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Pop Rocks: What We Learned From Comic Con 2011

The 2011 Comic Con wrapped up last weekend. Over 120,000 of the geeky, nerdy, attention starved, and Twilight-headed descended upon sunny San Diego last weekend for what has become the entertainment industry's premiere showcase for anything related to comics, video games, fantasy, sci-fi, and sparkly vampires.

First of all, I should point out I wasn't there. Yes, it's true I was in San Diego recently, but the only convention going on when my wife and I were there was for some company creating global positioning software for business and community planning. *snicker* What a waste of time.

Anyway, the coverage of Comic Con has been exhaustive enough over the last four days that I'm now officially qualified to analyze the innumerable panels, photo galleries, press releases, and overwhelming sense of self satisfaction felt by all concerned in order to highlight the truly important lessons.

I'm sure you can't wait.

It Barely Has Anything To Do With Comics And hasn't for a very long time. Cowboys & Aliens, The Amazing Spider-Man and Tintin aside, San Diego's annual nerdfest drifts further and futher away from its four-color origins in the basement of the Grant Hotel. Hell, Marvel didn't even have a panel this year (in spite of Captain America premiering at the Con). And perhaps nothing demonstrated this thematic migration more in 2011 than the continued domination of the Twilight franchise and an honest-to-Journey Glee panel.

I couldn't crop that scruffy looking guy out.
I couldn't crop that scruffy looking guy out.

Slave Leia Is So Over Yeah, I'm pretty sure we've hit critical mass at this point. Also on the outs: Harley Quinn (there's even a Slave Leia photo bombing that pic), Sailor Moon, and also turning any superhero into a "sexy" variant by donning an open shirt with the Green Lantern emblem (or anything Adrianne Curry wears). What's not over? Dressing like Daenerys Targaryen.

Holy Shit, They Really Made a Tintin Movie When I heard Steven Spielberg's next directorial effort was to be a motion-capture adaptaion of the Belgian comic The Adventures of Tintin, I naturally assumed (like everyone else) it was April Fool's Day. Color me embarrassed; The Adventures of Tintin comes out Christmas, 2011. More than 350 million copies of the Hergé comics have been sold, but let's face it, those are mostly in Europe and the rest of the world, making Tintin the soccer of comic properties.

Kristen Stewart Will Not Go Away It doesn't matter that every other movie not related to emo bloodsuckers Stewart has starred in (The Runaways, Adventureland) has underwhelmed at the box office, everyone's favorite dead-eyed ingenue will continue to get leading roles. Next up: Snow White and the Huntsman, co-starring Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Chris "Thor" Hemsworth as the Huntsman. And Stewart? She's playing Snow White.

An...armored Snow White.

Those dwarves better not try any fresh stuff.
Those dwarves better not try any fresh stuff.

And Neither Will Vampires Sadly, we won't be getting a break after Breaking Dawn comes out. Next up, the Colin Farrell Fright Night remake and Underworld: Awakening, in which we see just how long Kate Beckinsdale can keep cramming herself into those leathers.

As long as she wants, as far as I'm concerned.

 

What, you didn't see "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties?"
What, you didn't see "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties?"

For Some Reason, Rhys Ifans Has An Entourage Look, it's very likely The Amazing Spider-Man will make stupid cash, but for now it's just another hastily assembled reboot of one of the few comic movie franchises that's proven profitable over the long run. Ifans plays the Dr. Curt Connors, who becomes the Lizard (Dylan Baker played Connors in the Raimi films but never got the chance to reptile out). All well and good, but we're still a year out from him becoming a household name. Maybe drunkenly pushing around a female security guard should wait until you can legitimately ask, "Do you know who I am?" Because right now...nobody does.

Stan Lee Is Not Dead There was apparently a rumor circulating on Twitter that comicdom's professor emeritus had suffered a heart attack and been rushed to the hospital. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if most media organizations released periodic death notices about elderly celebrities (Lee is 88) in the hopes of scooping their rivals on death notices.

Olivia Wilde Is The New Megan Fox At least, that would seem to be the aim of the marketing folks at Universal, who are certainly emphasizing Wilde's nakedness in Cowboys & Aliens. No word on whether or not Wilde will eventually score some similarly embarrassing tattoos or accuse Jon Favreau of being a Nazi.

The aliens abducted my clothes.
The aliens abducted my clothes.

It's Gonna Get Dark Vampires, zombies, "Winter is [still] coming," rebellious apes, a darker Logan's Run, Ridley Scott's return to dystopian science fiction...gonna be a fun several months.

Dude, seriously?
Dude, seriously?

Celebrities Love Surprises You had Peter Jackson making an unannounced appearance at the Tintin panel with Spielberg (after previously declaring he wouldn't be attending), the (lesser) cast members of Twilight: Breaking Dawn serving breakfast to the alpha dorks who camped out for their panel, there was even Hugh Jackman popping up in a parking lot to pimp Real Steel. What better way to promote your movie without subjecting yourself to uncomfortable Rock 'Em/Sock 'Em Robots comparison questions?


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