San Diego Comic Con, Part 2 – Friday Shenanigans

I’ve been struggling to figure out how best to showcase my Comic Con shenanigans because I have over a thousand pictures taken over the course of 3 days. I did a post dedicated to the Panels and thought I might do posts dedicated to Costumes, Celebs, Exhibition Floor, etc. but no matter how I worked it, it just wasn’t coming out right. So I decided to showcase each day individually starting with Friday.

Holy craparoni there was a ton of people. I knew there would be, and yet, nothing can prepare you for the experience the first time you go. I used to celebrate Halloween in the Castro, I know what it’s like to be surrounded by a shit ton of humans dressed in crazy costumes, but I’m also used to smaller conventions where it takes less than 45 minutes to walk from one end of the Exhibition Floor to the other.

Craziness both outside…

…and inside.

In the past I’ve discussed my extreme shyness and social awkwardness. They go hand in hand and it’s something that I’m constantly fighting with, especially as the blog grows. This trait o’ mine can be particularly frustrating to my family and friends when they’re with me at conventions and events and are promoting me. I have a tendency to panic and retreat whenever I hear my name mentioned so by the time they turn to introduce me to someone I’m nowhere to be found. For Comic Con it was decided that they were going to liquor me up.

I’m dead serious.

And they came prepared. My sister-in-law, Troi, brought disposable flasks. My NBFF (Nerd Best Friend Forever), Geek Outlaw, made a delicious alcoholic concoction in his CamelBak each morning. I was ordered to sip from one of these two vessels throughout the day so that I would be less likely to panic and run. To be clear, I was never once intoxicated or even slightly buzzed, but I will admit that it took the edge off a little. A few people were even surprised when they were told how well I was doing at being social.

Geez, I totally sound pathetic haha. The point is, it helped and I probably had my most socially successfully convention ever.

Sippin’ on gin and juice

I needed that little bit of liquid courage because I made buttons to hand out to the people I met. Lots and lots of gloriously nerdy buttons. Despite the liquor I was pretty shy about handing these out but there were a few times when they caught on like wildfire and I actually had a line of people waiting to dunk their hands in the giant bag of buttons. I made these in the 1.5 days between getting home from my Grandma’s funeral in Cincinnati and the first day of Comic Con so hopefully the next batch of buttons will be better.

I was lucky enough to meet up with some friends throughout the day including one of my best buds Brett (he zombifies all my pictures for me), Aaron who I hadn’t seen in at least a couple of years, and Eddy who I hadn’t seen in 10 years.

Brett!

Aaron!

Eddy! (and a seriously awesome photobomb)

While on the Floor I headed over to the DC booth to visit Tre’ Ridings, a fabulous photographer who I met at WonderCon and have kept in touch with. If you haven’t yet, check out DC’s We Can Be Heroes campaign. While there Eddy and I got our pictures taken.

Eddy got a bit saucy

This made me LOL

I stuck with good ol’ fashioned badassery

Take THAT Lex Luther!

I’m an insanely devoted Trekkie and have been collecting signatures in my TNG The Continuing Mission book for about 15 years now starting with John de Lancie. So I was super excited to see Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton at Comic Con! But super sad that I didn’t have my book on me. I got their signatures and pictures with them anyways.

The next day I brought my book but Brent was gone. So I’ve added LeVar’s signature to the book. Hopefully Brent’s won’t be far behind!

From top to bottom: Rod Roddenberry, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, John de Lancie, LeVar Burton

My sister-in-law and I ran into Colin Ferguson from Eureka on our way to the Roddenberry After Party. He was super nice.

Lou Ferrigno was huge! And also very nice.

Todd Stashwick is officially my new favorite celebrity. I didn’t recognize him at first with his hat and glasses. He was there promoting the printed trade paperback of his online comic book The Devil Inside and we started chatting it up about all kinds of random stuff like Chicago and the Secret Service. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes into the conversation that it even came out that he was an actor (trust me, you know who he is). We ended up talking for quite a while and I left with a copy of his book and a promise that I’d return the next day to show him my Thor costume and get Dennis Calero’s signature on my book.

