Written By: Abel S. "Honest Abe"
Whew! I’ve survived another Comic Con! Sore feet, scrapes
and bruises, exhaustion…and I have to wait another year to do it again? (*sheds tear*). Well before I get too far ahead
of myself, sit back while I fill you in on this year’s adventure!
Preview night began on Wednesday night with my two usual missions
at hand. First, score myself this year’s Hallmark exclusive Star Wars ornament. CHECK! Second, get a layout of the floor
and commit as much to memory as possible. CHECK! Preview night only lasts for three hours so after picking up the program
guides, it was time for dinner at my favorite hangout, the Tilted Kilt. Knowing that I had to get an early start the next
day, I turned in early. I had an awesome view of the convention center from my room. I could also see the Batmobile display down
in the courtyard below. Wait, what? You heard me. Warner Brothers had a special outdoor arena set up for Con attendees and
the general public. There was a stage set up for musical acts such as Kevin Bacon’s band, The Bacon Brothers. Interviews
with celebrities were conducted on the stage was well. A large screen showed a different movie each night. Best moment was
on Thursday night when prior to a screening of The Goonies, original cast members Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and Jeff Cohen
(Chunk!) appeared on stage. The best part, for me at least, was being able to see all six Batmobiles from the TV show and
the films in person! (see pics here).
Thursday morning. First order of business was to visit the
previously mentioned Batmobiles on display. Seeing these iconic vehicles in person was a real treat. I probably could have
spent hours taking pictures but there was so much else to see and never enough time. Next up, it was time to hit the main
floor. Guidebook in hand and layout committed to memory, off I go!
Thursday is usually the least busy day on the floor so I wanted to spend as much time as possible taking pictures
and seeing as much as there was to see. Being a Star Wars fan, I headed to the Lucasfilm pavilion to check out the latest
offerings All the newest Star Wars action figures and vehicles were on display. Also, to celebrate the upcoming Blu-ray release of the Indiana Jones saga there was a mock-up of the Well of the
Souls featuring live snakes!
Moving on, there seemed
to be a much larger display from Gentle Giant as well as prop replicas and other Star Wars related vendors showing off their
latest. If you’ve ever wanted to own an umbrella with a lightsaber for the handle, then you’ve come to the right
place. Ashley Eckstein was there presenting the latest offerings from Her Universe. Her clothing is not just related to Star
Wars. She now offers Star Trek and Dr. Who lines as well. Still itching for more, I had heard about a lifesize Han in Carbonite
statue at the Sideshow Collectibles booth. I was not disappointed as they also had on display lifesize Boba Fett and Darth
Malgus statues as well. Sideshow, I’m putting you on notice. The day I win the lottery, watch out!
Even though it was only Thursday, the big guns came out as
Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terry Crews (among others) presented footage from the highly anticipated The Expendables 2. It was nice to see Arnold back at Comic-Con riffing on his cast-mates and cracking
jokes. His larger than life presence has been sorely missed.
I ended the day with one of my favorite panels entitled "Inside the Batmobile."
This fall there will be an in depth documentary released in conjunction with the DVD release of The Dark Knight Rises on the
history of Batmobile. This panel featured the designer of each Batmobile talking about their inspirations as well as humorous
stories about the designs of each vehicle. After a twenty minute excerpt from the documentary was played, five lucky people
were chosen for the opportunity to actually sit inside one of the Batmobiles! Day one was now in the books so it was time
for dinner, a shower and sleep.
Friday was another early start for me as I wanted to secure
my seat in Hall H for the first half of the day. First up was the panel for Focus Features new 3D stop motion animated feature,
ParaNorman. The principle voice cast was on hand, including Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
and Kodi Smit-McPhee, as well as the producer and director. I had seen the trailer just a few weeks prior but actually seeing
it in 3D as well as two other clips has made this film a definite must see for me. The stars all talked about the differences
in doing voice over work as opposed to live acting. During the Q & A, Kendrick nearly shed a tear when a young girl asked
why the monsters were so scary looking! Scary? Well, you can judge for yourself on August 17th.
