San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (Part 3) – Joss Whedon Nerd HQ and Outlander Premier

Hot Nerd Girl Outlander

Welcome to Part 3 of my San Diego Comic-Con wrap-up! This section is all about the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel-turned-last-minute-Mystery-Guest-panel and the Outlander premier.

If you missed Part 1 go HERE. If you missed Part 2 go HERE.

NERD HQ

Hayden (Geek Outlaw), Podthingy cohost John MulhallHNG Podcast cohost Darcy Villere, and I were all really excited to nab tickets to the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel. Nerd HQ panels are quickly becoming the hottest ticket in town during SDCC and the tickets sell out, literally, in the blink of an eye. I’m not joking. I blinked and the tickets for The Walking Dead and Nathan Fillion panels were GONE. Joss had been our first choice though so we were happy just to walk away with tickets to his “Conversation for a Cause” benefiting Operation Smile. Then, the day before the panel, a rumor started circulating that Joss had been laid up with a sudden knee surgery and wouldn’t be able to make it. We had no idea if they would cancel the panel or Skype Joss in or try to make it up to us by bringing in someone else. It turned into the ultimate Mystery Panel (though my bet was always on Nathan Fillion). We had no idea right up until the moment we took our seats and the show started.

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It turned out that I was right and out walked Nathan Fillion, quickly followed by Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Chloe Bennet (Agents of SHIELD), Seth Green, and Alan Tudyk.

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During the very first audience question my phone buzzed with a text message from Darcy who was sitting on the other side of the theater with John. Turns out Hayden and I were on camera the entire time the girl was asking her question and Darcy snapped a picture of it.

Hot Nerd Girl Nerd HQ The Nerd Machine

One of the audience members got more than she bargained for when she tried to ask a question. First Liam showed that he was paying rapt attention.

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Then everyone else decided to join him. With the exception of Seth who decided it was more important to take pictures for posterity.

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Then, about halfway through – tada!- Joss Whedon turned up via Skype from his bed in London where they were just finishing up filming Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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And proved that he is, indeed, the Puppet Master.

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Watch the entire Nerd HQ Conversation with Joss Whedon and Mystery Panel here (keep an eye out for me and Geek Outlaw at 10:52):

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STARZ OUTLANDER PREMIER

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Yes, I’m dressed like Captain Malcolm Reynolds. We came straight from Comic-Con, mmmkay?

I’ve been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember and, as a result, I quickly got tired of books meant for my age group and was always on the lookout for books that would challenge me. This is why, when I was around the age of 14 or so, my Dad handed me a book that my Stepmom had recommended to him and said “here, read this, I think you’ll like it.” That book was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I was smitten. It took several more years but I eventually convinced Mama Jedi to give it a try and she quickly became as enraptured by the story of Jamie and Claire as I was. Outlander is one of those books that I’ve recommended to more people than I can count. Whenever someone asked me what book I would want to make into a movie, I never hesitated to say Outlander. So it was quite fitting that two Star Trek alums (I’m a Trekkie in case you’re new here), Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr, made it happen in a way that honors the spirit and vision of the world Gabaldon created.

First we waited in a rather lengthy line and completely skipped Hall H in order to check out the SDCC panel. Panelists: Ronald D. Moore (Producer), Diana Gabaldon (Writer), Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall), Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser), Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Black Jack Randall), Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie), Lotte Verbeek (Geillis Duncan)

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Turns out, in Scotland, Gaelic is pronounced “Gall-ick” not “Gay-lick.” I learn something new every day. We also learned that they thought it would be most difficult to cast the part of Jamie but it turns out they found Heughan pretty quickly and ended up having the hardest time casting Claire. Like me, Gabaldon was not initially impressed with Heughan’s look and couldn’t picture him as Jamie (I believe she initially called him “hideous” – ha!), but then she saw him in the part and he grew on her (me too). Moore has included Gabaldon pretty much every step of the way, resulting in a TV series that Gabaldon is both excited about and proud of. Gabaldon and George RR Martin are good friends and will often commiserate with and try to one-up each other. For example, it seems that Martin is quite jealous that Outlander has 16 episodes instead of just ten. We even got a highly amusing kilt twirl from Ron Moore.

