Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Comic-Con: Doctor Horrible Live, Looks Broadway-Ready

Dr. Horrible Live

As Comic-Con slowly faded away Sunday night, and people were seeing a Joker or Sailor Moon walking down the street,
some attendees decided to visit the 10th Street Theater to see Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog in a new way: a stage musical
Chinese Pirate Productions put this show together, and had attracted big crowds for more than a week.
Even Zack Whedon, who co-wrote the show, decided to check it out. His brief review on Twitter: "If you are a dr horrible fan the live production is AMAZING. 10th Ave Theater. It runs through the 30th. Go!"

The producers did a wise thing and re-tooled the story to make it a Broadway production. All of the familiar scenes are there, but there are also dancing homeless people, and Captain Hammer groupies. Even his henchman Moist is more
involved, as Dr. H spies on Penny's date with the Captain. They even have "special effects" that show how Dr. H is able to take control of the van with the Wonderflonium. It's used several other times, especially when hey re-create the laundromat where Dr. H and Penny Talk.
In "My Eyes" we see Penny and Dr. H sing on opposite sides of the stage, while the homeless are dancing and Captain Hammer tries to get out of the way. We even have a PSA from the
Captain about how we should be vigilant, especially towards science geeks. The climax where Dr. Horrible finally becomes the super-villain he's wanted to be, including membership to the Evil League of Evil, is chilling, especially when
he dons his new uniform.

Nathan Turner is great as Dr. Horrible. He's evil but he is sincere about wanting to save the world by ruling it. I also liked Michael Minto as Captain Hammer. He comes across as a Big Man on Campus, but you start to root against him when he
confronts Dr. H about his relationship with Penny.
Jane Lui is also wonderful as the love of Dr. Horrible's life. Her voice did remind me of Felicia Day's portrayal, but she made the role her own with her own style of portraying a girl who still had hope for people.

The production will run one more weekend, and there's more information at www.IWantToSingAlong.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

Comic-Con: the TARDIS Has Landed

Hall H at Comic-Con has been th home for the biggest events from the Avengers to Twilight, Cowboys and Aliens to Amazing Spider-Man.
It was the obvious choice for the Doctor Who panel with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. It's safe to say that was packed very quickly.
Others, however, found another way to see Matt and Karen: all they had to do is pay around 40 bucks, and see some nerd rant about things before the main event.
Since this nerd is Chris Hardwick, and it's his Nerdist podcast, that's OK. He filled 4th and B with hundreds of Whovians very quickly, and even had a second show.

I was in the middle of the audience, and managed to get some good pictures of Matt and Karen...

Another Nice Picture of the Doc and Amy

and even something that never happened to Tom Baker, or Katy Manning...

This never happened to Tom Baker or Katy Manning

See, they give out burritos after every Nerdist show, and what you see above will never happen again.

Matt and Karen talked about how they got on the show and settled into their new roles. Karen said she was stunned about how big we Yanks are for the Doctor. Well, it all started with PBS, then DVDs in the years when we had no new Who episodes. That's how...and those Dr. Who cons we used to have in the 1980's. Both were a big hit with the fans. If only I got my burrito cover signed by them.

Before that, it was still really good, especially Chris talking at length with Wil Wheaton. We found out about Wil's experiences at Comic-Con back in the days when it was just about comics, and maybe a movie or two. He had a great story over how he was reluctant to speak to Adam West until a Playboy playmate helped break the ice. We also found out both Wil and Chris are MST3K fans. They truly have taste.

After this, I may consider going to a Dr. Who con in L-A next February. It's not as expensive or crowded, for one thing, and it should be a hit.
Now I found out who was at the second show: Doug Benson, Judah Freidlander (world champion of the world, that is), and the Rifftrax/MT3K crew. Either way, I would have been just happy, but I prefer being with Doctor Who. That doesn't happen too often, and I might bump into Mike a lot sooner.

So, getting back to Doctor Who, they just posted the preview for the rest of the season. First off, it's about four weeks away, and they'll be rerunning the first half like crazy. Second, it's has some trippy visuals, like Hitler, a forest, ans River Song wearing an evil monocle. She better be kidding, or Amy will tell River she's a bad daughter (just remember the last two minutes of the last episode). That being said, that is nothing compared to being threatened by a puppet version of the executive producer, Stephen Moffitt...

