Tuesday, September 8, 2009

late Comic Con recap: part1


sorry about that...hopefully nobody's noticed i haven't updated since...August?
this isn't soon for me, by the way.

anyway, i have more things to update with, but i was planning on writing a recap of Comic Con first before i posted anything else...but i guess it's taking longer than i thought and ending up lengthier than i expected, so i'm going to break it down into two installments. let's see how this goes.

somehow i forgot to mention that i went to San Diego Comic Con this past summer. it was a pretty good
experience as always. was probably my seventh time going, or something like that. it was my first time
going with the intention to find work though. before that i was just fanboying it up with the rest of
them. i still managed to do that...which probably wasn't too good, but i still looked for work! i think
the next time i'll try to be more focused about it, plan it out like my friends Dave and Eric
who broke it up into pleasure for preview night, business the next couple days after that, and then
fun again on the weekend.

i don't remember everything because it blurred together so much by the end, which anybody who attends
can agree upon. so i'll just lay down the highlights (yes...these are highlights) of the event with some pictures and links.

Angela and i left Tucson Wednesday morning with our friend Jay driving. we wouldn't have been able to make it there without him, so a superbig thank you to Jay. (you don't have worry, i already told him thanks tons of times while we were there. probably not enough, but i did tell him thank you in person.) we got to San Diego in the afternoon to check in. after that was all done, Jay took off for LA to pick up Natasha from work. she got time off from work so she was able to attend all of the con if she wanted, so that was awesome.

OH. also big thanks to Jay, because he was the one who secured the room for all of us. so more superbig thanks are in order!


Angela and i got to the convention center a little late because of me and having to wait for the trolley. when we got there we met up with my friend Jed, another friend who i owe a lot for getting me to Comic Con. he was more than kind enough to offer to order extra tickets for me and Angela after 4-day passes sold out. so a superbig thank you to Jed, too!


it was great once we got inside because Angela's jaw dropped automatically. her first comic con was the Phoenix Cactus Con, so this was a pretty intense step up for her. we tried going through the con with Jed and his friend, but i kept getting sidetracked by some of the booths and the crowds got too thick to keep a group larger than four people together. we decided to meet up again later.


didn't meet up again until a couple days later, but we still met up. we interrupted there lunch, which was pretty funny because their restaurant was only a block down from ours. what wasn't funny was they were eating at Dick's. i don't care if it is their schtick. i don't need that kind of asshole service from a waiter. Jed said he was planning on taking off for home because he had some extra work that his employer wanted done by weekend's end, so i was pretty lucky to see him again before he left.


well...not for me. not complaining. it was just crazy because Angela and I ended up sharing a room with Jay and Natasha, as well as Dave and Eric. Angela and I met up with Dave and Eric after the con closed for the day so we could take the trolley back with them to the hotel while they hurked their two-ton comic manuscripts around with them. somehow Dave hurt his leg earlier that day just from waiting in line, so carrying the manuscripts didn't help him too much. by the end of the convention he was this hobbling little, old, babyman. sad sight to see, but his leg was better the next time i saw him.
anyway, so Dave and Eric ended up sleeping on the floor. sometimes near the door. sometimes under the table. sometimes near the bathroom door.
one night, Natasha's friend and lead from work, Phil Rynda (he's the lead Character Designer on Cartoon Network's new show, Adventure Time), as well as his wife, stayed with us. Natasha and Jay were super hospitable and let Phil and his wife take their bed. sorta made me feel like a bum, so i'll bring a pillow along next time i go, just to switch it up with people.

i dunno if i made it to as many panels this year as i have in the past, but i made it to some pretty big ones, so i was super satisfied. the biggest panel for me was making it into the Disney/Hayao Miyazaki panel in Hall H.


i never thought i'd see the inside of that hall! the line usually snakes on forever, and if you don't get there in time, you're totally shitoutofluck. i can say this from experience, because one year Jack Black and Kyle Gass were there to perform and promote the Tenacious D movie and i remembered about the panel 15 minutes before it started so hahah no luck.
anyway, the panel was pretty AMAZINGGG. Angela and i were getting pretty tired out there...i think i
got sunburned too (the line wraps around outside the convention center because it's a high capacity meeting hall), but once we got inside we were all superjazzed and mouth-agape and everything! we were handed these spiffy 3d glasses that had sensors in them so people couldn't rip them off, and then we tried to find seats in the almost-filled, half-lit room. it was convenient that they had multiple screens around the room broadcasting the stage because we ended up some where in the middle back.
i can't remember what happened in what order, but it all happened and ended with Miyazki appearing. the panel started with John Lasseter introducing the director of Toy Story 3 and a segment of Toy Story 2 in 3d (the opening sequence where Buzz flies to Zurg's planet, raises hell, and gets blasted to bits). then Lasseter went on introduce the directors from Beauty and the Beast who spoke about the task of reformating the movie to 3d for re-release in theaters on Valentine's Day 2010. they also spoke about the upcoming The Princess and The Frog, showing an awesome clip with Keith David's witchdoctor character. he was singing and dancing and all of this trippy stuff was happening, reminiscent of The Three Caballeros. totally makes me want to go see the movie for his character and that segment. they then showed an unfinished clip from the movie, which was pretty cool because you were able to see the process as it jumped from colored to roughs in an instant. there was also a trailer for this upcoming made-for-TV holiday movie called "Prep and Landing." if you're skeptical about the movie because of the look of the commando elves or it's a holiday movie or whatever, watch the trailer. it's soooo good.
so then Miyazaki came out and everyone went crazy, giving him a standing ovation before he could even say hello.

