San Diego Comic Con, Part 1 – The Panels

Hot Nerd Girl and Geek Outlaw at it again

I promised detailed blogs about Comic Con and by golly, I aim to keep that promise. There’s just one problem. There’s waaaay too much for just one post. I tried. I’ve gone through approx. 1000 pictures (no joke) and narrowed them down to the best of the best and even then I was left with so many that I had to break it up.  So I’m splitting SDCC into 3 (or 4) blogs.  The first of which is the panels.

FRIDAY (Community, Legend of Korra, Firefly):

I’ve been to many conventions but this was my first time at the mothership aka Comic Con and boy, did I learn a lot about what to do/not to do (but that’s a whole ‘nuther post). I thought that because I live in San Diego County I could sleep at home and drive to SDCC each day.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’m ridiculous.

Parking is a bitch so what you end up having to do is drive to a trolley station and take the trolley the rest of the way. They helpfully provide CC-specific trolleys to make it easy for you. One problem, the first one gets you to the Convention Center just after 7:00am. Waaaay too late if you want to get in line for one of the big panels *cough cough Firefly cough cough*

Daniel to the rescue!

Lucky for me and Geek Outlaw, our mutual fan (and now fave friend) Daniel, had planned to camp out and saved a spot for us in the Ballroom 20 line. I felt guilty about cutting in line for exactly 3 minutes at which point I saw everyone else doing the exact same thing and got over it.

I’m not gonna lie, I was there for Firefly and Firefly alone. But you have to sit on all of the panels before Firefly in order to have a seat for Firefly (they seriously need to figure out a better system) so I ended up sitting through the panels fro Community and Legend of Korra as well.

I wasn’t the only one.

The first panel of the day was Community. I find Community highly entertaining so I was more than happy to sit in on their panel. They did not disappoint. The cast and crew were hilarious and the film clips they put together for Comic Con were chock full of funny shenanigans. Chevy Chase and Donald Glover were noticeably absent. Which is too bad because LeVar Burton was there and they could have had an epic Troy/LeVar moment.

Cast and Crew of Community

The second panel of the day was Legend of Korra (I’d like to know who they had to bang to get the lucky spot between Community and Firefly). This panel was like Chinese water torture for my sister-in-law. She looked like she was either going to explode or throw up. Maybe both. Simultaneously. I had an advantage because I’ve seen a bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender. So I actually enjoyed the panel. It was notable in that I recognized two of the voice actors. Bud (David Faustino) from Married with Children and Janet Varney from The Selling (which I reviewed a while back because it’s directed/produced/starring our mutual friends from SFSU). It was also fun because they recorded the audience doing crowd voice work for a future episode. I’ll admit, it got me intrigued about checking out an episode or two of the cartoon. For those who are Korra fans, they did a preview of an upcoming episode by reading the script live while showing concept sketches of the episode. They also showed off future costume and character designs.

The cast and crew of The Legend of Korra

Hey! It’s the chick from Falling Skies!

Then came the panel we were there for, the 10 year Firefly reunion. It was epic. Truly epic. I felt like I was a part of history. The sheer volume of love being poured forth was incredibly intense. The actors and Joss all cried at some point. Most of the audience cried at some point. My mom cried through 90% of it. It was magical. I took video of parts of it but then I found this full length video and thought you would appreciate it more.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V85olh2aZ34]

Nathan Fillion was so overwhelmed that he totally missed a question that was directed at him and his costars had to answer for him.  They all said that Firefly was the best job they’d ever had. At one point they all blamed Summer Glau for something (which you’ll find hilarious if you’ve watched the extras on the DVD) and the look on her face was priceless. Gina Torres, Jewel StaiteMorena Baccarin, and Ron Glass were missing and their absence was felt deeply by everyone in the room. The most touching moment in an hour chock full of touching moments was when the last question was asked of Joss Whedon –  “what do the fans mean to you?”

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXiS0gV8cic]

It was the most beautiful “thank you” I’ve ever witnessed and I feel truly honored to have been there for it.

Tid bit excited!

SATURDAY (Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski, Roddenberry Presents):

Saturday was the day I cosplayed as Thor. Which was awesome but awful at the same time. It was my first time cosplaying at a convention and I underestimated the amount of time it would take to get ready. As a result I got to Comic Con about…ohhhhh….5 hours later than I’d intended and missed a bunch of the morning panels I’d wanted to check out. I’m a little jealous that Geek Outlaw got to sit it on the Powerful Women, Simpsons, Futurama, Once Upon a Time, and Peter Cullen panels but meh, what are you gonna do?

(Be sure to check out Geek Outlaw‘s blog if you want to get the dish on those panels I just mentioned!)

No matter, I had something uber awesome to look forward to. I was scheduled to interview Rod Roddenberry after his 3:00pm panel.

