Thursday, August 2, 2007

Comic Con Day 2: Their Back and This Time It's For Real!

We felt pretty wiped out after the first day, all the walking all the stuff to see, it was crazy. But alas the show must go on, we pulled ourselves outta bed and started day 2 of Comic Con.

We spent the morning walking through the middle of the floor where all the shiny neat stuff was like the Weta, Hasbro, Lucas Film, Marvel, DC, Heroes, Capcon, Playstation and all the other neat booths were. We got cool pictures of alot of the booths you can see HERE

We saw a big Optimus Prime, a recreation of the Ark of the Covenant for Indy 4, trippy Darth Vader Helmets, Lord Voldermort, the Mach 5 just crazy awesome stuff, Geektastic to the hizzie. After walking around for an hour or two we made our way upstairs to get the skinny on the new comics IDW is comming out with.

It was a real low-key layed back panel hosted by the publisher Chris Ryall, with Cory Doctorow, David and Scott Tipton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Brian Lynch (Spike). First they talked about their Million Dollar Baby 30 Days of Night, the new movie comming out and the new comic book 30 Days of Night: Red Snow, written and illustrated by the artist for the original 30 Days Ben Templesmith. In this comic the vampires are in Russia during WWII.


-They talked about the Beowulf comic being adapted from the Neil Gaiman, Roger Avery script for the upcomming motion capture movie directed by Robert Zemekis. Written by Chris Ryall and with art by Gabriel Rodriguez it will come out in 4 weekly installments in october.


-Transformers: Search For Starscream (tentitive title), picks up right where the movie left off after Star Scream blasts out into space, but no Megatron changing into a tiny pistol? What gives?


- Star Trek: Year 4, single issue stories, each contained like a single episode from the original series, it's literally year 4 of the first 5 year mission. SWEET!!!


-Star Trek: Alien Spotlight, single issue comics based on some of the strange new life the enterprise has discovered over the different series. Scott and David Tipton will work on the first comic about the GORN set before the 2nd Star Trek movie. Followed by the fan favorite BORG written by Steve Niles who wrote 30 Days of Night, followed by VULCANS written by X-Men legend John Byrne.


-Star Trek: Intelligence Gathering, a 5 part series of aliens getting together (they explained it much more eloquently) written by Scott Tipton and illustrated by David Messina.


-Angel: After the Fall, this one we're really excited about, Brian Lynch who wrote Spike: Asylum will be writing the 6th season of Angel in comic form, and co-plotting the comics with Joss Whedon!!! Brian joked a few times that they all died, but one tidbit they did give was "Some people you thought were gone are gone, but some people you thought were gone forever might be returning" (AnnaMay thinks that means Fred might make a return, but who knows?) and it will run at least 12+ issues (can we do sequel to Smile Time written by Ben Edlund? Please!Please!).


-Dr. Who, all I really got from this is that it's the 10th Dr. Who and it looks very zany. Gary Russell who was a story editor on the TV series is part of the creative team on the comic.


-Speed Racer, kind of a new age version of Speed, reinvented for the new generation, wait a sec they changed Chim Chim? They're also revealing the Mach 6! Sweet!


-Zombies VS Robots VS Amazons, Written by Chris Ryall, what can I say that the title already doesn't?


We did alot on friday but I can only type so much! Dammit Jim I'm a radio host not a sternographer!


--DAVE

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fanboys Panel

Next up we grabbed a front row seat for the Fanboys Panel. Now I'll be completely honest, the only reason we went to this panel was because Kristen Bell was going to be there. It's a cute idea for a movie and I like the Star Wars movies and all (though I don't think it's the second coming like so many other people), but it was all for Kristen.

They started off by playing a clip, SPOILER ALERT we'll be giving a synopsis of most of the scenes, so if you don't want to know anything skip to the next paragraph. The first clip started off in a house party rocking to Chumba Wumba (they did their best to make the music and the rest of the mi sen scene historically accurate) that quickly gets ambushed by 2 Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. Quickly the figures unmask because one of the Storm Trooper's cod-piece is hurting him, and it's 3 of our main characters Hutch played by Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), Linus played by Chris Marquette (Joan of Arcadia) and Windows played by Jay Baruchel (Numbers). There's a funny line where one of the characters says "When it came time for battle Boba Fett was like freaking Michael Bay all style and no substance" Then the 3 friends are re-united with their old friend Eric played by Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns), 2 of the old friends are happy to see Sam but it's obvious Linus, is hurt by there long separation. Then the next clip we see Kristin! Now let me tell you guys Kristen is a beautiful woman but they give her a dorky haircut and make her a brunette so she's not as "hot" as normal, but who cares I'm just happy she's working!