Lasseter chatting it up with Miyazaki at SDCC '09

it was pretty great to see him. he introduced a clip from Ponyo where she was running by the cliffs on the large waves of fish and spoke about his inspiration for it. i took video of the conversation between Lasseter and Miyazaki, as well as some of his responses from the Q and A. i haven't even looked at it yet to see how it turned out! so once i do, i'll post it...y'know..if anybody is interested.
i felt lucky to see him and thought it great that i got to video tape it, but i feel like i lost a bit of the "magic" because i spent a bit more focus on getting him in the shot and can't even remember what he said. but i can't remember what Lasseter said either...so i don't know if that's any better..hmm...
anyway, i do remember this one girl from the Q and A noted that he featured quite a few strong female characters in his movies and asked him what his intentions were, to which he responded that, paraphrased, he felt women to be strong people, what with birth and all that, and admired that...something like that.
yeah, maybe i'll post the movie anyway.
does anybody know what happens to the video that they use to record the panels? is it archived some
where or is just a for fun thing or whatever?? i always wondered what the hell the point was if you
never saw it outside the convention.

-Adult Swim/Venture Brothers
was lucky to make it to the Venture Brothers panel, too. so much running around and close calls from trying to portfolio and see the convention floor, so i was pretty grateful that Jay and Natasha were holding spots in line for us. i tried to record their panel, too, but by then i had the shakey hands, so i was only able to snap off a bunch of shakeyblurry photos. their panel was more than amazing, too. i think a majority of the panel was just them (Jackson Publick, Doc Hammer, Michael Sinterniklaas (the voice of Dean Venture), James Urbaniak (the voice of Doctor Venture), plus some other producer guys) responding to audience questions, because i don't remember much else in from the main discussion aside from the awesome trailer for season 4.1.
in case you weren't aware, the new season has already started. the third episode airs this Sunday.
man, that panel was a whole lot innuendo, due in part to all of the sexual advances made by Doc
toward the people asking questions. the panel wouldn't have been funny if that didn't happen though, and you know it. people asked the panel about continuity, if they would bring characters back, what Doc and Jackson's musical influences/preferences were (because of certain character cameos), who the voice actors' influences were for developing the sound of the characters, which one of them had better legs (which they proudly displayed to the audiences hootin and hollerin), and if they'd play the trailer again. such a good panel. and then after that all of the Venture Bros cosplayers were grouping up outside of the hall for photos, so check out the photos Angela and i snapped up, plus others, HERE.

-Cartoon Network panel
the Cartoon Network panel was some sad fun. it was sad because CH Greenblatt (the creator) and Tara Strong (the voice of Truffles) were saying goodbye to Chowder. he said that the current season is the last, which i heard is because Chowder's voice actor is getting older and his voice is changing, so he won't be the same loveable little apprentice when the show started, so Greenblatt wants to end it now rather than try to continue it and risk the quality. the fun was Thurop Van Orman (creator and voice of Flapjack) and Jackie Buscarino (the woman who sings "TWO PIECES OF CANNDYYYYYY") and Steve Little (Doctor Barber) representing Flapjack. Pen Ward was also there to introduce his upcoming show Adventure Time, which will be out around summer or fall of 2010...i think...
Greenblatt and Tara Strong were also fun, too. everyone just got goofy and had fun talking to each and interacting with the audiences. panels like that are always so damn cool because you can tell that the people, the animators/directors/producers/whatever and the voice actors, really love their jobs and have tons of fun with it. Thurop (used to have) posted videos on his journal of some office guys messing around with these knit K'nuckles and Flapjack masks somebody sent to him, and he and Pen actually put them on at the panel. so cool. and then while everyone was talking about their shows, Pen was cutting up minicomics he had been working on for the con. and man that guy has so much enthusiasm, he kept YEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAing and HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOing. hahah it was so great.

-Bryan Lee O'Malley spotlight

the Bryan Lee O' Malley spotlight panel was fun and informative. it was basically him and Scott McCloud shooting the shit about Mal's comics. McCloud looked into how Mal changed his style, still trying to develop it from his work on Lost at Sea, eventually finding it with the crisp, machine-aesthetic brush strokes evident in the most recent volumes of Scott Pilgrim. he also asked Mal about his music influences, since music is a big part of the story, as well as his life, and talked about how real world settings make a difference when trying to develop a story that will appeal to everybody. (Scott Pilgrim is set in Toronto, where O'Malley lived for some time before moving to the States a few years ago.) they also talked about the upcoming movie and his involvement with that, the development of the characters, how he goes about writing the stories, his love of Sailor Moon, and a little bit about his relationship with Hope Larson, since McCloud deemed them to be one of the "power couples" in comics industry. when McCloud asked about if Mal and Hope were able to focus on their work at home, since they shared studio space, she spoke up from the crowd to say she had an office now (which she's tweeted about). kind of wish i went to see her spotlight panel. maybe another time. did anybody manage to go to it? was it just as fun and informative?..yes? maybe?

hope that wasn't too overkill. be ready because there's still a part 2 coming. more photos and links will be in part 2.

also, as a reminder, the rest of my convention photos can be found HERE.