Some other randomly awesome stuff from the Floor:

KITT…

And Michael from Knight Rider.

Awesome Indiana Jones booth complete with live snakes.

Optimus Prime is the shit.

Trolls!

Zombie mobile from The Walking Dead.

I don’t know why but the Batpod looked kind of small to me in real life but looking at it in comparison with the people in the picture it looks like a decent size. Weird.

Troi is obsessed with zombies.

Who’s scruffy-looking??

The Captain’s chair was blocked off but they let this guy take a picture in it. Love the Roddenberry folks!

Troi got the greatest LEGO set ever for my brother and my nephew. It has working electronics. Frak, I’m jealous.

Time for costumes!

We were behind some Avatar: The Last Airbender fans in a panel line.

And also ran into some Legend of Korra peeps.

My best guess is GI Joe. Correct me if I’m wrong!

Saw a ton of Poison Ivy’s and Harley Quinn’s per usual.

This guy was a big hit with Troi.

Alicia Hunt?

A towering inferno of physical perfection.

Awesome AT-AT.

Remember this girl?

Her name is Jennifer Landa and she’s super sweet and she put together another spectacular Star Wars costume, this time of the Millennium Falcon.

Everyone needs a little bit of Tusken Raider in their life to keep them on their toes.

This Prometheus promotion calmly and silently walked through the Exhibition Hall while his lovely ladies passed crap out.

Best. Penguin. Ever.

What’s up Doc?

And a couple after my own heart.

It’s Picard and a female Geordi! How awesome is she?!?

At the end of the day we headed over to Fluxx for the Roddenberry Trek Nation Party. (Friendly reminder that my interview with Rod Roddenberry will be coming to you soon!) On the way there we ran into the zombie walk. Depending on how long you’ve been reading you may or may not know that zombies are my biggest fear. Needless to say, I snapped this picture and then walked very briskly to the next street over.

Me and Mom waiting to be let in to Fluxx. Apparently I was supposed to go through the Media/VIP line. Oops. I’m still getting used to being considered Media :/

At the club we met up with friends Joy and Darcy (yes, he’s really that tall).

And watched a circus performer lady.

There was a super creepy Tron dude who just stood there and never took his motorcycle helmet off.

Hanging out with Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment. He’s super awesome.

This was some kind of Jägermeister concoction that Geek Outlaw ordered for me.

Whatever. It was delicious.

Goofing off with Troi, Mama Jedi and Geek Outlaw

We left the party at 10:00pm (around the time the geeks left and the usual clubbers started showing up) to try and get some sleep before Day 2 of the Comic Con craziness.

 Stay tuned for “Part 3 – Saturday Shenanigans” in the next couple of days!

Guest Review! Cowboys & Aliens!

As y’all know (I may have mentioned it once or thrice) I’m in the process of moving to San Diego and my life is in limbo while I finish up my work in Los Angeles.  Therefore, my BNF (Best Nerd Friend) Hayden and his lovely girlfriend, fellow HNG Melanie, were kind enough to go see Cowboys & Aliens this weekend and write not one but TWO reviews of it as guest bloggers.  H&M…I heart you.

Enjoy!

cowboys and aliens

Aliens.  Why’d it have to be Aliens?

Hayden Gilbert:

New Indy - croppedLet me start by saying there is no way I will be able to fill the shoes – or brazier – of the now legendary Hot Nerd Girl (although my fellow co-guest blogger Melanie definitely has a better shot in both departments).  However, while I don’t consider myself hot (in my own eyes), nor a girl (hopefully in anyone’s eyes), I can certifiably attest to being a nerd.

I can also say without hesitation that I’m quite an avid western lover and a huge fan of anything involving visitors from another world (the cast of Jersey Shore being the exception).  Taking all that into account, I would have been first in line to see any movie with the title “Cowboys & Aliens” trailer unseen.