Dr. Who vs. the Puppet Moffitt

There was also a question about whether we will some of the companions from days gone by. Dr. Martha Jones and Donna would be possibilities, but how about Tegan or Nyssa, or Ace? I have a wild idea: we find out Victoria Waterfield wound up marrying a descendant of Jaime McCrimmon. Hey, why not? If they could find Ian Chesterton, and the temptation is too great, that would be the ultimate...and Donna's grandfather would be the one who would arrange it.

If you couldn't be there. here's a link to the article from the Nerdist website. You can download the podcast directly or by iTunes.

Comic-Con, the Day After

Five days of activity, and I wind up with a burrito cove shaped like a TARDIS, two Sonic Screwdrivers (one as eBay bait), some comic books, a picture of me with laser eyes, and some angry ideas on how this place should start being press-friendly!!

One suggestion: every press person should request a spot on which panel one want to see. Then, Comic-Con sets aside spots for the major sites (People, AP, AOL Onine, and the like) and have a drawing for the other smaller sites. It's better than reporters standing in line for three hours only to be turned away. I am very happy the guys took pity, and let me sneak into the Joss Whedon annual address, and later the Guild. A press lottery would be fair, and better than this:

It's not a con, it's Disneyland from Hell

Also, Comic-Con should have a YouTube channel for ALL of the major panels. They tape this stuff for TV, and they should share it with those who did or did not go to the con. It would be a better alternative to amateur videos.

There were some small victories: discovering the Flaming C art movement, being with Alan Tudyk up close, and even talking to Bladezz from The Guild. I was thisclose to talking to Felicia Day, but she had another place to go. She was the hardest working Codex in show biz this weekend. If there is a next time, I'll take it. Also, I took a picture of Nathan Fillion and Molly Quinn as the idea Browncoat family...

Nathan and His Browncoat TV Daughter

Next year, there will be more movies, and attempts to create new franchises that will replace the outgoing sagas like Twilight and Harry Potter. There will also be new TV shows, whether cable, network or web. It'll be the same old Comic-Con, getting bigger all the time.
While I did gripe about the lines, I will come back....for Joss, Felicia, the Whedon alumni, and maybe a chance to meet a real big shot.
Granted, that might even happen elsewhere in the year, including Wondercon in San Francisco (which is still a manageable size), but when it happens at Comic-Con, everyone will notice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Comic-Con: Behold The Flaming C...Art Museum?

The Ultimate #1 Issue

You know, this was supposed to be a joke.
When Conan O'Bren asked someone with Warner Brothers animation if he could make his own super hero, it was just a joke.
Goggles? Purple spandex? Fishnet stocking, Oxfords? An oven mitt? Jai Alia xistera?
The Flaming C?

Yet, the Flaming C is a new symbol of strength and power, for truth, justice and the Late-Night way. Besides, he's got it all over that Crimson Chin.

Seeing the opening of the Flaming C retrospective at an art museum at 5th and J proves that. Look at these fine comic book specimens..

Sorry, not for sale

Faming C's Arch-Enemy

The Lego-cy of the Flaming C

Now that's art.

It pulled in a big crowd Thursday afternoon, and should bring in even more. Some say that maybe the Flaming C himself may appear, although others say he's already in San Diego cleverly disguised as a zombie who's too pale to be bitten. Stay tuned

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comic-Con: I'm Here, and That's All I Know

I've had a chance to look around and get registered, but it's still not certain which panels I will get to see. Some are confirmed, like a panel on the evolution of webseries with Felicia Day, the Knights of the Guild Live Podcast, seeing Castle and Merlin, and maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar from a quarter-mile away.

The big news is that people would stay in line for 48 hours or more to see some glimpse of the new Twilight movie. Wisely, everyone who ws on line agreed to keep their places in line while they got their passes.

The Ultimate Sleepover

A nice edition is a Skybridge from the Hilton Bayfront to Petco park. It's quite flashy. Too bad the bottom of the bridge is spoiled by the most bizarre looking Smurf I've ever seen.

Now that's Papa Smurf

Hammer Improv was a gas at 4th and B. Felicia was not there because she has a busy day. Still, the group was great, mocking Game of Thrones, Inception, the Jurassic era and the problems of having an imaginary friend. Greg Aronowitz, propmaster for The Guild, was also there to provide props to the group, which explains...

