Monday, July 26, 2004

Ain't Goin' to Goa

Nope, instead I was goin' to Comic-Con International, the US' largest congregation of geeks, nerds, dorks, gamers, goths, anime chicks, fantasy-obsessed people, film fans, LARPers, comic shop guys, and, well, everything.  I did so much and saw so much I'm not sure how I'm going to put it all into one bloggie post, but I'll try.  Incidentally, their attendence this year was an unprecedented 83,000 people for Saturday's activities. 

So I got in on Tuesday, so I could help with set-up on Wednesday and be there for preview night.  I'm glad I did, becuase preview night allowed me to walk around relatively unmolested, without the crowds.  On the flight down, I read through Stephen Brust's To Reign in Hell, a groovy little riff on the Fall.  It was thankfully underbearing as far as religious-moral messages went; Brust went for a good-fantasy-read tack, and it was refreshing and interesting at the same time.  The characters were well sculpted and believable, although he mixed his Jewish mythology a little.  My favorite part was that the Fall was a conscious choice to rebel against God, almost as an afterthought of the events that came before, when Satan and his angels saw God's true character.  Anyway, I recommend it.

Preview night at the con was more about scoring cool stuff - the boys and girls at The Red Star gave me a great deal on one of their R.S.S. Konstantinov lighters (I don't smoke, but a Zippo is a great lighter, and it looks like it came from the ship, so it's cool).  I scored the first season of The Slayers, a silly little anime, and I got copies of Hero and Shaolin Soccer from Asia; both movies will come out later in US theaters, but I'd much rather watch them at home on Gigantor the TV, and I didn't spend all that money on the region-free DVD Playa' O' Doom for nothing.  I've actually been listening to the soundtrack to Hero thanks to Seth's music-education regime he's been putting me through.  It may be one of the best movie soundtracks ever, and it's perfect for pumping through the iTunes at work.

Thursday I caught the Groo panel, hosted by Mark Evanier.  It was kind of cool to see the four folks who worked on Groo in the same place.  I didn't ask any questions, but hearing Sergio Aragones talk (he's got a really sexy old-Spanish accent, he kind of seems like a character from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel) was worth it.  I also made a lot of really good press contacts, which was my primary goal for the show.  I actually did that throughout the show, and I would say without reservation "Mission Accomplished."  Heh.

Friday I spoke with the nice blokes at Green Ronin about the possibility of doing some writing work for them; speaking of, I've got notes for a little bit of RPG work I've been hammering away on, and I've got to finish it before my parental units show up next week.  But that's another post.  I slipped out that afternoon to a DC Comics party, where I hobnobbed with people, made more contacts, got some excellent love for HeroClix, and talked to comic editors about writing.  My only disappointment was that Mark Waid wasn't there; I'd love to meet him and tell him what a great writer he is.  After that, I joined the group that became the first on American soil to see Shaun of the DeadShaun is a Brit zombie movie - they bill it as "a romantic comedy with zombies," and that seems about right.  It reminded me a lot of The Office meets Monty Python meets, well, zombie flicks.  Some of the people from The Office were even in Shaun.  I will probably import this one on DVD come September, when it releases in the UK.  Again, I highly recommended it.  I skipped the screening of Saw that night (which is House of 1000 Corpses meets Cube), and instead headed to bed.

Saturday I caught a Simpsons panel, most notable for the discussion on future Futurama projects (try feeding that sentence into a grammar checker!) and the clips shown at the beginning.  I picked up a copy of Illuminati University, because the only place I've ever been able to find it is at Comic-Con, and I picked up Galadriel's Ring from Lord of the Rings for Liz.  And some more cool Red Star stuff.  One of our sculptors sat on an action figure panel, which I attended, and then I went to a sushi place with some of our staff, even though I didn't have any - my last sushi experience landed me in the hospital, and I'm not ready to take that risk again.

Today was easygoing, I played in one of our HeroClix Battle Royales - I've got to do that at least once at every con, it's fucking great - and did some last-minute browsing and schmoozing.  The highlight was the Serenity panel (AKA Firefly).  I got to see the very first teaser trailer for Serenity, and enjoyed the Q and A afterwards.  And yes, Jewel Staite is as beautiful in person as she is on TV, but she's got a really wicked sense of humor.  It was a great panel, and if I were to organize such a panel (ahem), I would certainly use that one as a model.  Then, I flew back.  I started reading Altered Carbon, a really good sci-fi noir book that a whole bunch of folks recommended to me.  I'm only halfway through, so I'll post more later.

And, when I checked my email, it turned out that Rama had emailed me (kinda like I asked him to in my comments).  I'm glad I made contact with him - the entire NCHS crew has their own blog, which is groovy.  I guess Jen is in New York these days.  She should email me too.  Hint Hint.

Alrighty, I think I've rambled enough - I'm gonna go crank up Hero.

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