It’s officially June which means Comic Con is NEXT MONTH! This marks the start of many posts aimed at helping you prepare for the big week. But before all that, lets tap into the memory banks and reflect on SDCC 2010. Here are some the of highlights (in no particular order) that made last year one of the best for me ever.
1. Preview Night: I am normally not a huge fan of Preview Night. If you plan effectively, there is usually enough time to see the floor throughout the week. This year however, it was necessary because of all the new set pieces. The studios tend to recycle from year to year but this time I felt like there was a lot of new displays to see. Getting it out of the way early relieved pressure on Thursday morning since the Tron panel would be at that time. Tron: Legacy, Odin’s Throne, and the Alien’s Anthology were particularly impressive.
2. Tron:Legacy: The much-anticipated Tron panel did not disappoint. People camped out in line the night before just to make it into the massive Hall H. Even though we got there 3 hours early, we were the last few people to make it in. Besides the new 8 minute scene, a new trailer was released which shows more of heart and soul of this movie. The audience was also invited to participate in capturing ‘mob noise’ for the movie. We had to do chants, stomping, and cheers to be used in the final Legacy cut. Pretty awesome. I also got a chance to ask Jeff Bridges a question which was a total honor. This will be THE movie to see by the end of the year.
3. Meeting Stan Lee: As a new member of the press with BabbleOn 5, I was invited to attend an exclusive press conference for Stan Lee. When I say ‘invited’ that means I begged and pleaded Stan’s press agent to allow me to attend! It was great to witness Stan release (later this year) three new heroes; Soldier Zero, Starborn, & The Traveler. The best part was having a chance to meet Stan for a moment and get a pic with him. It was a once in a life time opportunity and I will never forget it.
4. Nerds Unite!: Weeks leading up to Comic Con, Westboro Baptist Church declared war on Comic Con by deciding to picket on Thursday. Known as extremist, Westboro has spread their message of ‘God hates you’ to the Gay/Lesbian and Jewish communities- and now the nerds. With Twitter tensions raising, I was expecting the worst. Only a few people showed up for Westboro while 50+ pro-Comic Con fans represented in full force. The best part was that the fan’s message to Westboro was one of love, not hate. They just want to be understood and not judged. What potentially could have erupted into a violent demonstration ended with Comic Con fans being declared the winners. Sorry Westboro, better pick on someone your own size. Even as a pastor, I was glad that this so called ‘church’ was lost this showdown.
5. Scott Pilgrim and Dexter: As a new movie and relatively new TV show, Pilgrim and Dexter owned Comic Con. Their marketing was EVERYWHERE and rightfully deserved. Their fans have grown to cult status. Scott Pilgrim verses the World was premiered at Comic Con, while I didn’t have a chance to attend, my friends LOVED it. The marketing material was stellar like the custom-made flip book of yourself dancing around. For Dexter, every other person had the ‘bleeding cut’ tattoo on their face showing support to the dark series. It’s great to see new product arise out of quality and creative material. Especially when there is so much crap out there like Jonah Hex.
6. TweetUps!: A relatively new phenomenon has started with TweetsUps. These are gatherings of fans of a particular show or genre that is promoted solely through Twitter. As a big fan of the NBC show Chuck, I went to a TweetUp at a local bar. It was filled with Chuck fans that only knew each other through Twitter, most whom have never met in person. The cast made a surprise visit and I was able to meet Zachary Levi- who was super cool. You never know what will happen at a TweetUp and I am really glad I went.
7. The Nerf Herder: Harrison For made his first appearance to Comic Con ever! I know, you would think Han Solo or Indiana Jones would have been a regular at the Con but this was his first as he was promoting ‘Cowboys & Aliens’. What made it so memorable was that he came out in handcuffs and police escort mocking a real life altercation that broke out in Hall H about an hour earlier. His appearance was the single loudest applause I have ever heard for an actor before. I guess we love scruffy looking, nerf herders.
8. The lines: For the first time, tents were erected for Hall H and Ballroom 20. Hall H, or ‘Hall Hell’ as vets call it, was not quite as hellacious because of these tents. I was really grateful for the CON for sparing no expense by providing adequate coverage during some of the rainy and sunny days. I was fortunate not to wait longer than 3 hrs in line and these tents helped make it a pleasant experience. Let’s hope it returns for next year.
9. Marvel-ous: Marvel came to Comic Con to take names and kick butt. As the concluding panel in Hall H on Saturday, it did not disappoint and made the long wait worth it. The Thor panel showed adequate footage along with a new trailer. Even though Captain America had only been shooting for 8 days, they managed to show some ‘hot off the presses’ footage to whip fans into a frenzy. Each panel had a full cast that really brought theirA-game. The baddest twist of the day was the surprise AVENGERS panel with the entire cast led by Joss Whedon. They even managed a teaser trailer for a film that is still years away! The fans went ballistic. Thanks Marvel for making Saturday worth the wait. DC, you better get your butt in gear!
10. The more the merrier: Comic Con is really meant to be shared. This year there was 14 of us that went with half being Con virgins. When experienced through the eyes of newbies, it really does make it that much more special. You never forget your first Con and I was glad that all our peeps had a great time and are planning on returning. You may not be able to control what panels are at Con or if you will be able to get in, but you can control who goes in your group. So start recruiting for next year and ensure a great time regardless of the circumstances.
* A special note, my wife surprised me with a visit on Sunday. It was the first time she had attended after hearing about it for years. While not her cup of tea, she was glad to spend the day together and it was very special for us. At least she gets why I am so ‘Crazy 4 Comic Con’!