Jason's Journal

Highlights from the 2007 Comic-Con International in San Diego


Date:Wednesday, July 25, 2007 -- 3:06pm--LOCAL TIME

My day began early, which is more-or-less how my travel days always begin. The simple fact of the matter tends to be that I am usually so nervous about whether or not I packed everything that I need, that good, SOLID sleep is fleeting at best.

My luck ran true to form, however, when AMERICAN AIRLINES called me to inform me that my nifty 11:20am flight was running "a little late" and wouldn't leave until 4pm... Right... Luckily, the nice woman on the phone was able to get me a non-direct flight to SD, landing for a spell in Fort Worth, TX. OK.

So the car comes and picks me up, we get 10 blocks away when I realize that I forgot to shut off my alarm. This would have been fine for most people, but because I use my stereo playing at level 22 to wake me up, I doubt anyone would have been terribly forgiving if I just let this go. So back we went and I shut off the alarm. Of course, the drive headed back to the apartment consisted of us getting stuck behind a garbage truck and some van or another deciding to back out in front of us or turn around, EVERY THREE BLOCK!!! If I didn't believe in bad luck, I would think that God really just has it in for me.

We get to the airport where everyone is telling me to run to the gate. Right... in a time of heightened security, people are just gonna let me run like a madman... As it turns out, they did, but I was WELL AWARE of everyone staring at me :-)

Now, I remember a time when the airlines SUGGESTED that you get to the airport an hour before your flight (domestic flights). Now, believe it or not, you HAVE to be there that early! I got to the airport 45 minutes before my flight. The nice woman told me that the gate had control of the flight now and they probably couldn't get me in. Luckily she did get me through, BUT she did mention that my suitcase *might* not make it with me and that I might have to return to the airport in SD to pick it up... Is there a trend forming?

I made the flight with barely a moment to spare and the plane took off with little trouble. I watched Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage on the way to the Lone Star state. Let me just say, I wish I hadn't bothered. Skip this film BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You heard it here, don't say I didn't warn you. It's 3 hours of my life that I can never get back (and no, the film isn't 3 hours, but the extra time just consisted of my brain trying DESPERATELY to eradicate any memory of my having seen such dreck -- though, the effects were pretty good... it's films like this one that almost make you WISH they would replace the actors with CG and the writers with the SCREENPLAY-O-MATIC 5000)

So now I sit here, in Fort Worth, TX, waiting for my connection.

Remember the Alamo!

I pray that I have broken my unlucky streak for today and that the rest will go smoothly. ONWARDS TO SAN DIEGO!

Posted by JMR


Date:Wednesday, July 25, 2007 -- 10:43pm--LOCAL TIME


Well, I just got back from PREVIEW NIGHT/CHECK IN at Comic-Con... According to MERIAM WEBSTER, a preview is "an advance statement, sample or survey." If we are to assume that the appropriate usage for this was "an advance SAMPLE of what is to come, then I can't imagine what the actual convention will be like. Nothing can prepare you for what you see...

When I walked through the doors of the Exhibit Hall, I was greeted by two old friends in a manner I was unused to seeing them in.

I am C-3PO, human/cyborg relations... And this is my counterpart, R2-D2 

That's right, C-3PO and R2-D2, life-size and out of LEGOs. Behind them?


The Dark Knight himself, also dressed in LEGOs. Chewbacca was around too. I'm always amazed by the craftsmanship of these things, but before I could even think about what it took to get these characters together, I was struck by the ENORMITY of what was going on around me.

The words "Oh my God" don't even begin to describe the sensation that washed over me as my eyes took in the rest of the exhibit hall. Imagine every comic book lovers' dreams splashed out in a space the size of a footbal STADIUM; images flashing on screens or static on canvas, characters molded in resin or leaping out at you, the stuff of fantasy in a display or within your grasp. There were posters, pictures, videos, statues, comics, games, cards, you name it and it was there.

But the best part is, it wasn't just comic books. And this is where Comic-Con is GREATLY misunderstood by those who don't know what it is. When I told many a folk that I was coming, they rolled their eyes and said somethng akin to, "oh, a comic book convention." I could see in their eyes pictures of people stuffed into a small room, hunched over comic boxes, all wearing outlandish outfits and talking about whether Superman could beat the Hulk in a fair fight... I lay odds on Superman, but that's just me.

The thing of it is, though, it's not just comics. The big guns are there. 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, Lionsgate, Universal Pictures are all there along with their TV counterparts and more like G4, SciFi Channel, Spike, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.


SPIKE Universal/Heroes

20th Century Fox

And they're all there, pushing their talent, trying to get the word out to all and sundry that they've got stuff coming and that it's going to knock your socks off. Of course, that will be up to the audience to decide, and judging by the turnout, there's quite an audience there. Talk around the convention has the turnout this year estimated at around 140-150,000 people. I think that's a lot. And they're not just people with money to burn (more on that later), but just like this right here, there are bloggers and reporters and camera crews galore, all talking about this "happening". The walkways are packed almost as tightly as a NYC sidewalk. The allusion helped ever so slightly by the signs overhead like street signs with numbers to identify what aisle you're in.

Already on preview night some notable names in the industry were setting up. And while their names may not resonate with the mainstream audience, here at Comic-Con they would be treated like royalty. Comic book superstars like Karl Kessel (SUPERBOY) and Leinil Francis Yu (SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT, NEW AVENGERS) could show their work and talk to the fans. Genre actors Garrett Wang and John De Lancie, known for their work in the various STAR TREK spinoffs were also greeting the fans.

Artist's Alley Two Trekkers

Who else was there, you ask? How about some of the Muppets?

This is what we call The Muppet Show!

These weren't the actual Muppets, but lifesize, poseable replicas produced by MASTER REPLICAS.

Jabba the Hutt and Optimus Prime were hanging out too

He hasn't aged a bit! He IS more than meets the eye! 

And of course, there were some stormtroopers on hand...

Futuristic Tupperware Party 

But it's not ALL about the celebs. Retailers are all over the place getting ready to sell whatever they can, and there are CONVENTION EXCLUSIVES abounding. The Hasbro shop had lines weaving all over the place, and don't even get me started about the STAR WARS SHOP, the line as long as any line for a movie premiere you've ever seen.

And while kids would have a ball with all there is to see


...not that kind of ball, no kid in the world could afford all there was to buy. As I first walked in there were people walking out with bags and BOXES of stuff that they had bought in the convention center. And I don't mean a single box. I mean CASES of stuff. ON PREVIEW NIGHT! Would they have anything left for the rest of the convention?

And the toys weren't just small-scale.. Check out THESE bad boys:

Atomic batteries to power Turbines to speed Roger...ready to move out

Go Speed Racer.. ...Go Speed Racer GOOOOOO!

HOT WHEELS had the car on hand in because they have been licensed to release the first scaled replicas of this classic car to appear to the public for MANY years. They have already released a 1/64th scale version, though a more detailed convention exclusive edition had lines going WELL around the display, and later this year the will release a 1/18th scale edition with lots of detail.

As for the MACH 5, it's around to help promote the live-action SPEED RACER film coming in 2008 from Warner Bros.

There was so much more to see, but we've got days to soak it all in. Besides, it's getting a bit late (I have now been up, officially, for 19 hours. I should head to bed if I want to have any strength left for tomorrow))

But before I go, I do have one last thing to share. Could Spider-Man get any more pathetic-looking than this?

Spidey Fall Down Go Boom

Posted by JMR