Category Archives: Comic-Con 2013

X-men: Days of Future Past trailer

dofpposters

As you might have heard, the new X-men trailer released this morning and it is trending like wildfire all over social media. This year at San Diego’s Comic Con, if you were fortunate to have slept out in the Hall H line- you were treated to a very similar trailer. I’m excited to see what you all think. Leave your comments below.

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by | October 29, 2013 · 1:57 pm

Comic-Con Cosplay Catastrophe

Over the past few years, mashing up genres has become the hot thing to do in the world of cosplay (which I am guilty of). However, if we are not cautious, we may find ourselves mashed up beyond recognition. Thanks College Humor for this hilarious take on what will probably soon be a reality and for reminding us why we are so awesomely weird. Btw- Joss, you are the man.

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The Day I Fell In Love (And New Thor: TDW Trailer!)

Many of you out there may be familiar with the concept that there is a moment, one definable and clear moment, where you remember falling in love.  Maybe it was something they said to you, or the way they looked at you, or they did something for you that no one else has.  It provides you with one unmistakable feeling.  I challenge you to watch the video below and not have one of these moments, regardless of sexual orientation.

Before the Tom Hiddleston panel at Nerd HQ I knew of Tom’s appeal to the females of the human race.  What I didn’t know was that it stemmed from far beyond the parts that he plays on the big screen.  His appeal is in the way that he addresses his fans, each word carefully thought out and inspiring.  He draws on his many life experiences delivering impactful pieces of wisdom (sometimes even quoting French philosophers or Shakespeare) to those who seek it.  He calls you “darling” and peers through to the heart of you when speaking with you.  And then he’ll turn it all around and send you in to a roar of laughter as he reenacts the velociraptor scene from Jurassic Park because you simply asked for it.

Tom Hiddleston is absolutely wonderful.  To see more of Tom in one of his more fantastic roles (Loki), check out the new Thor: The Dark World trailer below then do yourself a favor and enjoy the Nerd HQ panel posted above to see exactly what I’m talking about!

And now for some photos from the panel at HQ!  Enjoy!

Tom Hiddleston kneels upon request!  (Photo credit Sean Connelly)

Tom Hiddleston kneels upon request! (Photo credit Sean Connelly)

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A Unique ‘Con Experience

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Another Con has come and gone.  Among people of every level of nerd-dom, ridiculously over priced food and hotels, and the absolute chaos that is the Gaslamp District in San Diego during ComicCon, I have arrived home relatively unscathed (until I check credit card balances, anyway).

Like years past, I purposely came out to San Diego without a badge (I DO NOT recommend doing this if planning on attending the Con, despite my three years in a row of successfully scoring one last minute) and was only in beautiful Southern California for one purpose: Nerd HQ.

Zac Levi before introducing his Mystery Panel Guests at NerdHQ

Zac Levi before introducing his Mystery Panel Guests at NerdHQ

Nerd HQ is the annual event hosted by Zachary Levi (of Chuck fame) and The Nerd Machine that strives to bring a little more intimacy to Con goers, while also serving as a great place to hang out, get your gaming and dance on, all while raising money for a hell of a cause: Operation Smile.  The event is 100% free of charge to enter and guests can pre-purchase $20 tickets to celebrity hosted panels with guaranteed seats throughout the weekend.  Some all-star panels headlined this years event including: Doctor Who, Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion, Tom Hiddleston, and Kick-Ass 2 as well as many others.

While the celebrity/charity aspect is one hell of an awesome experience (and worth going all by itself) there’s a slightly different reason I continue to head out to SoCal from Michigan every year.  My NERD family.

Upon arriving to the towering skyline of San Diego three Cons ago I knew absolutely no one.  Alone in the middle of nerd heaven and caught up in the maelstrom whirlwind of Comic Con weekend I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.  Luckily there was Nerd HQ.  With a few panel tickets secured (most notably Firefly and Scott Bakula!) I spent a large chunk of my time there, in a mildly run down bar on the corner of Fourth and J called Jolt N Joes.  Not many knew of the “off site” event, and that gave it a kind of underground feel.  But more importantly it allowed the people that did show up and stick around a chance to really get to know one another.

