Surviving Comic-Con: Day 1 – Disneyland for Dorks

If I counted the two hours I spent during Preview Night last night, technically this report would be from Day 2.  Either way, I will attempt to summarize my Comic-Con experience thus far.  And please excuse the lack of close-up photos, as well as those with less than stellar quality; even after waiting in lines for each panel, I was not able to secure great seats all day and some pictures are of the screen.

By the way, I am not using the word ‘dork’ in a disparaging way in the title of this post. I feel quite conservative among the very devoted and disguised; it is intended as a complement.

In three words: overwhelmed, ill-prepared and crowded.

This has been everything I expected (the costumes and long lines) and more (casually meeting very cool people I admire).

In addition to the panels, here were some highlights from the day:

a) The  surprise guest appearance by Stan Lee at the’ LGBT in Comics’ panel [see yellow sweater below]! When a legend enters the room and speaks, it is electric. I had goosebumps. It sounds like he will be adapting a version of Perry Moore’s acclaimed young adult novel Hero [the lead character is a gay superhero, so I applaud Stan Lee for taking that risk with this genre].

b) Randomly running into and meeting one of my favorite TV reporters,  Kristin Dos Santos from E! online. She had just arrived, and even though she was about to moderate the Dexter panel, she took a moment to say hello to a dorky fan [hi, that would be me]. 

c) Meeting Lori Petty and getting an autographed Tank Girl photo for my best friend Jo [that's right, there are two of us; it's scary].

So, I attended 3 television panels today. This is exactly why I’m here; I get to sit down in an air conditioned room, watch exclusive clips and interact with the cast & crew of some of my favorite shows.

If you’re not already watching this, set your TiVO. It might be the only series I watch that deserves to be described as ‘fun” (imagine Alias if Sydney Bristow were younger…and had a sense of humor). At the panel, they showed a few scenes from upcoming episodes, followed by a Q&A with creator/exec producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach and lead actor Matt Keeslar. Although I wasn’t able to properly form my question due to nerves, I had the opportunity to ask Javi if he was enjoying the lighter tone of The Middle Man compared to his previous stints working on Lost and Medium. The answer was yes, even if I didn’t phrase the question correctly. Overall, it was a a very entertaining hour.

You may not have heard of this one yet, because it premieres this fall on HBO. From Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball, it is a new series based on the graphic novels of Charlaine Harris. In addition to Ball and Harris, the new cast was on hand to field questions from fans who are obviously emotionally invested in the books. They premiered the trailer, which looks damn good (and frankly, HBO is in dire need of a new high quality series and hit).  Anna Paquin plays the lead, and not only is she blond (see photo below), she appears to have lost her New Zealand accent completely. Whatever, she was born in Canada anyway. Regardless…I will be on board for a Season Pass when this debuts. Oh, and here’s a new catchphrase that made me laugh: fangbanging. That’s right, this one involves vampires, but not in a traditional way…

First of all, I love the new slogan for Season 3:

Now I will state the obvious. Michael C. Hall is amazing (as well as quite fit and charming in person), and Julie Benz is beautiful. I look forward to further development of her character on the show, and to watching Dexter unravel in the aftermath of Doakes and Lila.

We got to see a preview of the upcoming season, and it looks just as fantastic as the first two. Bonus: Jimmy Smits has joined the cast!

I’m sure I’m forgetting details, but I’m adjusting and adapting as I go, and must get some sleep before another big day. Tomorrow I am thrilled to be joined by my brother-in-law, who speaks the same pop culture language and is a huge sci-fi geek. Team JOpinionated will be in the house!

In addition to the ‘EW Visionaries: Showrunners’ panel featuring the Lost exec producers, I will be attending a panel featuring author Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide and a college friend whom I haven’t seen in 14  years. I’m sure he’ll be quite surprised to see me, especially in this capacity.  The Bones panel will be the last of the day for me.

Phew. The lines and crowds only increase from here.  Bring it on. I’m having a hell of a good time.

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Pop Candy at Comic-Con! We Meet Again…

I am very excited that the very last Comic-Con event that I will be attending this week will be my second Pop Candy Meetup of the year!

