If you come to one of these Hollywood panels,
don't be fooled or frightened by the size of the line. Hall
H seats over 6,000 and some change, but that means that
the length of the line looks daunting to a newcomer. In
truth, I saw a side of the Convention Center that I never
had before, as organizers created a queue that worked so
well Disney psychologists should take note. Thus I discovered
the sculpture and lawn area and realized there's literally
another side to San Diego.
And that line had to be experienced, as
Warner Brothers started off the day with a slate of presentations
that had fans drooling. The studio waited until Saturday
to bring on Bryan Singer with Superman Returns
(more on that later), but did not disappoint with the first
look at the trailer for V For Vendetta.
The average movie-goer may not get worked
up over that movie, but comic fans are always protective
of Alan Moore adaptations. Especially since they've been
burned before, extraordinarily.
Series artist and co-creator David Lloyd
joined film producers Joel Silver and Grant Hill, but not
before bringing out the one with the power to tongue tie
the most ardent Alan Moore fan: Natalie Portman. When there's
more time this week, I'll do a more detailed rundown of
the panel. For now, the trailer looked good and Miss Portman
seemed to really know something about the original graphic
As part of the V Celebration, Warner
Brothers gave everyone Guy Fawkes masks. At a convention
in which people get zombie and "Captain Spaulding"
make-overs, it's still hard to top the creep factor of the
sight of that mask, especially when sitting behind someone
wearing it backwards.
stop looking at me!!!!!!
Producer Alison Abbatte and Co-director
Mike Johnson (introduced as a producer) arrived to introduce
a lengthy clip from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.
Showing most of the first ten minutes of the film, they
even gave us a taste of Danny Elfman's performance as "Bonejangles."
Of course they took questions from the audience, and directed
everyone toward a great display at Gentle Giant Studios'
podium, where an animator is working live on recreating
a scene from the film.
Judging from the preponderance of Hogwarts'
costumes and the buzz of Book 6 being released at midnight,
expectations were high for the Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire presentation. Yet with fans all over
the place, the Potter stuff was very, very low-key. Director
Mike Newell sent a taped introduction of the still in-progress
trailer and ...that was it. Though Newell said this was
cut together just for Comic-Con goers, it had the feel of
a conventional trailer. Only some of the special effects
were still in rough stages.
At least the trailer showed everyone the
characters and key moments they wanted to see -- Sirius
Black's appearance has been nicely realized. Quick glimpses
of the mermaid and the horned dragon also flashed by. Very
satisfyingly, Newell included a strong look at Mad-Eye Moody,
played by Brendan Gleeson.
Before we could register that was all, that
was all. Then came a videotaped introduction from Hugh Jackman
for The Fountain. Director Darren Aronofsky stepped
onstage to introduce a lengthy segment that was just enough
to blow our minds. Again, later this week I'll do a better
also Star Wars day at the convention, and fans
had been excitedly hovering about the pavilion. Organizers
decided that fan groups such as the 501st Battalion would
be relegated to the mid-level between the exhibit hall and
the conference rooms, but it hasn't seemed to dim any enthusiasm
for them. We should be getting a report or two on the exhibits
and panels from a new writer to the Fanboy Planet fold.
Dan Didio hosted
a panel called Crisis Counseling, to guide fans through
the events of Infinite Crisis. Readers seem to have mixed
emotions about this event; while there's a lot of excitement
about it, some are resentful of the tight continuity running
through the DC Universe. It's an argument that won't be
settled any time soon, but it seems to be big enough that
it even came up at a Marvel panel.
As has been their
habit for a few years, Warner Brothers Animation sent a
team of producers and writers to speak about Justice
League Unlimited and The Batman, including,
of course, the upcoming DVD release of The Batman vs.
Dracula. Bruce Timm introduced the upcoming episode
"Divided We Fall," and there is something really
bracing about watching JLU with a thousand like-minded
fans. It's good.
toward The Batman has been well-established. But everybody
involved seems earnest, and voice actors Kevin Michael Richardson
and Tom Kenny
appeared and were very gracious toward fans. To get our excitement
up, they showed the "first act" of The Batman
vs. Dracula, and home video has definitely allowed them
to up the ante a little bit. If you can put aside the plot
contrivance of Dracula's coffin being moved to a Gotham graveyard,
it actually has a pretty good creep factor and the best Penguin
line ever -- when Dracula identifies himself as "undead,"
the Penguin replies, "And I have to unwet myself."
that's the Joker on the left -- Kevin Michael Richardson.
the talent did a signing at the Mattel booth, which underscores
how much the licensing opportunities dominate the industry
and, of course, the convention itself.
the Con offered a variety of programming, including the
Eisner Awards and a screening of "the worst cartoons
ever made." But there was a lot for everyone. And of
course the Gaslamp District hosted parties throughout the