Monday, July 30, 2007

Comic-Con 2007

Wow, this past Saturday was my first Comic-Con and I gotta say, it was pretty awesome. Last year I went to the Anime Expo (AX) in Anaheim, which is kinda similar, but Comic-Con was a way better experience IMO. For one thing, they had a lot more content and events that I was personally interested in. I'm only really into a few anime series', so this seemed like a better fit for me. There were plenty of manga and anime vendor booths, but there were also some live game demos on the show floor and many sci-fi and fantasy TV shows and movies prominently featured. The panel events were what actually won me over though and I think I had the most fun attending those.

Can you see him?

Like the Anime Expo, there were a fair amount of people participating in cosplay, but it did seem a bit less common at Comic-Con. Early in the morning, Van and I spotted Waldo in the Simpsons line. Then you had your obligatory handful of Star Wars costumes. A good number of various Naruto characters. Video game characters of Final Fantasy type. Superheroes and villains. Basically anything anime, sci-fi or fantasy, and everything else in between. But on the whole, it just felt like less people were geeked out in full garb, and considering the E3-sized crowd at the San Deigo Convention Center, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

This happy guy is from a peaceful game called Alien Hominid

The Q&A panels were pretty cool. At the Simpsons one, Matt Groening, and various writers, producers, and animators fielded fan questions like "What was your favorite Homer injury?" and "What's your favorite episode you wrote?" Several questions were aimed directly at the man himself, Matt Groening, but most everyone on the panel got in a witty comment here and there. We got to see an exclusive clip that was deleted from the movie, where Homer rides in a truck filled w/ sausages, but mostly the event consisted of fans have fangasms and then asking random questions.

One of my main gripes I had about Comic-Con was the insane schedule planned for Saturday (actually, someone mentioned that it was basically like this all weekend). Late Friday, I printed out the schedule for Saturday off of the official website. It was 12 pages long, with loads of overlapping events. Factor in hour+ wait times for more popular shows and you get an idea for how chaotic it became. Naturally, the Heroes panel was less than an hour after the Simpsons one. So even when we left early, we had zero to no chance of getting in there, when people had been waiting since 9:30am.

"Don't forget to bring a towel!"

The Futurama panel was by far the most entertaining hour of the day. It was held in the same 4,000+ person auditorium as the Heroes panel, so I just barely got in. The cool part of it was that four of the major voice actors were there, along with Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. They started it out with the announcement of the 4 new DVD movies coming (the first one in Novemeber) and the move from Cartoon Network to Comedy Central. Then they showed us a 5 minute trailer of Bender's Big Score. Initially, everyone was given a nifty little Futurama comic book detailing what occurred between the final episode and the first upcoming movie, which the cast later acted out completely live on stage. Even the Q&A was interesting, with each actor detailing how they created the voice for each of their characters. You could tell that everyone was having a lot of fun with it and the crowd was really getting into it.

Futurama voice talent (left to right): Katey Sagal, Billy West, John DiMaggio, and Maurice LaMarche

If the Futurama event was the most entertaining, then meeting the guys behind the Lost Podcast w/ Jay and Jack was my favorite experience on a more personal level. These were guys I'd listened to for almost 2 years, and now I got to participate in one their podcasts live. They led a Q&A session and we got to discuss some of the theories on Lost as well as what was just talked about at the Lost panel on Thursday. I was kinda bummed about how, at the last minute, Comic-Con switched days on me for the Lost panel, but for me this turned out even better, since the room was so much smaller and the sense of community was much more tangible.

Picture of me w/ Jay and Jack from the 'Lost podcast with Jay and Jack

We didn't stay too late, just until around 5, when the Joss Whedon panel was over. Even though I didn't really buy anything, I thought I got my money's worth out of going though. If anyone wants to go with me next year, lemme know. Overall, I had great experience. Thanks Van, for driving us down to SD. Hope you guys had as much fun as I did. And what story would be complete without a display of all my personally collected free crap. Some notables include some manga books, a giant spiderman magnet and a playing card with Obi-Wan Kenobi on it.. Freaking sweet!

Behold my Comic-Con swag

No comments: