Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pictures from the 2014 Comic-Con International, part 2: Preview Night!

Welcome again to another installment of...uh..."Jeff posts pictures from Comic-Con".  That's not a great title, but it'll have to do for now.  And I suppose it does its job.  Anyway, let's get started with some pictures from Wednesday, July 23rd: Preview Night!

In all honesty, the term "Preview Night" is a bit of a misnomer for the first night of Comic-Con.  The first show I attended, back in 2006, had a feel more in line with what you might expect: people calmly walked around the lightly attended event and looked at the booths and what was for sale.  Not a lot of transactions happened on this night, but attendees could make a list of places to visit when the convention started up in earnest the next day.

Those days are long gone, as Preview Night is one of the more manic scenes at Comic-Con, where people clutch and grab for exclusives in an attempt to beat the rush and find what they're looking for with reckless abandon.  A three hour window and ravenous fans sometimes leads to some fairly absurd scenes, and this year had some good examples of this.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...there are some pre-Preview Night pictures to be seen.

I realize that I'm pretty fortunate when it comes to this big event.  I'm able to get my tickets without much hassle, and because a friend had a table in the small press area this year, I was able to get access to the convention floor before the doors opened.  I had the same experience in 2012 and it is fun to witness.  You get to see booths and displays on their way to completion - sometimes up until the very last second - without crowds of people storming the gates.  It's relaxing compared to the stampede that comes once the doors open.  Here's the makings of the Walking Dead display, a staple at Comic-Con since the show has been on the air.

The mass of people that the operating hours bring helps you appreciate getting to see from one end of the hall to the other.

I wonder if this is for sale?  Probably not...but if it was, what would the price tag be?  If they ever have a similar Thing model on display, I will probably fall down weeping at the sight.  As it is, still pretty cool.

My professional badge didn't grant me any early access, but as I knew someone with a booth, I got this spiffy sticker that allowed me in while I "helped out".  There were a lot of people with similar stickers on Wednesday, many of whom were legitimately helping out, many of whom were trying to get an early jump on exclusives once the doors opened.  This, of course, caused a maddening rush to the Hasbro booth once convention started.  The Hasbro booth is an unbelievable mess every year.

I think the coolest prop at Comic-Con was at the Marvel booth: it's a full-sized replica of the shuttles as seen in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie that was just days away from premiering at the time.  This was blocked off, of course, but I'm sure some people (those who worked at the Marvel booth) climbed in at some point.

Very meticulous, very articulate.  Really cool.

As always, people wandered around in the minutes before the convention opened.  The convention staff must go crazy every year trying to get people to clear aisles.  I, of course, do little to alleviate the situation.  What can I say?

Here's the Mattel booth, stocked and seemingly ready to go.  Perhaps they're having a pep talk before attendees are allowed inside.  The second floor storage is clever.  Tall ceilings in the convention hall...might as well make use of it.

For the second year in a row, I ran into Matt Atchity, EIC of Rotten Tomatoes, while walking the convention floor.  It's astounding that he recognizes me, and I appreciate the opportunity to get to talk to him, the big-wig that he is.  I met Matt two years ago when he interviewed Larry and me as we were dressed up in our Jet Boy and Jet Girl costumes.  Later in the week, I went to the Rotten Tomatoes panel, which is a must-do from now on.  Lots of are forthcoming.

Here's one of the many displays.  These costumes were show-ready, and they had price tags to match.  But awesome to look at nonetheless.

This was, of course, taken outside of the Walking Dead booth.  We all know how easily distracted I can get sometimes.

My annoyance at the new Superman costume should be well known.  But there's no denying that this guy did a decent job.  I saw him at different times during the event and he was always lugging around the American flag.  That's dedication.

More pictures to come.

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