Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pictures from the 2016 Comic-Con International, part 3: Thursday (Michael Rooker, "Weird Al" Yankovic, NerdHQ and more!)

It's time for more pictures from Comic-Con! These ones are from Thursday the 21st.

Because I was meeting some people, I got to Comic-Con pretty early this day - around 7:00am. Even though there are always people in lines no matter what time it is, there wasn't a big crowd outside at this point in the day. I dropped some things off in the convention center and got to see what Comic-Con looks like when almost no one else is there.

After a few minutes inside, I started the walk back to the Spreckels Theater a few blocks away. This was one of the few times that I got to actually take a look at some of the things happening outside of the convention center.

Right outside of NerdHQ at the Children's Museum was a Star Trek display (I think they had a fashion show here later on) with an original series bridge and transporter replica. If you were willing to wait in a (very long) line, you could get your picture on stage.

The new Star Trek makeup line was being advertised at a number of locations during the convention. Wouldn't this just be...regular makeup? Oh well.

After waiting in line to get tickets for this day's Conan O'Brien filming, I tried (and failed) to pick up my Mattel order at the adjacent hotel. But I did meet Spider-Man there.

Then I went back to the convention hall...and Spider-Man was there, too!

I mostly stay away from the biggest booths at the show as they are difficult to navigate...but the DC booth did have some show costumes on display.

It seems that fans are willing to really go out to make a good Hawkman/girl/woman costume. The wings really make it.

Here's a rather suspicious Black Widow.

Do they sell these giant Spaceballs helmets somewhere?

This guy is really pulling off the look.

My friend Nick dressed up as X-Man Quentin Quire.

Thursday is the first day for the world famous Taco Truck...which I guess is now called "Tacos Mexico". Thank goodness for the taco truck. It's one of the things I look forward to most every year.

After eating a burrito, I saw Michael Rooker from the Walking Dead walking briskly through the convention center. This is the picture he was willing to take with me - I'm pretty happy with it. It looks like I'm sneaking up behind ol' Merle.

Conan filmed in the early afternoon on this day, so I missed a few hours of the convention for it. It was worth it, though, because "Weird Al" Yankovic was performing on this episode. I even had a chance to meet up with drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz a little bit before the show. I gave him a few of the "Weird Al at Comic-Con" prints that I made. It was a good time.

The show was set up much like Wednesday's taping. This time around, Bruce Campbell, Nick Kroll and the WB superhero lineup (Supergirl, Green Arrow, the Flash) made appearances.

Al came out last and performed "Foil" from the "Mandatory Fun" album.

They crammed so much into this show. When Al was done singing, he ripped his apron off and leaped over into a seat to do a quick interview with Conan.

There was a lot of walking done this day. After filming ended, I grabbed the Funko they handed out and ran back to the convention center for the last two hours.

I signed some books at the New England Comics booth and ran into Kumail Nanjiani from "Silicon Valley"! We talked about the Tick for a while, which was fun.

After the convention closed, it was off to the races - Weird Al was playing at nearby San Diego State University. The campus was, of course, beautiful, and their outdoor theater was very impressive. I handed out the rest of my Comic-Con posters, which went over pretty well.

The seats were great, the weather was cool and the concert was fun. It was a good time.

BUT THE NIGHT WASN'T OVER YET! This was a busy day. I ended it by heading back downtown to Nerd HQ's annual dance party, which is always packed.

While I was there, I met some friends. I have no idea who these people are. They are also not this much shorter than I am.

The NerdHQ photo booth is a yearly tradition. That's Flutter's Jennie Wood on the right.

More pictures to come. Looking back at these pictures, it's hard to believe that I did so much in one day. But I guess that's what Comic-Con is.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Watch Amazon's "The Tick" RIGHT NOW! (and vote and comment!)

This day has been a long time in coming, but I think you'll agree that it's been worth the wait. The Tick has returned to television in the form of Amazon's Pilot Season program. What's best is that you can now stream the very first episode for free (available here)!

I was able to first watch the pilot last night and I loved every second of it. I am, naturally, very biased, but I hope that you'll believe me and give it a shot. And as someone who occupies just a tiny part of the Tick's universe, I know for a fact that the people involved in this production gave it their heart and soul in bringing the concept back.

There are a lot of reasons to love this new series, but for me it's how resonant the characters are, even in just the first episode. Griffin Newman is the focus of the pilot and he plays an empathetic, nuanced Arthur that provides a perfect balanced to the bombastic, aloof Tick, played by Peter Serafinowicz. One of the great additions to this show is a new spotlight on Arthur's sister, Dot, played by Valorie Curry. I for one cannot wait to see how her character grows and eclipses the character's appearances in previous iterations.