Far enough away from the shoulder to shoulder showroom floor and overnight lines provided by Comic Con, Nerd HQ offered a new way to connect with fellow nerds, in a place where any level of nerd-dom was not only accepted, but celebrated.  It was a place where just about any nerd could feel at home.  And it was where I fell in love with the whole Con experience.

Nathan Fillion took Zac's place sitting in on panels Saturday during HQ to spare the Broadway star's vocal cords.

Nathan Fillion took Zac’s place sitting in on panels Saturday during HQ to spare the Broadway star’s vocal cords.

This year saw a few changes, most notably the move out of the bar scene and in to the ginormous Petco Park (the home of the baseball team the San Diego Padres).  This alleviated the bar crowd that plagued last year’s Block 16 located HQ’s night life.  It also allowed for some fantastic ways to raise more money, with two panel locations and a whole baseball field to seat a screening of Serenity with guest hosts Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk.  Even with the larger venue, Nerd HQ managed to maintain its intimate panels atmosphere by limiting the main panel room to 250 people (where its been cut off at every year).

Giveaways that included headsets, gaming keyboards, shirts, and i7 extreme processors took place, strangers bonded over drinks and video games forming connections that will last a lifetime, and celebrities from various fandoms helped raise thousands of dollars to help children the world over to live and smile.  Nerd HQ is truly an amazing event, and this nerd can only hope it continues to grow and become a home away from home for many other nerds the world over.

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Truth, Justice, and the American Male Way…

This article is a repost from Crazy4ComicCon.com
Now that the fanfare has settled from Comic-Con, it’s time to reflect on a more serious aspect of the show. Among all of the amazing parts of Comic-Con, the panels, fans, celebs, toys, and events- there is still one issue that has left a sour taste in my mouth ever since I started attending back in 2006. Like year’s past, I focused on all the big announcements coming out of legendary Hall H. With the grand hall being the epicenter of the pop culture universe, the contents of each 45 minute panel is enough to start the  domino that leads to a media frenzy that lasts all year long. The world is watching, so what do they see? Whether it was Hunger Games, X-Men, Doctor Who, Avengers or most other Hollywood powered panel, one message is clear, there is still a significant lack of heroic diversity in Hollywood.

Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-ConWith tongue in cheek, I called my article “Truth, Justice, and the American Male Way”. The problem is, I’m an American male but I sure don’t see any leading men that look like me. My parents immigrated here from Korea shortly before I was born, however just being ‘American’ doesn’t seem to be enough to carry the mantle of a leading role in our cinema culture. To be honest, I should have titled this “Truth, Justice, and the White Male Way”- because that seems to be more accurate judging by all the pics that traditionally come our of Hall H from year-to-year. I know what I am sharing is not anything necessarily new, but how much longer can we continue to accept this? Billions of dollars are poured into these properties that tell stories of white males, celebrate the heroism of white males, and serve to launch careers of white males. While I love all the hype and hoopla that surrounds Hall H, I am also saddened by the fact that this is nothing more than a celebration of our nation’s most treasured commodity: white handsome men. Our applause, adoration, and dollars just goes in to feed this vicious cycle too. I know the intent of most creators and producers is not to crush the spirit of any minority groups out there, but it happens in some way with every movie that comes out with mono-ethnic casting. Sure having a black Nick Fury or Perry White does help, but they are not the ones on the marquee nor is what a franchise is being built on.

Warner Bros. And Legendary Pictures Preview - Comic-Con International 2013A common retort I get (typically from Caucasians) is  “Well they are just playing the characters as they were created- which are white…” While I appreciate being faithful to the source material, with this reasoning, we will never see major characters led by people of color. Characters created back in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, were still under the heavy influence of a racist culture. It wasn’t until bold creators like Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) came along that dared the status quo and helped bring minorities onto TV. Not only are minorities not being considered in key roles but often times they are being replaced for the sake of profit. Take the recent Lone Ranger movie by Disney. How awesome would it had been if they cast an actual Native American for the role of Tonto instead of just trying to ignite yet another franchise for Johnny Depp? It was yet another role to make the rich richer while marginalizing a minority group yet again. To make matters worst, whenever we see minorities in film, they still fall into broad stereotypes that do very little to progress the mindset for the audience. In general, Asians are still martial artists, Blacks are still thugs, Mexicans are low riding gang bangers, and the painful list goes on and on. Does Kato, Storm Shadow, and a samurai sword wielding Sulu have to be all I have to look up to?

Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Jena MaloneWomen have fought the similar fight as many marginalized groups over history, however I do think progress is being made- albeit a little. With franchises like the Hunger Games, women are getting more powerful roles but they are still the exception and not the rule- and I still can’t figure out why? Is it that the powers that be don’t know what to do with strong, independent women? We’ve seen some success on the small screen but it is clear Hollywood still feels it is too risky to put their dollars behind an iconic character like Wonder Woman. Sorry ladies, Catmwomen and Electra is all you have to represent. If there is any doubt to this, try applying the Bechdel Test to any of your favorite movies. Warning, if you are like me, this test will ruin movie watching (but for the better). I’m elated that women are getting more opportunities but if you stand back and really analyze the landscape of cinema, it is still pretty abysmal. Leading roles for women are few let alone to have multiple named female in a cast that contribute to the story and aren’t there to fight over a man. I so appreciate this recent article about women at Comic-Con by Kate Conway that delves into this issue more deeper.

Starz "Torchwood" Panel - Comic-Con 2011I’m afraid the GLTB community is going to have an even longer wait than probably any of the minorities I listed above. It seems the main value of gay characters in Hollywood are more or less to be comic relief or to be a broad stereotype. I can’t even think of a main character of any movie that is gay but that NOT be the main point of his/her character. Contrary to popular casting, a gay character doesn’t have to ‘act gay’ in order to legitimize his/her role in a story. John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness of the Torchwood series has been the first step in this direction and it has added a refreshing new aspect to this conversation.

I dunno, am I just taking crazy pills here or does this all seem a little insane? Is it too much to ask that we minorities be given a fair shot and not be relegated to secondary characters or comic relief. It’s so blatantly obvious yet no one cares or is empowered to do anything about it. It’s not a shock to anyone when I say, I love Comic-Con. I wouldn’t blame Comic-Con for this plight more than I would blame a dish for serving a bad meal. But it saddens me that at the core of all these amazing Hall H announcements, the underling message to the next generation of artists, writers, directors, and actors is that if you are going to make it in Hollywood, you need to play this game. Think about it, with all of the amazing talent, power, and money in Hollywood, there still has yet to be an established leading Asian American male. Seriously? It’s the 21st century and Asians are closing in on half the population of the world and yet no leading men of Asian American decent? I am going crazy.

SONY DSCI was glad to end Comic-Con with my Battle for Multicultural Heroes panel on Sunday. Joined by a great group of fellow advocates, it was awesome to interact about this issue with a passioante audience. In the shadow of all the epic Hall H announcements, I think it was fitting to put it all into context and to talk openly about what need to happen for this culture to change. The conversation was the very tip of a very large iceberg but each small step counts. Hopefully, we’ll locate the audio for it to post online.

Let me make something clear. I love white people. They are awesome. They are one of my favorite things in the world :). In most cases, I know it’s not malignant intent but usually a result of this issue just being out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, minorities will never be able to create themselves out of this plight. It will only come at the permission of white men. As gate keepers of this industry, it will take a coordinated effort to make this change. It will be difficult and long but a change is long overdue. For the sake of length, I plan to share the solution for this change in my next post- so check back tomorrow. My hope is not to stir contention or spread divisiveness about what is otherwise the best event of the year. I simply want to bring to the forefront what’s on the mind of many fellow Comic-Con fans in hopes to spark conversation. If one creator makes a different decision as a result of these conversations then progress is being made. But it’s going to take a lot of talking, a lot of sharing of ideas, and compromise at many levels. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I can’t think of a more important topic that is more dependent on your comments.

Check back tomorrow for my part 2 to this article as I present a solution to this dilemma.

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SDCC 2013 In Review

So another Comic-con has come and gone and already leaving a whole in my heart. To be honest I have mixed feelings about this one. For the first time ever I was not able to  get into the panels I wanted to in Hall H, which was really disappointing. We got in line at 6 AM and just missed getting in. We were in the row right next to the four “chutes.” The next day we thought maybe we should get in line at 4 AM but around midnight heard people were already camped out across the street from Hall H. At that point we decided it wasn’t worth being exhausted all day.  However, that did give me the opportunity to hit smaller panels and spend a lot of time on the sales floor, which is always fun.

