And on the Third Day….
The morning began with a promising preview of ABC’s hopeful answer to HBO’s True Blood; Eastwick, a televised spin-off of John Updike’s supernatural novel. Now, having known very little about the source material, I really couldn’t help being skeptical. However once the “sneak peak” pilot finished airing, I found myself genuinely entertained by this ensemble’s onscreen chemistry from the devlishly handsome Paul Gross to the surprisingly sensational Rebecca Romijn. This entertaining, high-energy series from executive producer Maggie Friedman may truly define the “grounded-magic” concept, as far as one can tell. The show premiers on ABC Wednesday’s starting this September!
The impressive Eastwick premiere was followed by a fully-loaded Marvel Comics panel, updating the comic-book masses on all the latest chaos from the Marvel Univerise thanks to it’s latest cross-book story-arch Dark Reign. This being my first official comic-book panel experience, I did find myself a little surprised at the snarky responses the Marvel artists seemed to enjoy. Marvel’s editor-in-chief Joe Quesada often partcipated in this dodging of questions and withholding specific and tangible facts. Quick and truthful responses were often substituted with unsatisfying attempts at sarcasm. Though a surprise last-minute addition of a young Comic Book-Con attendee dressed as the Marvel hero “Vision” did add some much needed grounding to the presentation.
Marvel’s masterful side-stepping session was quickly followed by the highly-anticipated DC Universe editorial panel. (A presentation which proved the most exciting for this diehard Justice-League wannabe!) DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio and the top-notch DC panel (including Geoff Johns) truly outdid their Marvel counterparts by providing fan-aimed teasers, well-worded hints, and even honest-to-goodness; breaking news regarding the status of some of the world’s most beloved heroes (The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman) The presentation concluded with a solid, informative, and rather entertaining Q & A, where despite possibly unfavorable responses, DC’s panel approached each question in a simple and honest fashion.
After sitting through several panels, it was apparent that it was time to get out of the conference halls and get myself moving. So despite being warned in advance I decided to travel the exhibition floor solo. (Warning! Too many items to scower through with too little financial preparation may lead to a rather painful trek of the floor) Nevertheless, finding myself met eye to eye with overzealous fanborgs, and oddly costumed patrons (even passing Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime himself, at a cotton candy machine) I attempted to survey the booths as best I could. Walking the floor with an open bag at my side made me as sought after as Willy Wonka’s fabled golden ticket, as I was often confronted by vendors who began tossing odd pins, buttons, and other random promotional items into my ape-like hands. Surviving the pandemomium of merchandise mayhem made the best part of the exhibition being a chance to see some of my favorite artists in their natural environment. In fact, I was even able to spot some of my personal favorite cartoonists such as Stephen Pastis ( of the well-worded/quick witted Pearls Before Swine) Zachary Weiner (of the zany and borderline blue Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) and even a chance to gawk and drool at Spiderman creator Stan-Lee.
My long but exciting day concluded with a sensational walk through the looking glass into an exclusive Sneak-Peak exhibition of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. This hidden musuem-esque maze held notes from Burton’s own directoiral files, while creatively displaying official props and gorgeous costume pieces, by using walk-through replicas of the movies sets. This delightful experience, served as a reminder, that there is truly no telling just what remains to be found down the rabbit-hole this next March.
Needless to say; In regards to a day spent at Comic-Con, the third time truly was the charm, in which the SoCalthrills staff was treated to a truly fine day of prime-panelling, stellar-shopping, and entrancing-events galore!