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Comic-Con 2003 Day Three:
San Diego Goes Hollywood, And Thanks Its Agent...

Saturday morning. Usually it's the day you get to sleep in, or maybe watch cartoons. But in San Diego, the cartoons are running all day anyway, in a dark room upstairs.

It's also the day that Hollywood comes to the Con, taking over the grand ballroom in style. Warner Brothers, Paramount, New Line, Sony and Universal all came to ply their wares, including a first look at Van Helsing. Only one individual is powerful enough to wangle ballroom time away from the studios, and that's Kevin Smith.

Now THERE'S a crossover...

From the outset this morning, Smith was a hot topic, as Marvel's spotlight on upcoming projects started out the day. While it looked like Joe Quesada rightfully wanted to stress the success of attending writers J. Michael Straczynski and Brian Michael Bendis, fans really wanted to know where's #2 of Daredevil/Bullseye, and the rest of The Evil That Men Do? Through gritted teeth and rolling eyes, Joe Q could only offer that he asks the same thing every chance he gets.

Later on in his own one and a half hour ballroom block, Smith was penitent, and swore never to open his mouth about an upcoming project until he had completely finished writing it, gotten it back from the printers, and had it in distribution for ten years.

Marvel did have some positive news, or at least an interesting and creatively challenging move for Bendis. Alias will be coming to an end with #28, but that won't mark the end for Jessica Jones.

As Bendis elaborated in the later MOB panel, it had become too hard to really put Jessica in the regular Marvel Universe while doing it as a MAX book. Instead, Jessica will be a regular in a PG title, The Pulse. In that book, Jessica shares the spotlight with Ben Urich and J. Jonah Jameson, with the main setting being the Daily Bugle.

Since Bendis loves us again (he said so and gave us free crap to boot), we'll wait until we can do a proper interview with him to reveal more.

For fans of Snake Plissken, Jan Utstein-O'Neill emceed a panel on the future of the character, confirming that we will see the Snake Plissken animated film in 2005, from the same studio that produced Ghost In The Shell and Jin-Roh. Amy Zagerlin from MGM Home Entertainment also promised a great Special Edition of Escape From New York to see a November release, including all-new, perhaps not drunken, commentary.

The old and the new were celebrated by DC, as three giants in the annals of fandom converged for a panel. Ray Bradbury, Julie Schwartz and Forrest J. Ackerman displayed their friendship and told tales from the past, followed up by an appearance at the DC compound.

While there, you could look to the future with a preview of Alex Ross and Paul Dini's upcoming JLA project. For me, it was just great to catch up with marketing manager Adam Philips - thanks for your time.

Holy Masquerade, Batman!
Comic Book The Movie (and Wakko Warner) co-star
Jess Harnell poses with fans who have a wilder fantasy life than he does.

Because we're obviously Buffy fans, we had to take some time and listen to Joss Whedon let the fans thank him for seven great years.

As always charming and self-effacing, Whedon let slip a few hopes he has for the future. He admitted that the seventh season had caused a few continuity errors in Fray, and implied that he would have to fix that with a second Fray mini-series. So look for that by 2010.

When asked if he ever considered writing one of the big gun characters of comics, Whedon hemmed and hawed a bit before confessing he fantasizes about a Buffy vs. Batman story.

And big news for our Firefly reviewer, Kevin Goodman: Whedon hopes to know within the next two months if he can go ahead and redo the show as a big-screen venture. As for the plot of such a thing? One word: Reivers.

With little left of the day, we poked around Artist's Alley, an often rewarding experience. Some time was spent with the gentlemen responsible for The Villikon Chronicles, which we'll cover more fully in upcoming weeks.

Tonight, of course, was The Masquerade, the event which brings out the wildest and the wackiest costumes at the Con. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, was scheduled to host the event. After we return home, we hope to have some follow-up on that event.

There won't be time to update tomorrow, and we're going to need Monday for recovery. But we'll be back on Tuesday with our usual features, and hopefully a little bit more. And I don't mean weight, though that's entirely possible after the meals we've had today.

This is a picture we should have gotten of model Linda O'Neill at WonderCon. Luckily, being a convention attendee is all about second chances.

Derek McCaw


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