As a result I caught the Joe Straczynski panel right beforehand. The best part of that panel? One guy complained that a Joe comic had kept him up on a school night so Joe reached into his wallet and gave the guy a $20 refund.  It was quite hilarious.

The Roddenberry panel was a whole ‘nuther level of awesomesauce but I’m saving all of the Roddenberry stuff for its own post later this week. So stay tuned for that!

SUNDAY (Fringe, Supernatural, Doctor Who):

I was supposed to cosplay on Sunday as well but my experience on Saturday convinced me that it was a terrible idea so I reverted back to an HNG t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Comfort and timeliness will always, always win out for me. I am nothing if not practical.

Morgan to the rescue!

The one panel that I was determined to see was Doctor Who. I lurv me some Doctor. Again, thanks to the trolley schedule, we were pretty much screwed but miraculously, another HNG/GO fan came to our rescue. Morgan camped out and let us join him in line for Hall H. Seriously. Best. Fans. Ever. I’ve promised myself that I will plan this better and do my own camping out next year.

Immediately upon walking into Hall H we were handed Fringe fedoras a la The Observers  (fun fact, while I was in New York I saw Evita on Broadway starring Michael Cerveris as Peron and he was AH-mazing)

Fringe was the first panel of the day and after mentioning their brushes with cancellation, there was a very lovely moment when at least half the audience held up pictures of white tulips. I’ll admit that I got a little verklempt.

Despite the best efforts of the audience (and some teasing from Joshua Jackson), the Fringe cast and crew revealed no secrets about the upcoming final season.

It was kind of a kick to see the actors smile and laugh. There was one especially funny moment when Anna Torv said she “was coming…” and then paused in her sentence. The audience started laughing.

Then Joshua Jackson got it and started laughing.

Then the rest of the cast got it and started laughing.

Then Anna got it and was completely mortified.

It then became a running joke throughout the rest of the panel. I feel for you Anna, that is totally something that would happen to me. The mood quickly shifted when the cast were asked what their favorite scene was that they were not in. Cue the waterworks! Anna Torv,  Jasika Nicole, and Lance Reddick all teared up when describing memorable and beautiful scenes from the show.

And then shifted back again just as quickly when the best audience questioners ever took the floor. I can’t even remember what their question was, I was too busy laughing at their deadpan Observer impression. Seriously, they never broke character once and the girl in the back right had the most amazingly creepy buggy-eyed thing going on..

It was an all around awesome panel and made me want to run home and catch up on my Fringe episodes on Netflix.

Next up was Supernatural, a show I’ve never had time to get into. Seriously, I wish that I didn’t have to sleep, I would be more than happy to fill 100% of my time watching every awesomely nerdy show there is. I have some friends that are obsessed with this show and have been trying to get me to watch it for years. They were very jealous that I got to see this panel. The running joke here was that “anything is possible” was used to answer at least half of the questions they were asked.

I may not know much about the show but I do know about Mark Sheppard and I was SUPER excited to see him. I’m pretty sure that he’s contractually obligated to only appear in TV shows/movies that are nerd-worthy.

I never really thought that Jared Padalecki was that cute but I must admit, he’s pretty damn good-looking in real life. He and Jensen Ackles win major brownie points for their gag reel antics.

Then came the panel that I was really there for, Doctor Who. Or should I say “Doctor WHOOO???” Seeing these people in real life is kind of a surreal experience. I usually only get star struck by Star Trek actors but I was totally star struck by these guys. I literally sat on the edge on my seat the entire time. And that’s only partly because the girl in front of me was so tall she most likely plays in the WNBA.

First of all, let me just say how incredibly gorgeous Karen Gillan is. Seriously. I didn’t think she could get any prettier than she is on TV but she can! I’ve seen it with my own two eyes! Just stunning.

The moderator of the panel was one of my nerd crushes, Chris Hardwick (not Wil Wheaton as some mistakenly believed) and he was nerding out just as much as the rest of us. He even brought his sonic screwdriver.  There was a bit of good-natured ribbing between him and Matt Smith. Apparently they ran into each other the night before at a party and this happened:

Oops! Chris blamed it on his pointy face.

The best audience question came from a little girl dressed up as a Dalek. She wanted to know what button, screen or object on the TARDIS was their favorite. The cast took this question very seriously and even admitted to stealing a few of their favorites (a pair of binoculars for Karen). Matt’s favorite is the main lever he yanks all the time. The little girl walked away but Matt Smith called her back and asked her if she had a favorite button, screen or object on the TARDIS. She looked at him very pointedly, said “NO” and walked away again. The whole room was laughing so hard I think we all peed ourselves a little.

They were also asked what they find annoying about each other. Matt said that Karen picks her lip, Karen said that Matt shakes his head and they both agreed that Arthur Darvill goes into “dad mode.”

Having seen the Firefly and Doctor Who panels, I can now die a happy nerd.

Stay tuned for more posts about Comic Con 2012 including the Roddenberry interview I mentioned and all of the awesome costumes!