The lights came on and the director Kyle Newman came out and introduced his cast, Dan Fogler, Chris Marquette and the producers Matt Perniciaro and Dana Brunetti. Where's Kristen? What the FRAK? (I'm such a poser I've never even seen the new Battlestar Galactica, I know, I know, I'm busy!!!) So they start by playing a clip from the movie. Just for a quick overview this movie is set in 1998 before the Phantom Menace came out, and the main characters are Star Wars obsessed Fan Boys trying to break into the Skywalker Ranch to steal a cut of the movie so their friend dying of cancer can see it before he goes the way of the first Death Star.

SPOILER ALERT

The next clip had the 3 characters who cos-played in the party hanging out and playing Mario Kart 64 (AWESOME!!!! one of the best multi-player games EVER!) when there's a knock at the door. It's Eric and he wants to talk with Linus. They go outside and argue, Linus feels abandoned and Eric feels like he grew up because he had to and he was the only one (out of their friends) to do so. During the argument they made a lot of funny Star Wars references including when Eric accused Linus of "Wasting your life in Hutch's (Dan Fogler) garage arguing whether or not Luke really had a thing for Leia" where Linus replied "No! anybody knows that as soon as Luke knew Leia was his sister it was hands off" and there was some funny dialogue after but I'm not the Grinch I won't spoil everything...just some things.


So they ended the clip and the lights came back on and all of the sudden the director announced Kristen Bell has arrived!!! She creeped up to the seat and the crowd went wild. The director talked about Lucas being incredibly supportive and letting them shoot at the Ranch, he also described the movie as a "Love Letter" to the Star Wars movies, this worried me because the last time someone described their movie as a "Love Letter" it was Bryan Singer talking about Superman Returns. The director described the story's backdrop of 1998 before the Phantom Menace came out, "Regardless of your feelings about the Phantom Menace, it takes place in that special time when it's about the anticipation what it could be and all that matters is that everyone together was excited about it as fans...because that was the best time to be a fanboy."

SPOILER ALERT

The next clip they played had the amazing Danny Trejo in it. The guys were sitting around the camp fire eating guacamole that they soon find out is made with peyote. They start hallucinating, the funniest being Hutch getting humped by a Ewok, CLASSIC! Great casting and a very funny scene.

SPOILER ALERT

Then they showed another clip of the guys in the van getting pulled over by the cops, unfortunately they still have some magic cactus so they decide to floor it with an excellent scene dedicated to Han and the Millennium falcon escaping at some point in one of the Star Wars movies (hey I said I wasn't a huge Star Wars fan, but if you are and see this movie you'll know exactly what scene they're alluding too, the one where the hyper-drive won't work). It was a hilarious seen with a great gag at the end as the van crashes through a sign that reads "Join the Police Force" leaving an imprint that looks like Darth's helmet and now reads "Join the Force", it was really excellent.

They made a funny comment about Dan wanting to do the Ewok humping scene over and over again because it was cold out during the shoot, and the director said how surreal it was to give the Ewok humping directions, "Like harder, please stroke his hair, just play with his ear a little"

SPOILER ALERT

Next they showed a clip of them breaking into the Lucas ranch, which was also hilarious. They find a big door mannered after a door in the Death Star (or something) they enter and find Geek Heaven (Fan Boy Heaven) including Darth Vader's Costume, R2D2, Han's outfit, and of course they start playing with all the props. Kristen imitates Leia to R2D2 saying "Help me Obi-Won Kenobi", then we see the security camera room with guards dressed like the guards in THX 1138, they see the Fan Boys and quickly investigate. One of the guards takes off his mask and surprise! it's Ray Park! Darth Maul from Phantom Menace (and Toad in X-Men), and he does a little snazzy martial arts thing, very cool. Then they make a quick escape into the garbage shoot which inevitably leads to the garbage room modeled after the one in Star Wars, with of course crushing walls.

