Firefly Reunion At Comic-Con

/ TV /

I didn’t make it to Comic-Con this year, but if there was one panel that I would have loved to attend, it would have been the Firefly reunion panel. Although I’m one of the many fans that discovered Firefly after it was already off the air, it is still one of my favorite shows of all time (if not my favorite).

The renunion panel brought together Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Jose Molina, Tim Minear, and (of course) show creator, Joss Whedon. Participating in that panel would easily have been the highlight of the con for me.

Thankfully, the panel has been posted on YouTube in its entirety. If you love Firefly as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to watch this. The panel was a wonderfully heartfelt celebration of any amazing show. Enjoy!

Star Wars Year By Year

/ Books /

When I was at Comic-Con in July, I attended the DK Publishing panel where the authors and contributors of Star Wars Year By Year discussed their roles in putting together this chronicle of all things Star Wars. It was actually a pretty interesting panel and brought back some fond memories of my Star Wars-filled childhood, but the best part was that I won a free copy of the book!

Honestly, I didn’t know anything about the book going in and the way they described it made it sound like it was similar to DK’s other Star Wars contributions like the Incredible Cross-sections and so forth. However, the book came in the mail today and as soon as I picked it up, I knew it was going to be more than I expected.

The book weighs like 5 lbs and retails at $50 (both of which were surprises to me), but I was really shocked when I opened it up and began to grasp the amazing level of detail. There are just a ton of fantastic photos and tidbits of information. It really is incredible. It definitely made me chuckle a few times as I thought back on some of the toys I had, games I played, or books I read as I grew up.

I haven’t had a chance to really go through it, but I can’t wait to dig in. The one that I already know for sure is that it’s going to make a great coffee table book. I’ve already decided that it holds an honorary spot where all my guests will be able to page through it.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

/ Movies /

Last night, my brother and I decided to go see Scott Pilgrim, a movie that I knew almost nothing about, but was drawn to by solid reviews and a huge amount of hype coming out of Comic-Con. If I had to describe the film in one word, it would be AWESOME.

Enormous Scott Pilgrim ad on the side of the Hilton

I really didn’t have any idea what to expect going in, but the experience left me thoroughly entertained. Not only was there great action, special effects, and humor, the film also had an excellent plot with thoughtful dialog. But perhaps the best part was that it was FUN from beginning to end.

The way the story was told was so creative. There was this ever-present video game vibe throughout the movie that I thought worked really well. For example, every time Scott got into a fight, it felt like a scene out of Mortal Kombat and every opponent that he defeated would burst into an explosion of coins. Then, there was this other scene where they played the Seinfeld theme and interjected sitcom-style laughter. It was really random and was pretty brief, but it was really amusing.

Another thing that I liked was how everyone was just able to kick some serious ass and that was all just well and normal. Getting punched through a brick wall wasn’t really that big a deal. Maybe it hurt a little, but was typical in a bare-knuckles brawl. The writers didn’t try to explain it; that’s just how things were.

On top of all the afore mentioned awesomeness, the film was also a great love story. I know that seems sappy, but I really liked how everything Scott faced was to win the heart of a girl.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. So much so, that I could almost go see it again or perhaps check out the comic book series.

Comic-Con Recap #5: Sunday

/ Geek Stuff /

Sunday was kids day at Comic-Con and everything was scheduled to be wrapped up at 5:00 PM. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the Sunday panels and overall atmosphere. After three days of pure glory, the convention kind of went out with a fizzle. I actually think I would prefer to just eliminate Sunday scheduling and go out with a bang (or maybe next time I would just skip Sunday).

The other part that was weird was that almost all of the panels were geared towards kids, but there weren’t really many kids at Comic-Con. And what kid wants to sit through an hour long panel anyways? I give them credit for trying to introduce a kid-friendly atmosphere, but I just didn’t think it worked very well.

Comic-Con exclusive LOST figures
(atop a beautiful hotel comforter)

So what ended up happening was that the Exhibit Hall was a zoo, largely because all the adults that had four day passes still showed up and needed something to do. That is exactly what happened to my brother and I. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely cool to finally spend some time in the Exhibit Hall and finally pick up some souvenirs, but I would have liked to sit in on a panel or two.