I went to a couple of the creative panels and one on marketing and branding. They were fun and insightful and I forgot how much I like the smaller panels. I also spent a lot of time on the sales floor and I admit I had a hidden agenda. I spent the time networking with a lot of artists and small press publishers handing out copies of my book, Great Moments in OCD History. I also spent time handing out bottles of hand sanitizer to promote it as well, which most people thought was really funny.

I have to say it was really fun connecting with the indie/small press and artist. They tend to be be really nice and sort of have “we’re all in this together” mentality and their is definitely some quality work among them.

Overall, this SDCC wasn’t the epic experience of years past due to not getting into Hall H, but it was still fun. I love just being surrounded by that environment. The art, costumes, movies, comics and everything else. It always serves to remind me of my roots and refresh me creatively.  And yes, I have decided that I am a Con junkie.

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OCD at SDCC

Let’s face it, while Comic-Con is a lot of fun it is not exactly OCD friendly. Absurd crowds, long lines in the sun, venders that look like they are out of a Turkish bizarre and a small demographic of people who don’t know basic hygiene all combine to make for a potentially epic OCD meltdown. Oh and let’s not forget the bathroom that gets trashed by 8:30 in the morning. The great Con is not really a great place for phobias in general, but never fear, yours truly will be handing out SDCC OCD survival packs. Each pack comes with a sanitary wipe, mask, pair of gloves and in some cases sanitary gel. Hit me up or check out my book Great Moments in OCD History on Amazon.com.

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Godzilla Encounter

So if some of you were wondering if there would be a Godzilla promo going on don’t be disappointed, apparently he has  been spotted on a collision course with San Diego. Here is what we know.

http://godzillaencounter.com/

The real question, will the Wolverine be doing anything? Most probably, but what? We will have to wait and see!

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My Top 10 tips and tricks for Surviving and Enjoying Comic Con!

So this year marks my 12th year going to San Diego Comic Con! I’ve picked up some tips and tricks over the years and thought I’d share them with you. Get ready to Level Up!

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Here we go!!!! Continue reading

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Will ‘Godzilla’ make a surprise appearance at San Diego’s Comic Con?

Somewhere in San Diego’s Gaslamp district, a strange mural has appeared on the side of a warehouse:

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The cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, with Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn and Juliette Binoche. Look for it May 16th, 2014.

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The Morality of Zombiefication

I have to admit, as much as I love con’s, some of the panels can get pretty out there at times and so it was with some chagrin that I saw the strangely titled “Not Guilty by Reason of Zombification? Law and Forensic Psychiatry After the Zombie Apocalypse.”  Okay that is a mouthful but you get the idea.  Or do you?

We all know that in the coming zombie apocalypse the laws of morality and ethics will change greatly. Self-defense, looting and death by zombies are just a few of the problems humanity will face. All bets are off as only the strongest will survive. It could be an interesting panel, but this panel takes it further. What if suddenly a cure for zombification was found and those former zombies return to being human again? Would they be held accountable for their zombie actions? Or is being a zombie a good enough legal defense in and of itself? That’s the premise of this panel and while it may be a little out there, it could be fun. Which raises the questions, are werewolves accountable for their actions too?

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Dean Koontz At Wondercon

koontz__121017164640So yesterday I wrote about how I loved hearing from the creative types, like the writers and directors, talk about their work and mentioned that Neil Gaiman was one of my favorite panels ever. This leads to another panel I surprisingly, really enjoyed and that was Dean Koontz. As it turns out, he is coming to WonderCon in a few weeks.

At Comic-Con you have to get in line way early for a panel which means you often have to sit through panels you may or may not be interested in. So my brother and I, along with one of my friends, found ourselves arriving early and sitting through the Dean Koontz panel. None of us had read any work by Dean Koontz so we weren’t sure what to expect. As it turns out it was another fascinating panel. Dean fielded questions and talked for an hour about being a writer and about his work. He also gave advice for writers and listed several resources on his website writers may want to use.  All three of us found it really interesting and left wanting to read some of his stuff. Okay, I admit that I still haven’t read anything by him but I will probably be attending the panel at WonderCon. If you get the time you should too, you’ll enjoy it.

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