Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comic-Con Day 4: Too tired to think of a clever title

Ah, cold reality, why must you interrupt the geeky dream of Comic-Con? We rose early to pack our things, have breakfast, and leave our bags (which were much heavier than they'd been when we first arrived, strangely enough) with the bell captain and head over to the Center for the Dr. Who panel. Star David Tennant, writer Russell T. Davies, director Euros Lyn, and producer Julie Gardner talked about the show and showed previews of upcoming episodes that look very... intense.

One last round of shopping on the dealer floor, where I got Scott a DVD of The Decline of Western Civilization, got Alex a Boba Fett poster and a Star Wars action figure, and got
 myself a few odds and ends (Mulholland Drive poster, Miskatonic University mug, sticker to decorate Boswell the Laptop,  a Pink Floyd "hammer" patch for my fangirl jacket). By now exhaustion was setting in, the floor was packed, and I was ready to head outside and just read or something until time for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer panel. 

Then my phone rang with a call from Erik, advising me to get myself over to the California Browncoats because Firefly/Serenity star Nathan Fillion was doing a surprise signing.

(Ah, I love Comic-Con. You never know what's going to happen next.)

Anyway, queued up with the rest of the fangirls and got a Serenity comic signed (proceeds go to charity) and got a picture taken with the ever-affable Mr. Fillion. Thanks, Nathan, you're one of the good ones.

Last but certainly not least was the showing of "Once More With Feeling" the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All in all the perfect way to end the Con.

Afterward we hustled over to the hotel to get our bags, and then we lugged it all across the way to Lou and Mickeys for our celebratory dinner. I had the garlic broiled shrimp - very good. And the fine staff there were very understanding about our luggage - they let us tuck it away in a discreet corner and after our dinner they even flagged down a cab for us to get to the train station.

And then all that was left was to wend our way home. I just wish those benches at the train station were more comfortable.

Comic-Con Day 3: Master writers, tenth doctors, and overeager fans

Kicked off Day 3 with a spot o' looking around the dealer floor, the highlight of which was finding a booth that sold replicas of Captain Kirk's chair from the original Star Trek. So of course we all had to take turns sitting in said chair.

Then we finally made it over to the Gaslamp Quarter for lunch. Ate a fine meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory and then back to the Convention Center to get into the hall in time for Ray Bradbury. (Unfortunately this entailed having to sit through a Green Lantern panel that wasn't very interesting and I was pestered by an overenthusiastic fan who kept showing me the sketches he'd scored at the Con, which I think may be the geek equivalent of inviting someone upstairs to "show them your etchings".)

But none of that mattered once Ray Bradbury showed up. Ray is 89 but has never missed a Comic-Con, and it was a joy to see him. He also brought along footage of his commentary on the night of the moon landing (said footage doubly nostalgic because it featured the late Walter Cronkite). It was also a joy to see the fans that turned out for Ray - preteens to seniors, fans of all stripes - and to see Ray still with us and as always such a gentleman.

After Ray's panel we went back downstairs to see if we'd won the raffle for entry into the Joss Whedon signing (we didn't, and a debate about whose "loser cooties" caused this negative outcome ensued). 

Then it was back upstairs to catch the showing of episode five of Torchwood's "Children of Earth" mini-series, followed by the Dr. Who episode "Planet of the Dead". While in line we made friends with a fan named Sarah, who was endearing in her hyper enthusiasm for Torchwood/Dr. Who and nearly fainted when Tenth Doctor David Tennant was spotted walking by.  As for the shows, I hadn't seen the earlier installments of the Torchwood series before, but now I must see all of this mini-series - it's very good. The Dr. Who episode was, despite its title, a fairly lighthearted affair, and the whole evening was very enjoyable. Plus we got to see Tennant and Torchwood star John Barrowman kiss (they're both a treat to look at and it was rather hot to see).

Exited the screenings and realized that tomorrow would be our last day (waaah!) and that instead of lounging in the hot tub we ought to pack (WAAAAH!).

Edit to add:  Overheard gem from a young woman on a cell phone. "You want to know why I love Comic-Con? MARK HAMILL HUGGED ME! I will never wash my body again!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Comic-Con Day 2: Torgo, I just met a fellow named Torgo (updated post)

Feeling a tinge under the weather today (nothing serious, long story) so after a brief bit o' shopping (scored two Harlan Ellison books (Alone Against Tomorrow and Approaching Oblivion) and a great poster of muppet Sam The Eagle saying "You are all weirdos") I returned to the hotel and went out to the pool. 

It's probably damaging my nerd cred to admit that I spent part of the day not in the throng of the con but at the pool, but I haven't had a chance to lounge by a pool in years. Twas very relaxing. I settled in with a ginger ale and shrimp cocktail and soaked up some rays. Also, part of the beauty of lounging poolside during Comic-Con is that there  is always someone flabbier and more ghastly pale than you are. Plus, where else can you lounge poolside and see three fellows walking by who are all dressed up as Boba Fett -- and not give it a thought?

