Update July 2009: I’ve got a newer, longer list of Comic-Con Tips over at Speed Force.
Based on experience from the last few San Diego Comic-Cons, here are a few recommendations:
- Pre-register, as early as possible! Not only will it save you money, but the line to pick up badges is always much shorter than the line to sign up. (If you’ve ever stood in line to register, you know what I mean. If you haven’t — well, let’s just say you might not get in until afternoon.)
- Go for at least two days. One day is no longer enough time to see everything.
- Do not set foot on the convention floor on Saturday. Go to panels instead.
- Stay somewhere nearby, preferably with convenient trolley, bus, or shuttle access. Barring that, leave really early so you can find parking.
- If you’re getting a hotel, reserve your room early. Perhaps as much as six months early. Otherwise you’ll end up paying way too much to stay at the Super 8.
- Get a Day Tripper bus/trolley pass. You can get one for 1-4 days, and you can even order it online and have it mailed to you. There are two trolley stops in front of the convention center (yes, it’s that big): Convention Center (of course) and Gaslamp Quarter. In downtown San Diego, trolleys run every 15 minutes during the day, every 30 minutes in the evening, and run until around midnight (later on weekends).
- If you’ve got a good costume, this is the place to wear it.
- Don’t forget to bring a camera and lots of film/memory!
- Bring a change of clothes so that you can wear your T-shirt or costume at the con and then go to a nice downtown San Diego restaurant for dinner.
- Speaking of dinner, make reservations! This is A) downtown in a major city, B) a weekend, and C) during a convention with 100,000 people, most of whom will be looking for a restaurant. Alternatively, look for dinner as far away from the convention center as possible.
- Pre-register for next year, if you plan to come back. We saved $25 each.
(Note: the target audience for this list is the type of person who has already mastered the concepts in Aubrey’s Guide to Con Hygiene.)
Photos from San Diego and Comic-Con are up!
Some random links I’ve come across today (several from the same source)
Peter David: Getting Ink for the Fund – yes, Peter David has gotten a tattoo to raise money for the CBLDF. He follows up: “What have you done for the CBLDF lately?” Well, I’ve plugged it on my website and bought a T-shirt… (Edit: It seems Neil Gaiman just missed this by not answering his phone. Also, Newsarama has posted a follow-up story with photos)
The Great Custom 404 Page Adventure – comparing the sometimes helpful, sometimes hostile, sometimes humorous “file not found” messages at various websites. Update: Ironically, the site’s gone 404 itself…
Indispensable Mac OS X products – ’nuff said.
Pir(l)ouettes – a commentary on Adobe’s history of the ampersand.
ACLU – Pizza – a funny/chilling animation of what might go on if a pizza place could cross-reference your health, library, and banking records while you were on the phone.
(Continued from part 1.)
Our hotel was located within walking distance of the Little Italy trolley stop. Diagonally across from a coffee shop (“It’s a Grind”) that we frequented during our stay was this restaurant:
Katie informed me that one of the Indigo Girls has, in fact, opened or invested in a restaurant, but this doesn’t seem to be it.
Here’s another restaurant (or more likely a bar) that we spotted, this time in Downtown San Diego:
This was Friday night with Sean, when we were wandering around the Gaslamp District and environs looking for a place to eat. We found ourselves wondering… was this a martini made with Ranch dressing? A place where martinis grazed and rustlers had to watch out for stampedes? Did they serve a crispy ranch martini with bacon?
Actually, “Grand Admiral” Sean should take the credit for the next one: I don’t remember if it was this year’s con or a past one, but he was on one of the escalators with Timothy Zahn, who remarked that the view always reminded him of the view inside the Death Star cannon. Inspired, I checked out that particular escalator, and Zahn’s right: it does look like the Death Star cannon!
And, in closing, an image from our hotel room this morning. It seems that Salvador Dali had somehow gotten into our room and transformed our soap:
(Continued in Volume 2.)
I missed this bit: It seems that Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is being adapted as a comic book. [Edit:] The article is long gone, but here’s a later post I wrote as more information came out. Also, the comic has since been released and collected as a graphic novel.
Last in the Comic Con preview series: Serenity, the feature-film spinoff of Firefly. Joss Whedon showed up, explained he wouldn’t waste any time since they didn’t have much, and that he “had something to show [us].”
Let me just say that, even if I hadn’t just finished watching Firefly, I’d be interested in seeing Serenity. If The Peacekeeper Wars closes the current chapter of Farscape, it looks like Serenity is designed to open a new chapter of Firefly.
After they ran the preview, he said he had something else to show us — “actually nine things.” The whole place screamed (the program had said only “surprise guests”), and out walked the entire main cast of the show! Like the Farscape group, these people are great fun to watch. (Edit: quotes are now available) Unfortunately, most of the audience questions were directed at Joss. It’s a comic book convention after all, and he writes comic books — plus there are lingering Buffy and Angel questions. To make sure they were included, Joss directed some questions of his own to the cast. Some of which were, shall we say, “interesting.”
As to the future of the Buffyverse: Angel, as a TV series, is dead. But it could eventually come back as a movie or TV movie. And while Buffy has run its course, there’s always the possibility of another spinoff (although clearly some people in the audience haven’t caught on to the fact that Eliza Dushku is busy right now).
Let me just say that the upcoming Farscape miniseries looks incredible. They ran a trailer they had just finished — not the one that’s just started airing, but one they’ll start showing later on — and it looks like it may be the most intense four hours of Farscape ever. They’re very cagey about the actual plot, but the clips show a level of danger, action, and drama at least equal to Farscape at its best.
The stated goal is to “bring this chapter of Farscape to a close” — to tie up the major dangling storylines and leave things open for other miniseries, feature films, comics, spinoffs, etc. Who will be around by the end is unclear, but it’s clearly going to be a heck of a ride.
They opened the floor for questions from the audience, and let me just say, hilarity ensued. I’d never seen any of this group at a convention before, but when anything funny comes up, David Kemper, Claudia Black, and Ben Browder just run with it. (Edit: quotes are now available.)
Yesterday I mentioned the MirrorMask panel at Comic Con. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean were both there to talk about the movie and play a trailer-like clip they had put together the night before.
MirrorMask came about when Sony noticed that while Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal didn’t do very well in theaters, over the years they’ve become strong, steady sellers in the home video market. So they went to the Jim Henson company and asked if they could do a fantasy film in the same vein, on a budget. So Lisa Henson called up Neil Gaiman by way of asking for Dave McKean, and explained the situation: They only had a $4 million budget, but they wouldn’t have any studio interference. They went on to say they knew they couldn’t afford Neil to write the screenplay, but could he at least come up with a story, at which point he said (Edit: corrected quote) “If Dave’s directing it, I’m writing it.” Continue reading
Well, Lucasfilm has announced the official title for Star Wars: Episode III. I would have preferred Rise of the Empire, but it’s better than either of the last two titles, and it does provide symmetry with Return of the Jedi — which they’re clearly playing up with everything from the logo (there were zillions of T-shirts around Comic Con with the title in exactly the same red-on-black style as the old Return of the Jedi logos) to things like Anakin’s hair (which looks oddly like Luke’s in ROTJ).
And reportedly George Lucas has stated that this time, “revenge” is staying in the title.