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Preview: Comic-Con Day One

Zombies, Serial Killers, and Dr. Who, Oh MMy!

It's only preview night and it's crowded! They were giving away cool Alien fa...

Credit: Beth Accomando

Above: It's only preview night and it's crowded! They were giving away cool Alien face-hugger masks at this booth.


Well Comic-Con is now in full swing. Preview night was packed and Thursday has a promising line up of events.

Well Comic-Con is now in full swing. Preview night was packed and Thursday has a promising line up of events.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Beth Accomando

My little Batman friend finds a bigger Batman to pose with.

Well I spent Preview Night the best way possible: introducing a young child to the Comic-Con. My friend and her young son had never been to Comic-Con so I suggested they join me on preview night. The young lad arrived in his Batman costume and proceeded to run around the dealers’ room floor looking for superhero stuff and video gaming. He also discovered swag, and nearly cried when he thought he had lost his “Toy Story 3” free poster. But before the evening was over, he was asking if he could spend the night at the Con. I think I have a new convert! And really, seeing the wonder and excitement in his eyes is what Comic-Con is all about.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Beth Accomando

The "Ghostbuster" car.

And speaking of excitement… I nearly hung up on a friend when I caught sight of the “Ghostbuster” car on the dealers’ room floor. It had its lights flashing and you got to see it up close and personal. Awesome. I was less excited about the “Transformers” car but you are supposed to be able to get a ride in the “Green Hornet” Black Beauty car over at Petco Park but I haven’t had a chance to check it out.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Beth Accomando

The Blood Factory thumb drive.

My best buys for preview night were the DVD Box set of the “Max Headroom” TV show at Shout Factory. I have been waiting for forever for this brilliant show to come out so this was quite a find. But my most fun buy was a “thumb” drive that looks like a cut off thumb from The Blood Factory. Delightful! They also have a very cool set up for people into horror and gore – you can get your picture taken so it looks like you are a carved up corpse or maybe it’s just a rotting one.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Beth Accomando

The Blood Factory photo op.

With Thursday upon us, here are some must sees. Composer Danny Elfman will be holding a panel (10:30am, Room 6BCF) and the Dude himself Mr. Jeff Bridges is scheduled to appear at the “TRON” panel (11:15am, Hall H). But the big must-see for me is Edgar Wright with his panel on his new film “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” (6pm, Hall H) Do not miss any panel with Edgar Wright or with Simon Pegg (who will be on hand Friday to promote his new film, “Paul”). These guys are great – funny, smart, and basically Comic-Con darlings. Wright will also co-host a panel called Masters of the Web (3pm, Room 32AB) about the best of the Internet’s fast growing web series and webisode programs.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Mike Salva

"Death Row Diet"

The Comic-Con International Film Festival is also in full swing today. All films are at the Marriott Hotel and are running continually throughout the Con. Awards will be given out on Sunday at 11am with all the winners receiving an encore screening at noon Sunday. I highly urge you to check out at least two films: the animated short “Death Row Diet” by Mike Salva and featuring the voice talent of Jonathan Katz (Thursday, 12:50pm), and the brilliant documentary “Marwencol” (Friday, 7:40pm). You will not regret making time for either of these films. Plus it’s nice to support up and coming talent.

Entertainment Weekly is hosting another of its Visionaries panels, this time with J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon (3:30pm, Hall H), but their choice of talent feels a little stale. Yes these guys are talented but I’m not sure I would call them visionaries. I mean where’s Guillermo Del Toro or Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi or Terry Gilliam (all who were at recent Cons)? I would be more excited about seeing one of them on a Visionaries Panel.

Also of note: Showtime’s “Dexter” has a panel (6pm, Ballroom 20); a premiere screening of “Dr. Who” (8pm, Room 6DE); the ever entertaining “Mark and Sergio Show” (2:30pm, Room 8); Bruce Campbell will be the highlight of the “Burn Notice” panel (1pm, Ballroom 20); testoserone will be high on “The Expendables” panel (4:45pm, Hall H); and a panel on Japanese extreme and genre filmmaking called The Sushi Typhoon (8:15pm, Room 5AB). Off site, there’s the mobile taco truck at 5th and J to promote “Machete” starting at 5pm with the promise of exclusive clips at 9pm.

And I highly recommend (sorry to shamelessly self-promote) the “Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated” panel (9:30pm, Room 5AB). I will be moderating the panel featuring nine artists who were among the dozens of artists who participated in an exciting project to “reanimate” the classic George A. Romero zombie film. Since the film is in public domain, Mike Schneider decided to have a group of artists pay homage to the seminal undead film by creating animation to go over the film’s original soundtrack. The project will come out on DVD July 27 but you can get a sneak preview tonight, pick up some cool swag, and talk with nine of the artists about this very cool project.

That’s it for now. Preview night down and I’m already exhausted and running on very little sleep. But the adrenaline is kicking in and I can’t wait for all the activity today. I know it looks like you have to be in multiple places at once to see everything, but that too is Comic-Con. And I still have some shopping to do!

You can check out my schedule online or create your own.

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