The last one took place at a fantastic comic book store in San Francisco, and I loved meeting and discussing Lost with Pop Candy columnist Whitney Matheson.  This one looks to be quite crowded with oversaturated pop culture fans (my people!), and hopefully some of the artists from the Con will wander over to join in (like Tim Sale again!).

p.s. How great is this poster?!

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Flip THAT Blog; Extreme Makeover, LOST Edition (updated)

Obviously I’m embracing change.

Recently I announced a contest to redesign the logo for this blog, and now I’m unveiling a brand new logo for my other site, Get LOST with JOpinionated.

Those of you who are fans of Lost may recognize the addition of the Bentham text to this logo, for good reason.

Even if you don’t watch the show, you have to appreciate that aesthetic. Special thanks to my friend Brian K for the awesome new design!

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Your Favorite TV Shows at Comic-Con

Before you start rolling your eyes and whispering Nerd Alert!, I want to prove to you that Comic-Con is no longer simply a convention for fanboys and comic book dorks. It has become the largest pop culture experience in the world, and no bigger candy store for this particular girl.

AND, believe it or not I plan to attend panels relating to shows other than Lost. So there.

The casts and creative teams from several cult and popular TV series’ will be on hand to dish with advance scoop of the next season:

  • 24
  • American Dad
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Bones
  • Chuck
  • Dexter
  • Doctor Who
  • Dollhouse (new from Joss Whendon)
  • Eureka
  • Fringe (new from JJ Abrams)
  • Futurama
  • Heroes
  • Knight Rider
  • Kyle XY
  • Lost
  • The Middleman
  • The Office
  • Prison Break
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Robot Chicken
  • The Sarah Silverman Program
  • The Simpsons
  • Stargate Atlantis
  • Terminator:  The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  • Torchwood
  • The Venture Brothers

Here is my tentative schedule…

Wednesday, July 23 (Preview Night)

  • Screening of the pilot episode of Fringe

Thursday, July 24

  • Exclusive sneak peek at Kings, the new Ian McShane (Deadwood) show; panel will be moderated by Greg Grunberg (Heroes), and features Q&A w/the cast
  • Q&A with the cast of The Middleman and executive producer (and former Lost writer) Javier Grillo-Marxuach
  • Sneak peek at True Blood, the new HBO series from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball
  • Exclusive look at Dexter, followed by a panel w/the cast, moderated by TV scoop diva Kristin Dos Santos of E! online

Friday, July 25

  • Entertainment Weekly’s The Visionaries: Showrunners, featuring Lost executive producers Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, Josh Schwartz (Chuck & Gossip Girl), Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), moderated by EW’s senior writer/Lost guru Jeff ‘Doc’ Jensen
  • Behind-the-scenes look at Bones, followed by Q&A with the entire cast

Saturday, July 26

  • Lost panel; Cuse & Lindelof will discuss Season 4 and field questions from fans (and perhaps offer a hint or two about Season 5) [obviously this is my top priority and I will be waiting in line for many hours to secure a seat; I'm hoping that some of the cast make surprise appearances and that I can somehow get a chance at the mic...all worth missing out on The Office and Heroes panels]
  • Pushing Daisies screening and Q&A w/cast
  • Fringe Q&A with the cast, JJ Abrams and writers Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman (Alias, the new Star Trek film)

Sunday, July 27

Bye bye, San Diego.

I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to endure the sheer physical nature of this 4-day endeavor among 125,000 other pop culture freaks, but I know it will involve plenty of time sitting down in long lines, tons of water, Luna bars, my iPod & laptop, a rolling backpack and stacks of freshly printed professional postcards marketing yours truly.

I’m tired just typing that out. Imagine how I am going to feel when I’m there…

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Dear Blog, My Ugly Stepchild…

Dear pop culture blog:

I must apologize. You are temporarily the ugly stepchild, although you do not have red hair.

It’s obvious that I have been neglecting you, but you can blame your sister and many other summer distractions.

  1. I am growing out my hair. It’s big.
  2. I’ve been working on branded swag…for the Lost blog. Sorry!
  3. I am attending Comic-Con next week.
  4. I launched a logo revamp design contest, for you!
  5. I have failed to see any of my wish list films in theaters.
  6. Summer TV blows.

Feel better? I sure do.

I have a feeling that you’ll be quite busy next week when I attempt to blog live from San Diego.

Hang in there, frequent friend.


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