Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Comic-Con is the big event for collectors and film lovers. Oh, yes, they have comic books, too, but the big draw is the fact that the studios choose July every year in San Diego to promote their blockbusters.

This is the first one I’ve attended in the last 3 years. I’ve discovered that Comic Con tells me how old I am, and it’s not a welcome message. I’m 15 years old, or at least that myth lives inside my head. Sitting on the floor or standing in one spot for 5 hours for a chance at the first three rows in Hall “H” stubbornly explains to me just how old my body is. It’s a disturbing message.

The big annual Star Wars presentation with Steve Sansweet, Carrie Fisher, and young Anakin-turned Darth Hayden Christiansen is what Ricky looks forward to, and for that reason we’re in line for “H” as soon as the doors open. However, they’ve moved us outside in the sun so that the line can grow. We find out quickly that those who went above two levels and down, the first to enter, are ahead of us and in air-conditioning, as they came down to line the walls of “H.” We’re learning the system as we go so we can be quicker next time. As long as it’s fair, we comply with whatever rules there are.

We also saw screenings of “Alien vs. Predator” (surprisingly promising), Keanu Reeve’s new movie “Constantine” (surprisingly violent), Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar representing “The Grudge” (horribly violent), “Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow” (with guests Jude Law and Bai Ling), a surrealistic and unbelievably visual presentation by director Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller of Miller’s “Sin City,” young hip actors John Cho and Kal Penn introducing their new movie about the power of fast food and cameo appearances by buddy actors (“Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”), and a spectacular presentation by New Line regarding the new “Return of the King” extended DVD (with witty remarks by prince David Wenham and hobbit Billy Boyd). There were many more, and we were in the front row. However, we missed everything else because we had to hold down our spot in line for 3-5 hours each day so that we could see the presenters.

I believe that the surprising attendance numbers for 2004’s Comic Con tells good things about the economy. Even on a Thursday, it was almost impossible to walk the middle aisle in the dealer’s room without bumping into somebody with a light saber. There seem to be more Hobbits this year than ever before, a testament to the popularity of Lord of the Rings. I’m beginning to feel resentful that the Hobbitses didn’t stay in the Shire this year. Where’s Gollum when you need him?

We won’t be returning to Comic Con in 2005, simply because it conflicts with Disneyland’s 50th anniversary celebration. Seven dwarfs instead of four Hobbits. What a trade-off.

No comments: