:30 AMC’s The Walking Dead— Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal(The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden (The Mist), Emma Bell(Law & Order), series creator/director/executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator), executive producerRobert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic), makeup artist Greg Nicotero,and Joel Stillerman (AMCs senior VP) discuss the making of AMC’s series The Walking Dead, based on the Image comic book series created and written by Robert Kirkman, premiering in October on AMC. Room 6BCF
7:00-8:00 RiffTrax Live— Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett(RiffTrax.com, Mystery Science Theater 3000) return to Comic-Con to perform another live, hilarious riff to a classic short! The panel is moderated by Veronica Belmont (host of Tekzillaon Revision3 and Qore on the PlayStation Network). Join the riffers for fun, laughs, and the latest news from RiffTrax.com, the site where MST3K-style humor meets mainstream movies, TV shows, and vintage shorts. Room 6DE
For the last six years i have been attending San Diego Comic Con. This year will be no different.
Comic Con just posted the schedule for the entire weekend. Next week, i will be posting the panels and events that i am looking forward to. Be sure to check back here for updates.
If you’re in San Diego and want to meet up, please feel free to contact me or just follow me on my TWITTER page. If you see me, dont be shy. I am looking forward to meeting all of you and having a good time.
There are not too many comic book titles that i follow as religiously as Green Lantern, with the exception of one. Mike Allred’s Madman is a character that i got into around the mid nineties when all comics were about giant guns and no story. I was not impressed with Platt, McFarlane and Rob Liefeld. Their art was all style but no substance. The characters looked so phony that you could not relate to them at all.
Madman follows the story of a reanimated corpse named Frank “Madman” Einstein (after Sinatra and Albert). Dressed wearing the mark of his old comic book hero, Madman goes on many adventures with his girlfriend and the scientists who created him. They fight everything from Mutated Beatnicks to Space Aliens. The stories reminds me of Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon comic strips with the pop art style from The Silver Age of comics. Madman is a true original and think that you might dig it. Here is a list of trades that will get you caught up on the last 18 years of Madman!
Madman vol. 1
Madman vol. 2
Madman vol. 3
Madman Gargantua (collects Madman vol. 1-3)
Superman/Madman Hullabaloo! (not pictured)
Madman Boogaloo! (not pictured)
Madman and the Atomics
Madman Atomic Comics vol. 1
Madman Atomic Comics vol. 2
Madman Atomic Comics vol. 3
The two books that are not pictured are side stories. They are really fun to read, but not incredibly necessary for getting the story of Madman and the Atomics. If you end up checking out these books, let me know what you think!
Another great day at the Convention. After doing my best to get my hands on some toys for work, me and Richard finally got our hands on armfuls of Hasbro stuff. Of course he left me to purchase the one My Little Pony exclusive this year. So that is the second year in a row that i purchased a My Little Pony at Comic Con. Of course it wasn’t with my own money, but still, i had to go up and ask for one.
After work was done for the day, i headed down to Artist Alley and met up with Beth and Jorge. Beth was looking for artists for her new book. I think i give that project a go, if i am good enough. We headed over to the Image booth to check out some things and Mike Allred was hanging out at the booth with his son Han. Mike’s eyes lit up when he saw Jorge so i introduced them. It was a pretty magical nerd experience, to say the least. Mike quickly handed Jorge a copy of Red Rocket 7, Madman Atomic Comics vol. 1 as well as Madman Gargantua. Quite a haul!!
After some wandering around, i headed over to the Oni Press booth and got my copy of You Have Killed Me signed by Jamie and Joëlle. They are the coolest folks! Jamie signed my book with an anti-Blackest Night message on it. I laughed when i got back to the hotel and read it. I will have to thank him!
For dinner i went to this place called the Broken Yolk. They serve breakfast all day long and i had a killer Monti Cristo as well as two large ice teas! It was at dinner when i realized that i fucked up big time. I was so busy and having so much fun that i forgot to go to the Digital Bits panel. In all of my years coming to Comic Con, i have NEVER missed that panel and i am pissed that i did.
After dinner we headed down to the convention center and in to Ballroom 20 for a screening of Green Lantern: First Flight!! Kirk and Laurie met up with us and i talked their ears off about Food Network for about an hour. Bruce Timm came out to introduce the movie, but before it started he made all 2,600 people in Ballroom 20 stand up and recite the Green Lantern Oath!! He followed up with, “we are officially the nerdiest place in the convention”, which made everyone cheer! WE DID IT!! Since i had my camera with me i decided to record the giant Oath Reciting Event on my camera, unfortunately my camera did not record the audio, which pretty much makes the footage completely useless. Oh well, maybe i will post it anyway.
At the end of the night i hung out front of the hotel for a bit, while Jeremy and Lenny went on a scavenger hunt for Flynn Lives and ended up at Flynn’s Arcade, which apparently has playable Space Paranoids as well and a full size lit up Lightcycle rotating on a turntable. I did not go to Flynn’s Arcade because my poor legs were super tired. Maybe it will still be open tonight.
Ran into Brian Posehn again, that makes 5 years straight!
Talk to you folks tomorrow, i can’t believe it is only Thursday!