END SPOILERS...FOR A LITTLE BIT

The cast talked about random things they were Fanboys of, Kristen said Hockey (she's from Detroit home of the Red Wings, and Eminem, and Axel Foley, and...cars). Dan Fogler has a big comic collection, and they talked about going weapon shopping in a shady flee market in Mexico that the director described as "where they shot half of the episodes of COPS". They talked about the how much fun eveyone had on set, how the fans in Albuquerque helped them out by showing up to a scene in their Star Wars outfits. Some one asked if George Lucas will be in the movie, the director said his voice will be in it, except he doesn't know it yet, but he's still trying to get him.
Someone asked Kristen about her donning the infamous Leia bikini and you can see her response HERE

Someone asked what Kristen's next project is (after that person called the CW assholes for cancelling Veronica Mars, right on sista!!)"I just got done shooting a comedy called Forgetting Sarah Marshall in Hawaii that should come out next year by the makers of Knocked up" I'm guessing these pictures are from the set (hey don't call me a perv, she's 4 months older than me!)

There's some notable appearance's in the film by William Shatner, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Willams, Seth Rogen (he plays all the bad guys), Kevin Smith, and Jason Mewes is on the DVD (supposedly he was too dirty for the film).

SPOILER ALERT

They showed a clip before they left of the cast in the van singing their rendition of what I believe was the bar song played in Jabba's bar in Return of the Jedi (if it turns out to be the first movie, sorry that's just my best guess).

That's pretty much it, all and all it was a great panel. I wasn't really that interested in the movie itself, but after watching the clips I think we'll definitely check it out. Though I would recommend watching the original trilogy first so that you get all of the allusions, because there is a plethora of them, but it looks hilarious and clearly looks like the best Star Wars themed buddy comedy cancer tragedy to come out next year.

--Dave

DAWN OF ROMERO!!!

We got there an hour early to ensure good seats (gotta see Veronica up close!), and were pleasantly surprised that George Romero was talking to a full house with the writer of World War Z (and the Zombie Survival Guide) Max Brooks. The panel was really informative and fun, Brooks is a smart guy and kept it light and funny. Romero had some great stories about working in New York City and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before he turned the horror genre on it's ear with Night of the Living Dead.


Interesting tid bit, alot of you may know Romero got screwed out of a ton of money on the original Living Dead by the Studio, that's why he made the remake in '90 so he could cash in on what was rightfully his. But he told us he got screwed because the studio bought the movie with the copyrighted title Night of the Flesh Eaters and they changed the title to Night of the Living Dead and because of the title change he lost the copyright on it.


Romero talked about being young and brash in Hollywood, saying they could have sold Night at a few major studios including Columbia, but they didn't because the studios wanted the classic UN-happy ending changed and Romero would have none of it. Brooks asked Romero about inventing the genre of Zombie movies and Romero said he wasn't really inventing a new type of monster as much as ghoulish type creatures that he based off the vampire monsters in the book I Am Legend (There's a movie version out this summer starring Will Smith, and a Charleston Heston movie in the 70's called Omega Man which is practically the same thing). It was a little strange hearing the zombies were a rip-off of I Am Legend, but it was refreshing to hear him plainly admit it, where there are countless ripoffs that never admit it, and hey everything's derivative of something else in one way or another.


He had a funny anecdote about he and Scorsese being the only 2 guys in NY at the same time renting the same 16mm print of a movie no one's ever heard of. They didn't know each other at the time but they knew of each other because if Romero didn't have it out "This Scorsese kid from Queens" had it, he said they finally meet years later and laughed about it and that on the DVD copy of this movie they both have commentaries on it. He talked about the fact that he made the most money in his career during a 10 year period where he developed a ton of projects that never saw the light of day, including a horror TV series. Then Romero talked about the creation of Dawn of the Dead.


"I didn't want to do a sequel just for the sake of doing a sequel and I really didn't think seriously about doing one until I socially knew people in Pittsburgh that developed that shopping mall. It was the first big indoor shopping mall in Pittsburgh and they invited me out to come take a look and I said, you know you've got civil defense supplies here, this could be a shelter and people could survive here, they could have anything they wanted and I said there it is!...I actually started to write and this is pure coincidence that Dario Argento called me up and asked if I had any interest in doing a sequel, another dead movie and I said funny you should ask I just got this idea, so he flew me over to Rome and put me in a little apartment and he said (Romero impersonating his Italian accent) 'You wright-a, you wright-a', so that's what I did".


