31st July 2007

Bow Down to Cool

Henry Rollins and Stan Winston

Stars are not unusual at Comic-Con, but it’s especially nice to run into people you admire yet might not expect to find walking the exhibitor floor of a comic book convention. Two of my more happy encounters were with genius rock star/poet/right-wing antagonist Henry Rollins (above left, with unidentified fan) and the inimitable Stan Winston (above right). Both were gracious and clearly having a good time.

Bow down to cool.

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31st July 2007

Iron Man Blasts Into Comic-Con

Iron Man Armor

Saturday brought a flurry of activity at the Marvel booth, when a giant wooden crate was finally opened to reveal the early version Iron Man armor. I must say, it is incredibly cool up-close and in person, so I can only imagine how amazing it will look on screen.

Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr.

The armor reveal was guaranteed maximum fuss when director Jon Favreau and lead actor Robert Downey, Jr. arrived for a signing. It was an absolute mob-scene, another indication of how Hollywood has successfully invaded the fan-boy compound.

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30th July 2007

Geek-Grrls Rule! (Part 1)

Little Leia 1

Over the past few years at San Diego Comic-Con, I have noted a drastic upswing in female attendance. In the late ’90s and early aughts, the fairer sex was represented mostly by mid- to late-teen girls. Typically, these were Goths-Grrls looking for Terry Moore or Neil Gaiman. Leather boots. Dyed hair. Tats. The works.

This year, I ran around with two of my oldest and dearest friends, Andrew Jones and Martha Chong (brother and sister; Martha is married). We noticed that females — both young and old — were representing! And these weren’t casual attendees or fan-boy companions. Nope. These girls were full-on…

hard-core…

NERDS!

One common threads among females was clever costuming. Hands-down, the best costumes we saw were created and worn by girls. We were particularly impressed by all the girls who exhibited uncanny character awareness and geek nuance. This goes way beyond just playing ‘dress up.’ When we asked to take someone’s picture, these girls were fully prepared with dynamic poses and catch-phrases.

One of my favorite examples of this phenomenon was a little girl Andrew and I dubbed Little Leia. She is maybe 8 years old. And she was very into the character. Andrew and I asked her father (wheelchair-bound and dressed as Darth Vader, no less) if we could take her picture. With his approval, Little Leia scurried off to drop her bag and retrieve her blaster-gun. Upon return, Little Leia struck a cool pose, and we snapped some shots (see triptych above).

Andrew and I thanked the little girl and turned to walk away. Three steps into retreat, Little Leia quietly protested, “I… I have another pose…”

Andrew and I looked at each other blankly for a moment, then broke into giant grins. “OK!” we announced, walking back toward her. “Go ahead!”

Little Leia struck her second pose. And we snapped away like Hollywood papparazi. Andrew and I agreed Little Leia was absolutely charming and adorable.
Little Leia 2

Benjamin

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30th July 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007

I returned home yesterday from a startlingly enjoyable trip to San Diego for the 2007 Comic-Con International convention. I have attended the Con off and on for the past decade, but — thanks to my publisher’s presence — this is the first time I wore a badge emblazoned with the word “PROFESSIONAL.”

As opposed to just attending the panels, I was actually invited to sit on one panel discussing upcoming books and ‘zines from my publisher, TwoMorrows… including Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Needless to say, it was a thrill. It was modestely attended and focused mostly on comics-related publications, but the panel was a blast for me.

I was in San Diego from Thursday until early Sunday, and I spent most of the time with camera in hand. I’ve never paused to photo-document the con before, and I relished doing it this year. Over the coming days, I will blog some of the fascinating people I met and interesting photographs I captured.

Comic-Con brings out the child/teenager in everyone in attendance. For me, one of the truly intoxicating features this year was the announcement of a definitive Bladerunner DVD release. I witnessed an insanely cool panel with several of the genius talents responsible for the movie, including Syd Mead, Sean Young, Joanna Cassidy and Ridley F*&%ing Scott. Bladerunner is absolutely my favorite film.

Ever.

Suffice to say that I’m literally counting the days until the official release this December. Seriously, I am already saving up for an HD television and an HD player.

Anyway, to start my series of photo-blogs, I chose a snapshot taken by the Bladerunner production company who hired actors to dress up like Bladerunner characters and took pictures with fan-boys and fan-girls. I couldn’t resist.

Bladerunnin' Benjamin

Above: Benjamin (middle) flanked by actors portraying characters Pris (left) and Roy (right).

Man, that was fun.

Benjamin

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