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Mama Jedi and I also visited the Outlander booth in the Exhibitor Hall a few times. Which had everything to do with checking out the period props and nothing at all to do with the handsome men in kilts *ahem*

Hot Nerd Girl Outlander SDCC

Thanks to a little help from Geek Outlaw, we managed to nab a couple of passes to the Starz World Premier at the Spreckels Theatre just a few blocks down from the Convention Center.

Outlander invite

The crowd was impressive, as was the plaid carpet.

Outlander World Premier

Once inside, we were forced, forced I tell you, to walk through the lobby between two rows of even more handsome men in kilts standing on logs and boulders looking all tall and manly. Mama Jedi was a bit twitterpated, methinks. I almost tripped and fell flat on my face at one point because I was too busy looking at all of the studliness surrounding me and not even remotely paying attention to where I was going. I have no idea if anyone saw that. I’m really hoping that nobody saw that.

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Luckily our seats were on the aisle…

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… so we had a great view of the theatre and the screen with its bevy of Scottish Highlander historical FAQ.

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The women behind and to the right of us seemed to be in a group together and they were pretty much obsessed with getting pictures of the actors. Every time I looked over my shoulder all I saw was a sea of glowing smart phone screens.

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When the actors finally did walk in, every woman (and some of the men) jumped to their feet and surged forward. I was slightly concerned for the actor’s safety, but the fans ended up behaving themselves. Can you tell how amused I was by all of this by the fact that I took pictures of the people as opposed to pictures of the actors?

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The one exception I made was Tobias Menzies who walked by right next to me and was so close that this was the picture I got and my camera wasn’t even zoomed in.

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The show started with some intro music by three lovely and talented female bagpipe players.

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The first episode did not disappoint. It is available to watch HERE for those who are interested (trust me, be interested).

We were then treated to a Q&A with the same folks we saw on the Comic-Con panel…

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… and an almost flash from Graham McTavish.

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After which we got a proverbial cherry topper to our Outlander ice cream in the form of a musical performance from none other than composer Bear McCreary himself.

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All in all, a fabulous experience well worth skipping dinner for.

And that wraps up my 2014 San Diego Comic-Con wrap-up! Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you at the next Con!

Hot Nerd Girl San Diego Comic Con goodbye

Here’s Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (Part 2) – Costume Contest and Cosplay

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Welcome to the Part 2 of my San Diego Comic Con wrap-up! This section is all about the costumes. In Part 3 I’ll finish up my wrap-up with coverage of the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel and the Outlander premier.

If you missed Part 1 (Panels and Floor) be sure to check it out HERE!

We’ll start with the Costume Contest that took place over at the Courtyard Marriott stage at Petco Park. It was judged by none other than Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead. Getting in as Press with my NerdBFF, Geek Outlaw, meant that we had access to the section right in front of the stage. I may or may not have wandered in early by accident and snuggled right up to the edge of the stage. More than once Norman Reedus’ crotch was within a foot of my face. Which was equal parts awkward, fascinating, and amazing.

*Ahem*

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The crowned “King of Cosplay” was a cosplayer we see and take pictures with frequently, Chris Monfiletto (aka the Gregarious Geek)! I saw him with his Robot Chicken head off and literally yelped when I saw who it was. I pointed him out to Geek Outlaw and, naturally, we had to root for him!

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The crowned “Queen of Cosplay” was a woman dressed as Lisa Marie‘s “Martian Girl” from Mars Attacks! The girl was amazing, she stayed in character and had the movements and attitude down pat. We also learned a nice little fun fact from Greg Nicotero while she was up there. Turns out he designed the original eyeball ring worn by the character in the movie.

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All hail the King and Queen!