Now that isn’t to say we didn’t try to sit through a panel. My brother and I are both huge Harry Potter fans so, naturally, we showed up at the Harry Potter fandom panel. Admittedly, I was nervous about there being an army of 14 year old girls in attendance, but we needed something to do and decided to give it a shot.

To be perfectly honest, about 15 minutes in, I was already thinking that it was the worst panel that I had attended. I guess I thought that the panel of well-known Potter fans would, you know, talk about the upcoming movies and perhaps discuss the footage shown in Hall H on Saturday. Instead, the panel opted for long-winded soliloquies about why the Potter fan community is still so strong.

Comic-Con exclusive Star Wars figures

But just when I thought I might doze off, it got worse. The crowd started singing the words to one of the songs of the Harry Potter musical and shortly afterwards they opened it up for fan questions. I got nervous when a dozen teenage girls sprinted to the microphone in the middle isle, but I didn’t actually walk out until the third consecutive “shipper” question was asked. Yikes.

I had been thinking about attending the Buffy musical screening, but after the Potter fiasco, I was scared to go anywhere near Ballroom 20.

Overall, Comic-Con was completely awesome. I definitely want to go again, but I’m not sure if it will be next year. If I lived in southern California, I think I would go every year. A lot of people that had been going for several years complained about the lines and the crowds (which was certainly understandable), but they were manageable if you planned things out and just accepted that you weren’t going to see every cool thing at the convention.

Well, I think that is it for the Comic-Con recaps. I’m out. Godspeed.

Comic-Con Recap #3: Friday

/ Geek Stuff /

Friday was officially Star Wars day at Comic-Con and, as a pretty big Star Wars geek, it was pretty easy to find a panel to attend. In fact, we ended up sitting through four Star Wars panels back-to-back. Here’s a brief recap:

DK Star Wars: From Banthas to X-Wings – This was a pretty interesting panel. Several well-known Star Wars authors and experts discussed their roles in writing Star Wars Year by Year. At the end, they gave away 5 copies and I won one! Of course, I haven’t heard back from DK yet, so hopefully they’ll send it.

Amazing diorama at the Hasbro booth

Star Wars Day: Hasbro Panel – Hasbro gave us a look at upcoming Star Wars toys, which was pretty cool, even though I stopped collecting a few years ago. The coolest thing was definitely the AT-AT, which was incredible.

Star Wars Day: Collectibles Update – Representatives from several companies showed off upcoming Star Wars collectibles. It was fairly interesting, but was probably my least favorite of the Star Wars panels, mostly because I can’t afford most of the collectibles.

Star Wars: The Old Replubic – My brother is a pretty huge fan of the KOTOR games and was really excited about this panel about the new MMORPG by Bioware that is set in the same universe. We definitely got an interesting insider’s perspective on the creative process and the audience asked some pretty good questions. I don’t think I’ll play the game, but my brother probably will and I’m definitely interested to see what it will be like.

The only downside to our Star Wars marathon was that we missed a couple of panels that I would have really liked to attend including the Caprica and Joss Whedon Experience panels.

After that, we got some food, checked out the Exhibit Hall, wandered around the Gaslamp District, and ended up watching Inception at Horton Plaza.

Well, I’m out. Godspeed.

Comic-Con Recap #2: Thursday

/ Geek Stuff /

San Diego Convention Center

On Wednesday night, my brother and I picked up our badges for Thursday at our hotel and took the shuttle downtown to get a lay of the land and finalize our plans for our first day of Comic-Con. One amazing quesadilla later, we had our gameplan for the next day and, surprisingly, it went pretty smoothly. Here are the panels that we attended:

TheOneRing.net Talks The Hobbit movies – The latest news on The Hobbit was minimal, depressing, and I had already heard most of it. Still, the hosts did a good job presenting it and the first portion of the panel was entertaining. Then they brought in a speaker to discuss the documentary footage from the Extended Editions and pretty soon there was a mass exodus for the doors. We left just a few minutes early.

Caprica, Battlestar, and Beyond – This featured writers, actors, and composers from the recent Battlestar Galactica reboot and was a pretty good panel. Bear McCreary had some pretty cool stories and Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), who wasn’t even supposed to be there, was pretty funny and kept us laughing. The only down side was the we waited through about 30 minutes of the panel that was on beforehand–even the panelists looked bored–it was a snorefest.

