Well...Where to begin? At the beginning I guess...
Arrived Wednesday afternoon, checked into the Marriott next door, sailed through the pass line then went out to meet up with Timesmasher and ended up back at the Marriott having a scrumptious Hawaiian fusion dinner at Roy's. It was the last bit of real peace we had for the next five days.
Now, my daughter, Ray, and her bf, Jason, were with me and we all are huge Tim Burton fans, so they were expecting to have to get in line for Hall H in the middle of the night. Luckily before we headed into preview night we decided to go down and check out the line situation. Much to our shock, not only had it begun, but they'd been camping out there for over a day already...Twilight groupies. OY! It was only 7pm but Ray and Jason ran back to the hotel, changed, grabbed the sleeping bag and headed back to the Hall H line to assure we'd not be at the back of a 6500 seat auditorium tomorrow.
Once they were situated, I headed over to the dealer floor for preview night. Unfortunately, too late for all the major freebees, (the WB bags long gone...damn.) but still picked up a few pins and loads of postcards for the kids to take home and enjoy. About 9:30pm I attempted to find snacks and actual food to sustain them through the cold night, and ended up at a Subway a few blocks away...45 minute wait for two sandwiches. Yes indeed, Comic Con is in town.
Starbucks in the hotel opened at 5am so I was down there first in line to grab muffins and coffee to take to the kids. Little did we know there would still be five more hours of waiting outside in line before they'd herd us all into Hall H. As it turned out, my kids were the first Burton fans in line so in the middle of the night they'd had the privilege of being interviewed by Bob Stencil, a name I didn't know at the time, but would become quite aware of in the next few days. So, cool. At least sleeping out amongst the giddy Twitards (check it out. It's in the urbandictionary) had been an adventure for them.
Met up with a couple of fellow lj folks in line. hllangel stopped by to introduce herself and griggharris joined us before the masses were lead in. We got a chance to talk about her fabulous interview with Adam Lambert, (seriously awesome, if you're gasm for Adam you need to check it out)* so that was a terrific way to while away the remaining wait. Finally at 10:30 we were in the hall, 3D glasses in hand. Found aisle seats about 20 rows back....not too bad, and we settled in for the long day. First up Robert Zemeckis with A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring Jim Carrey. Beautiful animation but the clips made the movie look slow.
Then Tim Burton time and previews of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It was such an amazing trailer that we got to see it three times. Mindblowing. I was shocked at the ridiculously horrible questions from the audience. Where are all the movie geeks when you need them?! I actually shot the entire Burton appearance, but I only posted the Depp entrance before my video camera was destroyed in a freak lap accident. Plan to post the rest as soon as my camera returns from repair. Speaking of the Depp appearance...I was sure the room was going to implode. Those Twilighters can really scream! Thousands of cameras flashing simultaneously...well, here it is...
TRON. Time for a pee break. Been there, done that, hated it in the 70's or was it the 80's? Don't care at all about a remake. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS looked fun...THE HOLE...meh? FINAL DESTINATION...well, I'm not a horror movie fan, but this one, especially in 3D looked graphically stunning, shockingly gorey, yet somehow fun. Although nothing I personally would not want to see in a theatre, no doubt it will be HUGE.
Now I'd been waiting for ASTRO BOY since they told us at WonderCon back in February that the entire cast would be at Comic Con...Nicholas Cage, Bill Nighy, Nathan Lane, Donald Sutherland, etc, etc. They lied. Just Freddie Highmore. Then SORORITY ROW with five or six actresses I'd never heard of except Adrina Patridge...who I only know because Joel McHale always makes fun of her on The Soup. Nothing to see here. Moving on. Time for the Twilighters to begin their vocal exercises. OY! Somebody plz explain it to me...on second thought, no. I will never understand the fascination. Only one guy on the panel who was remotely articulate...the kid who plays Jason? is it? Robert Pattinson could barely speak, and when he did manage to be discernible it only reinforced my loathing of his kind of celebrity. There is no There there. Admitted to being a lazy actor, hates his life....blah, blah, blah. The most painful 45 minutes of the day. Truly.
My kids had left before Twilight hoping to see something else in Room 6A, and then return for James Cameron's AVATAR. As expected, the Twilight masses departed and I was able to move up about ten rows and actually save them a couple of seats, but they couldn't get back in the room. The line was too long outside so they gave up and spent time in the dealer hall. I stayed for AVATAR which was beautiful, unique and a very interesting original idea, but as I look back on that day, nothing compared to the brief moment that Johnny Depp stepped out on that stage and the room went literally insane. That was celebrity mania like I'd never witnessed before. Made me realize what a surreal life he must lead.