He's got a dinosaur egg and knows how to use it

Behold the big giant head

and why the show ended in a world filled with Jeff Lewises, or Vorks to you Guild fans.

What's next? Well, it will be a while until my next post, but once I have time to type, you'll like what you see. It will include a movie premiere, Buffy in a new form, and a bunch of Firefly cast members talking

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ten years ago, the Bronze closed, but the spirit lives on

Ten years ago, the WB Bronze, one of the first great fan message boards, closed. Through dumb luck, I found a website in the UK that has the final page of the WB Bronze before it closed on July 10th, 2001. If you want to get nostalgic over how we communicated with each other before Facebook, Twitter and even TV Without Pity, just click here, and read the final farewells, including mine.

My webpage at impalergeneral.com still has a memorial to the Bronze, and what it means to me. Can you imagine if Twitter and Facebook were around in the late 1990's? We would have blown those two sites up every hour on the hour when we find out Angel's a vampire, Buffy dies but only for a couple of minutes, Angel loses his soul because of true love, she kills him to stop the end of the world, Faith shows up, then turns evil, Dawn shows up, Buffy dies, etc. etc. Instead of that, we had a nice sturdy message board that allowed us to express ourselves and our love for the Buffyverse.
I also want to thank @spikmeister and spik.me.uk, because that's where the final Bronze page resides in a piece of internet heaven, plus other things that will make us nostalgic and feel old at the same time.
2012 will be a big Whedon year: 20th anniversary of the Buffy movie, 15th anniversary of the Buffy TV show and 10th anniversary of Firefly. Attention must be paid, and will.

Comic-Con, the Only Event Where I Pack Two Weeks Ahead of Time

It must be getting close to Comic-Con, because I'm already starting to pack, and looking over what I still need. Shaving cream, for one thing.

I already have a list of panels I'd like to see. Funny that Joss Whedon, who once packed Hall H with JJ Abrams, is now making a "small" appearance at the Hilton Indigo before The Knights of Good theoretically give us a peek at new episodes of their show. On the other hand, Joss won't be so "small" once he talks abut The Avengers, and when and if Cabin in the Woods will be released in October after all.
Buffy season 9 on Dark Horse will be mentioned, too, although I'm not interested because Angel is Twilight, and Buffy will never forgive him for that unless he dies for her. I may be interested if it's obvious it's the last hurrah for the Scooby Gang before the next generation of Slayers show up. Yep, it's been that long, and it's a given it will end in three years Buffy and Angel will die in each other's arms, and they dissolve into dust. That's the happiest ending they'll likely to get...darn it.
Then again, I expected Castle to take a bullet for Kate Bennett at the end of last season, and it turned out she was the one who was shot. That, and people never thinking The Voice would actually make American Idol nervous. So, who knows?

Looking over my schedule, it seems to lean a lot towards Buffy anyway, with SMG and the Ringer panel, another panel which will look at why LGBT fans prefer Buffy, and a lot of Buffy alumni and how they are involved in the wider geekverse, from Jane Espenson and Drew Greenberg to Marti Noxon.

However, there's also Doctor Who. Two years ago, someone from the BBC took a picture of me with a Fourth Doctor scarf. I asked why our favorite Time Lord doesn't come to San Diego more often..in our current time, not 100,000 year from now and 150 years ago. If you have the DVD from "The End of Time", I'm in the Comic-Con section, making that dumb remark. I mean, I never thought Matt Smith and Karen Gillan would actually have time to come to San Diego, because they have a season to shoot...but it's in 2013 mostly. Soooooo, we see Matt in a panelo or two, and hopefully Karen too, plus an appearance with Chris Hardwicke, and the Hall H event on the last day. I haven't been this close in more than 25 years, so I'm going for this.

I also notice that when the panel for Breaking Dawn finishes in Thursday July 21st, that does not mean the number of Comic-Con attendees will drop in half,. Taylor Lautner will be around for Abduction, which is basically the Bourne Jr. Identity plus Spymaster Ellen Ripley, and Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman/Thunder God. At least it proves these actors want to be more than just the Twilight gang. It's an example the Hogwarts Alumni also want to realize.

The final schedule, however, is not set in stone yet. Maybe I'll meet Matt and Karen...and even SMG...in the press room. Maybe I'll get into a trade party, aside from a couple I've already scheduled. We shall see. Just check this space and Whedonopolis for all the action.