Mind Your Business: Comic-Con Alter Egos – Part 2
I may not have seen many of the big star events, but the big stars were also out and about. Ian McKellan was wandering around outside the convention center late on Friday night talking to people who were sleeping on the sidewalk. Can you imagine waking up on a sidewalk and seeing Gandalf standing above you? You’ve been sleeping in a long line all night and then you hear a booming voice say, “You Shall Not Pass!”
The next morning I checked on the line for Hall H. By 6am it was already more than 8,000 people strong (and probably much longer than that) and the room only holds 6,500. Damn.
To add to the torture, the con was surrounded by religious zealots. One nut with a megaphone and a large cross kept yelling out “Heaven…or Hell! Heaven…or Hell!” The people had nowhere to escape his voice and no one wanted to jump out of line to kill him, for risk of losing their long-held spot.
Time to check out the smaller rooms again.
On Saturday I saw two of the funniest sessions back to back. It started with a session called Quick Draw. This is sketch comedy at its best. And I mean real sketch comedy. The world’s fastest cartoonists drew cartoons based on audience suggestions, much like improv. On the panel were Sergio Aragones (MAD Magazine), Scott Shaw! (Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew and yes, the exclamation point is part of his name) and Keith Knight (The K Chronicles). This has been a Con favorite for years.
I’m glad I stayed in the room because a panel with the industries top voice over talent was next. Hosted by Mark Evanier (The Garfield Show), we were treated to the talents of Matthew Mercer (Thunder Cats), Debi Derryberry (Jimmy Neutron), April Winchel (Lilo & Stitch), Steve Blum (Transformers), Jack Angel (G.I. Joe), and the legendary Chuck McCann. These voices from animated TV series, movies and video games shared fun stories and did a cold table read of a really boring script of Snow White. However, their script reading was anything but boring. The audience was howling. If you’ve ever wondered if great voice talent really adds that much to an animated production, watch true pros like these enjoy their craft. It was awesome to experience.
The Warner Bros. lineup of movies? You know, those little flicks called Superman, The Hobbit, Godzilla and Pacific Rim? Not a chance to get in.
True Blood panel? Would love to, but no.
Mythbusters? More than three times as many people selected it on their online schedule than the room can even hold. Luckily I already met them, so I saved myself the loooooooong wait and eventual failure to get in.
So I was off to cruise the show floor, talk to more artists and look for cool costumes.
One popular costume this year was the bloody cheerleader. I stopped a pair from the pompom parade and asked them what they do when they’re not jumping around and taking evil pictures with Con goers, “I make bloody cheerleader outfits for other people. Really.” Okaaaay.