Summit Entertainment: RED – We sat through this panel in the massive Hall H as we waited for the next one. The panel was actually decent even though I knew nothing about the movie or the comic book it was based on.

Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries – This panel featured Joss Whedon AND J.J. Abrams. Need I say more? I mean these guys collectively brought us Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Alias, and LOST. It was amazing and definitely one of the highlights on my entire experience. Joss was, to little surprise, hilarious and they both told some pretty interesting stories. It could have gone on a lot longer.

Cafe Diem menu

That was it for our “day one” panels. After that we enjoyed some much-needed food at the Syfy themed Cafe Diem, got turned away from a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (I still can’t believe how many people show up for that), and settled on a screening of J.J. Abram’s Star Trek.

Overall, it was an awesome day. There were definitely some panels that sounded awesome that we didn’t make it to, but we made it into the ones we wanted to see the most. Even though it doesn’t seem like we did that much now, it really was busy–we barely even had time to hit the Exhibit Hall.

Well, I’m out. Godspeed.

Comic-Con Recap #1: Lessons Learned

/ Geek Stuff /

Just a couple of weeks ago, my brother and I endeavored on a journey from New York to California to attend our first ever Comic-Con, or convention of any kind for that matter. Overall, I had a blast and I’m so glad that I went, but I learned a lot and there are definitely a few things I would do differently if I go again.

First, I would buy my tickets sooner. We waited until January (a full 6 months prior to the convention) before buying our tickets. It meant that we were able to get tickets for each day, but weren’t able to get 4 day passes. That meant that we paid a little more and had to make time (about 5 minutes) to pickup the next day’s badge. Neither was a big deal, but getting the 4 day passes just makes it that much easier.

Second, I would try to book a hotel really, really early…like by December at the latest. We looked into hotels at the same time we got our badges and found all of the reasonably priced or nearby hotels booked up for the weekend. We ended waiting to put our name in for the reserved hotel rooms through Comic-Con’s web site, which ended up being a minor disaster. Comic-Con got so many requests that they had to book rooms at a bunch more hotels, most of which were a little farther away in the Mission Valley area.

About two months after putting in my name, I got an email from Travel Planners that they could get us a room for a very reasonable rate so we jumped on it. Unfortunately, it had been so long that we had called off the trip and I had already asked for my tickets to be refunded. Fortunately, I was able to get the tickets reinstated with a phone call and several emails.

Third, I would stock up on snacks and water. We brought some snacks with us, but not water. It just meant that we were forced to pay too much money for bottled water most of the time and ran out of snacks pretty quickly.

Fourth, I would make sure I have Internet access. Our hotel charged a fee for wireless access so we opted not to pay for it. We barely spent any time in the room so, at the time it didn’t seem like a big deal. But after seeing all of the blog posts and tweets after the fact, I think it would have been a lot of fun reading them during the convention.

Really, in the end, none of that stuff mattered too much. We still had a great time, but, knowing what I know now, I think I’ll have an even better experience next time around.

Godspeed.

First Day on the Job

/ Geek Stuff /

Hello world. Oh crap, can I start my first post with struck through text? Yes. I can. And I just did.

So what is this little old blog all about. Well, it’s really quite simple. Every day I engage in some geeky activity that I find enjoyable and this is my way of sharing those experiences.

For instance, today I set up a blog played a couple of levels of Harry Potter Lego on Xbox with my brother. It was awesome until I got Hagrid stuck between a rock and a tree and couldn’t get him out. There must have been a glitch in the game. We were almost done with the level and I thought we were going to have to quick, but we found a way to go back far enough with one character that the game was forced to regroup everyone and we finished the level.

Then we watched an episode of Arrested Development, which we recently discovered, on Netflix. I love this show. It is so funny. It is definitely my new favorite.

So what is in store for the blog? Well, you’re looking at it. I plan to muse about those things that I enjoy most: movies, books, and tv (most of which fall into the science fiction and fantasy genres). I’m also hoping to post some of my thoughts about Comic-Con, which I attended for the first time this year.

Well, that’s enough for the first post. Godspeed dear readers.