As my very attractive co-blogger mentions as well, everything about this movie has a simple theme to it.  From the title itself to the premise of good ol’ fashion gunslingers taking on technologically superior creatures, Cowboys & Aliens succeeds in that it doesn’t try to be more than what it is:  A good old fashion shootout at the O.K. Corral with 10 foot tall slimy monsters that make the aliens from the Predator movies look like runway models.  Hell, what’s not to like about aliens who also lasso their victims!  Great stuff I tells ya.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/UdmupNxobP0]

While the acting overall was not quite award caliber, I actually liked the lack of over-the-top dramatics when it dealt with the reactions of humans to their unknown invaders.  Think about it, people during this time didn’t have clue one about space people or flying saucers as this takes place during a time when horses were the main source of transport and showing ankle was considered scantily clad.

olivia-wilde-cowboys-aliens

Hot girl with a six shooter? Yes please.

Speaking of, seeing Olivia Wilde completely wrapped up in a piece of wallpaper during the whole movie was a waste of her, uh, talents.  The nude scene of her would have made up for it had they actually showed anything of value.  Did I mention I was a male nerd?

As can be imagined, Harrison Ford stole the show in this one.  Be it a quick line or a familiar facial reaction, your attention is always drawn to his screen presence.  Daniel Craig served his purpose of bad ass alien annihilator (say that 10 times fast after 10 shots of whiskey), albeit his character wasn’t given any major Shakespearean dialogue to work with.  I also enjoyed the 2 – maybe more? – nods given to Indian Jones in the flick.  Can you spot them?  (Hint:  It’s 007 that summons the spirit of Indy twice)

Overall, C&A was a fun and unique ride on the combination of two classic genres.  Add a pinch of 007 and a dash of Indy with a kick-ass final scene that would make any western-lover happy and you have a flick that is almost sure to satisfy.  Just remember to check your 6-shooter and expectations at the door.

(P.S. For those Nerdboys like myself that need an additional fixen of Western Sci-Fi, be sure to check out Brisco Country Jr on DVD… best show ‘cancelled-too-soon’ ever!  Has Bruce Campbell ever done anything bad?)

Melanie Critser:

Brace yourself.  There are cowboys AND aliens in this movie!  And a cast of hot men and women that only get hotter when plastered in dirt.  Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig together at last…with Craig getting more ass shots in one movie than JLo has gotten in her entire career.  And don’t worry, men, Olivia Wilde doesn’t disappoint—especially as she emerges from fire…naked.  But this movie isn’t all fun and games—oh wait, yeah it is!

Cowboys & Aliens is everything the title promises.  The story is simple.  Our planet has an element the aliens want.  They are here to scout out the planet and give the “mother-ship” the thumbs up to “come on down.”  It’s all up to the Cowboys and Indians to stop them…seriously, was anyone expecting an Oscar nominee?  It makes no apologies for its campiness!  There were moments that had heart and moments that almost made me cheer.

What? No speedo's in the Old West?

I wasn’t crazy about the aliens themselves, but I suppose that was the point.  They had creepy little extra hands that unfold out of their bellies, all slimy and shaky–yuck!  Also, where was the steamy love scene?  I felt a bit cheated in this area.  I can’t imagine what possessed them to leave that out—in the words of Flight of the Conchords, conditions were perfect for “Business Time.”  To no avail…

Daniel Craig was sporting his 007 seriousness, just substitute a clean shave and tux for dried blood and cowboy gear.  The bad-ass side of Daniel Craig hits the spot, no one wants to watch him skipping through a flower field—bring on the guns!

Harrison Ford’s role was the most intriguing.  Is he a bad guy?  Is he a good guy?  Regardless, he can still deliver those hilarious one liners.  And you may struggle with whether he’s The Good or The Bad..but he’s never The Ugly.  He clearly hasn’t lost his charm on screen and he’s giving Sean Connery a run for his money in the “Better with Age” department.

Overall, I don’t expect this movie to be on any top 10 (or 100) lists, but I truly enjoyed it.  Perhaps my expectations were right where they needed to be–I jumped in my seat and laughed at the cheesiness.  It was just the boost my summer needed!

You can read Hayden’s online dating advice (it worked for him!) at Examiner.com.  Melanie doesn’t have a blog so you’ll just have to hope she guest writes for HNG again.  Like what they wrote?  Let them know in the comments!