Finally was the panel I’d been waiting for, AMC’s
The Walking Dead. The crowd erupted when moderator Chris Hardwick introduced most of the principal
cast as well as series creator Robert Kirkland and the producers. Right away we were treated to a four minute clip of the
upcoming season. I won’t spill any secrets but needless to say the crowd was very vocal in their approval. Sarah Wayne
Callies talked about how fans are approaching her in the grocery store and chastising her for the direction her character
took this past season. This was also the first time that fans got to see the actors portraying two new characters being introduced
in the new season, Danai Gurira and David Morrissey. After a Q & A, the hour concluded with a second viewing of the four
The remainder of the panels in Hall H consisted of upcoming
Hollywood blockbusters such as Total Recall, Looper and Resident
Evil: Retribution. Stars such as Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez were on hand
to present clips and answer questions. By this point, I was feeling a little hungry and antsy so I wandered over to the Omni
Hotel across the street where Wired Magazine was hosting a casual daytime café. Drinks
and snack food were provided for guests. The occasional celebrity mingled about. It was a very low key chance to catch my
breath and recharge with some food. This was a nice change from the plethora of nighttime parties. Ok, I’m recharged
and refreshed, time to finish out the day on the main floor.
Saturday was another big day for Hollywood at Comic Con. Quentin
Tarantino returned to Comic Con along with some of the cast of his upcoming film, Django Unchained.
On a side note, if you happened to find one of the street team members wandering about wearing a red shirt and cowboy hat
and you uttered a special code to them, you would receive a coin that you could redeem for a limited edition t-shirt.
The biggest surprises occurred when it was time for
the Warner Brothers presentation. As expected, the majority of the cast of The Hobbit were on
hand. (*Side note, Sir Ian McKellen was out at 4am walking the Hall H line, posing for pictures and shaking hands. A real
treat for those dedicated fans. I always appreciate when a celebrity goes above and beyond like this.) Director Peter Jackson
hinted at possible extended editions of both Hobbit films when they are ready for DVD release.
As expected, Zach Snyder and Henry Cavill were present for the latest Superman film, Man of
Steel. Guillermo del Toro presented the first look at his newest sci fi flick, Pacific Rim.
The surprise came when the lights went down and a special test reel was shown for….Godzilla!
Director Gareth Edwards presented a short teaser trailer that gave us hints at a real world Godzilla movie, naturally featuring
the distinctive roar! I can’t wait to see more.
I made my way off site to where Cryptozoic
had set up a temporary store. For those not in the know, Cryptozoic is a publisher of games, comics, and magazines primarily
based on pop culture. One of their newest properties is a board game based on The Walking Dead. Throughout the Con, guests
such as Robert Kirkland (creator of the comic) and Steve Yeun (Glenn) stopped by for photos and autographs. I found myself
there just in time for a signing with Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie on the hit show. She was very warm and friendly. She
did give some info about the upcoming season. There will be 16 episodes this time and it will be split in half, just like
last season. The teaser that I had seen earlier showed her character wielding a machete. When I mentioned this shot to her
she told me that her character is a lot more active in the upcoming season. Great news for all of us who love her character.
Sunday morning I got up extra early. I met some friends and
off we went to get in line for the ticket drawing for a signing with the cast of Dr. Who. One
of my friends drew a lucky ticket so with time to kill before the signing, I made my down to convention floor for one last
spin. Sunday is usually a good day to score some last minute bargains. The less stuff that vendors have to haul home, the
better for them. Sometimes they’re willing to make deals. I picked up a few comic books here and there as well as a
few DVD’s from The Asylum. Yes, the creators of MegaPiranha and Mega Shark Vs. Giant
Octopus had a booth set up with some awesome DVD deals as well as celebrity signings throughout the Con. The day nearly got
away from me as I barely made it back upstairs for the Dr. Who signing. After my friend secured his autographed items, it
was time to say goodbye. Not just to him, but to Con as well.
My personal highlights? Well, aside from all the exhibitors
I had the pleasure of speaking with, I’d have to say that my favorite moments are as follows:
Meeting Lauren Cohan from The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead Panel.
Seeing James Bond’s Aston Martin.
The revelation that
Super7 is making vintage style figures based on Ridley Scott’s Alien film.
Seeing the new armor for Iron Man 3.
Getting a sneak peak
at the Man of Steel Trailer.
Handing out our very first Comic-Con Exclusive 2012 Arcade Token.
With that, I’ll close the book on Comic Con 2012. I’m
beat, I’m exhausted… and I’m counting down the days till next year’s Comic Con. I’ll conclude
with a statement that Matt Smith of Dr. Who made. “If the world was a bit more like Comic con, it would be a better
About the Author: Abel Pinedo has worked
in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He's also an annual visitor to such conventions as Comikaze, San Diego Comic
Con, Wizard World and More. When he's not touring the convention circuit he can usually be found at his keyboard telling the
World about his adventures.