San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (Part 1) – Panels and Floor

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Comic-Con!!!

Geek Mecca!

Or as the insightful and witty Dennis Calero dubbed it – Nerdi Gra!

There’s too much for one post so I’m breaking it up into a three-part wrap-up. This first one will have the Panels and the Floor. The second and third posts will have the cosplay and the outside stuff including, the Outlander premier, the Joss Whedon Nerd HQ panel, the Norman Reedus/Greg Nicotero judged cosplay contest at the Courtyard Marriott, and miscellaneous Shenanigans.

Let’s get started with the cosplaying I did. My friend and HNG Podcast cohost Darcy and I decided to coordinate so on Thursday I dressed up as Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Darcy dressed up as my Groupie. He even made a custom shirt with my face on it! Which was equal parts weird and awesome. AND we won our category in a costume contest! (more on that later)

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On Friday I slapped on my tried and true Captain Mal costume, and Darcy dressed up as Jayne “The Hero of Canton” Cobb from Firefly.

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PANELS!

I completely skipped Hall H this year. I had originally planned to camp out on Friday night for the Saturday Marvel panel, but Mama Jedi and I were scheduled to attend the Outlander premier and, what with the new wristband system, it just didn’t work out. To be honest, I’m not that bummed about it. Besides, I got to see some really great panels sans stress so I’m a happy (non) camper. Here’s a funny picture of Mama Jedi and Darcy waiting in line for the first panel of the day on Thursday morning.

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Well played, Darcy. Well played.

The Legacy and Return of Battlestar Galactica

Panelists: Richard Hatch, Jamie Bamber, Dr. Kevin Grazier, Luciana Carro, Alec Peters

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Jamie Bamber ended up missing this panel, unfortunately. Something about being late and stuck in traffic, I dunno, I can’t remember. They were hopeful he’d show up during the panel and he didn’t, so whatever. They talked about the differences between the old show and the reboot and wanted to know our ideas for a Battlestar Galactica movie – except that the writers and producers didn’t really want to know our ideas which they made pretty obvious pretty quickly. Richard Hatch obviously loves the fans and HE really wanted to know what the fans wanted. What did the fans want? To bitch. We did get to see a trailer for Hatch’s next project, Star Trek: Axanar which looked quite interesting. To be honest, what I remember most about this panel was that I chugged a giant bottle of Starbucks Refreshers and a 5 Hour Energy right before the panel started and I had to pee really bad about halfway through.

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Panelists: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Kari Wuhrer, Judah Friedlander, Anthony C. Ferrante

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I have never seen Sharknado and I didn’t watch Sharknado 2 when it debuted on SyFy this past week either. I was forced to sit through this panel in order to get a good seat for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along immediately following. As you can see, Tara Reid and Kari Wuhrer (I don’t know who that is) were missing even though I saw them in later SDCC pictures with the rest of the cast. The best part about this panel was that Darcy and I had just partaken in a few “Thor’s Hammer(ed)” cocktails over at the Top of the Hyatt bar immediately beforehand and were pretty buzzed. The drunkenness helped make this panel pretty awesome, actually.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along

Presented by the California Browncoats

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Darcy and I were getting really into our Captain Hammer and Groupie characters, so we decided to go to the annual Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along. I’ve always wanted to go and we were celebrating Darcy’s birthday belatedly so we thought it would be a fun way to kick off the festivities. Turns out they do a costume contest beforehand and, fueled by the previously mentioned alcohol and the encouragement of my Podthingy cohost, author John Mulhall, I nutted up and joined in the fun with Darcy as my Groupie “prop.” A California Browncoat chose three cosplayers for each category (Dr. Horrible, Captain Hammer, Penny, Other) and I was one of the three chosen for Captain Hammer (there were a lot of us including two other girls). Despite the fact that my heart was beating about a million miles per minute and my knees were shaking, my old theatre training kicked in and I fell right into character. You can’t tell from the above pictures, but I spouted lines, I gestured, I rallied the crowd – all kinds of fun stuff. And I won the Captain Hammer contest! W00t! Next was the Best In Show and, despite my best efforts, my arch nemesis, Dr. Horrible won. But afterwards I choked him to the ground so, you know, it worked out. Turns out that I was so entertaining that John completely forgot to take pictures! Thankfully, fellow audience member Fred took the above pictures with his cell phone and emailed them to me. Thanks, Fred!! I then took Darcy out for birthday shenanigans. More on that in the second post.

Outlander

Panelists: Ronald D. Moore, Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, Lotte Verbeek

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On Friday I got there early to wait in line for Room 6A and was treated to an awesome SCA demonstration. I think that SDCC would be way more awesome if every wait in line had one of these. One of the main reasons why I waited in line was to catch the Outlander panel since I’ve read and am a big fan of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon (I got Mama Jedi hooked on them as well) and would be attending the premier later that evening. I’ll talk more about Outlander in the second SDCC post when I do the coverage of the premier, handsome men in kilts, etc.

