Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pictures from the 2013 Comic-Con International, part 7 (Nathan Fillion @ Nerd HQ, Game of Thrones and more!)

We're nearing the end of my store of Comic-Con pictures; I find that I probably took more pictures last year, but in 2013 I did more things and took in more events.  If that meant that I didn't use the camera as much, then I suppose it was well worth it...though I did get some pretty cool pictures.  All of these pictures were taken on Sunday of the event, when everything was supposedly winding down.  Even though it was the last day of the show, fans were still out en mass, events were still happening all over the area, and the goodwill that seems to pervade Comic-Con was still felt.

I've only been to Comic-Con three times at this point, but the changes that have happened since attending in 2006 and 2012 have been measurable, to say the least.  The number and scope of off-site events is pretty astounding, to the point that I wonder if outside Comic-Con will be different than regular Comic-Con in another 10 years.  Hours of events have expanded, too.  Case in point, at 5:00, after the convention officially closed and I said goodbye to another great year, people were still pouring into a video game site, just across the tracks, that was staying open until 7:00.  So even when Comic-Con was over, it was still going on!

It's been a real privilege to get to attend this show, first as a small press exhibitor and now as a professional.  I realize that Comic-Con is really unlike anything else, and I hope that more people get to experience it in the coming years.  It's difficult to really define or explain unless you've been there for yourself.

But enough pontificating...let's see some pictures!  At top, you might recognize the cast from Saga, probably the best book being published right now.  Even the baby had a costume!  Brian K. Vaughan has a signing for Sunday morning, and these guys lined up to meet him.

We had our own event picked out for Sunday at noon, so we had to head over to Nerd HQ shortly after arriving at the convention center for the day.  On the way there, near the incredibly packed Game of Thrones off-site exhibit and store (people were waiting two hours in line just to get a t-shirt), I ran into none other than John Bradley, otherwise known as Samwell "the Slayer" Tarly, in his own mobile Iron Throne.  He was filming some bonus material for an upcoming DVD, and I'm sad to say that I didn't get the chance to run in the background during any of it.  That would've been something.

At noon, I was lucky enough to get into my second Nerd HQ panel of the weekend.  This panel was Nathan Fillion's and wouldn't you know it, fellow Firefly cast member Alan Tudyk was there to host it.  I can't express strongly enough how great the entire Nerd HQ experience was this year.  It was absolutely worth it to buy tickets to these panels (the proceeds from which went entirely to charity) and just experience the ambiance of the event.  Zachary Levi puts on a tremendous show and I can't wait for next year's lineup.

I learned at the previous Joss Whedon panel that if you want to ask a question, you've got to ask for the microphone right away.  I was able to ask a question in the Fillion panel because hey, Firefly.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate my question as, let's say, a 6, but it's one that I had to ask.  I'm sure it came out as something like "Uh, Firefly Firefly Firefly Firefly Firefly!" followed by weeping and sobbing.  I'm sure it got a good response from the stage, as this is the look - one of INTENSE CONCENTRATION - that came back to be:


After the panel, Fillion and Tudyk (seen here hiding behind Kung-Fu-Fillion) came out and took pictures with fans, raising even more money for Operation Smile.  Keep in mind that Fillion is a bonafide super-celebrity and cult figure in the world of television.  That these two guys came out and put the time in to meet people was pretty exciting.  Also, I almost ended up accidentally stealing Alan Tudyk's glasses as I left the event (true story!).

I was able to get Tudyk and Fillion's signatures on a couple items this day, which by all accounts is a difficult feat to accomplish.  Both were gracious and more accommodating than they needed to be.  The panel, pictures and signing were definitely highlights of the entire weekend.

And of course, no Comic-Con is complete without the obligatory Chewbacca sighting.

There were only a few hours left of the show by the time we got out of Nerd HQ, but we managed to make it back to the convention center to do some last minute shopping and signing.  Here's the A-Team van, parked near the Mattel booth!

Hannah Nance Partlow, Boom! Studios letterer, artist and designer, added this new image to the ol' Thing sketchbook!  It's the first inclusion of Miss Thing in the book, and one that I was hoping to get (it'll keep the one drawing of She-Thing company).  Hannah did such a great job that I had to get a picture of it right away.

I spent the last hour or so of the convention at the New England Comics booth, signing and handing out copies of the Free Comic Book Day Tick book.  While I was there, I spied some holy grail items for Tick fans - original Ben Edlund pages of artwork!  Ben had given a few to the art director's nephew (seen below), much to the envy of everyone else at the booth.  How great it'd be to own a page like this, and what a classic scene!

Here I am with Gabe Crate, Tick alumnus and screenwriter.  Benn and Liz Robbins stopped by before too long as well, and Edlund himself made one quick stop as the show was winding down, so it was a mini Tick reunion for about 15 minutes at the booth.  The table saw brisk sales the whole weekend, from what I was told, which is a great thing.  There needs to be more Tick in the world.

After the show ended, I walked past the Godzilla Experience one last time, and I took this shot of the outside of the building.  I wonder how long this warehouse will just have a painted Godzilla on the outside?

This takes us to the end of the show, but I've still got a few more pictures to share from the remainder of my trip to the West coast.  Look for those soon!

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