Comic-Con 2009 – We are not alone

I almost didn’t go this year. Some of my friends I usually go with weren’t going so I almost called it all off. I’m glad I didn’t of course. Among some of the highlights for me were first time Comic-con appearances of Hideo Miyazaki and Peter Jackson. Even though the former was only there to promote the English dubbed & US release of a film he’d already made (“Ponyo”) and the latter told us the disappointing news that “The Hobbit” was stalled, I am enough of a fangirl that just seeing them in person was a thrill.
John Lasseter & Hideo Miyazaki
For more movie news I was excited for “Where the Wild Things Are” (they showed us a great sampling of clips from the film) and I was cautiously optimistic about “District 9″ (The film Jackson was there to help promote). I also think Tim Burton’s “9″ is going to be good with the potential of being “great”. “Toy Story 3″ is a sure fire hit and gave me a chance to see if the “new” 3D was going to give me a headache or not (it didn’t). However “Beauty and the Beast” in 3D left me thinking, “Why?”. It’s already a fine film so making a 3D version just seems like a money grab to me. “Sherlock Holmes” I’m not sure about but with Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr and Rachel McAdams in it, I’m willing to give it a shot. “The Book of Eli” looks pretty darn dark and could turn out to be compelling. Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington are in it so we’ll see if it’ll go on their respective “hit” or “slightly miss” lists. The film “Legion” I wasn’t interested in before at all but it’s now at least on my DVD list, same with “The Box”.

Arts-wise I enjoyed seeing Donato do a live painting workshop demo and I also enjoyed Brom’s panel in which he talked about his career as well as showed us some of the work process behind his new book, “The Child Thief”. Looking at his past work I was surprised by how much he’s done (you’ll have to forgive me for not knowing this as I met him as a friend of a friend before I realized I’d also seen his work before). I also made the usual webcomic artist rounds, seeing Rich from Diesel Sweeties, and the Penny Arcade and PvP guys.

For evening events, Friday night I attended a bar party where I saw four members of “The Guild” and talked briefly to Felicia Day (and even more briefly to Sandeep – not because he was rude or anything just because it was darn crowded in that bar!). Saturday I went to Sony Online Entertainment’s Block Party. The weather was pleasant compared to past parties and I had a pretty good time though they weren’t demoing “The Agency” which is what I wanted to see since I’d missed it at FanFaire this year.

In general, I was once again pleasantly pleased with my fellow geeks out there. I did experience some of the huge crowds Comic-Con is famous for but I generally found everyone to be very courteous. Folks would apologize immediately if they even slightly bumped you or got in the way of your picture. Some nice guys saved my seat in Hall H when I had to go up to the press area to take pics and then came back to my seat. I made “line buddies” with a Lara Croft who was wearing a climbing harness as a stand in for a gun holster harness — something I had just noted on my recent climbing trip. So there you go folks, at least two girl, geeky, game playing / rockclimbers out there. I am not alone.
Lara Croft
In fact that’s what Comic-Con is ultimately about for me and many like me. It’s reaffirming that you are not alone. There are others (many others in some cases) out there who like that same comic, hero, villain, piece of artwork that you do and at Comic-Con not only do we get to reaffirm this in a way that online interaction can’t do as well, but we also get the chance to fly our colors proudly and show the whole world that we are not the only ones out there.

Quotes from my trip:
Hideo Miyazaki answering the question, “Why do you have female protagonists?”, “Because women are strong and beautiful.”
Tim Burton, “I’m actually a ‘light’ person.”
Robert Downey Jr on preparing for his role as Sherlock Holmes (after we watched clips which showed Holmes being a playboy), “As you know I’m a method actor…” He paused then added, “No, we went to the source.”
Peter Jackson, “I don’t think movie studios give the audience enough credit.” in regards to making a thought provoking film.
Cameron Diaz answering a shouted marriage proposal from the audience, “Yes!” and then she added, “Can we do it in Vegas? I’ve always wanted to get married in Vegas”.
Gary Oldman answering when we might see the next Batman movie, “Might be 2011… We start shooting next year…But you didn’t hear that from me!” [he has since backtracked on that statement].

My Comic-Con photos: Flickr set

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