A funny thing happened to me this year at Comic-Con. After running around all day for back-to-back panels, I found myself with a spare hour before my next commitment. It was a beautiful, sunny day (compared to the usually dreary Seattle where I live) so I decided to walk over to the park between the convention center and the Hilton hotel. Keep in mind, this is the third year in a row I have attended Comic-Con, so imagine my surprise when I looked up to discover the crystal blue marina, just steps away from all the activities. It occurred to me that in all my experiences at this event, I had never slowed down enough to really stop and enjoy my surroundings.
In a nutshell, this is the perfect way to describe the vibe at this year’s Comic-Con. The pace was a bit slower and there was room to walk through the main floor of the convention center without feeling like a herd of cattle. It seemed like there were fewer people dressed in costumes, but the ones who did dress up really took the time to perfect their characters. From my perspective, everyone I encountered, from the fans to the celebrities, appeared to be in good spirits and took the time to enjoy the moment.
Here are a few of my favorite moments:
- Josh Jackson getting a standing ovation when he made a surprise appearance at the “Fringe” panel. It looks like he will indeed be featured next season. He stated “I think the Peter we see this season will be a very different man than we’ve met before”. Hint, hint: he was dressed as an observer.
- At the end of the “Alcatraz” press panel, I asked director Jack Bender (who also directed “Lost“) what was the name of the man in black. He answered “Barry”.
- Running into the legendary film director Werner Herzog.
- Attending the star-studded world premiere of Cowboys & Aliens. In addition to Jon Favreau, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde, we spotted Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Johnny Galecki, Danny DeVito, and Joel McHale.
- Riding the elevator with a pair of Clone Troopers. These were the most impressive costumes I saw this year.
- Interviewing Taylor Lautner on the terrace of the empty Petco Park. Regardless if you’re a Twilight fan, he’s a genuinely gracious young man who seems humbled by his success.
- Spotting Alexander Skarsgard at the Wired Café. No further explanation is necessary.
- Listening to director Frank Darabont and make-up/special effects wizard Gregory Nicotero describe how they cast for zombies for “The Walking Dead”. Nicotero said, “There are two kinds of people in the world. One sings with a hairbrush in the front of the mirror, and the other does the zombie walk. I look for the latter.”
- At the “Warehouse 13” panel, a young fan asked Allison Scagliotti if she was on “Drake & Josh”. She didn’t seem too thrilled by the question but stated “You know, IMDb is a great resource for those types of questions.” Go team!
- Stumbling across a group of people dressed as superheroes relaxing in the shade by the Marriot. When they noticed us smiling at them, they started to get up, but my co-worker Arno stopped them and said, “Even superheroes need a break.”
See you next year!