San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Girding My Loins

This Thursday I will be making the 45-minute flight to San Diego, California to attend Comic-Con 2012 (I depart at 10:05 a.m. and arrive at 10:50, which seems more than reasonable for flying halfway across the country). It'll be my first time checking out what has become the 4th largest convention of its kind (the biggest in North America) and the premiere event for comics, sci-fi, anime, and Hollywood studios trotting out the coming tentpole releases they hope will draw the lucrative geek market.

I finally took a look at the daunting four-day schedule and immediately went into shutdown mode. There's just too much to do, I muttered to myself, better just to stick with my original plan of getting blind drunk on happy hour martinis at Donovan's Steakhouse and harassing as many Slave Leias as I can find.

But no, that's no way for a professional journalist - or part-time blogger with delusions of same - to act. The San Diego Comic-Con is a massive assembly of twitchy nerds, itchy gamers, and bitchy pop culture enthusiasts, but it *can* be conquered, and conquer it I shall.

Depending, of course, on how many of these panels I can get into, of course.

To begin with, pretty much anything on Sunday is a no-go, as that's when I fly back to Texas. So, sorry Buffy Turns 20: Celebrating 20 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sons of Anarchy panels (and nothing says "comics" like gun-running bikers). I also won't be able to ask Ben Edlund why he didn't stop at five seasons at the Supernatural panel. But that's just as well, as I have no doubt Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki could easily kick my ass.

I'm also skipping all the anime, because few things are creepier than a grown-ass man at a Squid Girl screening (to say nothing of the late-night, "mature themes" shows), as well as most of the gaming, unless it's from an observational standpoint. My sack of 20-sided dice has been gathering dust for years, and my X-Box and Wii have been largely unused since Bush's second term.

But here's what looks intriguing to me for the three days I'll actually be on the scene.

THURSDAY I should be in early enough for most of this, or I may spend the day drinking on Mission Beach.

Rich Arons - writer/producer of, among others, Animaniacs and Freakazoid. What? Yakko, Wakko and Dot are awesome.

Battlestar: So Say We All - Richard (Apollo, Tom Zarek) Hatch hosts a Battlestar: Galactica 35th anniversary panel. I'm holding out for the "surprise guests" (please be Katee Sackhoff, please be Katee Sackhoff)

Spotlight on Bill Amend - In a world of Peanuts reruns and third generation Dagwoods, FoxTrot is a consistently hilarious presence on the comics page. For those newspapers that still have them.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 - Ha ha, not really.

100th Anniversary of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars - Big Edgar Rice Burroughs fan here, and I thought the recent JC movie was much better than its box office receipts would suggest. Hosted by Ron Ely, Tarzan from the 1966 NBC series. Not holding my breath for a Bo Derek appearance.

Trailblazers of Comics - Only because I'm in love with Kate Beaton and want to bask in her awesomeness.

The Expendables 2 - The movie's going to be a PG-13 suckfest, but with Planet Hollywood gone, when are you going to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger together in a room again?

H.P. Lovecraft - Also a big Lovecraft fan. Interested to see what our doomed future holds.

FRIDAY Dependent on hangover, of course...

Adult Swim: The Venture Bros. - The second best show on TV. Go, Team Venture!

Mike Mignola and Friends - Whither Hellboy? Here's the place to find out.

Firefly 10-Year Anniversary Reunion - No Morena Baccarin? No peace.

AMC's The Walking Dead - This, along with the Firefly and GoT panels, are the ones I'm not anticipating even being able to get into. Mostly because I don't like waiting in line for, well, anything.

Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A Discussion - I'd like it everyone who went up asked the same question: "When will Winds of Winter be finished, George?"

75th Anniversary of Prince Valiant - For my father, who is the only human being on Earth who still reads it.

Falling Skies: The Battle Is Just Getting Started - MOON BLOODGOOD

Sony: Total Recall, Looper, and Elysium - Colin Farrell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Matt Damon. If only I wasn't straight.

AMC's Breaking Bad - The showrunner and cast of the best show on TV get to field questions about they they split the last season into two chunks a year apart. Jerks.


Archie Comics: The Hottest Publisher in Comics - I just want to hear about that Archie/KISS crossover.

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained I've been avoiding info about QT's latest for months, but this might be a must-see.

Futruama - Surely this will be less depressing than the panel, right?

Sid and Marty Krofft: A Look at the Past, Present, and Future - These guys are still alive?

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Preview Their Upcoming Lineups - I have no idea who's going to be in this, but seeing as they're showcasing Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and The Hobbit, I figure we're at least due a Guilermo del Toro sighting.

True Blood Panel and Q&A Session - AKA "Why Don't You Assholes Just Make Vampire Porn and Get It Over With?"

Person of Interest Screening and Q&A - I can't decide if I want to throw Jim Caviezel a left field Mel Gibson question or not. Probably not.

Comi-Kev: Q&A with Kevin Smith Oh look, two hours of Kevin Smith rambling about how movie critics and Southwest Airlines sucks. But will we get a sneak peek of "Jay and Silent Bob Complete Their Long-Awaited Murder-Suicide Pact?"

So there you have it. I'll have entries up on Art Attack Friday and Saturday, and will endeavor to post some scandalous costumed convention-goer pics as well. Then again, I'm going to San Diego on my own dime, so the usual beer on the beach disclaimers apply.

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