So very tired. Many pictures. A few entertaining stories. As per usual, I will recap in installments. Hopefully I will have the pics uploaded tomorrow.
Everyone took the day off of work but me. I only took a half day in an attempt to preserve my precious few remaining vacation days. The gang (consisting of Faye, Dom and Ben) met me downtown for lunch at Fado before we were to hop on the bus to the airport. Spirits were high. This was particularly exhibited in Ben, who entertained our waiter with his fervor. I had my first drink of the vacation: an Irish Coffee.
The trip to the airport was speedy and uneventful. We got to the gate in record time which was inconsequential because our flight was delayed. Apparently, there was something wrong with the seal on the doors, so they had to RE-seal the entire door and then test the pressure in the cabin to make sure we could all still breathe. While I am grateful that they were so cautious, it’s never pleasant to have a flight delayed two hours. Particularly considering the fact that airport bars aren’t cheap. Regardless, Faye and I each drank two pretty, overpriced fancy drinks and we waited to board.
On the plane, we decided to upkeep our buzz and expected to pay for the drinks (as they’d announced the prices at the beginning of the flight). However, apparently they were giving away free cocktails to make up for the delay. They were keeping this on the D.L., however, so that only we lushes who had planned to order drinks anyway, would discover the freebie.
We landed without incident and, since we planned ahead this year, our hotel was easy for our cab driver to find. We arrived too late to pick up our Comic-Con passes, however (the sole reason for us to arrive on Wednesday, rather than Thursday). It was also too late to get dinner, as everything near us was closed apart from a 7-11. We decided to sup on snacks and cold beverages and return to the hotel to watch a movie on Pay-Per-View. Even though the selection was sparse and poor, we IN NO WAY settled on and completed a viewing of She’s The Man. No sir. Ben, having NOT seen She’s The Man in the theatre, retired to his room to sleep and wait for his roommate, Jump Street (so nicknamed, by me and Faye, because he is training to be a cop), to arrive.
After NOT watching She’s The Man, we fell comfortably asleep in our air-conditioned bliss.
Ben and Jump Street apparently woke up earlier than us and were ready to head down to the con to catch Ben’s first panel so we agreed to meet them later. Dom, Faye and I had a little more time because the first thing we wanted to see didn’t start until noon. We caffeinated on the way, and then got in line to pick up our passes. The previous year, we were able to wait in the much shorter “professional” line, on account of our film being in the festival. This year, we had to wait in the long line with the people. It was, however, a very efficient system, and we had our passes relatively quickly. We still had some time before our panels, so we wandered the floor for a bit. I read the signing schedule and discovered that Bill Willingham would be signing later in the day. I texted Ben to this effect as, he was currently reading Fables. Ben was apparently nonplussed about it, since he didn’t know who Bill Willingham was. Anywho, Faye and Dom parted ways with me and went off to learn about Writing for the Computer Gaming Industry. I went on my own to the CFQ Movie Preview panel to see some trailers.
The highlight of this for me was a trailer for the new Uwe Boll movie, Dungeon Seige. Of course, the panelists and much of the audience scoffed at the prospect. It baffles me that so many people can appreciate the accidental humor of Showgirls but fail to see the humor in the glorious ineptitude of a Uwe Boll film. The man is, if nothing else, consistent in making a lame, or otherwise uninteresting concept (a boring, obscure video game, for instance) into an incoherent, silly, and occasionally surreal spectacle. How can you not be entertained by that?! In the world of Uwe, Tara Reid is an Anthropologist who can’t even pronounce her own profession! Christian Slater is greasy and uncoordinated, but also an action hero! It’s BRILLIANT! The tradition is most assuredly carried on in Dungeon Siege (the full title of which is actually In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale). It’s difficult to make out any sort of plot from the trailer (if we’re to even assume that there IS a plot), but who need a plot when you have Jason Statham, fresh from some British gangster film, having not changed his look or demeanor one iota, fighting with swords in a far away and long ago land! Are there demons? Just regular corrupt royal types? Who can tell! But I do know that he fights SOMEONE and that Ray Liotta is involved. And also that Burt Reynolds, with his botched Botox face shows up in some sort of kingly garb. Who else is there? Why, Leelee Sobieski. (Remember when people thought she was going to be the next Jodi Foster? Well, now she’s in Uwe Boll movies!), Matthew Lillard (one can only hope he attempts an accent), Claire Forlani, and two actors who are INCAPABLE of saying no to ANY SCRIPT they are given: John Rhys-Davies and Ron Perlman. This is a winning formula if ever there was one. Unfortunately, since the rest of the world doesn’t seem to appreciate Uwe in the way that some of us more enlightened parties do, we may have to wait for video on this one. I was just as excited for BloodRayne, but could not get anyone to drive to Auburn to see it during the 3 days that it was released theatrically. But don’t cry for Uwe. No matter how critically panned he is, or how much money his films lose, he still gets funding to make new movies! This fact makes a believer out of me. Here’s hoping that one day he decides to collaborate with Joe Eszterhas. That pairing would either create the greatest bad film of all time, or else it would either usher in the end of days.
