My attending Comic Con has been a last minute opportunity these past three years. It’s definitely one that I appreciate. For a long time before I was finally able to attend, I would scour the internet for as much information as possible. All websites that had an article or videos related to Comic Con I devoured with a veracious fury, needing every single morsel of information that was released. Youtube provided access to celebrity filled panels I could only imagine attending.
For the uninitiated San Diego Comic Con is an annual convention that combines comics, upcoming movies, video games, new television shows, exclusive toys and action figures, along with a menagerie of eclectic people in various costumes. Founded in 1970 San Diego Comic Con has went from a small niche convention, to one of the largest multicultural gatherings in the world. Before even stepping foot into the convention center, the spirit of fun and camaraderie amongst people who have a common interest, that in their hometown might not be accepted or “cool”, is felt. There are so many different people of all sizes, and ethnicities that a feeling of acceptance and not being judge by those around you is certainly felt.
Being that I only had the chance to be there one day, I had to make the most of it. Navigating through the aisles on the show floor can be exhausting and very intimidating. There are a ton of people walking in various directions, suddenly stopping, taking pictures with cosplayers. It’s pretty much madness. There are two different floors of the convention center. The bottom is the show floor. This houses various booths that range from huge movies including Divergent which the cast was in attendance to take pictures with and sign autographs for the fans. To smaller booths that have incredible artwork from well known to independent artists and animators.
Marvel had a gigantic stage set up where a costume contest took place. People were dressed as Spiderman with Gwen Stacy, Black Widow, and the Winter Soldier. The level of craftsmanship and detail put into their outfits were pretty amazing. Classic WWE superstars Hulk Hogan and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart were roaming around along with various other actors including talented voice and screen actor Arif S. Kinchen. Arif is known as the voice of character “Pierce Washington” in the Saints Row video game series, as well as “Red” in the newly released Dead Rising 3, the animated television version of Mad, and the film “The Wash” which starred Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre. He took part along with fellow voice actor Josh Keaton (Green Lantern, Spiderman, Metal Gear Solid 3) and other professionals in the Cartoon Voice 1 panel which was held in the upper level.
Sideshow Collectibles, which creates and sells models and figures of various film properties including “Star Wars”, the Marvel films, “Back to the Future”, etc. had a huge showing this year as usual. The quality of their products are bar none. The attention and passion they put into the art of recreating these characters clearly shows when you look at figures like “Boba Fett”. The artistry right down to the weathering of the armor and helmet that the character is wearing speaks volumes of the admiration to the properties that the people working on these projects have. The booth is arranged with various displays that include Tony Stark, his work bench, and all of the variations of his armor. As well as glass cases that hold statues of Pinhead from the movie “Hellraiser”, and various characters from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.
A main reason I have been attending is to film coverage and interviews for the Stauros Entertainment produced online show “Hollywood 1 on 1”. So about half of my time was spent on the upper level which holds the various ball rooms where the panels take place. The second floor also has an area where fans can walk up to different celebrities including Ann Rice, Weird Al Yankovic, actress Erin Gray (Silver Spoons, Buck Rogers, The Guild), and Hector David Jr. who plays the Green Ranger in “Power Rangers Samurai”, and “Christian Campos” in the Hulu original series “East Los High” with whom I filmed an interview with. I also filmed interviews with Kathy Coleman who played “Holly” on the television series “Land of the Lost”, Voice actor Greg Eagles who played “Grim” on “The Grim adventures of Billy and Mandy” and is voicing a character in the upcoming “Mortal Kombat” video game, along with a couple of other talented actors. One thing I noticed is that, this year and last, there has been a huge line to meet and get autographs from the cast of the Disney animated series “Phineas and Ferb”.
A large draw of Comic Con are the amazing panels. Anything you can think of from voice acting, screen writing, animation, talks about starting a career in the comic book industry to self publishing, popular television shows, and upcoming blockbuster movies are touched upon. Hall H, where people line up the day before to get into and holds 7,000, is where film studios bring out their big guns. This year was no exception. The Marvel panel showed footage of Avengers: Age of Ultron and concept footage of Ant-Man. Not satisfied with only showing footage, the cast of Avengers including Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and many more were brought out to Micheal Jackson’s classic “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”. Josh Brolin was also introduced as “Thanos” the ultimate villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Next Paul Rudd, Micheal Douglas, Evangeline Lily, who was also on the Hobbit panel, and Corey Stoll who star in Ant-Man came out and spoke about the film, and now being a part of the Marvel Universe.
During the Warner Bros. panel Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConnaughey spoke about “Interstellar”, Channing Tatum spoke about the upcoming film “Jupiter Ascending”, Zack Snyder brought out Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, showed off footage from “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and Wonder Woman’s new outfit. The Hobbit panel moderated by a costumed Stephen Colbert, who obviously has a huge reverence for the series, brought out Peter Jackson along with a ton of the actors including Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis to discuss “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”.
A panel for the upcoming Halo Anniversary collection, which includes Halo’s 1-4 along with every multiplayer map including dlc and maps that were pc exclusive, was also held. Blur the studio that handles animation for various projects within the entertainment industry also had a rep on the panel. The work they are doing on this project and have done for others is mind blowing. Honestly what I just described does not do the amount of different entertainment at Comic Con any justice. There is just way to much to see and experience in one day. I had a great time and hope I get the chance to return in the future.