I’m writing this three days after the Comic-Con has ended. The main reason for the delay is that the last few days of the Con started early and ended late, and there was no way I’d be coherent trying to write out a blog entry. I’m not sure that the first two entries in this series are all that coherent anyway.
In retrospect, I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to come home and review some of the blogs that are really covering the Con in depth. Despite attending everyday, and just about every hour possible, I still missed quite a few bits of news, announcements, and appearances. I realize that these entries of mine are more of a reflection on my activities at the Con and a place to give a brief view to folks who don’t normally see into this world. There are a lot of other blogs that provide analysis and reporting which is focused on the interests of their readers: movie announcements, creator interviews, new product releases, etc. I don’t think many of the folks who read this blog care that Mark Waid has moved to Boom! Studios as Editor-in-Chief (but if you do, here’s the announcement).
Friday was the first of the ‘sold-out’ days. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all sold out to the limit of tickets allowed by the San Diego Fire-Marshal. Remember, this is for the entire San Diego Convention Center, and although the official numbers haven’t been released, I’ve seen estimates that for a single day there were 60,000 people, with the total number over the four days expected to be 150,000 to 200,000.
One of the popular activities at Comic-Con is dressing in costume. These last few pictures show a small sample of the variety of costumes: Star Wars, Steampunk, Superheroes with Western Sheriff, and I don’t even know what this last group is about. They certainly weren’t the raciest set of costumes at the show, but how many of you noticed that the woman on the left is holding a comic-book? Presumably they’re portraying characters from the book and are meant to entice readers.
All the major studios and production houses are here along with the stars from well known movies and TV shows. This happens to be the Heroes booth, based on the TV show. The fellow in the picture is Masi Oka who plays Hiro on the show. As with all the popular booths, there’s a big crowd gathered to see him, and I was barely able to get the shot.
Also making an appearance is the Society for Creative Anachronisms. They’re known for full contact dueling: weapons, armor, shields, and whacking on each other. They performed pretty regularly, and it gave me a chance to use the sports mode on my camera. When else would I be at a sporting event?
In addition to the booths, there are a lot of panels and presentations. The comic publishers, movie production houses, TV studios, and other groups all have their own time for making “big announcements”. My personal favorite was from the Jim Henson Company. Lisa and Brian Henson (two of Jim Henson’s children and pictured in the middle) are now the Co-Chief Executive Officers of the company. We had a presentation about the current status of all the established Henson properties (The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Dark Crystal, etc) and some announcements of what’s in store in the future.
Julianne Busecher is a puppeteer on one of their new projects, The Skrumps. The unique part of this show is the use of some very cool animation technology. With it, a puppeteer is able to create a live action performance from an animated character. Julianne demonstrated the technique with this great character.
And then came the confluence of three different worlds for me. One of their new projects is called Puppet Up!. It’s an improv show using puppets where you can watch the puppeteers doing their craft. A video camera captures the standard puppet show view and displays it on the big monitors. But, watching the live puppeteers provides another level of entertainment. It was amazing to watch.
And then they added a sci-fi component! They brought in Ben Browder as an audience volunteer for an improv piece. Browder is a well known actor from two different sci-fi shows (Farscape and Stargate). So, in one show I had puppets, improv, and sci-fi. For me, it was a geek trifecta.
The Lucas Arts booth (the Star Wars folks) had quite the interesting art project on display. They sent Darth Vader helmets to a variety of artists and asked them to paint, alter, and finsh them however they saw fit. They were pretty wild.
Comic-Con is about comics, and most of my time was really spent with the artists and creators in the field. Here, the artist Moritat is signing the hardcover collection of the Elephantmen series that I bought. I enjoy talking to the creators of a book, and getting signatures and sketches from them makes it more personal.
That evening, I attended two events. The first was the Klingon Lifestyles Presentation which is a continuing, episodic play performed every year at the Comic-Con. It’s the continuing story of the crew of the IKV Stranglehold, a Klingon warship. It was a hoot, and the appreciative crowd is loud and enthusiastic.
At the end of the night was the Eisner Awards Ceremony. The Eisners are the biggest awards in the comics industry, and the event is treated like the Oscars. There’s a master of ceremonies and then a series of presenters who announce the awards from a field of nominees. The presenters are some of the most well-known names in the comics industry, as well as some crossover media celebrities. I had a great time, although the ceremony is only sparsely attended by people who aren’t nominees or their relatives. And it’s long. I got home after midnight.
And finally, here’s the days acquisitions. There’s a broad representation of comics, toys, clothing, art, trading cards, brochures, bookmarks, and assorted tchatzkahs.
And that concludes a long entry about Day 2 (Friday) at the San Diego Comic-Con 2007.