In the past, I’ve written all out reports of our convention experiences, but this year’s Wondercon was not really all that good. For that reason, I’m going to write a lot about the highlights from each day and not bore you with the mundane details. Well, I’ll bore you, but not that much. I will say that Moscone Center has good lasanga which was surprising, and $3.50 for an Aquafina is ridiculous.
After a meeting that resulted in all of my performance reviews being approved a week early, I left work at noon and headed over to Moscone to register. I was meeting my wife’s cousin, who is an art student and was attending for the first time. He is a huge Michael Turner fan, so we were planning to go to his panel and possibly get an autograph from him. Beyond that, my day was to explore and possibly see the One Man Star Wars Trilogy guy speak. Exploring got me random person highlight number one:
Lindzee or something of that nature, from nine inch nails’ The Spiral. She worked with Rob Sheridan on the video clips for The Hole and the club tour. However, she didn’t work any of the shows I was at. Anyway, I wore a Spiral tee shirt, so she saw it and talked to me a bit about nin and made sure I got a full set of Drive driver’s licenses on Saturday. Random cool person at the Fox table gets the award for random person highlight of Friday. Panel highlight: Michael Turner and Aspen MLT’s panel was great, but the Judd Winick comment about why Batman and Green Arrow were fighting in a recent issue of Green Arrow was my highlight of the day. “Well, Ollie is just cranky and Batman pissed him off!” It was the truth and fittingly ended his panel. Random giveaway highlight: 300 tickets. I got to see 300 in IMAX with the director and producers of the film. Zack Snyder introduced the film by saying “There are no swear words, so I’ll just get ‘fuck’ out of the way right now to make you happy.” Good movie, well worth your $10 or $15 to see it, if you like very graphic violence as the principle plot with a small politically driven subplot. And lots of nudity. But really, stylistically it is a great film. To get tickets I had to wait in a line that made me miss the Dark Horse Comics panel that they announced that Buffy Season 8 Issue 1 is delayed three more weeks, and Serenity will be back in the fall with 6 new issues. I also missed the One Man Star Wars trilogy dude because his panel was WAY overcrowded, but apparently he sucked. It was an extremely long day but a fun experience.
Pretty much all of the panels we went to sucked, except for Panel Highlight: Kevin Munroe and TMNT. He was great with answering questions, seems to be a real fan of the ninja turtles and really explained a bunch of things that most people wouldn’t have. He killed the stupid questions quickly and made some lame questions work well. For that he gets a panel highlight award. Random person highlight number two: a small child dressed as Link, or an adult dressed as Alien, or my co-worker dressed as the cowprint Katamari cousin. Random giveaway highlight: My wife got an autograph from Ali Larter and Oded Fehr. That is pretty sweet. Really the best part of Saturday was lunch, the aforementioned lasanga. The DCU panel and Jeph Loeb panels sucked, except for the eight year old kid, Wyatt who showed up the entire DCU panel and was more entertaining than all of them combined when he asked them if they would bring back Wally West. They even had him join the panel for a few minutes to answer his own question. I missed the Vertigo panel because I was bored and forgot what time it was. Jane Espenson rocked. But she wasn’t on a panel, she was just supporting the browncoats. I got Zack Snyder’s autograph and a picture with him, which is cool because it follows my random encounter with an up and coming movie director trend. We got Judd Winick’s autograph, mainly because my wife is a fan from his MTV’s The Real World days, and I’d liked his Batman/Green Arrow story from the night before. I had him draw Green Arrow on my autograph. The officially licensed Serenity memoribilia I bought on both Saturday and Sunday are awesome and I now have an authentic Serenity hoodie that I will probably be wearing a lot. But that’s a Sunday story… Saturday was probably my worst Wondercon day ever.
We got there a bit too early, luckily I had packed lunch. So we ate our turkey sandwiches. We ate some grapes. We ate our 100-calorie hostess cup cakes. Then we got in a line. They were doing wristband drawings. They said “this isn’t going to work” and ran off. My wife followed. We pursued them all over the exhibit hall. Eventually we got random giveaway highlight: two wristbands for an autograph from Nathan Fillion and Kristin Lehman. Score! The browncoats had some cool memoribilia to purchase. Authentic Alliance Currency, a Serenity ornament, a “A Leaf in the Wind: Wash is my co-pilot” license plate holder, two charity swag bags, including special t-shirts and some random crap, a parasol… we bought a lot of shit from them. And they didn’t even sell us the comic books we were interested in. Another cool place was Stylin’ Online, who had an apparel shop in the middle of everything. That’s where we got Buddha, Blue Sun, and Fruity Oaty Bar official stuff and the aforementioned Serenity hoodie. We spent a lot on Serenity related merchandise. It was worth it. We also got two trade paperbacks of collected Astonishing X-Men so my wife can start getting caught up. Oh wait, there were other things going on. We went to the “Future of TV” panel with Jeph Loeb (he has some Heroes show and worked on some show about getting Lost and is friends with Joe Sweden), Richard Hatch (BSG not Gay Survivor), Chase Masterson (is trying to push her movie but is weird), Billy Campbell (The Rocketeer!) and Ira Behr (of The 4400). The first 55 minutes of this sucked. The last five minutes of audience questions were great. A Rocketeer question, a “Why do they keep cancelling my favorite shows three episodes in” question/comment, a question about the original Heroes pilot that was screened at Comic-Con last year but hasn’t become publically available. Cool stuff I wouldn’t have known about. I was impressed for the first time with audience questions. Hell, let’s make the panel highlight for the day: Billy Campbell, who had been ignored the whole panel, getting the last question directed to him, and it being about virtually unknown Disney film, The Rocketeer. (I’ll bet you thought I’d give this one to Nathan Fillion for something silly he did during the Drive panel, but really, the Drive panel sucked…) After the rocketeer left the stage, they showed this week’s episode of some lame-ass CBS show about the end of the world (Jericho) and then they talked about it for a half hour. Then Nathan and Kristin and two producers without Tim Minear came out to talk about Drive. They showed two really lame clips of the show, which is basically Cannonball Run the series. I’d really like to like this show. I’m going to try really hard. I want to see something Tim and Nathan do succeed. All of the audience questions were directed to Nathan, there were about 300 people there with coats that are probably a shitty color. I didn’t have any room to talk. Serenity hat, oaty bar shirt, Serenity hoodie… Anyway, there aren’t any highlights to this panel, because it was basically the Nathan Fillion fan hour. The show sounds cool though. Random person highlight three: a guy dressed as a Cobra Crimson Guard and his wife dressed as Zarana, who I believe was once a Crimson Guard Commander, so it makes sense.
We went to Buca Di Beppo to eat. They fucked us over and I left very pissed. So we went to Firewood Cafe in the Metreon and I had really good vegetarian tortellini and my wife had pretty sucky chicken tortellini and bread pudding. I liked the veggie so much I’ll probably go there for lunch from work sometime.
Then we went to Virgin and I finally bought Beside You in Time on HD-DVD.
Four individul TMNT posters, one giant four turtle poster
Would the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby postcard
Drive Driver’s Licences and air fresheners
Star Trek 2008 teaser
Transformers Decepticons pins
Fables 1001 Nights of Snowfall poster
Purchased: Namco Mini Pac-Man and ghosts rubber toys. Ms Pac Man mobile phone game.
And that’s a wrap.