Sunday, July 12, 2009

That's One Small Step For Fans, One Giant Leap for Fankind

Was it just five years ago that I started ging to Comic-Con because Sarah Michelle Gellar was there at last? Back in the days where there was actually breathing room?

Indeed, but now I am going back to Comic-Con once again, but for the second time as a member of the press. Granted, last year, I had to use someone else's pass to talk to the cast of Kings, but at least I got a picture of Paris Hilton and didn't have to stalk anyone.

This year, two items will be waiting for me: the Comic-Con book at a modest discount, and the Dollhouse Special Edition DVD with a special letter from The Talented Mr. Whedon. As usual, his influence is everywhere, through those who have worked for him and those who work for him now. There's even a panel on how Bram Stoker, who created Dracula, may have been the Joss Whedon of his day. Well, that may be stretching it a bit. After all, did Stoker write any musicals about mad scientists?

It's also going to be interesting because Comic-Con is about to hit 40, one day after the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing. That explains the title of this post. Back then, the first event was well after Apollo 11 ended. Even in the early days, it got good guests including Ray Bradbury and Jack Kirby. Now, it's Cannes for genre fans from Whedonistas to Twilighters, Star Wars fans and Trekkies to, of course, comic book fans. It's gotten so big that the Hilton across the street is hosting some panels, including one for Weeds, surprisingly enough. If Mary-Louise Parker was a confirmed guest, a lot of guys would pack the place...especially if they've seen many of her sultry body parts.

As usual, the schedule makers have made sure that all attendees will have to give up at least one panel they planned to see. For example, to see the massive Disney 3-D presentation, they'd have to give up seeing a table-read for the never-made episode from The Middleman, a show that deserves to be on ABC Family about 231,450,099 times more than Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make It or Break It combined. Lord knows SyFy (the New Coke of Cable TV) doesn't have the sense to produce that show if it threw away Doctor Who. Or, if they want to see the cast of Chuck, they'd have to skip seeing Juliet Landau talk about the return of Drusilla in the Angel comic book. For certain fans, that's not too difficult.

But consider this choice: the annual Masquerade against a screening of the director's cut of Watchmen with Zach Snyder AND screenings of Torchwood and Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead. You can do without the third option if you remember to tape the shows on the DVR, but the other choices....yeesh. It's always a headache for attendees who like everything. Well, that's why we have Hulu and YouTube, where we can see the panels thanks to fans who feel our pain.

Well, my wishes have influenced my schedule, along with what assignments I get from Whedonopolis. I hope I can get the best of both worlds again.

I am disappointed we won't get a preview of Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino's new movie with Brad Pitt. It sounds like a natural, since Quentin is always popular. Still, there's always a chance of sneak preview. I got lucky last year with Hamlet II, and if someone decides that Comic-Con is the perfect time to preview The Box with Cameron Diaz, or Jennifer's Body with Megan Fox, then we are really lucky. We shall see.

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