A&E Bates Motel

Panelists: Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin, Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Olivia Cooke, Nestor Carbonell, Kenny Johnson

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Sadly, I don’t watch Bates Motel, but after seeing the panel, I definitely want to! They did a hilarious “audition video” montage that had me in stitches. We also got to see clips from the show dubbed in Spanish by Freddie Highmore (who just graduated with highest honors from Cambridge). Kenny Johnson was a surprise guest and it was revealed that his character, Caleb, would be a regular this next season. Turns out he’s a former pro-arm wrestler and we got to see him throw down with some audience members.

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What’s that? You want to see a video of the entire arm wrestling competition? Ok, here you go:

[youtube:http://youtu.be/F8BcR_DVEFg]

History: Vikings Blood Legacy

Panelists: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Alexander Ludwig, Michael Hirst, Julian Hobbs

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Mama Jedi and I were particularly excited to see this panel since we’ve been trying to get to a Vikings panel for a couple of years now without success. It’s one of our favorite shows, especially since we’re Norwegian and we know the myths, legends, and history behind the people and stories used on the show. All of the actors seemed very sweet and down to earth. Travis Fimmel may or may not have been high – it’s hard to tell, maybe he’s just really, REALLY chill….? They even played with the audience beforehand, taking turns poking their heads out of the curtain before they were introduced. Alexander Ludwig ran down and joined us in the audience to see the extended trailer since he’d never seen it before and was really excited about it. Adorkable. Some crazy stuff is going to go down in season 3! The invasion of France and the true start of the Viking Age. And there will definitely be a season 4! Also, a beloved main character is going to die. Any guesses of who it will be?

FLOOR!

There are certain artists that I’ve gotten to know over the course of many, many Southern California conventions and I love visiting and hanging out with them. When Geek Outlaw and I did our 2nd ever booth at Long Beach Comic Expo a few months ago we were neighbors with Jason Beckwith who has a dark and gripping graphic novel called Taking EdenWe bonded over being shoved in a far, dark corner of the Floor we dubbed “The Batcave” and have been facebook friends ever since. When he announced that he’d gotten a last minute called from Comic Con International that they had a booth for him, he was the first person I went to visit.

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I then headed over to Lord Mesa‘s booth. He happens to be my sister-in-law’s favorite artist so I picked up some prints from her including some DC mini’s, a Supernatural print and this kick ass Twelve/Clara Doctor Who print.

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One of my personal favorites, Patrick Ballesteros, was just a few tables down from Lord Mesa so I headed over there next. He’s got some amazing new mini’s and prints that are so cute and adorkable I seriously just want the whole lot of them.

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Karen Hallion (you see her Disney/Doctor Who crossover art on Teefury shirts all the time) happened to be right across the aisle from Jason Beckwith. Waaay back in 2010 we discussed collaborating on an HNG t-shirt, then we both got slammed and she became a very well-earned and well-deserved Teefury goddess extraordinaire. It was so lovely to finally meet her in person.

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Every year I have to swing by actor/screenwriter/comic writer Todd Stashwick and artist Dennis Calero‘s booth to pick up the latest Devil Inside graphic novel and get my annual picture. One of these years I’m going to make it to their after party.

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My friend Karen (aka the “real” Luann) is the daughter and heir apparent of Greg Evans, creator of the Luann comic strip I grew up reading and loving (imagine my surprise when I learned who he was after hanging out at his house more than a few times!) Karen is not just a friend, she’s a fellow writing enthusiast and has begun working on the strip full-time.

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After escaping from a Falling Skies alien cocoon….

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I got rid of a few White Walkers

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And kept Smaug asleep…

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We then met up with buddies and Podthingy cohosts John Mulhall and Blayne Alexander for some non-sitting, non-standing fun times.

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We shared some of Sad Batman‘s pain.

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Here’s the new Affleck cowl and cape by the way…

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And for the Marvel fans, one of the mining ships from Knowhere

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There was tons of stuff going on outside as well, including a bunch of Simpson’s activities, a Gotham cityscape complete with zipline, and a Godzilla area with (count ’em) TWO photo ops.

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The Godzilla graffiti wall.

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That’s where my friend, photographer Tre’ Ridings was doing his thing. We met up with him and did the Phhhoto op first (that’s where it creates a multiple picture/gif-type thing.

Then I remembered that I was dressed like Captain Hammer and shouldn’t act scared, so I stayed in character for the second, more traditional photo op.

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I still found myself running away from this guy though.

HNG fake run

Darcy lives on a farm and didn’t get to celebrate his birthday properly, so on Thursday night I gathered a group of some of the funnest folks I know and we jumped around to a couple of bars to celebrate with some kind of alcohol/whipped cream concoction.

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By the time we got to the second bar, I was drunk enough that funny-faced selfies with all of the guys sounded like a fabulous idea. I have some of my best ideas while I’m drunk.

Darcy Bday SDCC

Happy Birthday, Darcy!! 🙂

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That’s it for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 on my San Diego Comic Con wrap-up!

 

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!