Met up with my buddies and we all went over to the Convention Center for the live RiffTrax panel. (RiffTrax being a spinoff of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 show). The boys did a fine, live riff of a hilariously gruesome 1970s-era industrial safety short called "Shake Hands With Danger" and then took audience suggestions for a future movie to snark on. The winner appears to be Dragon Wars, which strangely enough I have not seen.

Fangirl alert! Saw Ted Raimi in the crowds as we were leaving the RiffTrax panel.

And as you can see, there was a fellow there dressed as Torgo from Manos: The Hands of 
Fate. He kindly agreed to grope at my hair.

Comic-Con Day 1: A Horrible evening (post updated)

Day 1 of Comic-Con got off to an extremely nerdy start. 

While we were having breakfast we spotted Stan Lee in the restaurant - he was eating Cheerios. Then it was off to the convention center where we did a lot of looking around, a bit o' shopping, and I attended a panel on crime fiction which was fun (panel featured Max Allan Collins, Alexander Irvine, Gregg Hurwitz, and Kat Richardson among others).

Tried to get into the Terry Gilliam Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus panel but never even got close. (Will I ever get into Hall H? It is a mystery.) So after a bit more lollygagging we dropped Gerry at the hotel and then Erik and I went to the Dr. Horrible sing-along, introduced by Felicia Day, put on by the California Browncoats.

The Browncoats presented both the Dr. Horrible show and Commentary! The Musical. They provided lyric sheets (and Rocky Horror-esque callbacks), cardboard Dr. Horrible glasses, and a poster I can hang up in my cube to puzzle my coworkers. After the show several of the creators - Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Zack Whedon - showed up to thank us ("It's a year later and you still like us!").

Not too much I'm interested in for Friday so probably will do a bit of shopping, take a swim in the pool, and catch the live Rifftrax and perhaps the Creepy comic panel.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comic-Con Day 0: Welcome to Nerdville, population me!

Caught the train from Anaheim to San Diego with buddies Erik and Gerry. Upon arriving we couldn't get a cab because of traffic around the convention center, so we took two of those bicycle cabs to the center. An unusual and quite fun experience, helped by the fact that the weather is delightfully cool in San Diego as opposed to disgustingly hot Pasadena.

Got checked into the Marriott Hotel and Marina - gorgeous place with a pool I can't wait to jump into, and right next door to the convention center. Then we registered and got our badges at the Con. After that a nice dinner in the hotel, unpacking in our room, and I think we're all going to crash early in anticipation of what the next day will bring. Looking forward to it!

On the way to Comic-Con

Heading out the door to meet up with my friends - this afternoon we'll be taking the train down to San Diego where we'll join the rest of Nerd Nation for Comic-Con. This will be my second year attending and I can't wait!

I'll be taking Boswell the Laptop with me and hopefully will be able to update from the hotel. If not, expect a full report when I get back in town.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Books into Celluloid: A Boy and His Dog

My book vs. movie comparison column this time takes on a short story vs. movie: Harlan Ellison's story A Boy and His Dog, adapted into a film by director L. Q. Jones.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Watch this now: trailers galore!

IFC.com has chosen the 50 greatest trailers of all time

I like the fact that they didn't shy away from genre or exploitation films, and that they recognized that a trailer can be fantastic even if the movie is... less-than-fantastic. (I love Stephen King but Maximum Overdrive is a pretty awful movie. Righteous trailer, though, as evidenced by its inclusion on this list.) 

Those trailers for The Shining and Alien are real head-benders, aren't they? The trailer for Corruption looks delightfully insane, I wish the movie was on DVD.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Review: Macbeth

My review of Roman Polanski's adaptation of Macbeth is up at Horrorview. 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Random notes

Interesting news on several fronts.

- Independence Day BBQ a smashing success. 13 guests, three of whom were small children, and including three dogs. Everyone got along, no meltdowns, and the food was good (grilled chicken with root beer BBQ sauce, spinach salad with candied pecans, corn on the cob, cornbread (made in those cute cast-iron corn stick pans), summer berry pie).

- One of my BBQ guests is writing a cookbook, and invited me to be one of his "test kitchen" chefs for the recipes. This is one of the coolest things I've ever been asked to do. Can't wait!

- Took a gift card and coupon to the Barnes and Noble in Burbank and came home with: The Quick Red Fox (John D. MacDonald), The Killer Inside Me (Jim Thompson), World War Z (Max Brooks), The Widows of Eastwick (John Updike), and Something Borrowed (Emily Giffin). 

- My sister (and Constant Reader) Meg reported in with a positive review of my mystery Undertow. Now I feel all warm 'n' fuzzy.

Hope the holiday weekend was good for everyone out there.