Well, another Comic-Con International has come and gone. And as usual, it was full of fun, craziness, and no sleep. And what better way of recapping my experience than with an Awesome 13 list?
So here it is: 13 awesome moments from Comic-Con 2012!
13. Fringe Tears
I’ve never seen the show Fringe (it’s one of those shows that I really wanted to watch but never had the time), so there’s no reason to be emotionally invested in it. However, that all changed after sitting through the Fringe panel on Sunday. During the audience Q & A, the cast was asked to name their favorite scene from the first four seasons of the show that they weren’t in. One of the actors Jasika Nicole began to describe a scene with fellow actor Anna Torv, and she starts crying. Then Anna Torv starts crying. Then actor Lance Reddick starts crying. You can hear people from the audience of 6500 people sniffling. I’m crying, and I don’t even know why. But it’s just a testament to how much this show means to them, how hard they’ve worked to stay on the air for four years, and how this final season will make everyone cry even more.
12. A Korra Read-Through
We all know how much I love the show The Legend of Korra, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally put faces to the voices we hear on the show. At this panel on Friday, the voice actors came out and did a read-through from various scenes throughout the season with the help of voice instructor Andrea Romano. It’s so bizarre hearing these voices you know so well coming from actual human beings, but you start to realize why these actors were hired, why their voices match their character so well, and it doesn’t take anything away from the magic of the show. And after a rough-cut of scenes from Book 2 of The Legend of Korra, I’m more excited than ever for it to start again.
11. Superman Superfan
The Q & A portion of any panel is always interesting, but every now and then you get a fan that truly encapsulates everything a fan should be. On Saturday during the Man of Steel panel, a fan came to the microphone in tears. Cloaked in a Superman sweatshirt, it was obvious this man is a huge Superman fan, and after seeing the very first footage of this upcoming movie directed by Zach Snyder, he became overwhelmed to the point where he could barely get his words out. The moderator of the panel Chris Hardwick (more about him later) then jumped down from the stage and ran up to the man to give him a huge hug, telling him that he represented everything that true fans are, and that it was totally cool to cry about it. It was just one of those things that show you how passionate we are at Comic-Con and how much this stuff really means to us, and for two minutes this guy was the star of the whole panel.
10. The Train and Felicia Day
This year at Comic-Con was definitely a year of firsts for us, one of those firsts being taking the train from Los Angeles to San Diego. After four years of driving to SDCC, I highly recommend taking the train instead. It’s much more relaxing, you have free wifi, and if you sit in business class like we did, you get unlimited snacks. You also might run into a celebrity or two like we did on Sunday on our way back to LA. Now Felicia Day might not seem like a celebrity to most people (most people don’t know who she is), but to the people of Comic-Con she’s a goddess. She also happened to be at the train station on Sunday afternoon. She was waiting in line like the rest of us, and since I knew I probably wouldn’t have this opportunity again, I went up to her and told her how much I enjoyed her web series The Flog. She smiled and said thank you, and again after I told her that my daughter is now obsessed with unicorn poop (you have to watch The Flog to understand that). I didn’t want to seem like a scary creeper, so that’s all I said, even when she sat two seats behind us on the train. I had my moment, and it was kind of awesome.
9. Robert Downey, Jr.’s Entrance
It just wouldn’t be Comic-Con without Robert Downey, Jr. He loves Comic-Con, and Comic-Con loves him. Every time he’s there he makes some kind of awesome entrance, and this year was no exception. Right before the Marvel panel on Saturday night, the lights suddenly went out and the song “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross began playing over the speakers. And before we knew it, Robert Downey, Jr. was dancing down the aisle of Hall H while 6500 people were cheering. He obviously had security all around him, but it didn’t take away from the awesomeness of it all. Because when it comes to RDJr at Comic-Con, it’s “never too much”.
8. The Lines
Most people hate lines. And for 51 weeks out of the year, I hate lines, too. But lines are a huge part of Comic-Con. No matter what you do, you’re waiting in a line for something. In the past we’ve always gotten up early to get into lines for Hall H and Ballroom 20 where the big panels are going to be. But this year was the year of camping out. The panels this year were so big that people camped out overnight to secure there spot in the hall. For example, on Friday we got in line for Ballroom 20 at 1:30am (mainly because of the Firefly reunion panel, which wasn’t until 12:30pm). On Saturday my husband got in line at 10:00pm (I joined him at 2:00am) for Hall H (mainly because of the Warner Brothers panel, which wouldn’t start until 2:30 pm). And on Sunday we got in line for Hall H at 2:30am, which actually proved to be late due to the 1000 people ahead of us in line (mainly because of the Doctor Who panel at 12:30pm), but we still got a decent seat in the middle of the auditorium. It takes experience and planning to get a good spot in line. I saw so many people come to the line after 7:00, thinking they were there early, only to discover that they probably weren’t going to get into the panel. As the saying goes, “One hour early at SDCC means 12 hours too late.”
You just become accustomed to waiting ten hours in line at Comic-Con. You find stuff to do. You make friends with the people around you. And you make those lines part of your overall awesome experience.
7. Warner Brothers Surprises
Everyone knew going into the Warner Brothers panel that it was going to be a big one, especially with movies like Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and The Hobbit on the schedule. But what we weren’t expecting were the little surprises they had in store for us. The first one was the expanded screens. Instead of the usual one screen in front of us, the screen extended to both side walls, giving us three screens of awesomeness. Then in between Pacific Rim and Man of Steel, they surprised us by showing a teaser for the movie Godzilla and then bringing out the director (looks awesome, by the way). And then in between Man of Steel and The Hobbit, they once again surprised us by bringing out Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to talk about their upcoming movie The Campaign, which was hilarious. And who doesn’t love surprises, especially at Comic-Con?
6. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
This refers to an upcoming episode of Doctor Who, and is just a sliver of how much fun the entire Doctor Who panel was on Sunday. Writers Stephen Moffat and Caroline Skinner were there, along with actors Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill to talk about the show, as well as show footage from the upcoming season, like dinosaurs on a spaceship. This is Karen’s and Arthur’s last season on the show, leaving about halfway through, though we don’t know how they’re going to go out, so this was a little bittersweet for everyone, as their characters Amy and Rory are hugely popular. Chris Hardwick, who knows more about Doctor Who than I ever will, moderated the panel, and it was just fun to watch everyone interact with each other, especially when Karen and Arthur did impressions of each other (hilarious). Season seven can’t start soon enough!!!
5. Chris Hardwick, Comic-Con Extraordinaire
Chris Hardwick is the host of the podcast “The Nerdist”, which my husband and I are avid listeners. During Comic-Con, he’s one of the busiest guys there. He moderated five panels at the convention, as well as attending his own panel and hosting a live podcast of “The Nerdist”, which we attended on Friday night. Why do I like Chris Hardwick? Well, for one thing, he’s hilarious. He’s a great host and moderator, and always knows exactly what to say at the right time. He’s also worked his ass off to get to where he is today. You may remember him from the 90s as the co-host of MTV’s Singled Out with Jenny McCarthy and, if you listen to his podcast, you’ll know that he didn’t exactly enjoy it. He became an alcoholic, drinking up to 14 beers a day, and gained a bunch of weight until he finally got his life together. He stopped drinking, he got in shape, and he created this podcast with friends Matt Mira and Jonah Ray. Like Felicia Day, he’s become hugely popular in the nerd world, getting just as much applause at the panels he moderated as the stars themselves. He’s truly an example of proving that you can be successful by working hard and doing exactly what you’ve wanted to do your whole life.
4. John Barrowman Reveals All
If you were to watch John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and his spin-off series Torchwood, you would never know how hilariously crude and awesome he really is. John Barrowman was the guest at the live “Nerdist” Comic-Con show on Friday night that we attended, and I honestly don’t think I’ve laughed that much or that hard during any two hours of my life. I won’t go into everything that happened (edited for content and all), but John Barrowman has absolutely no shame when it comes to his love life (gay and proud), and his bathroom habits (poop), and he will kiss and fondle total strangers without any kind of consequences. The live show is now up on their podcast to listen to, but it was definitely one of those “you had to be there” moments that I will never forget.
3. A Visit from Joss Whedon
It was early Friday morning (early as in 3:00am) and we’d been waiting outside in the Ballroom 20 line since 1:30am. Mostly everyone in line was asleep – that is, until word got out that Joss Whedon was at the front of the line signing autographs. That was pretty exciting, but we figured that he probably wouldn’t make it down to our part of the line. We were in front of a lot of people, but we definitely weren’t in the front. But a half hour later, we spotted him making his way down towards us. He was signing autographs, people were getting their picture with him, and Joss himself was actually waking people up who are sleeping. My husband was determined to get Joss to sign his SDCC badge and a picture, and guess what: he did! And I got to take the picture! It was such an exciting moment – this man who had created some of our favorite TV shows and directed the third most successful movie of all time, taking the time to come out at three in the morning to greet his fans without any security, showing how much he appreciates us, and proving why we appreciate him.
2. Thirteen Minutes of The Hobbit
Excluding the Firefly reunion panel, the thing I was most excited to see was the panel for The Hobbit. They had promised it was going to be big, and they did not disappoint. Peter Jackson was there, along with writer/producer Philippa Boyens and actors Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, Ian McKellan, and Elijah Wood. They started off showing a video diary of the end of filming, and that was all exciting, of course, but nothing compared to the 13 minutes of actual movie footage that was shown. I don’t think I breathed the entire time. We saw new faces, plus old faces like Galadriel, Legolas, and Elrond. It all looked seriously…amazing. And we only have to wait five months to see the entire thing! Hell, we’ve already waited nine years to see it, so what’s another five months?
1. Firefly’s Shiny Moment
By far, the most anticipated panel of the entire con was the Firefly reunion panel on Friday. There’s a reason why so many people were camped out to see it. Even though the show wasn’t even on for an entire season, it has achieved true cult status, its fans some of the most loyal and passionate of any. The minutes leading up to the panel were tense – you could practically feel the anticipation in the air. It was the first time I’ve witnessed an audience begin to clap in rhythm before a panel has even started. Not all the actors could be there, but when the ones who were walked on stage, the place exploded. Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Sean Maher, and Adam Baldwin were all there, plus producer TIm Minear and writer Jose Molina, and, of course, Joss Whedon. The panel was awesome, of course, but the moment that we’ll all remember was the final question of the audience Q & A when Joss was asked what the show’s fans meant to him. He couldn’t answer – not because he didn’t know, but because no words could describe. He got choked up, then Nathan got choked up (seriously, there were tears), and the entire crowd of 4000 stood up and gave Joss the biggest standing ovation I have ever witnessed in my life. I don’t think a dry eye was in the house – audience or on stage. It’ll definitely be the moment I will always remember from Comic-Con 2012.