Romero was really funny and cool and you really get the feeling that he was really just a normal guy who found himself revolutionizing the horror genre. Romero mentioned that each dead movie was allegorical for the time, including his last movie Land of the Dead being about the Bush Administration. He said he liked how Zack Snyder made the Dawn remake, but that it was more of an action movie and lost the point of the original. Romero has a new project coming up called Diary of the Dead but we didn't hear much about it. Romero also said he has a cool new project in mind but kept cryptic about it, "I have one really sorta balls out zombie comedy thing that I'd love to do...I can't tell you, it's too fragile..it's sort of a one trick pony and I don't want to give it away"

Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski showed up and talked about wanting to make a Night of the Living Dead TV series with Romero for years (might as well Babylon Fields got axed), starting with the first night and having a 5 season arc with the destruction of man kind. Then Straczynski told the audience about adapting Brooks Novel World War Z into a script "I was hired by Paramount to adapt his book to a feature film... and when I heard it was available I crawled naked and bleeding through five miles of broken glass and monkey vomit just for the chance because this is an extraordinary book!" While he lauded Brooks' book, Brooks slowly started moving under the table where Straczynski said "While your down there" and the crowd exploded with laughter. Brooks talked about how he signed an agreement with his publishers not to make a graphic novel based on WWZ for five years so it wouldn't compete with the book, but he will be making a graphic novel version of the Zombie Survival Guide.


Overall it was a great panel and we felt lucky to have stumbled into it. Someone asked Romero if he was planning to work with Simon or Ed anytime soon again "Simon just did a voice..did a news man for me over the phone for Diary" So there you go Romero fans. If you want more next weeks show (on 8/11) will have some clips from the panel

--Dave

COMIC CON FLOOR

First off the Comic Con Floor is GIGANTIC! We came into an entrance at one of the ends and didn't even get to the middle of the floor in the 3 hours we walked around talking to smaller comic publishers and wading through the waves of people (little did we know that the section we were in was much less congested than towards the middle). We saw the original big green Lou Ferrigno signing posters and talking to fans, I'm not sure how old he is but the dude still eats his Wheaties, he was freaking jacked! There wasn't as much cos-play on the floor on Thursday but then again there weren't as many people as the days to follow. Next on the agenda AnnaMay and I had a hankering for some Kristen Bell so we headed up the the room where the "Fanboys" panel was going to be.

--Dave

EXCELSIOR!! STAN LEE TRUE BELIEVER PANEL

So instead we headed to the Stan Lee True Believer panel where Stan the Man talked about a new documentary about his life and work. He was accompanied by legendary artist Dick Ayers, Paul Levitz head of DC, X-Men/Transformers producer Tom Desanto and Michael Uslan Executive Producer of Dark Knight and The Spirit. It was a great junket, Stan was hilarious and I swear he has 10 times more energy than either of us and he's like 50-60 years older, so that's just sad. Stan talked about the early days of Marvel and where Excelsior! came from, "years ago I used to write this column Stan's Soapbox and I would end every column with some sort of stupid phrase like Face-Front!, or Hang Loose! anything I could think of, and some how or another...Nuff Said... I would see those expressions cropping up in the DC books, they were called the National Books at the time. So I said to myself I've got to come up with some sort of expression where A they won't know what it means and B they won't know how to spell it.. so I got Excelsior, and I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying this because I might start seeing it crop up now, but until now excelsior has been ours alone!"
Paul Levitz answered a question about killing off comic characters and bringing them back to life, "I always thought the rule was if you show the dead body you weren't allowed to bring them back, but if you didn't show the body then you can play any trick you can come up with as a writer" Then Stan Lee expressed, "A comic book writer is like God, because who else can say, 'gee I killed that character last issue, I think I'll bring them back to life!' Its the most amazing feeling! You can kill someone, bring them back to life, you can wound them and then in the next panel their wound is miraculously healed you can do anything when you write comics, in fact I'm beginning to wonder if there is something a little bit God like about us? (Stan looks at the rest of the panel) I said US! I don't want to monopolize it all!"


