I guess this entry is a bit delayed as comic-con was a few weeks ago, but here goes anyway.
Thursday, the 24th.
comic con started with Lauren giving me a call early that morning, it must have been around 7 am. But I was up anyway as I couldn’t sleep being excited to go. I had been prepared for this day for a while. I had my awesome doctor who outfit picked out. I wore my brown corduroy jacket, brown slacks with brown pin-stripes, my white chuck taylors (sku #9162 the exact same ones as David Tenant, a white shirt, and a brown tie I had gotten just for the occasion. All and I looked pretty hot. The cool part was the people in the know, knew I was doctor who, to everyone else I was just a guy dressed up nice in a suit.
We were supposed to leave at 8, but due to Lauren being sleepy / a girl / never being able to tell how long it’d take her to get ready, we didn’t leave until around 8:45 am and registration for comic-con started at 9:30 am and Thursday was opening day.
Lauren is a coworker of mine. She works in a different department, is the media supervisor, and is around 30 or so I guess, and has a kid, Riley. I went to comic-con with Lauren, her kid who i think is about 10 years old, and her friend Roger.
Roger drove his car, we split gas, and they met me at my place. We didn’t hit traffic until we were in downtown San Diego, and then it slowed to a crawl. What was just a few city blocks too ages to get through. Parking was a nightmare downtown. We eventually found parking, but far off from the convention center. All and all, we must have actually gotten into the convention center around 10 am, when we left at 8:30.
The convention center was a mass of people. Crowds everywhere you turned, people running towards free handouts, bags, flyers, buttons, whatever people had, if it was free the mob hungered for it. I got a cool bag myself. It has a raptor on it and was pretty handy. It is clever marketing really, give out giant bags for people to hold all their stuff in, while at the same time getting people to wonder hey where did they get that bag? It is pretty cool scifi or history channel or dc comics is here and giving out those bags, where can I get one? Etc etc.
We worked our way through registration, huge line. Then there was a line for the free item table, being that Lauren was on a mission and I wasn’t really sure what I needed at that silly table we moved onwards towards Lauren goal that day. These obscure toy things toki-doki or something they are called.
She spent an absurd amount of money on these toys. One was a rabbit or something with a gun in its mouth. Another was a bust of Beethoven which was orange and was named clockwork orange or something. Then she made an epic quest for this exclusive lego set, which was already sold out by the time we got to the lego booth.
After that i split off by myself to attend a few panels and to check out the BBC America booth.
The first panel I attended was with Stan Lee and Grant Morrison from DC Comics and writer for Batman. I’d never met Stan Lee before, but he was awesome. Him and Grant played off each other and the crowd to an extraordinary degree. Grant kept telling Lee how he had innovated comics so much and how he was a big influnce for Grant growing up. Lee replied to him, well yes and tried to take credit for all of the work Grant had done. I can’t recall the last time I laughed so much. Lee’s fake (or maybe not?) hubris was refreshing. He knows 100% at this point in his career he has nothing to prove and he can do whatever he wants to, so that is exactly what he does. He made fun of Grant for wearing a suit to a comic-convention when lee was just in a polo shirt. I wish I could remember more of the panel, but it has been too long and my memory has already faded.
The next panel was the one I had been waiting for. It was in the grand ballroom and it was packed, the entire room filled. It was the doctor who panel with executive producer Julie Gardner and now lead writer, Steven Moffet. Russel T. Davis apparently couldn’t make it, even though he was scheduled to be there. We got to see an exclusive trailer of the ’09 doctor who special which was awesome. Also Julie and Moffet had that extra-ordinary British wit that made every bit of conversation shine with a quick pun here and a laugh there.
Before the panel all of the people who had come dressed up as the doctor or as other cast members went to the front of the stage and took pictures together. I am probably somewhere out there on the internet with the other doctors and don’t even know it. My pictures didn’t turn out too well, being I lacked a digital camera and only had a disposable one. It was fun hanging out with the other doctors and talking to them. I think I was totally the best one there. At least the best tenant doctor, the tom baker doctor was spot on too, scarf and all, he was cool in a weird sort of way. He talked a bit spaced out, but I couldn’t tell if that was him or if he was just staying in character. The other doctors complimented me on my outfit and my shoes and I did the same for them.