If you take the time and watch the pilot, I hope that you'll also vote for the show and leave a comment with Amazon - you can do both from the homepage. Amazon will be streaming this episode for the foreseeable future and will be taking fan feedback for just about a month - we should know sometime near the end of September if the show will get picked up for a full series. We need to make this happen! So please, if you like the show (or just The Tick in general), watch it, tell your friends about it, vote for it and comment on it!

The above picture is from this year's SDCC panel and was probably my favorite moment at the convention. I know that this series can be a force at Amazon for years to come. Please help make this happen!


I have (of course) been searching the Internet for mentions of The Tick over the last few days, and I found a couple fun items. The first is an article about the original live action show from back in 2001.

The second is a really cool sketch cover drawn on the 2015 Comic-Con exclusive book. I'm glad that we finally printed some blank sketch covers for 2015 and '16 and it's neat when these pop up every once in a while. The person who owns this even got it graded and everything!

That's it. This was an obligatory post, but I mean it when I say that the show is worth your while. I hope you'll check it out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pictures from the 2016 Comic-Con International, part 2: Wednesday (Conan O'Brien, Sergio Aragones, Nancy Cartwright and more!)

It's time for more (very exciting) pictures from Comic-Con in San Diego, this time with images from preview night, Wednesday the 20th!

Just like Tuesday, Wednesday was a busier day at the show than in previous years. Usually, I'm able to wake up whenever I want to, eat breakfast, and head down to the convention at a leisurely pace. This year, Conan O'Brien returned to San Diego and I was able to get tickets to Wednesday's taping. That meant lining up to pick up tickets (and secure an assigned seat) at 10am. Through some stroke of luck, I actually had a whole gaggle of tickets (that's the proper term) and was able to trade two of them in exchange for Thursday tickets as well. After picking up wristbands and tickets, I got a picture with some new friends against the Conan backdrop inside the theater.

After that, it was off to try and score more tickets, this time for the Star Trek Beyond premiere that was taking place later that night. The line supposedly opened at noon. I got there at 11:30 was already spilling out across the pier behind the convention center.

While I was waiting, I did get to see the IMDboat. That's about the extent of my Star Trek line excitement, though, as I went thought twice and wasn't able to get any tickets. Bummer.

I did score a pretty great sunburn, though, which you can start to see taking shape in this image. After the line didn't produce any tickets, I went inside the exhibit hall to finish setting up for the day. Here I am with the first cosplayer of the convention! Great job, lower half.

While setting up, I ran into Terry Moore, who I had seen speak the day before at the "Comics & Law" panel at the library. We chatted for a while and he left with a copy of Teddy and the Yeti. Then it was off to the Spreckels Theatre for Conan.

On the way there, I saw this fine gentleman wearing a 2014 Tick shirt drawn by Duane Redhead!

The theater was about six blocks away and the sun beat down on us every step of the way. When we made it inside, we waited in a gigantic line in a suffocating hallway on the second floor. There were a lot of sweaty people there that day. But we eventually made it to our seats just before the show started.

I had a seat near the front of the upper balcony, which was actually a pretty good view of the show. The cast of HBO's "Silicon Valley" was the main attraction, though there was a fun cameo of Will Arnett tossed in there as well.

I'm used to shows filming the same scene over and over again for hours on end, but this one flew by in right about an hour, which was surprising. It was a good time and when it was over, we all got Conan Funko bobbleheads. On leaving the theater, we were met with throngs of people asking if they could buy them.

I made it back to the convention center just about ten minutes before it opened for preview night, which was some good timing. I was able to jump in a line and pick up some cool items right as Comic-Con officially began. Preview night is such a feeding frenzy of buying that it's almost hard to imagine. Above are some folks who are probably wondering how they're going to get all of their new stuff into their car. Lookit all of that!

The Walking Dead had a big presence again, including this scene where you can pretend that you're about to get your head smashed in by the show's new villain. What fun!

Here's a shot of the floor. For preview night, it was fairly orderly.

Marvel, for some reason, commissioned a bronze statue of Captain America that was unveiled here before moving to a park in New York. I'm not entirely certain that a fictional character should get an official statue before, say, the creators of said fictional character, but I guess there's already one of Rocky and Robocop out there in the world. So to each his own...and the statue did look pretty cool.

You don't usually see a lot of costumes on preview night, but there were some to be found.

Leaving the show, I ran into none other than legendary MAD Magazine artist Sergio Aragones! One of the greats.

I make sure that I stop at the Chuck Jones Gallery in the Gaslamp District every year. This year had a small space devoted to the works of Nancy Cartwright, the voice actor for Bart Simpson and an artist in her own right. In the middle is a Bart Simpson bust! I also love the shadow it creates on the wall.

Apparently Burger King had an after party at an offsite location in the evening. The place was roped off and people who were dressed extremely well were entering, so I didn't make an attempt, though I probably should have. What in the world was happening in this place?

I managed to make a relatively early night of things as I had a busy Thursday planned. Look for those pictures soon!