Comic Con 2009 in San Diego has come and gone very quickly. Although much went on at the show over the four day span, I will summarize the panels I saw and the time I spent on the convention show floor.
The first movie panel I saw was Disney: 3D Panel. At the panel three upcoming Disney movies were shown off: “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Tron: Legacy.” In sum, each movie is being made to be seen enhanced in 3D, and this will provide for stunning visuals and a great experience at the theatre. All three films will likely become very popular over the next few months as the hype for them beings to gain momentum post-Comic Con. Personally, I am most looking forward to “Alice in Wonderland.” I am a big fan on Tim Burton, and collaboration between him and Johnny Depp often leads to great filmmaking and exciting adventures. The first official trailer (exclusive to Comic Con) looks amazing; the colors are vibrant, the soundtrack is perfect, and the acting looks to be supurb. Disney has some great movies up their sleeves; I look forward with much anticipation to the upcoming 3D releases of these movies.
The second movie panel I attended was Sony Pictures Animation’s ”Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” Directors Chirs Miller and Phil Lord are young, hip guys who had tons of fun making this classic children’s book story come to life on the big screen. With voices coming from the hilarious Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, and Anna Farris, “Cloudy” looks like a very fun film for young and old alike. The animation has a cartoonish visual style to it with a mix of realism. This imaginative tale of raining hamburgers and pancakes is something I am very much looking forward to seeing soon.
I attended one web series panel and one celebration of a past web series. I sat on The GuildPanel which featured creator Felicia Day. Season 3 of “The Guild” looks to be as funny, if not funnier, than the previous two seasons. Felicia is leading the way in the evolution of how people watch original programming. As TV shows make the move from the TV to the computer, things start to get tricky concerning money transactions and commercials. Felicia keeps things simple by being sponsored by companies (Microsoft and Sprint), which allows her to reach different audiences on various mediums (Xbox Live, the Internet (MSN, YouTube) and share her creations for free. “The Guild” is a very well written and hilarious web series, and I look forward to watching Season 3 and where “The Guild” will go from there in the future.
During late night at Comic Con, I sat in a room filled with tons of “Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog” fans and watched the entire screening of all three Acts and the DVD special, “Commentary! The Musical.” “Dr. Horrible” is a web series created by the brilliant Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Dollhouse”). It gained much fanfare when it was originally released on its website, available free to stream online. The talented cast includes Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and “The Guild’s” Felicia Day. It is very, very well written and laugh out loud hilarious. Watching the three Acts with many fans joining me in singing the songs and speaking the dialogue verbatim was very special. Joss Whedon, and other “Dr. Horrible” contributors, revealed that they hold this series very close to their hearts and that they would be remiss not to continue it with a sequel sometime soon.
Then began the numerous TV panels. I attended two new TV show panels and and five other show panels. First up was “FlashForward.” I cannot reiterate this enough: FlashForward is going to be the next big network TV show. It pulls off all the stops: a great plot-line, a talented main cast, renowned writers and producers, and a well-developed hype train with tons of followers already. With Lost off the air (gasp!) after this season, ABC found its next “shrowded-in-mystery” show with FlashForward. Next was the new Fox show called “Glee.” Glee is a very special show in that it is very difficult to compare it to anything else on air. It incorporate various methods of storytelling including music and dance, involves many genres like drama and comedy, and it moves at an unconventional pace. If something is expected to happen plot-wise, it is going to happen much sooner rather than later; this keeps things exciting and allows for new ideas and plotlines to form on a weekly basis. After having watched the preview and premiere (Comic Con exclusive) episodes of Glee, I can assure you that this is a show you do not want to miss. You have your CSIs, your reality shows…and now you will have Glee–a show that may very well invent its own type of genre and change the way stories are told.
I also attended TV panels for 24, The Big Bang Theory, Dollhouse, Lost, and Fringe. 24 Season 8 looks great. Jack Bauer is back and there is a new threat, this time sprouting from the idea of possible world peace. The second season of The Big Bang Theory will find Leonard, Sheldon, and crew funnier than ever and placed in more awkward situations that will lead to new directions in the overall plot and relationships between the characters. Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse Season 2 will likely land Dollhouse much better ratings this time around as Joss has now had the time to introduce the main story arc. Layers of the dollhouse will be revealed and images of a post-apocalyptic future will change the direction of the show (but will keep the original storyline intact). Lost begins its final season this winter and the show’s producers and cast members are excited for the big reveals ahead. Everything will come full circle as Season 6 will harken back to concepts originally portrayed in Season 1, and we will see old characters revisit us in some form or other. And then there is Fringe. Fringe Season 2 will continue where Season 1 left off. We will learn more secrets about the world of the alternate universe, and some characters will come to learn the truths about themselves as an oncoming war starts to brew.
On the convention show floor I visited many booths. Some of them include video game booths like Microsoft, Sony, and EA; TV networks like G4, Fox, and WB; collectibles and figurines. What I found most interesting on the show floor was the enormous showing of all the aforementioned booths and the lack of stations for what the convention was named after: comics! There was a section towards the front of the show floor that contained many comic book booths and stations set up. Also, many of the booths throughout the entire floor were showing off things inspired from comic books. When you look at the big picture, though, what you come to find is that Comic Con has been taken over by TV networks, film studios, and other things that simply are not comics. Granted, many of the movies and TV shows on the show floor and panels relate to sci-fi and other comic book-type genres. No matter how you look at it, Comic Con has changed greatly from its original form. For some, this change has had a negative effect on them. They go to Comic Con for the comics and comic book-related material from DC, Marvel, and more. For others (like me, in particular), I am highly enjoying the growth of Comic Con from a comics-only convention to a much larger venue that brings together fans of all mediums of entertainment that go beyond the comic book that include television, movies, and video games. Comic Con has become a celebration of art in entertainment, and I am proud to be apart of it.