I particularly liked Steven Moffet’s dating advice. He told the crowd how the doctor had really aced that last situation. He had this clingy girlfriend, Rose, who he just can’t seem to get rid of. So what does he do? Strands her in a parallel universe. She comes back, so that doesn’t work. What does the doctor do? He grows a clone of himself and sends him off to be with her, leaving him free to go about the universe on his own! Hahaha! The way Moffet said it was just brilliant.
Moffet was also the lead writer on the BBC series coupling, which is amazing in its own right. Another dating gem from Moffet, always bring a toothbrush on your dates, it shows you’re hopeful. But heaven forbid you go to grab the check for dinner and it accidentally slips out, how do you explain your way out of that one? I just like to brush my teeth after ever meal, I didn’t have it with me because I thought I’d be spending the night with you.
Julie Garnder was great too. Girls like her make me want to go to england and find a nice girl and settle down with. Even for an older woman, she was still funny and her accent and charm lit up the room. It takes a special kind of person to be in charge of reeling in the madness of the cast and the writers of a show like Doctor Who, and the back and forth between her and Moffet showed she knew what she was doing and was clearly the right person to be doing it. She went over the ridiculousness of Moffet’s script for the girl in the fireplace. So first few pages, we’re in Versailles France, period piece, no problem doctor who has been there a bunch of times, and bbc has plenty of those set pieces of hand. Next few pages, hmm we’re on a space ship now, and monsters are attacking. And then a few pages later, the doctor crashes through a mirror into the room while riding a horse. She explained how difficult it was to get a horse to crash through a mirror and how to deal with a script like that, that doesn’t make sense until the end. When moffet told her he wanted tenant to arrive in Victorian France by crashing through the backside of a mirror while riding a horse, she thought he was joking.
Moffet handled the question and answer portion well. Like an expert fencer, he parried every barb. When questioned about the nature of canon in doctor who he replied, you can’t have continuity in a show about a time travel, with a main character who can do whatever he wants. The doctor doesn’t have to die and be reborn as a different doctor every time, nor does he have to not change time. We can always just explain it away with a time crystal or some techno babble and tada the show goes on. The audience kept trying to get him to reveal plot points of the next season and he told them outright he was not telling them. Hahaha! Such a great guy.
After the doctor who panel wrapped up, next was the Torchwood panel. It was Julie Gardner again, John Barrowman (jack), Naoko Mori (tosh) , and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto). Barrowman sure loves to make an extrance, that is certain. He swaggered past the rest of the panel and got up on the table and started bowing and fake kissing Ianto. I can’t recall much about this panel other than everyone felt bad that tosh had been killed and she was even sitting more to the right of the rest of the panel, so to me it seemed like she was even more excluded from the rest of the cast. They talked about what it was like when john learned he was the face of boe and how freaked out he was. Also how they all got their starts in the business. Ianto talked about how it was funny in only a short few years he had gone from local theater, to sending out his headshots for random gigs, then he landed torchwood and he was famous overnight.
Naoko and John talked about how they had actually met earlier, as cast members on miss saigon, I guess they had both played the lead roles. At the request of the crowd they broke into a duet from the musical and it was amazing. I had no idea that they could both sing and sing well at that! John and Naoko are very talented.
Tosh and Steve Moffet.
After that I spent the rest of the day walking the floor, checking out the various booths. Some highlights include the ghostbusters video game booth. I got a chance to see the game in action and I’m really hyped up about it now, the voice acting is spot on since it is well the actual cast from the movie, but the way they say things and react is just as you’d expect them to. Also I got a few nice pictures with the ghostbuster girls. Sadly I didn’t think of my brilliant line until after I left. It simply went like this.
Me; who ya gonna call?
me: Babblin’ Joe, that is who. Here is my number.
I bet they got that all day, but when I thought of it, I thought I was being original and had a good laugh for a few minutes.
I grabbed some food at the convention after doing some time / benefit analysis. The time spent finding food outside the convention and in the summer heat, in my suit no less, which was very hot during the day, the cost outweighed the benefit of waiting in line for crappy convention food. But it was like 4 or 5 by then and I hadn’t had anything to eat all day so I needed food and water or else I was gonna pass out. So convention food it was. It was okay, just a burger and fries, but it cost too much, but not too much if you compare time and effort.
