We booked our hotel and registered our tickets for Emerald City Comic Con 2012 months ago. I was especially excited about the prospect of meeting Katee Sackhoff AND Edward James Olmos, so I didn’t spend much time prior to the convention planning or even reviewing the comic book guests. Decided to use this as my pop culture/media frenzy event for the year. A few weeks ago when Sackhoff cancelled her appearance due to acting engagements, I was more than a little bummed. Still excited to meet Edward James Olmos, but was *this* close to having both those items crossed off my nerd bucket list.
With considerably less enthusiasm, I downloaded the Guidebook App and went through their schedule of events, plotting out a handful of interesting looking panels. I think we averaged about one panel a day, but again – they were mostly for media guests so you won’t find any breaking news items here.
Top 5 Highlights from Emerald City Comic Con 2012:
5. Ready Player One Panel. For me was the most interesting panel we attended because the author of the book series, Ernest Cline, not only discussed his enduring love for Star Wars but the Hollywood process behind the making of his original screenplay Fanboys and the years long journey to publish “Ready Player One” which has now been optioned for the big screen. We didn’t stay for the Q&A session, but he delivered an inspiring few sentences on the writing process which have given me a long, hard look at my novel.
4. Meeting Wil Wheaton and Witnessing his Awesome Hour. In which he plugged his table-top gaming series on Felicia Day‘s recently released Geek and Sundry YouTube Channel. I’m certain Dan and I will check it out. He also wrote a book Memories From The Future, Volume 1 about his experience with the first season of Star Trek The Next Generation we will hunt down as well. He was very gracious when we snapped pictures and was super complimentary about my tattoo.
DAY THREE RECAP: DARK HORSE PANEL, STUMPTOWN SIGNING, GEEKS AND GOOD WORKS PANEL AND TONY HARRIS SKETCH
We woke up fairly early on Sunday to grab breakfast and doughnuts before Smalls had to board her train back to PDX. After discovering only crazy
expensive breakfast places within walking distance, hampered by my jacked up knees slowing down any further searching, we decided on breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Starbucks which is totes appropriate cause we were in Seattle. Grabbing the sandwiches also left us plenty of time to hit up the real treat of the morning – Top Pot Doughnuts.
HELLO PEOPLE OF SEATTLE – THESE DOUGHNUTS ARE FRAKKIN’ DELICIOUS!!! Why there wasn’t a line out the door and snaking down the sidewalk is beyond me. The only one I could stuff in my already fairly-stuffed maw was the Raspberry. RASPBERRY DOUGHNUT. With no nasty creme or berry filling. So heavenly I’m imagining how long it will be before my next trip to Seattle and thinking…not that long. 😀
Everyone snacked on and enjoyed at least one doughnut (my ma purchased a dozen) before we moseyed on back to the hotel, packed, loaded up the car, checked out and hit the Con floor.
Just in time for…
THE DARK HORSE PANEL
Since we’d missed the BPRD Panel the previous day where they announced Guy Davis leaving, we thought it would be appropriate to drop in and see if one of our favorite local publishers had anything exceptionally interesting to say about their books, aside from the news that exceptionally interesting people are leaving.
Turns out – the lovely Ms. Felicia Day was sitting in on the opening of THIS panel as well to chat about The Guild comic book series. Looks like each character will be getting their own one-shot origin via Dark Horse -Vork’s was released on December 22nd, 2010. According to Felicia Day – Bladezz will be released next (within two months or so) and then one can only assume that Tinkerballa’s will be out after that, given the signed prints that were being offered up at their booth this weekend.
Zaboo’s book will be co-written by nerd hunk and scribe Sandeep Parikh and drawn by the lovely Becky Cloonan, whom I follow on the Twitter because I like her drawerings and because she’s funny. She also did the art for DEMO.
Felicia also mentioned she has decided NOT to pilot for anything this season that is not Science Fiction related. Or I suppose she could have meant “SyFy” – either way she hasn’t piloted YET so one can either assume that there is a small market for scifi this year or that SyFy isn’t producing any new shows.
My vote would be for her to appear on BSG: Blood and Chrome (which sounds eerily similar to Spartacus: Blood and Sand). People of Syfy, make it happen! Though she is so funny and sweetly charming I’m not sure how well she could fair on the intense drama of the BSG Verse. Balls.
ANYWHO – back to comics world. We then sat through about 20 minutes (or 2 hours) of Axe Cop panel which boasted a 6 year old making crazy bird screeching noises, eating candy and offering it to everyone in sight. It was cute bordering on annoying but I really love the concept of the book and the collaboration between the brothers, as I imagine it would be difficult to find something to bond over when your sibling is 25 years younger than you are. The book is probably a bit too ridiculous and comedic for me…but the folks involved seem successful and happy with the work they are doing so props to them. If you like the random imagination of five year olds, you should check it out.