Then we heard about Stan Lee at Carnegie Hall "Would you like to be in Carnegie Hall? and so I thought it was a joke, but he actually paid, he hired the hall and he put together some kind of little show. and I couldn't believe it, I was walking down 57Th street, in front of Carnegie Hall and There's a big sign, 'Tonight Stan Lee and Marvel', 'A day With Stan' whatever it was called, and it was a nonsensical show because we had nothing planned it was almost like this, but we got up there and we talked and kidded around and Roy Thomas was there and I think we had a band of people who were in comics, and people talked about comics and it was a crazy evening, and it was standing room only that's the funny thing, there were people standing around the aisles so I said to myself this is such a big success it will probably go on, it will be the longest running show, the next day they had something else and we were never invited back, but I had my one day at Carnegie Hall."
Stan talked about his cameos "obviously when a producer wants to make sure his movie will be a hit, Hey! let's have Stan do a cameo!...it's obvious" Then Stan described his new cameo on Iron Man, "I do a scene where I'm with 3 gorgeous blonde's, and Robert Downey walks over behind me and taps me on the shoulder and I have a few lines to say with Robert Downey!" For a video of this
CLICK HERE Who knows who the 3 blonde's are but we here at Geek World bet it will be Hugh Hefner's Girls Next Door Holly, Bridgette and Kendra.


Then they showed a 9 min clip from the documentary, that had interviews with guys like Joe Quesada, Todd Mcfarlane, Nicolas Cage, and unfortunately Brett Ratner, and confusingly Paris Hilton saying "Stan's Hot". Everyone pretty much said the same thing that we all already know, comics as we know them today are because of the work of Stan Lee. However it looks like a really cool doc that we'll definitely check out when it drops (do DVD's drop? or just albums?).


After the clip Stan talked about his new projects through his company POW! "It has a exclamation point so it doesn't look like prisoner of war" entertainment including one with Paris where he said "I'm working on a project with Paris Hilton obviously with her it's a very refined, intellectual, philosophical.. no its a cartoon series...and it's going to be very funny and she's quite good, obviously she just does a voice, but her voice is good, for the character we portray, which is her, she can do her very well!" the crowd laughed and overall it was a fun time. We have video of the clip HERE


Michael Uslan announced that their shortly going to start principle photography on the Frank Miller written and directed movie of Will Eisners The Spirit , and Tom Desanto confirmed a Transformers sequel in the works as well as a City of Heroes (a popular PC game) live action pic. Michael Uslan then said about the Dark Knight shooting in Chicago, "Stan promised me if I talked the directors into letting him do a cameo it will guarantee at least another $100 million in the box office... I don't know if I can get Chris to do it but I'm working on it Stan."


The panel was great and there's no doubt why his nickname is "The Man". We then went on a quest for free stuff and to see all the wackiness on the floor.

--Dave

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Comic Con: Day 1 Hunting and Escaping

We took the insanely long 2 hr. drive down to San Diego on Thursday to give all our Geek brothers and sisters the low-down on the epic convention known as Comic Con!!! First off we got to our motel 30 miles away from San Diego because the price per night at a hotel in San Diego for that particular weekend would have forced us to get a loan to pay for the three nights we needed to be there. We found a nice little place, checked in around 9am and then jettisoned off to the show. When we got into San Diego we passed the convention center and I swore Jesus must have been giving out miracles because there were thousands of people lined up outside. AnnaMay and I looked over in awe at the Geeky magnitude of it all (this being our first Comic Con and all). Then we spent the rest of the day finding a parking spot. Well it felt like the rest of the day at least, easily the hardest part of going to Comic Con is finding decent parking, and if your lucky enough to find parking within 10 blocks of the center you'll be paying out the nose, but that's capitalism so what are you going to do? We took the long trek over, got our passes just soon enough to not get in to the Paramount Panel. That was pretty disappointing considering they talked about Iron Man and the new Star Trek, but the line was outside the door and around the building and we didn't have a chance to get in.

--Dave


Monday, July 30, 2007

Back From Comic-Con

Hey everyone!! We are back from the International Comic-Con in San Diego and there is so much to talk about. We will start posting about our experiences as soon as we have a little free time. Let me tell you we are exhausted from all the excitement and thrilled to tell you about what's new and cool in the world of geek!

--AnnaMay