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August 2, 2009

Comic-Con 2009

After my experience last year, I knew I had to head back to San Diego this year, even though we are no longer Southern California residents.

The trip was remarkably similar to last year. I took an early morning flight from Austin to LAX on Saturday, and I was picked up by my awesome college buddy G, who had once again secured us "Professional" passes to the show. We drove down to SD, got checked into our hotel, and walked over to the con, hitting the show floor around 1pm. We met up with friends and walked around until the point of exhaustion. Lots of cool stuff on display as usual. I met a few creators, including Ryan Kelly, who has done such stand-out work on Northlanders (Brian Wood's amazing title). I bought two Rucka books from the Oni booth: Whiteout and Queen & Country (wow, how have I not read these before?). Also picked up a couple of books from indie folks to try out. I failed in my attempt to make it to a panel: both Fables and True Blood were way too popular and I was too late arriving.

Once properly exhausted, we grabbed a quick rest/snack back at the hotel then met up with our friends at the same Chinese place where J had booked us last year. In a weird twist, we were at the same table, and once again, our old college friend M (the TV star) was in attendance. After dinner, to my surprise, M got us in to the exact same party at the exact same place. Yep, last year the SciFi party, this year the Syfy party.

We arrived early on before the party had picked up steam. After M twisted arms to get all of us in, we walked the red carpet with him (well, I ran it while he posed for pictures). After M signed some autographs for fans, we rode up to the party on an elevator with Sam Rockwell and his date. I couldn't think of anything to say to Sam ("you're so cool" seemed lame).

In attendance again this year at the party were Nathan Fillion and Joss Whedon, though I left them alone this time. I did get to meet and chat with some other interesting folks. Adrianne Palicki (who played Tyra on Friday Night Lights) was friendly and charming, and we talked about Austin and some friends we have in common. She was there with her boyfriend, Alan Tudyk. I'm a big fan of his work on Firefly/Serenity, but I never got a chance to chat with him. The place was crawling with TV/movie actors: Jamie Kennedy and Jennifer Love Hewitt were there canoodling in the corner; Michael Emerson ("Ben Linus" on Lost) talked with G for a while -- he's a really nice guy who took it in stride when I informed him, late in the evening, that he was the best-dressed man at the party (he was); I spotted multiple stars of the show True Blood across the pool; H and I spent some time stalking Jon Favreau, on whom I later pulled the obnoxious "Hey, Jon! Great to see you!" as he passed by in order to shake his hand (it worked); and of course there were a number of BSG cast members in attendance, including Grace Park and Edward James Olmos. The few minutes I spent speaking with Mr. Olmos were definitely a highlight, as he explained his concept for the connection between BSG and Blade Runner and talked about what he brought to the character of Adama that wasn't there to begin with. I shook his hand, told him I admired his work, and he was extremely gracious.

I'm sure there's many other tidbits that are now lost to my memory. It was a fun night, and G and I managed to stumble back to our hotel with no problems.

The next morning, I hit the con floor again and picked up a few more graphic novels, including a couple by Jeffrey Brown, who I had not read before and of whom I am now a big fan. Then it was off to the airport to catch my flight home, which was terrifying because of a bad storm in DFW. We experienced a very turbulent descent into DFW, and the landing was aborted at what must have been the last possible minute (I could see the runway below us). The silver lining for me is that the plane was re-routed to Austin to wait out the storm, so I got home more or less on time.

There's my Comic-Con report, better late than never. My iPhone pictures are here:

Comic-Con 2009

Posted by ljh at 4:20 PM | Comments (0)