Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pictures from the 2016 Comic-Con International, part 4: Friday (Tick 30th anniversary panel, Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek art exhibit and more!)

Thursday at Comic-Con was a big long day, so I didn't have too much planned for Friday. Of course this means that Friday ended up being one of the best days at the convention for me. Let's look at a few pictures!

I was lucky enough to get to share a space with Jennie Wood at the show. Jennie is a very talented author and I'm continually surprised at just how many people seek her out at Comic-Con. Flutter was a big hit once again. We'll have some news on the third volume soon!

I managed to snag a ticket to a Nichelle Nichols signing early on in the day (which was great). While in line, I had a nice conversation with actress Kate Comer, who has had roles in Veep, The Office, and a few other things. She made it easy to root for her career, and I hope her star blows up any day now. I'm...probably basing a Honcho character off of her.

Whoever marketed this inflatable raptor idea is a genius, and almost certainly very rich.

On Friday, I gave out my first Tick Sandwich Edition issue! This gentleman kindly obliged in having his picture taken with the issue. I'm very happy with it, and everyone else at the booth was kind of confused.

Despite the name tag overhead, this is not Neal Adams.

Here's another Spaceballs costume! I noticed a few from that movie this year.

The Tick and Arthur came to visit the NEC booth in the afternoon. They're both great guys who really care about the property (and the guy dressed as The Tick is from Pittsburgh!), and I was able to chat with them for a few minutes. They showed up when Tick creator Ben Edlund arrived in advance of his "Tick: the First 30 Years" panel that was held this day.

The panel was housed in the Horton Grand Theatre, a few blocks from the convention center. I'm not sure why Comic-Con chose this as a ticketed event, but it went over very well. I haven't checked, but if by some miracle this panel was filmed and it made its way online, it's my humble opinion that you (dear reader) should watch it immediately. It was simply humbling to hear about Ben's vision for the new Amazon series and the different stories about the character.

The panel consisted of Edlund, Townsend Coleman (voice of the cartoon Tick), Bob Polio (NEC art director) and Griffin Newman, who plays Arthur on the Amazon series. I was able to watch it with a few others from a room upstairs, which as pretty neat.

The panel had a few video clips interspersed throughout, from the cartoon and the 2001 live action series (we also got to see some of the first images from the Amazon series). Much to my delight, Ben also showed some footage, nearly lost and never aired, of The Tick's puppet theater, originally planned for the end credits on the final season of the Fox Kids cartoon.

Getting to see this panel really got me excited about the new show and about the characters in general. I hope that the show opens up a few more opportunities to put new issues of The Tick out there.

Ben and Griffin had signings at the NEC booth the rest of the weekend. I introduced Griffin to the Taco Truck.

I kind of felt like my day was over at the end of the panel, so I mostly wandered for the rest of the show day. I did see some good costumes, though.

The kid's face is pretty good in this one.

After the show ended for the day, it was time for the Rotten Tomatoes: Your Opinion Sucks! panel. I had copies of the poster to hand out and felt like I was a little part of the panel, which was fun. Grae Drake and Matt Atchity are great people and they put up with my fanboy attention every year. And Grae's costumes are worth showing up for by themselves.

This year's panel was in a much bigger room than in years prior. It's great to see this getting more attention and getting bigger.

This is the second year that I've run into Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman at Comic-Con. I guess he likes the show! He was at the Rotten Tomatoes panel and was kind enough to take a picture with me.

After the hall cleared out, I was able to get a picture with Matt and Grae.

It was 8:00 when we left the convention hall, and I was feeling it from the past couple of very long days, so we didn't do too much more this evening. I had wanted to see the "Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years" offsite event, but it was supposed to be closed by this time of the night. Luckily for me, the folks running the gallery apparently didn't feel like closing up, so I got to walk through and see all of the (honestly stunning) pieces in the offsite gallery.

It's hard to pick a favorite piece from the exhibit, but this cereal box might just be it.

I managed to get some sleep this night so I could get back to it on Saturday. I'll post those pictures soon!

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.