Monday, July 8, 2013

Picked The Wrong Year To Skip Comic-Con

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.--Lloyd Bridges, Airplane!

I've been going to Comic-Con since 2004, when Sarah Michelle Gellar finally decided to go to plug her new movie, The Grudge. I discovered some new shows that we still remember, including Bones and Lost. It was big, but not and airy, and getting into any panel you want was a reality, not a pipe dream/deep delusion that it is today.

This year would have been my tenth straight Comic-Con, except I am still in between jobs. I send resumes to hundreds of prospective employees, and about nine out of ten of them automatically throw them away. So, I have to stay home.

This year looked like slim pickings to me compared to previous years, mainly because the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, which really packed the con in years past, are over. Not to worry, because other franchises have taken over, including Marvel, Hunger Games, and the Hobbit. TV has also taken over, with its wealth of genre shows from Arrow and Walking Dead to True Blood and Game of Thrones to take over for past classics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer (natch), Battlestar Galactica, X-Files, and Smallville.

For those who think comics aren't that important at Comic-Con anymore, think again. Some titles pull in the fans, including the perennials such as Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, but comics connected with TV shows (even Adventure Time and many Dark Horse titles) keep them as a major part of the con. Toys are also getting bigger, thanks to Mattel, when they roll out models exclusive to the con.

What I'll miss most of all if that I can't cover stories for Whedonopolis. I am at my happiest when I write a story that, for the most part, wind up as exclusives that no other internet news site has. Did any other website interview Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker just before Much Ado About Nothing premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival..and came back for the movie's first officials weekend? Did anyone else talk to the original Slayer, Kristy Swanson, when she was in Sacramento for a small con in Sacramento? I did that, and I am sure I would have found a story at Comic-Con no one else could find.

So, what will I miss?

the panel for Intelligence, featuring Sawyer from Lost as the first internet-connected secret agent,
an EW panel that includes both Matt Smith and David Guintoli (and the Grimm and Doctor Who panels, too),
the 5th anniversary of Dr. Horrible,
a panel for Agents of SHIELD which should include lots from the pilot,
Joss of course,
maybe a preview of The World's End (Pegg and Frost's version of This Is The End),
what's next for Geek and Sundry,
the Veronica Mars movie,
how Amy Acker will try to break up Husbands (think scorned ex-fiancé who won't accept being the wrong gender for one of them),
the Eric Andre Show (mostly because of how he greeted Tea Party supporters with hoods...on TV),  How I Met Your Mother,
Matt Smith with Chris Hardwick at the Balboa (will burritos be included again?),
and the annual showing of Once More With Feeling.

Granted, I'd be lucky to see half this stuff, or even a third, if I was able to go this year. I was lucky to be at the Firefly panel thanks to lining up many, many hours ahead of time. Comic-Con has gotten so big, you have to stand in line at 6 AM to see anything...even if it's for something at 6 PM. That's why if I did get a ticket to the Nerdist podcast taping at the Balboa, I really wouldn't have to go to the Doctor Who panel the next day. Of course, I would have wished I could get him to autograph a burrito but that's unlikely. Who can autograph a burrito?

Fortunately, thanks to YouTube and similar sites, someone will be smart enough to record as many of these panels as possible, and I can still see them. Sadly, I wouldn't be able to find a story no one else finds, but I can still see what happened eventually.

Missing Wondercon and Comic-Con this year has been a real bummer this year, but I am glad I am still useful to Whedonopolis. I still wrote stuff about the SHIELD show, and two articles about Much Ado in San Francisco. I just wish I had some idea about whether people are reading my stuff, or even like it. The old Whedonopolis site measured how many hits my articles got, and I knew people actually read my articles.

Then again, there's one big reason why I'm mad I can't go....the swag!
I could always use another big tote bag that's really a portable billboard to the next big TV show, movie, comic book or whatever. It's still cool.
Sure, I found really rare swag that was never offered for sale, like a t-shirt from an early Butt Numb-A-Thon Harry Knowles hosted, or a Moonite t-shirt that recalled the day they accidentally put Boston on Red Alert six years ago. Still, it would be nice to have a foam TARDIS, a Kick-Ass 2 hat, or a plastic Captain American shield or Thor hammer...or a Mockingjay pin.

I will say I have done pretty good overall. Who else has way too many Joss autographs, but still has one framed...and even a picture? Last year, I got Tarantino's autograph on a Django Unchained poster, which is more valuable since he won an Oscar for Original Screenplay. I still have the dog tags from the Inglorious Basterds premiere, and a few other posters that can't be found anywhere else.

So, I have to stay home, but someday, I'll be back. Maybe I can return in time for Avengers 2.

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