Firefly and Beer and All Things Good

Remember this pretty lady? We went to college together at San Francisco State and she’s put together a kick ass guest blog for you today.  So without further ado, heeeeeeere’s Vivian!

Hello, nerds of the internet! Guest nerd girl here, because ya know what? It turns out there are loads of us! That’s right, many of us may still hide our Star Trek box sets and take down our autographed Watchmen posters when boys are coming over, but trust me, our numbers are great and our will is strong. So I’m coming out to the world (the world-wide web, even) and saying YES, I AM A NERD.

I enjoy so many nerdy things. I grew up on Star Trek and the Cruise-less Mission Impossible series. My first love triangle was trying to choose between Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell. I love X-Men and Shakespeare and young adult books set in space (or wizarding academies). My nerd interests are deep and vast (*dirty*). However, there is one passion that surpasses them all, and I would like to share it with all of you.

In fact, I have a confession to make. I have an addiction. It’s powerful, and at times it dominates my entire life. I am addicted… to Firefly.

Now I know I’m not alone in this, that there are many in my ranks, and that offers me a degree of comfort. Still, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to shake this need to have Serenity and it’s crew in my life. (Full disclosure: I’ve never tried to shake this need. But I’m pretty sure that if I ever did, it would be completely futile. So I don’t.) This sickness infects both my work life (my senior year of undergrad I wrote a final film studies paper on Serenity. My professor was not as taken as I was.) and my personal life. When surrounded by a new group of people, I will almost always eventually sneak a Firefly reference into the conversation and do a quick scan. The person whose eyes light up: my new friend. No reaction: boring times ahead.

Oh, this old jumpsuit? I just throw it on when I don't know what to wear.

And, fellow nerdy internetians, I have another love. Beer. Everyone has their thing. Some people juggle geese. *quick scan* As for me, there are few things in this world that I love more than a good beer. You can call me pretentious (please don’t), but I live in Los Angeles, and that means I am constantly aWash (see what I did there?) in an endless supply of “craft” “artisanal” delights. And as I’ve always said, why do a thing when you could do that thing while also drinking beer? (Ok, it’s not the most eloquent motto, but it’s never failed me.) So, in that spirit, I would like to present to you my Firefly drinking game. So put on your brownest coat and pour yourself a tall Mudders Milk. Just enjoy responsibly, like the big damn heroes I know you are.

Down to business. Let's be bad guys.

The Rules

Drink when:

Someone speaks in Chinese. Or, really, any language other than English. I tend to assume it’s Chinese. Is that racist?

A fight breaks out. This can range from someone getting hit once to a full-out brawl. Originally I had this down as any time a punch is thrown, but as such the opening scene of the Train Job would get you pretty gorram punch-drunk.

There is an exterior shot of Serenity. (Drink twice if there’s a shot of a shuttle detaching.)

DRINK!

Jayne caresses a weapon.

I'll be in my bunk.

Inara kicks Mal out of her shuttle.

River cries/cowers/tears her hair. Poor, crazy River.

There’s mention of Terraforming. Drink twice if it’s talk of terraforming side effects.

Anyone says “Shiny.”

This face? Totally shiny.

Wash’s dinosaurs are on-screen. This happens more than you may think. Keep an eye on his console any time there’s a scene in the cockpit. Is it called a cockpit in a spacecraft? I don’t know, I’m a nerd, not a flight technician. Anyway, back to the game…

Mine is an evil laugh!

There’s a mysterious reference to Shepard Book’s past that WILL NEVER BE ANSWERED EVER. (Well, except in that one-off comic. That was pretty cool.)

Wash and Zoe have sexy times. This can include kissing/flirting/simultaneous nudity.

Everyone is gathered in the kitchen. (I usually exclude River from “everyone,” as she’s more often than not off somewhere else cowering and crying. *see earlier rule.)

Specialty Rules

Take a shot when the blue gloves show up. Not one shot per glove, mind you. Two by two… by my math, that’s a lot of shots.

My favorite: BLUE SUN! When someone sees the Blue Sun logo (anywhere, on anything), they point at the screen and yell “BLUE SUN!” Everyone else takes a shot. The pointing and yelling is not really necessary, but mainly involuntary because you’re drunk and excitable. What? Is that just me?

There's one! I see it! Everyone drink!

As I play this game I also tend to take a drink for my favorite moments. This isn’t really a rule, per se, but I find it hard not to raise a glass to Kaylee calling Mal “Cap’n Tight Pants” or Jayne’s “That’s why I never kiss ‘em on the mouth.” So there’s the optional rule of “drink for awesome stuff.”

When Kaylee talks about her nethers, you obviously drink.

Whaddaya think, fellow nerds? These are my favorite rules, though by no means all of them. Any ideas for additional ones? Thanks for letting me share this with you. Nerd girls of the world ‘VERSE unite!