Left after AVATAR and met up with the kids. The kids had found something to eat, but I was starving, not being able to leave my seat while they were gone. Ended up back at DW's in the Marriott. Nice place to chill with decent food. Timesmasher and co. met up with us for a drink and then the kids were so fried we went back to the room so they could catch twenty-five winks before heading for the Hall H campout ...again.
Ray and Jason had planted in the Hall H line about 3:30 am, sans the Twilighters, they'd gotten a pretty front position. Ended up with seats in the front section center aisle. Niiice. Time to plant for the day. First up, Warner Bros. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE looks cute. Not one of my favorite books, but looks cute. The kid who plays Max, Max Records...WOW! He's a little star in the making. Expecting big things from him. Extraordinarily poised and funny for someone his age...what? 12? 14? He's got that Johnny Depp calm, cool, "It" factor in spades.
THE BOOK OF ELI started out showing bits from it's online graphic novel, art by the brilliant Tommy Lee Edwards. I'd met Tommy Lee at the TorchSong cocktail pary a couple of months ago and he was the nicest man. Today I just sat there with my jaw dropping at the beauty of the illustration and then I had to applaud and then facepalm when I saw that Tommy Lee had used his son, Henry, and himself as the characters. VERY cool! The story pretty raw though, about a drunken father battering his son. I think the crowd was in shock. Not exactly the type of thing you expect to see at Comic Con. The following panel was actually hilarious, particularly Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. I shot it, and again, will post as soon as I get my HD camera back from the shop.
NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET the remake with Jackie Earle Haley...again...not a horror fan, so meh.
THE BOX with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden...Looks like it could be a very interesting story. I'm withholding judgement.
JONAH HEX...Homage to spaghetti westerns...Well, I will say Josh Brolin was an extremely funny panelist. When for the raunch. Love that.
SHERLOCK HOLMES...What can I say? Robert Downey Jr.is terrific. Movie looks spectacular. Recorded this one too. Ditto on the posting as soon as the camera returns home.
At that point I left the kids in Hall H and hightailed it over to line up for the Boosh panel. Wasn't going to miss it for the world. Actually I got there early enough to see Stan Freeberg and he was just AWESOME. Such a life he's lead! Amazing stories.
~ Insert infamous video camera tragedy HERE. ~ Lady knocked it off my lap right before Stan Freeberg, and the innerds broke all to hell, so I had an hour to seeth before the BOOSH boys arrived. I made the choice to take deep breaths and NOT let it ruin my enjoyment of one of the main reasons I'd traveled Comic Con in the first place...NOEL FIELDING!
Time for BOOSH! One word...FANTABULOUS! Noel especially, just THE most adorkable human. I'll let the videos speak for themselves:
As soon as Boosh ended I had to RUN down to the dealer hall to catch Tommy Lee Edwards signing with John before they headed off for the day. When I got there John was busy signing several of Tommy Lee's Comic Con exclusive posters of Jack and Ianto. First off, I was thrilled because Tommy Lee remembered me and called me by name *Oh Yes*...and I then had the opportunity to gush all over him about what a thrill it was to see his work for BOOK OF ELI on the jumbotrons in Hall H that morning. Awesome. Truly. He's such an uber talented artist and a sweet, sweet man. Once John signed my Jack/Ianto poster Tommy Lee asked me to wait as he signed a BOOK OF ELI poster and handed it to me. Brilliant!
Since it was pretty quiet, being the end of their day, I got a little more face time with John than usual, so a few answers...Gareth is Gone gone...There WILL be a fourth season of Torchwood, (he said in a very knowing way)...and they will NOT be talking about it at the panel on Sunday...and indeed they didn't.
Having forgone food all day just to hold my seats, it was time to find the kids and head somewhere for a decent meal. We met up outside Hall H and headed to the steak and seafood place directly across the street. Nice. Relaxing. Seth Green was enjoying a meal just a few tables away. Ultimately expensive, but comforting after two grueling days of waiting in endless lines. Then back to the room so Ray and Jason could sleep for a few hours while I attempted to get caught up on the days events on ontd_ai (I was having a tinge of Adam withdrawal) and my flooded inbox. I guess lots of folks liked the Depp video I'd posted Thursday evening. ;-)
Since my daughter is a big LOST fan, the kids were up and ready for Hall H camp out mode by 3:30am. Since they woke me up, I decided to stay up and see how my BOOSH video would look on YouTube. Got the first two parts loaded before it was time to go out and get in the general admission line. I really just wanted to spend the day collecting bling, freebies, bags and whatever crap came my way so Ray and Jason would have something cool stuff to take home besides their memories. Since I was near the front of the line I did pretty well. Snagged the coveted Dexter bag and a couple of the giganto WB's with Vampire Diaries on them, then followed the lines to the free movie posters and buttons and whatnots. It's now laying out on my pool table. Haven't gone through it all yet.
