Jason's Journal

Highlights from the 2007 Comic-Con International in San Diego


Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007 -- 11:32pm--LOCAL TIME

I decided, after Comic-Con was finished, that it might be a good idea to walk the neighborhood. It's pretty beautiful out here. There are houses along the hills and the weather has been perpetually comfortable since I got here. AMAZING.

A slow sunset Houses on Hills 
More on the hills Even more 
Looking Down the way Getting Dark 

I also found a WIENERSHNITZEL out here, billed as the biggest hot dog chain in the country. I was perplexed since I had never heard of them, so I went over to try one of their chili dogs. How much did I pay? $1.07. And it was the tastiest chili dog I had had in quite some time. Now I wish I could find one in NYC.


I'm staying in POINT LOMA, which is near the water. VERY near the water. And while there aren't any beaches all that close, there are a number of docks and even more boats in the area. So I started walking towards the water to see what I could find.

A 3-Hour tour? Kinda Tribal 

Eventually I found my way to a place called SHELTER ISLAND. It's a great spot where people go to fish and park their campers. There was a beautiful view of the city from there as well as the moon. Everything was peaceful and the smell of the water flowed nicely to my nose triggering images of sailing ships (which wasn't too hard seeing as how I was surrounded by boats.)

Moonglow San Diego 
More San Diego 

I'm thinking of going back there tomorrow morning to see what it looks like during the day.

And here's me playing with the low shutter speed on my camera.

Whoa! Streaky! 
Swirly Dancing 

Posted by JMR

Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007 -- 1:05pm--LOCAL TIME

The last day of Comic-Con is, believe it or not, like the other days, except for the impending feeling of finality. As with most events, as you go through it you know that you have plenty of time before it's over, until the last day when the end seems all too near. What will I miss from Comic-Con? The idealism. Whether you buy into what everyone is selling or not, what you can't get around is the intense feeling of community that you find. Whether people are dressed in the wackiest costumes and garish make-up to the more socially introverted, all are made to feel welcome and are accepted with open arms. Some would identify it as a cult. I choose to be more kind. It's a fraternity. Or like THE BREAKFAST CLUB, if you will, without the detention. A bunch of people from different walks of life brought together by a unifying force. However you want to describe it, it is an amazing thing to see on a scale this size.

Bye-bye Comic-Con I will miss you 

What will I miss the least? A few things. Namely the sore feet (you stand for SOOOO long whether it's on line or just walking through the massive exhibit hall), the smells (you can't imagine how many people in this place have INSANELY bad breath, or the fact that between the heavy costumes, standing in the sun and the concentration of 98.6s there is an amazing amount of sweat going on), or the crowding (as I mentioned previously more crowded than a NYC subway station or sidewalk). There is an occasional sense of claustrophobia which can lead to irritation.

But Comic-Con is definitely something worth attending for, at the very least, the spectacle of it. For anyone interested in anything in pop culture, this is the place to be.

So how did I spend my last day? I started off by going to the DC Big Guns panel. This is the people who deal with SUPERMAN, BATMAN and WONDER WOMAN in the comics. If anyone knows what's going on with them, it's Mark Verheiden (Superman/Batman), Paul Dini (Detective Comics), Geoff Johns (Action Comics, Green Lantern), Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman), Jesus Merino (Superman), Dustin Nguyen (Superman/Batman), Carlos Pacheco (Superman), Ivan Reis (Green Lantern), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman), Mike Marts & Matt Idelson (Senior Editors) and Eddie Berganza & Bob Schreck (Group Editors) with special guest Dan DiDio (Executive Editor, DC Comics).

THESE are the big guns? Really? 
Are you sure? 

As to be expected, the writers offered that there will be lots of big events and changes for their characters in the next year and that next year's much-anticipated FINAL CRISIS may very well be the last big crossover for the company for awhile.

Then I went over to check out the FLASH GORDON panel with a brief stopover into JERICHO-land.

For those who may not know, JERICHO was cancelled by the network only to be resurrected by the fans. It's becoming an increasingly common tale in TV Land nowadays, but no less fantastic. The panel started with a look back at where the show has been in the form of a brief montage. A lot of the panels that I attended did something like this, and of all of them, the audience reaction to this one was the most subdued. Whether this was because of the audience's reverence for the show or not, I don't know. The only REAL reaction came from the line "Nuts!" from the season finale, which became the battlecry of the fandom and their campaign to bring the show back, resulting in the network receiving TONS of nuts from fans.

The JERICHO folks... 

There was a tremendous sense of pride running through the audience members, though, and rightfully so. They did what used to be impossible. And the cast and crew of the show (Lennie James, Karin Zreik, Dan Shotz, Carol Barbee, Skeet Ulrich, Ashley Scott and Jon Steinberg) were appropriately grateful to the audience and made sure to let that be known. This was, in fact, the only panel that I had attended in which the panel applauded the audience.

They did show a 2-3 minute piece of behind the scenes footage from the upcoming DVD release in October as well as a special presentation of stuff that was shot last week for the new season. From what I could tell, having never seen the show, the fans will be pleased.

Which brings us to the FLASH GORDON panel with Mark Stern (Executive VP, original programming for the SciFi Channel), Peter Hume (executive producer), Gina Holden (Dale Arden) and Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon).

FLASH GORDON Panel Dale, Flash and Mark Stern 
Flash on the big screen 

They showed a preview of the upcoming program which airs on August 10th and spoke at great length about the show, of which they are very proud. While Hume seems to be well read and researched on the subject of FLASH GORDON and his history, it seems that the show will try to balance a new take on the character with the almost 75 years of history that the character has accrued. The show will take place both on Earth and on Mongo (homeworld of the evil Emperor Ming). There will NOT be any rocketships in the show, with the characters transported back and forth via wormholes (evidently this was due to budget considerations). The crew has said, however, that there is a definite look to the show which attempts to capture the nostalgic feel of the comic strip and the early serials.

Hume did reveal that Sam Jones (FLASH from the camp film of over 20 years ago) will make an appearance in an upcoming episode. They are also looking to possibly incorporate Brian Blessed into an episode as well.

As for the cast themselves, both Holden and Johnson are genre fans and show a sincere eagerness for the project. Johnson himself (much to the chagrin of most of the executives) does try to do as much of his own stunts as possible, even putting himself in danger from time to time.

As for the Queen theme from the film, the crew haven't found a way to incorporate it into the program, though they would very much like to use it at some point. Hume believes that to just throw it in arbitrarily would be distracting and wrong. Though Johnson and Holden did recount a time, early in shooting an action sequence, in which Hume blared the '91 remix of the original QUEEN theme while they were shooting to pump everyone up.

But the most exciting aspect for both Johnson and Holden didn't have anything to do with the show. Both actors were giddy as can be that they had been able to pick up MASTER REPLICAS FORCE FX lightsabers down at the convention, and while they didn't have them with them at the time, we were assured that it was next to impossible to keep them apart.

Posted by JMR