The San Diego Comic-Con is a strange thing. Leading up to it there’s anticipation, fear, excitement. Many of these emotions survive the first few days and you might even add a few: joy, rage, disappointment, wonderment. By the time you’re ready to leave, your body is aching and all you want to do is punch Jack Giroux in the face and sleep for 14 hours on the biggest, softest bed you can find.
This year was no different. Going into Comic-Con there were certain things I was looking forward to – some of them hit the spot, others fell flat, one or two didn’t even end up being there. While I would classify the trip as a success that isn’t to say that each day didn’t bring a fair share of rage with it. So, I’ll cut to the chase and reveal the 10 Things I Liked about SDCC 2010, and 5 Things that left me cold.
10 Things I Liked
10. Bruce Campbell. It’s impossible not to enjoy Bruce Campbell’s presence, unless you somehow managed to piss him off. While I’m not entirely sure that Burn Notice belongs at Comic Con, I can safely say it was an entertaining panel thanks to Campbell, and we actually got some good news out of it – a Burn Notice prequel starring Sam Axe!
9. Harrison Ford with Cowboys & Aliens. Because of my Twitter list being pretty well informed, I actually suspected Ford was coming, so that was a bit of a spoiler. But considering this was Han Solo’s first trip to the SDCC, I was honored to be there. On top of that, the Cowboys & Aliens footage looked mysterious and awesome.
8. The Parties. Hey, what can I say, I likes to get down. Aside from “accidentally” consuming hand sanitizer, I met John Hannah and instructed Colin Ferguson to “keep at” that acting thing. Playfully of course. I also saw a lot of hot ladies, like Lucy Lawless and Adrianne Curry. Good times.
7. Drive Angry. Nic Cage. Amber Heard. William Fichtner. 3D Explosions. Shotguns. Car Wrecks. Naked Todd Farmer. What more can a small child ask for? Looks like a crazy, balls out movie.
6. Pretzel Hot Dog. Not even kidding, this thing was amazing. Everyone who didn’t eat one felt bad. From “Hot Dogs @ 428,” it was pure delicious.
5. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. The panel was entertaining, I was promised plenty of blood, and star of Spartacus Andy Whitfield revealed to us he was all clear of cancer. Anytime someone slaughters cancer in the arena it’s worthy of note.
4. Skyline. I was totally surprised by this flick, having not heard anything about it. It feels good to find something unexpected. This movie looks very interesting and promises to have some gigantic, visible aliens.
3. The Avengers/Marvel. Marvel put together a great panel and while I didn’t get goosebumps 712 rows back from the stage, seeing the talent on hand for The Avengers was pretty awesome. Robert Downey Jr is always on my “Liked” lists.
2. Thor trailer. Yes, this gets a special mention because this is my damn column. A lot of people were hesitant about Thor and I was one of them, but having seen the trailer, I’m totally on board and can’t wait. Even the post-converted 3D looked good.
1. Friends, Coworkers. The best part for most of us press guys is actually meeting and hanging out with the people we talk to every day but never see. Aww.
5 Things I Didn’t
5. Unrelated Properties. I already did a boiling point over this, but movies like Salt have no business being at Comic-Con.
4. The Lines. While it’s too be expected, the lines this year were ridiculous. To get into Ballroom 20 I was required to go up and down a flight of stairs twice – and this was no normal flight of stairs, but like 400 concrete steps from Hell. That was just to get into the outside line to get to the inside line.
3. Press Pass. It doesn’t matter what your pass says, you don’t get special treatment. A lot of people like that, but if we’re going to San Diego to work, we can’t afford to stand in line. None of us want special front row seats – we’re there for information first, experience second. Put 75 chairs in the back with a screen and set the press there. But to stand in line for 4 hours to see the Thor trailer, that was 4 hours I wasn’t covering other properties that might have deserved coverage.
2. Lack of Costumes. This year, possibly because I spent most of time either standing in line or camping in a Hall, I didn’t see a lot of costumes. Two years ago we took something like 800 photos of hot chicks and fat dudes, but this year we barely took any. Come on, people! Put the fetish back in Comic-Con!
1. Preview Night. Preview Night used to be a time to take it easy, check out the floor, and to let professionals do a little shopping. This year, Preview Night was just Day 5 of Comic Con, full to capacity with lines brimming everywhere and cutthroat toy pirates threatening Cole Abaius for his spot against the line. Either make it a 5 Day affair or make Preview Night exclusive again, but what it is now, is bullshit.
What were your experiences at Comic Con this year?