Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Comic-Con: Other Visits and Sights, part 2

People take dozens of pictures during Comic-Con, but trying to organize them is the toughest task of all. These pictures are sort of the best of the rest, with some comments.

Battle for Souls

First off, when I heard the Westboro Baptist Church was going to picket Comic-Con because they thank worshipping super-heroes just isn't Christian. They probably also hate fans of Superman or Doctor Who, since aliens probably don't know anything about the Bible.
However, these Christians are not with the WBC, which I was told by e-mail. They just want attendees to pick up a Bible once in a while rather than a graphic novel. At this corner, though, they had to compete with girls promoting Jackass 3-D.

Take this, English-Only Jerks

Klingon Commuter

Remember the episode in South Park when the missionary teaching African orphans said English was God's language? The WBC protesters may think that way seeing these Klingon trolley signs. After all, what kind of blasphemous language is this?
It's a good language, and I'm sure Klingons had some choice words for the WBC guys as well.

Yeah, the master hired me back

I may never attend another Rifftrax panel at Comic-Con because it gets rooms that are way too small. That's only because Ballroom 20 can't be used. Still, Rifftrax is a big deal in entertainment, and it should get a bigger room. I'm not saying that because I lost out on seeing the panel. These guys, of all people probably didn't get in until most of the panel was done.

Geoff Disses Ed McMahon

I was surprised that Craig Ferguson's evil robot sidekick, Geoff, was at Comic-Con. I thought I'd ask him how he compared himself with Ed McMahon. It said "Ed McWho?"
Figures, since Ed never worked on CBS. Looking back ,this was a natural.

Comic-Con: All the World's a Billboard

I remember a couple of years ago when the most usual way to promote a show at Comic-Con is to get an airplane that flies a banner than just says "I (heart) Dexter".

This year, there are other ways. This one is big, but not too new if you've been to Hollywood

Wait, is this really Los Angeles?

Pretty big for a movie about an alien invasion, huh? Not to be outdone, the guys promoting Scott Pilgrim vs. the Expendables, I mean World, used the Hilton Bayfront to plug its movie.

King of Comic-Con 2010

Doesn't get bigger than that. As long as I catch the matinees, I'll see both him and Sly and the Knights of Kick-Ass next month.
Other movies, TV shows and networks have found better ways to plug themselves. The latest classic example is the Cafe Diem from Eureka at the Hard Rock Hotel...

The Cafe Deim, open five days a year

It now has competition with Ciro's Pizzeria, which is "borrowed" by the Cartoon Network.

Soon, the Adult Swim Bar

Take this, Cafe Deim

It won't be long before the Adult Swim bar is next.

Fox also got into the act by turning a downtown fish restaurant into "Bob's Burgers" which is a new animated show in the spirit of Family Guy. They gave out hundreds of burgers and even had burger eating contests. Not a bad deal.

Not animation

Machete gave out tacos, and passes to a special panel that included some bloody action. If not for the fact I had the Serenity screening, I would have checked it out. It's produced new trailers, but I still liked the first one.

Roach Coach

Machete Tacos

As I mentioned, Let Me In had a party at Basic at 10th and J. They had pictures from the movie...

Scenes from Let Me In

and it was a full crowd. Pizza, 80s music and beer will do that.

Crowd at Basic

and look at this. Matt Reeves with a guy who should have smiled...shouldn't I?

Can this man live up to a Swedish horror flick?

Finally, the simplest kind of "ambush" marketing.

Hey, Rifftrax

This guy is trying to get the Rifftrax fans with Cinematic Titanic, which features the MST3K crew from the beginning, and the middle, too.

At Comic-Con, all the world's a billboard...some more effective than others.

Comic-Con: Riding the Black Beauty

A couple of days after Comic-Con, there seems to be doubt that Seth Rogen can be a credible costumed hero as The Green Hornet.
As far as publicizing the movie, though, you have to admit they gave it a good hard try. First, get some gals that rival the Iron-ettes...

