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!