Sorry about that little digression. Uwe has that effect on me. Anyway, after that, it was time to meet everyone for lunch. Ben and Jump Street were finishing up somewhere, so Dom, Faye and I scouted ahead for a destination. As we headed into the Gas Lamp district, we were handed coupons for free appetizers at Rock Bottom Brewery. We looked briefly looked around for alternatives, but ended up at Rock Bottom anyway.
Back at the convention center, Ben, Dom and Jump Street went to the Pinky and the Brain panel, and Faye agreed to wait with me for Bill Willingham. As we entered the DC area, we looked at the name plates on the table and saw that Brian K. Vaughn, the one writer that Faye WANTED to meet, was signing. None of these people were mentioned on the website. Over the course of the next few days, we would learn that pretty much EVERYONE we would want to meet, were, in fact, there. Why they weren’t listed on the website, I have no idea. Perhaps they don’t know they are coming until the last minute? Are we then meant to carry around the books of everyone we would HOPE to run into, in the off chance that they will be there? Luckily, you can buy comics at the Comic-Con )go figure). This helped me because there are still some Fables that I don’t have. Faye, however, already owns the Brian K. Vaughn collection, so she just had him sign a poster for his new, not-yet-released book. We then went to find somewhere that I could buy Fables. On the way back, we passed the SLG (i.e. Goth Comics) booth and saw that Roman Dirge would also be signing later that day. Faye and I quickly bought a Dirge book we didn’t have and then got in line for Willingham. In the meantime, Ben, Dom and Jump Street had given up on Pinky and the Brain (apparently the line was too long), and were wandering the floor. I spotted David Arquette, my one non-panel or signing celeb spotting of the weekend. The previous year, the con had been littered with famous types running hither and thither. Perhaps they were more difficult to spot this year on account of there being TWICE as many con goers. Yipes.
Anyway, Faye and I waited for Willingham. And waited. And waited. An hour later, the line hadn’t moved at all. I peeked around the corner to find out what was causing the hold-up, but my lack of observation skills prevented me from learning anything. Faye went a little later and read the sign that explained everything. Apparently, the artist was drawing sketches for charity. He could pump out one sketch about every twenty minutes. Meanwhile, Willingham’s job of simply signing his name was being impeded by his meticulous artist. With only half an hour left in his signing time, his assistant brought everyone who only wanted a signature to the front of the line. I got my book signed and personalized and was on my way.
Faye had already gotten in line for Dirge. His line was efficient and we were up there in no time. Dirge, being a much simpler fellow, was able to draw Lenore IN my Lenore book and still have us out of there within 10 minutes of lining up. Gotta love those competent Goths.
Faye and I briefly stopped at the Film Threat booth to bother our friend Mark Bell, and then found our fellas. We dropped our heavy new acquisitions off at the hotel, and then wandered out into the world to find some dinner. Of course, by this time, everyone else at the con was also looking for dinner, and places were filling up fast. We became less and less choosy about where we ended up. We finally settled on a Mexican place on a side street. Several expensive, yet delicious drinks later (the mojitos were particularly delicious), our bellies were full, and we rolled ourselves back to the hotel. Ben, Dom and Faye were ready to retire, but Jump Street and I decided to hit the town for a drink or two. We found a nice, quiet sports bar (which was probably only quiet on account of it being Thursday), and had a few drinks whilst discussing comic book movies. The first round was free, since our bartender told us the total and then never came back.
Stay tuned for part II!