The Hornettes

Then you get something called Britt Reid's Garage at 10th and J, near Petco Park...

Britt Reid's Garage

Then add some cool muscle cars that kind of look like the Black Beauty....

More Black Beauty

Imagine that car on the road...a little smaller...and a hybrid...made by Road Rage Motors. That will save the car industry.

Several fans were lucky enough to take a ride around the block in this car. I was lucky to get a ride during preview night. First, we just walked there...

Where to, sir?

We left the driving to her...

Leave the driving to her

and looked inside to see all the electronic hardware. Remember, this pre-dates such supercars as Knight Rider.

More of inisde Black Beauty

Thing is, you'd get something like this in an Acura or Lexus...without the remote-controlled machine guns.

I do want to add this picture from inside the garage..

OK, so we need something stronger

I'm guessing this was the stunt car, or the Black Beauty without bullet-proof anything.

It'll be a few months before The Green Hornet arrives in 3-D. Maybe it will surprise us. Let's hope so.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Comic-Con: Other Visits And Sights, part one

While most of my reports about Comic-Con are now exclusive to Whedonopolis, there are some stories I can tell here. They include the events that are considered off-site, but have some connection to Joss.

The first one was the San Diego debut of Hammer Improv, also known as the Knights of Good Improv (as far as I am concerned). The group includes Guild members Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh and Jeff Lewis. You can see some of their stuff at this US Stream channel. Instead of doing their thing at a small Los Angeles theater, they performed at a nearly 300-seat theater at the Lyceum, near Horton Plaza.
The jokes centered on Comic-Con, of course, then went further than that. Since they said flash photography was not allowed, this is the only good picture I got...

Hammer Improv's finest hour

The sketch takes place in a bus. That's the only part I remember, along with some surprising jokes from Felicia, and robots attacking each other because one of them hated Inception. I think.

I also had to give up a ticket to Patton Oswalt at the House of Blues because I actually got inside a Hollywood party. I was at the shindig for Let Me In, the remake of Let the Right One In. I may never get another chance like this, so I went there instead.
It was good pizza with interesting toppings, wonderful '80s music, and beer.
Oh, and I got this picture...

Cast of Let Me In plus fan

Richard Jenkins with Kodi Smit-McPhee (who was last seen as The Son in The Road). I did not see Chloe Moretz because it was getting late. Still, I got to talk to Matt Reeves briefly about the movie. I sure hope it can live up to the original.
Here are some other sights from Comic-Con. First, I did get to see Patton Oswalt after all...

Patten Oswalt

I finally got in a Dark Horse signing because they decided to let anyone in. As usual, I lost in the ticketed signing drawings.

There was also a screening of Serenity at the Gaslamp 14. It was nearly a full house of Browncoats...

Crowd at Can't Stop the Serenity

There was also a sighting by a fan known as "The One True Bix", who helped organize Can't Stop the Serenity charity screenings for Equality Now.

The One False Jane

This event raised more than 3000 dollars, which is pretty good.
I'll have more general pictures about Comic-Con soon, includnig my ride in the Black Beauty

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

At Least My Comic-Con Evenings Are Set

Lately, some enterprising people have discovered that Comic-Con fans may not want to see the latest blockbuster hit that's in town for a sneak preview, or attend a panel of terrible animation. They search for exotic things, or stuff that's cooler than what some call "Cannes for Nerds"

I think this all started when Rifftrax had a live show at the Balboa, tossing venom on Plan 9 From Outer Space. Since then, more people have decided to become the alternative to Comic-Con at night. In my case, the places where I'm going occur after some panel does take place. I still hope to see The Expendables, only if the screening does happen on a Saturday, or the movie ends around 10 PM. Otherwise. I'll be occupied.

Still, my post 7 PM plans are pretty much set for most of the week. I snagged tix for Hammer Improv, also known as the Knights of Good Improv since Felicia, Sandeep and Jeff are in the group. I wouldn't be surprised if the rest of the guys dropped by, or even Wil Wheaton. He has to warm up for his w00tstock show.