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Here’s a video of the entire event:

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The following day they competed in the Finals judged by George RR Martin! To see the rest of the costumes, check out Geek Outlaw’s full coverage of the event HERE.

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Aside from the amazing costumes, it was definitely a perk to meet Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus. Turns out Nicotero is a fellow Trekkie. I felt like we bonded a little over that.

HNG GN1Norman Reedus is a charmer and a half! He very gallantly kissed my hand and called me sweetheart. Though he’s not one of my 7 Guys Worth Nerdgasming Over, I can see why so many ladies swoon over him and I may just need to revise my list! ;)

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If you want to hear even more, check out Episode 15 of Podthingy – “Nerdi Gras”

Totally random aside – turns out one of the other press ladies who we made friends with, Tara from A Geek Saga, has the same exact last-minute business cards that I do. How bizarre and funny is that?! We had to take a picture.

Hot Nerd Girl SDCCOn to Cosplay!

To be honest, I take FAR less cosplay pictures at Comic Con than I do any other convention. The reason being that there’s just. so. much. of. it. It’s EVERYWHERE. and it’s CROWDED. So trying to even take pictures is ridiculous and time consuming. Therefore, I only take them at SDCC if the opportunity is ideal or it just strikes a chord. Here’s what I ended up with. Since I dressed up as Captain Hammer and Captain Malcolm Reynolds, let’s start with Sci-Fi, shall we?

I ran into a few other Captain Hammer’s, including the guy and his family at the top of the post, and this nice gentleman who sat next to us during the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along.

IMG_3360This Doctor is not Horrible, but I can’t help if Rose needs a second to catch her breath

IMG_3330Speaking of Doctor Who, this girl walked around in a TARDIS for at least two days of the Con.

IMG_3528We ran into this gorgeous River Song (who happens to be friend of Firefly Drinking Game contributor and Pajiba reporter Vivian Kane) while leaving Nerd HQ.

P1050110Photobombing the Emperor’s Royal Guards is risky business, but someone’s gotta do it.

IMG_3538There were a ton of these Eliott/E.T.’s all lined up doing something attention-getting. I never did find out what it was supposed to be for. Meh.

IMG_3383These were the first of many, many, many Star Trek cosplayers I saw. Seriously, there were more Trekkies than I’ve ever seen at Comic Con before. It was awesome.

IMG_3321I next saw saw this little Borg-ish Star Trek collective.IMG_3544This family was rocking the Star Trek: TOS “Arena” cosplay.

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In the realm of Fantasy, we had this lovely and creative Atreyu/Falcor Neverending Story cosplay.

IMG_3586And from A Song of Ice and Fire we had Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon.

IMG_3591The crew from King’s Landing and, randomly, Khal Drogo.

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And finally, Sandor Clegane aka The Hound!

P1040366This real-life Rogue‘s hair is 100% natural – how awesome is that?!

IMG_35561960′s era Batman and Rogues Gallery!

IMG_3763The Human Being from Community! #sixseasonsandamovie

Saw this guy dressed as a sharknado at the Sharknado 2 panel we were forced to sit through. The costume was super rad and creative.

IMG_3358MAC has Marge Simpson makeup now apparently.

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I took this picture of Megaman for my friend Brian who’s a big fan.

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I ran into this Pac-Man and ghosts group several times in one day and this picture of their backside is the best one I got o.O

IMG_3573The guy wearing Optimus Prime made these himself. Now THAT’S talent.

P1050129The delightful Tony B. Kim of Crazy4ComicCon always makes the best outfits out of Comic Con bags. Last year he made a Doctor Who jacket and Matt Smith signed it during the Hall H panel!

IMG_3589And, finally, let’s end sort of where we began, with some The Walking Dead cosplay. The Maggie, in particular, was an amazing representation.

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Thanks for checking out Part 2!

If you missed Part 1, be sure to check it out. And stay tuned for Part 3 of my San Diego Comic Con wrap-up!