With several full bags in hand I headed over to Holzheimer's to get John and Naoko to sign my TORCHWOOD gnome. Yes, that's what I said, gnome. Long story...family tradition that traveled with us to Cardiff at Christmas. I'd already gotten pictures of "Woody" with everyone except Naoko and Eve and I still needed John to sign him too. Naoko was very sweet and got a kick out of the goofiness. She gave me a couple of poses to choose from and then signed the back of his hat. John was a bit late...taking the opportunity to walk the floor a bit, I heard. When he arrived I was first in line to get him to sign both the gnome and the picture of him from HUB 1 in the Obama shirt. Jhava had graciously allowed me to reprint and have him sign. I so adore that picture. Lightning in a bottle really. John loved it too. He took a while to look at it and comment on how he was doing exactly what Obama was doing on the shirt...opening his jacket. Thanks again to Jhava for that beautiful picture and that lovely moment with John. *I bow at her feet*
Back to the room to dump off all the goodies and then I realized I'd brought a second copy of the Obama picture in case one had gotten damaged. Since John had gotten such a kick out of it, I decided to take it with me when I returned to the dealer floor. I'd also made little cards with the justgiving.com/iantojones info on them to hand out in lines and such, so I took one of them with me as well. Timing is EVERYTHING. Just as I walked toward the BBCAmerica booth they were handing out the last of the DOCTOR WHO ginormous bags for the day, and the gal took pity on me and tossed me two. One for my kids who'd been dying for one but couldn't leave Hall H. Nice. SCORE!!! I'm a happy camper.
Over to Holzheimer's again. Scott is sitting next to John this time. GAWD they are a fucking GORGEOUS couple! I wait in line and when I get to the front I ask if he'd like a copy of the photo. HUGE smile and thank you...shows it to Scott. WIN! Then I hand him the justgiving.com card and explain what's happening. He hadn't heard of it before, so I'm very glad I got to tell him about the lovely woman named Olga who came up with the idea. Hope I got that right. If not sincere apologies. He was grateful. That took all my alloted face time since the line was beginning to back up, but when I breezed back by about half an hour later, the picture was still sitting on the table next to John along with the card. *smile* About an hour after that the picture, the card and Scott were gone. I'm going to imagine he took them back to their room and tucked them away safely for their trip home. :-)
A smidge more shopping and then time to head up to get in line for the TORCHWOOD/WHO screenings. Let's see...it was 3:30 ish and the screenings weren't until 7:30. Plenty of time, right? Unfortunately there were a couple of very popular panels proceeding them and when I get up there the line is already quite long to get into 6DE. I run into griggharris and timesmasher, and we stake out our place. Then the premiere TW cosplayers join us and we hang in line for another hour or so to get up to the room. Finally, about 6:15 we get seats in the back of the room and have to sit through the Venture Bros. and Adult Swim. Oy is all I can say. Waaaay too much testosterone in that room. Heaven knows I love a good penis joke...Good being the operative word, but sheesh...I spent an hour and a half (I think...or was it for-fucking-ever sitting there rolling my eyes) Luckily, griggharris, the marvel that she is, had her laptop with her. I shall be forever grateful. We sat in the back row laughing our asses off at some of the posts on ontd_ai. It saved a few of us from wanting to slit our wrists.
Thankfully, the majority of the testosterone vacated the room as soon as Adult Swim was over. We all scurried to the front to find seats for the screenings. Managed to get a few four rows back and prepared for the surprise. Although, it wasn't a surprise to me because earlier Mary Lee of Holzheimer's had told me that John and David would be together "briefly" before the screenings. I was pumped, ready and recording. They came out...David, all bounding, manic energy and I had to really concentrate on keeping him in the frame. Then John...and THE Kiss...and just like that, they were gone.
I stayed for the CoE screening and then decided to run back to the hotel and share the video to Youtube. In my haste I forgot to put my watermark on it, something I'm now living to regret, and I couldn't take the time to make a "just the kiss" version because I needed to get down to the line...another regret...but spilt milk. Uploaded and out to the world, it was immediately stolen, re-edited and reposted by someone who had absolutely nothing to do with the effort it took to shoot it. Yes. I'm pissed.
Short rant: When someone pays considerable amounts of money, waits in the tedious lines, sleeps out on the concrete just to get a great seat to shoot decent video and share with other fans...I find it unconscienable that people think it's OK to steal said video and basically repost on YouTube as their own to receive the comments, "friends", subcribers and views for themselves. It's a mindset I will never understand...Not even a thought of asking permission first. Mindboggling.