I'd go to that, but I'm instead going to the Gaslamp 14 on Thursday for the Serenity screening. It's been five years since I was told this movie would screen at Comic-Con...the day after it happened. It was the reason I got a cell phone. This time, I'll go to the 5th anniversary. Who knows if this event will bigger than before? The alumni sure are.

Then there's the Patten Oswalt late show at the House of Blues. I'll bring my Serenity Float Out issue, in the hopes he'll sign it. If that's not possible, that's no problem. At least I will get to see him up close for the first time since the Ratatouille panel at Wondercon.

Saturday's up in the air, aside from Kevin Smith at hall H after the Marvel fans are in shock. In any case, it looks like it may be much better than last year's Laptop Suicide event. I'll use my briefcase to carry everything at all times. It's just good half my stuff will be at a safe place through Monday.

So, here's to what could be the end of the San Diego era, unless Comic-Con decision to add two hotels to the lineup will be enough to keep it away from Anaheim three years from now. We'll actually find out before it begins.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How To Prepare for The Guild Season 4...

Before we get to that, here's why it's been a long time since I updated this blog.

I'll be writing more exclusive content for Whedonopolis. Since Comic-Con is coming in two weeks, I will have a ton of stuff to attend, and my reports will mostly go there. Some other Joss-connected stories will still wind up here, such as comic books, podcasts and such.
My other site, The Notorious IG, is still going strong, especially with stories about how we're watching the World Cup. Other Comic-Con stuff that isn't Joss-related will also be here, too.

So, as some of us wonder if next week's World Cup final will feature a regular finalist, or a newcomer (hola, Spain), others realize it's just one week before the fourth season of The Guild begins. Just like last year, XBox will get first dibs, but it will be worth the wait. The cast will also be there, mostly to explain what happens right at the start. Just think back to the last ten seconds of season three.
YEAH! THAT! Wil Wheaton will be back, and it's certain he'll be a bad influence on Codex...which means she'll have more confidence, and that'll shock her friends. Hopefully, what happens next will stun Fawkes, too. It's only fair.
Of course, that's only my guess. What really happens should be more interesting.

Until then, if you haven't already, get the Dark Horse three-issue series of The Guild, It shows Codex before she joins the world on online gaming because reality is too tough to handle. Her boyfriend, Trevor, is a former cellist who wants to make it big in indie music, and let's just say he uses her a lot. Her sadness leads her to the famous Game where the Knights of Good will be formed. It shows all the characters as they are in real life, and their avatars. Of course, they don't meet each other. That happens in the season one DVD. The comics are basically the origin story.

Felicia Day has built a very good story about Codex, and the drawings reflect it. In reality, the images are stark and cold. In the guild-verse, the images are lush and exciting. Who wouldn't want to hang around in this world?
Also, notice Codex's therapy sessions. They reflect her feelings of frustration (part one), hope (part 2) and despair (part 3). There's also a very interesting back story that comes in a key moment in her relationship with Trevor. Speaking of which, you'll notice how he'll play any part to get ahead in his music.

So far I have all three seasons of the show on DVD, two Guild shirts, the comics, and my voice actually being used in a Knights of the Guild podcast. So, am I a hardcore fan?

Well, I have this, too....from 2008...

Beast and the Beauty

and an autographed photo from last year. That's enough....until the next DVD.

Aside from that, I also looked over the Serenity comic, "Float Out", written by Patten Oswalt. It's a really good story about three friends of Wash exchanging their favorite stories about him as they christen a new ship. This takes place, by the way, after what happened in the Serenity movie. The best part is the end, when we get one more guest who has the ultimate tribute to Wash.
I'm taking it to Comic-Con because Oswalt will be at the House of Blues during Comic-Con weekend. If I'm lucky, I hope to get it signed.