I also got a chance to meet a few web comic people, the guy from questionable content, say scott kurtz of pvp, met gabe and tycho of penny arcade and complained to them my greenhouse achievements couldn’t transfer to steam (they told me separate companies and they didn’t think it’d get on steam, so that is why they made their own distribution method).
Also there was the people who run mega64.com. Their booth was fun. You got to spin this wheel and depending on where you would land different things would happen. The guy who does the voice of marcus the puppet was running the wheel / booth when I visited. I saw this one kid spin the mega64 wheel and it landed on a bit that said, “that cold hard truth”. Marcus held up a mirror to the kids face and said there you go, the cold hard truth! I loled. Another person spun the wheel and it landed on, “who would you”. Marcus asked him, who would you do, this kid over here, or this one (pointing to me this time). This kid, 14th or so, kind of fat with fake dreads / some sort of wig, pointed at me and said him because he is well dressed and gives me a boner. I uhhhh didn’t know how to respond to that, but loled and spun the wheel next. I landed on trick or treat. Marcus told me to hold out my bag and he gave me some candy. A good lot the mega64 crew.
I came back to their booth on sunday and the entire cast was there, doing some sort of weird dance thing with masks on, dancing to their cosplayers video from online. Super weird, but funny.
Other notable events that day. I ran into this cute girl who had name tags all on her body that said ask me about taking an anime survey. Unfortunately I only saw the ones on her back, the rest said girls ask me about anime surveys. She was a women’s studies major trying to interview girls at the convention for stats to help support her thesis about women’s roles in anime. I told her by excluding guys she was being sexist. She said, well has hadn’t really formulated her thesis yet, and was just gathering data and wanted women’s opinions first. I told her if she ever needed a male perspective she could ask me. I should have given her my card or something, she was kind of cute, I mean she was an annoying liberal women’s studies major (wtf do you do with that degree anyway? be angry? a women’s studies teacher? a “feminist” writer? maybe a social worker?), and so probably for the best I didn’t as that would have never worked out.
I also briefly got to meet up with this girl I had been chatting up online, Kate. She was dressed as a Japanese school girl and looked pretty good. She is into cosplay and dressing up all goth or futuristic like, a girl after my own heart. Not to mention she is older and has her life together, which in itself is appealing as I’ve never dated a girl like that. I only got to talk to her briefly because I met up with her just as Lauren and the rest were getting tired and wanted to go home. I’ve been trying to find time to hang out with her lately, but our schedules conflict so I’ll let you know if anything comes of that.
Exhausted we left comic con and drove back home. Before I left I stopped by the bbc america booth one last time and got a neat doctor who phone trinket. It is a miniature tardis. Whenever I get a call, text message, voicemail, or make a call, it lights up and spins. It is pretty neat. I keep hoping someday someone will see me on my phone and comment on how cool it is that i have that, or that a cute girl will come into the store and say that. But i’m a dreamer, ya know. It is still neat and for like 7 bucks I couldn’t pass it up.
That concluded Thursday’s comic-con.
Sunday, the 27th. As i had seen most of the booths that Thursday, there wasn’t much left to see on Sunday. I saw a few panels then left early, trying to beat the traffic.
I went to the Harold and Kumar panel and got a chance to see John Cho and Kal Penn. They were nice guys in real life and funny too. You can imagine what the panel was like for a stoner movie, Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo bay. The panel showed the chose your own adventure / movie feature of the dvd and since the dvd sales are what supported the making of a 2nd movie, they crammed the dvd with lots of extras. As a result a few days later I bought the dvd at work and it was pretty funny and the extra features were cool.
There was also a panel for It is always sunny in Philadelphia. The panel was ridiculous. They talked about all the controversial topics the show has covered from incest, abortion, cancer, etc and how they got danny devito onto the show. They also showed the 1st episode of the new season in which the gang turns into cannibals and mac and dennis go on a man-hunt, while frank thinks he is rambo. It was ridiculous and awesome and I couldn’t stop laughing. They push things to the limit of human decency and then they cross that line. The end was amazing.
I got a free it is always sunny shirt after the panel. That is all I can recall from Sunday.
Okay the word count is high enough, that concludes my comic-con post.
Posted on August 4th, 2008 by Babblin' Joe
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