Moving on...Planet of the Dead was already over and griggharris had picked up the sleeping bag I left in the screening room and taken it down to get in line in front of door E. She'd gotten there as soon as the screening was over and there were still four other people in line ahead of us. About midnight or so a couple of folks came by to inform us they'd just come from the bar in my hotel and John and David had been there earlier. It had been raucous. That means I had to have run right past them on the way to my room to upload the video. It was truly a headdesk moment, only made bearable by the fact that timesmasher had brought me an appletini in a water bottle. Bless her. <333
But even the appletini didn't make the concrete any softer.
At 4am my kids were supposed to be down to replace me in line. At 4:45am, after a few more folks had come to hold our spot in line I headed back up to the room to find them still blissfully asleep. Nice...Not. Had to get them up and packed and bags down to the lobby for check out before we got back in line about 6am. No sleep for me this morning. The line began to move inside about 7am. Don't even get me started on the level of inneptitude exhibited by the powers that be at Comic Con. I knew exactly where the line for Ballroom 20 had started the last two days, but the guy was leading us to a totally different place. Meanwhile folks all the way from the back were running to pass us.
Now...a long time ago a friend of mine gave me the nickname Hardneen. My name is Nina and I'm loathe to take any shit from assholes...especially when I've been attempting sleep on the concrete all night...and I'm menopausal, so if you were there, yes...I'm the bitch with the flying expletives that was no way in hell going take back of the line for an answer. Some douchey dude who'd run up from the back of the line thought he was going to be take the first position, and actually had the gall to say to me that once inside the doors anything was fair. I don't think I've ever come that close to putting a fist in an assholes face.
Luckily, the man who'd lead us astray had the courage to restrain the mob and get us lined up in the correct order once again. Once sanity was restored, they moved us outside through a Disney style line to once again sit on concrete. Oy. A man from the large group behind us was kind enough to start handing out food and drinks to everyone, so that calmed the situation down considerably. Another two hour wait to get into the room. We milled, we talked, we looked at the pictures we'd taken, and finally it was time to move back inside. Some gals came by and handed out Doctor Who comic books before we headed into the room. Nice perk.
Now, not to belabor the point...OK, well maybe a bit...When you wait outside all fucking night to get the front aisle seat you've had your heart set on since last year's Comic Con, it's a bit, shall we say, disappointing when you enter the room to find out all the front aisle seats are already filled with folks who are supposedly there with handicapped people, not handicapped themselves...not one or two people mind you, but whole large groups already seated. Sort of sucks. 'Nuf said. Luckily there was a nice gal sans a companion that had one open companion seat next to her in the fourth row. From there I shot the following:
A Brilliant panel. As soon as it was over I'd asked the gentleman seated in row 3 right aisle if he would be staying for Torchwood...No. Score! the seat I wanted all year. *YAY*
Spent the next couple of hours basically dozing off through AMERICAN DAD, and I like Seth MacFarlane, but...not funny guys...and three small indie films, one called PAPER HEART with the quirky comedienne named Charlyne Yi. I think that was the one where they kept playing with a very large dildoe and eventually threw it out to the audience...or maybe I was actually asleep and dreamed that bit.
Finally, BBCA is up...BEING HUMAN. Hadn't seen it yet, still haven't but it's on my DVR. Russell Tovey was just adorable, funny, self depricating, he got a lot of screams. Another lovely gay man to add to my favorites list. :-)
TORCHWOOD time! What can I say? John is always the consumate entertainer. I HATE that Comic Con asks them to censor themselves, but he still manages to make it a glorious time. Still hoping that some year they'll set up an adult evening event ...NEXT YEAR PERHAPS...I'm looking at you Mary Lee and Jonathan...who seem to have John's appearances at Comic Con under their purvue. Where do I have to grovel? :-)
Here's the result:
The room empties, the goodbyes said...or not. I managed to miss a few of you on the way out. Please stay in touch. Ray, Jason and I headed back to the hotel to get a bite to eat, readjust our luggage and take a leisurely shuttle to the airport. 357or so days until we do it all over again.
Once home I stayed up another 24 hours posting the DOCTOR WHO and TORCHWOOD panels and throwing together this...More LOVE and silliness than Innuendo, but It'll have to do for this year...although there may be a short sequel in the next couple of days...so much material...so little time!
And Don't Forget...
to benefit CHILDREN IN NEED UK
We thought of Gareth often and wished he'd been there. It wasn't the same without him. :-(
Even MORE Videos ~
My TORCHWOOD Comic Con '08 Videos with John and Gareth, Plus
three full hour panels at Gallifrey One with Gareth and Kai (all with links to transcripts in the "more info" section of each video)
Thanks so much for watching and I hope you enjoy! :-)))