Scott Allie revealed he WILL continue to edit the work of Joss Whedon who signed on to write Buffy The Vampire Slayer through Season 10. Whoot to BTVS fans everywhere!! I dropped out in about the middle of Season 8. Hopefully a collection will be published soon so I can catch up before the next season hits the shelves.
Allie clarified there will now only be 25 books per season (maybe he meant 24?) to keep them at two years versus four. Everyone involved recognized that was far too long a “season” for even the most die hard fans.
Apparently there’s some other big news in store for Buffy that Allie is waiting to reveal at Wondercon, so keep your ear to the ground if this book is your cup of tea. Change is a-comin’.
DAY TWO RECAP: L4D COSPLAY, THE GUILD PANEL, MASQUERADE
The morning got off to a rocky start with a late breakfast at the hotel restaurant and getting my parents settled in to the room. We’d all (except for Erin) decided to do a little Cosplay for Saturday – my parents dressed in Star Trek uniforms for their picture with William Shatner, my dad once again sporting some stylized facial hair.
Dan and I were sporting our Left 4 Dead costumes – Dan dressed as Bill and I went as Zoey. It took us about two months to put the costumes together. Most of the pieces were purchased outright or items we already owned, but some were customized.
Clothing items we already owned: Dan’s pants, white undershirt. My jeans and white undershirt.
Clothing items we purchased: Green beret, pink track jacket, black hi-top cons, black army boots
Bill’s green beret was customized with a yellow patch which Dan ACTUALLY sewed on. Very proud of him for that. Zoey’s jacket we purchased online at Wal-Mart. It was the closest match I could find and also the cheapest. They’re on clearance right now, if you want to pick one up before they’re gone. I had to do a bit of alteration – cutting, gluing and sewing white fabric on – Thank God this jacket comes equipped with black fabric as an outline for all the places you need to add material. Also had to cut the black fabric off the collar, as well as remove the tacky glued on bits underneath. THAT took awhile. Way too damn long but aided with the help of one of those de-fuzz-baller-things.
Dan spray-painted two guns black to cover the orange tips – one a machine and another a shot-gun – both appear in the video game series. We printed up some hilarious “Pain Reliever” labels for generic aspirin bottles here, attached it to the side of our pants with velcro and safety pins.
We also purchased two red expandable duffle bags from Wal-Mart which we customized with white fabric. We attached them to our backs with safety pins so they would seem to inexplicably hang there.
Finally – we made up “Boomer Bile” bottles which took searching at three or four different stores to find the right container. We went with water bottles purchased at our local Target (not finding them online), augmented with flat toothpicks and spray painted to match the white color of the lids. We added a bit of red tape to the lid, and then printed up a label found here on sticker paper. The boomer bile we modified based on a recipe we found on this Cosplay forum. Highly suggest the forum – it has a ton of great ideas for manufacturing props and putting together accurate costumes.
Boomer Bile Recipe Used: Lime Green Gatorade, Green Food Coloring and a dab of Cornstarch. Just gotta shake it up every once in awhile if the starch settles. It gives off a delicious green glowing color…and you can drink it for full effect.
The results of all this time and effort looked something like this:
We boarded our flight around 8:45am Wednesday and arrived in San Diego around 11:45am. Then had to wait for the free hotel shuttle for an hour, which was fine because it gave us an opportunity to eat what would be our only substantial meal until nearly 10pm that night.
We dropped off our luggage, printed up our tickets and hopped a trolley around 2pm to the convention center to pick up our badges.
The registration process itself was fairly quick and easy. Then we were herded like cattle into a line to moo over the master schedule and play a few hands of rummy.
Three hours (and some confusion, expensive water and frozen yogurt later), and we entered the Preview Night exhibit hall. Not first…but not exactly last.
There was a mad rush to hit up certain booths (Marvel! WB!) and I stopped off at Boom! Studios to pick up a limited edition Dark Wing Duck comic for a friend of a friend. Erin scooped up a ton of free items, but I was quite overwhelmed by the lines and people and mostly tried to steer clear of death by crushing.
We ended up finding The Guild booth and got autographs from the entire cast. They were all so absolutely gorgeous! Sandeep Parikh complimented my tattoo and Felicia Day also ogled and touched my arm. It was definitely my joy moment for the day, year and life!
Next we stopped off at the Webcomics area. Addie chatted and snagged a picture with the guy who creates Dinosaur comics. That was her joy moment.
Finally, we hit up the Browncoats booth and along the way Erin discovered a dude with a Vampire Diaries swag bag, which he nonchalantly traded off and ended up making her day.
After that we were exhausted and took the trolley back to the hotel, then hopped a cab to an In-n-Out Burger down the street. Totally worth it.
