Friday, we got to Comic-Con early. San Diego Jack FM star Monique Marvez, Malissa Valdes from Auburn University and I were over the moon watching the parade of inter-galactic flesh stream into the Convention center.
I finally caught the Comic-Con fever, not unlike a resigned, “we’re here, we’re queer, let’s get use to it” mantra that became the rallying cry to wrap our minds around the fact that for the next several hours, geeky nerds would be arguing within earshot over the nuanced acting skills of Boba Fett versus the alleged overly-hyped Jabba the Hut.
Hilarious random dialogue surrounded us. Two scrawny bespectacled kids not older than 16 saying, “what do you think keeps them here, it’s the tits,” or the overheard, “can you blot my SG-1 tatt, it’s running in my eyes,” a mohawked kid complained to his friend behind us in the main exhibition hall.
There are tits a-plenty at Comic-Con, albeit they’re painted day-glo green often times.
Anime girls with little school outfits were mixed with Aliens, Elvis StormTrooper, Batman and the Joker, Jabba, “Predator,” SAW masked villains, Pirates from the Caribbean, “300” extras in full Spartan regalia and a Rose McGowan stunt double amputee that gamely posed at the Weinstein/Genius booth in the exhibition hall, pivoting on her gun as she charmed the throngs.
Director Edgar Wright and actor Nick Frost, creators of the cheeky zombie flick homage “Shaun of the Dead” and now the send up to the Jerry Bruckheimers of the world in their latest action-comedy “Hot Fuzz” were also there to talk up the DVD release.
Minus fellow satirist and star Simon Pegg, Wright and Nick Frost signed autographs and gamely fielded questions from fans to celebrate the July 31, 2007 DVD release of “Hot Fuzz” at Comic-Con. Their jovial presence graced Sails Pavilion Autograph Area in the massive San Diego Convention Center late afternoon on July 27th.
Steve Wegner was also there representing for Genius/Weinstein and had the badass “Grindhouse” actor Danny Trejo (Machete) hanging behind the counter for an autograph session.
I also ran into Variety and Below the Line’s editor and writer, Tom McLean, there to cover the Con and be on a panel, and “Feast” director John Gulager and producer Mike Leahy, who filled me in in plans for “Feast 2 & 3″ to shoot in Shreveport, Louisiana this coming year.
I vowed next year to just bring a lawn chair and park it by the Starbucks kiosk to people watch for at least one day.
Friday saw the Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis panels; good times if you can hack a two-hour queue.
Stargate: SG-1 talked about the end of SG-1 and the upcoming two SG-1 movies with Amanda Tapping, Ben Browder, Christopher Judge, Robert Cooper (Executive Producer/Director), and Martin Wood (Director).
The panel showed a clip of the upcoming movie “The Ark of Truth,” and then a long question-and-answer period, where more swag was doled out. Both Stargate panels were moderated by Gary Jones.
The Atlantis panel began immediately after and was attended by Amanda Tapping (Sam Carter, who is moving full time to Atlantis beginning this season), David Hewlett (Rodney McKay), Joe Flanigan (John Sheppard), Jewel Staite (Jennifer Keller), Joe Mallozzi (Executive Producer/Writer), Nora O’Brien (VP, Original Programming, SCI FI), Charlie Cohen (Senior Executive VP, MGM Studios), Martin Wood (Director), and Robert Cooper (Executive Producer/Writer).
Mallozzi was a sport, and had told me previously the night before he had engineered a “win-win” with the SCB fansite over the “reveal” of the resurrection of Dr. Carson Beckett, a popular character that was whacked, eliciting enormous fan rage.
“I don’t have time to go into detail…but both panels went well. Not all that much in the way of hard-hitting questions with the exception of one that went Rob Cooper’s way: “Why do you hate doctors?” His response “I don’t hate doctors, just Scottish people” was met with a healthy chorus of boos.”
“I made it a point to inform the gathering: ‘I’d just like to go on record and say I love Scottish people.’ Cheers. ‘To all you Scots, please direct all hate mail to Robert Cooper. My inbox is full,’ quips Mallozzi in his blog.
This panel started out with exclusive clips from Atlantis Season 4. Like the SG-1 panel, after the clips was the Q&A and swaggage.
Back to the exhibition hall, where the IFC booth was decorated with the artwork of existing and new programming that completely caught my eye.
Despite the fact I had become a swag toting Sherpa and lost my friends who were in adrift in the Pegasus galaxy somewhere, IFC’s Luis Vasquez, the manager of promotions and events, graciously took some time out with me to sit down and hash all things IFC.
“You have to see the preview of “Getting Away with Murder” he said, describing a sardonic twist of noir dramedy featuring hit man Seth Silver (Gilbert John – “Hard Candy”) who must placate the mother he also lives with. What I saw was really good.
Henry Rollins show is also aired by IFC, and he was scheduled for Saturday to be in the IFC booth signing autographs at 4 PM.
Rollins is my favorite chat show host moderator because he bucks standard pre-packaged publicist-tainted feeds. He takes real chances in a medium that usually never does
IFC’s fall line up will be a good one: Coming back will be “The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman” Laura Kightlinger’s excellent cynical style of comedy that meets somewhere between Sarah Silverman’s deadpan shock and Kathy Griffin’s ascerbic snap. Also back is “The Business.” Kathleen Robertson stars as a brainy producer who finds herself at skeevy Vic’s Flicks. Both premieres are August 5th.
Vasquez also talked about Dita Von Teese’s intriguing “Indie Sex” which is running August 1 through 4th. Indie Sex examines how filmmakers, the film industry, and special interest groups have attempted to both regulate and set free the images that filmmakers create, and who gets to see them.
IFC is also running a free film festival in 10 cities: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Memphis, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, Boston and Washington DC.
Vasquez was animated describing the tour that kicked off July 10 in co-sponsor Comcast’s hometown of Philadelphia. The tour takes place for three consecutive days in each city, with a different film each night, open to the public at no cost.
The line up he talked about included the Coen Brothers “Raising Arizona”; the classic “The Princess Bride”; and “Napoleon Dynamite”.
All films are shown on a 40′ x 20′ inflatable air screen constructed specifically by IFC for the tour – a state-of-the-art outdoor video system. The films will begin at dusk, following a variety of pre-show activities, including musical entertainment. Each venue will include the IFC Media Lab Lounge, presented by Scion – Free and open to the public.
Luis, thanks for the awesome swag, too. Best in show.
Comic-Con on Friday, Saturday and Sunday sold out 100%. The crush on Friday became overwhelming, I had to abandon the event after the obscene waits for panels sucked my will to live and I needed some real food and a chance to rest my eyes.
Journalists and reporters should consider just covering the Television Critic’s Assoc. (TCA), and leave the overgrown and defeatingly congested Comic-Con to the fans who started it to begin with.