*May Contain Spoilers*
The Plain Janes is one of those stories I know I’m not supposed to like that much, but I do anyway. There is just something compelling about it. Perhaps it’s the High School setting. Stories, movies, television shows, comic books about high school never seem to get old, even for people who are technically too old for high school. BTW – this is a product of the now defunct Minx DC label. It’s always a bummer now to pick up one of their books, really enjoy it…and realize that engaging comic books catered specifically to young adult women are a thing of the past. *sigh*
There’s elements to like here – the artistic rendering of the characters by Jim Rugg for instance. He creates a fascinating world – cartoony yet emotive that easily carries the story. There is never a moment in the art (except for perhaps the disastrous hairstylings of the main character) which seems out of place. Looks like he’s also co-creator of Street Angel comics, of which the title comic has been produced into a short film that was released in 2009. Here’s the trailer for said film:
It also looks like Rugg is now doing some work on The Guild comic book for Felicia Day, which is housed at Dark Horse. Definitely an artist to watch out for.
The writing itself wasn’t bad either – done by Cecil Castellucci, a scribe of young-adult literature. In spite of it’s overall appeal – there were just a few sticking points in the stereotyping of the characters. It’s hard not to fall into that with stories centered around high school, I suppose. The caricatures are so prevalent in this institution, and everyone is struggling to define themselves using stereotypical labels. It felt a bit forced here. I wanted the characters to be able to grow and expand – the other Janes all rang so hollowly throughout most of the story. The nerd, the jock, the drama queen, the Cheerleader, the artist and the sensitive boy Main Jane has a crush on. Yep, this is kinda plot and characters by-the-numbers.
But the context is so refreshing, and the artistic terrorism the Janes perpetrate in the sleepy town seem antithetical to the hotbed of stereotypes they grow out of. To put it more precisely, in order to make this story really work I needed to spend more time with the Janes as individuals.
I feel like the book was rushed, we were rushed through some of the best parts of the story, and I dreaded the insertion of the romance between Main Jane and Sensitive HS Boy, because it was un-needed. Main Jane was getting along fine without Sensitive Boy. He is helpful, but she is an interesting person outside of the interactions she has with him. And the meat of the story should be with the Janes. Ultimately, I wanted the work they did together to bring Main Jane to her life conclusions. It doesn’t always have to be the dude! What’s wrong with a little chick-mance now and then?
Dudes get bromances ALL the time. Buddy cop movies, the majority of comedies, and even a few action movies. Definitely war films – war films are like bromance on steroids. So, is it wrong to ask that every once in a while, a decent film about a woman overcoming a traumatic obstacle in her life does not feature a regular romance, and instead embraces the ability of women to help other women heal. Believe me, it happens.
So whatever – there is just too much stereotyping for me to love this book whole-heartedly and without reserves. The idea of art helping people overcome tragedy is a wonderful message to the piece, but the ending rang a bit false to me. I wanted Main Jane to take more of a stance, and take ownership of her actions. There needed to be more resolve for her then I felt at the end. The lack of a real conclusion is most likely also a victim of the rushed story. Really, this was a nice world to be in, and I didn’t mind spending more time there. I just wish the author would have allowed us the space to know these characters a bit more, and achieve a satisfactory resolution.
Poor, troubled Joss Whedon. He’s had off years, and great successes where no one expected (turning a failed movie into a TV series, and a failed TV series into a movie) so expectations were high for Dollhouse, and let’s be honest – the first four episodes did not deliver.
If I wasn’t a Whedon junky, I would have probably skipped off Dollhouse following episode 3 (as I did with Fringe). But the tenacity of wanting to see this show succeed where Firefly failed kept me watching. Things have picked up. Things have gotten good. Though I’m still not in love with any of the characters, and feel the humor is rocky at best…there is more to this than sheer entertainment value at this point. It’s getting Joss back on track doing what he does best – television. And if it takes a season or two to make that happen…I want to put him there. He’s delivered exciting content on three different TV shows, with my favorite mutants, and in a musical blog. What more could a nerd heart desire?
It doesn’t confirm that the show is canceled – merely a Season Two bridge episode #13 in which Felicia Day and Alan Tudyk were supposed to guest star is *possibly* not going to be aired. Hence – no Season Two, without an airing of the much touted Episode 13.
UPDATE: Tim Minear explains the situation here and soothes some of the savage beasties salivating at the keyboard. It’s incredibly helpful when the writers of a show watch the fan boards and respond. Why are these people so eerily accessible?
Right now – Dollhouse and Fox are the top trending searches on Twitter. I’ve even been prompted to tweet my fourth update in the last month about it, just to add my tiny push to the wave that is no doubt cresting at Fox’s door this very moment. All this started about 1 hour ago, btw. Hah!
So – I’m going to do my part and reserve a copy of the Season One DVD. I’m going to ignore the conflicting info flying around the net at present:
For some reason – as with X-Men Origins: Wolverine…I just can’t shake the feeling that the internets have been duped by bizarre FOX PR stunts as of late. Or maybe it is just the inability of old media to play nicely with new media creating circumstances which feed fan frenzy. Who knows?
Maybe you want to join in the twittering fun – to save Dollhouse?
Much Love, Mindy C