Monday, July 30, 2007

Joss Whedon Trips Small Child...and Other TALES FROM THE CON

Apologies. This ended up being really long.

The fiancee and I only made it down to the Con for Saturday and Sunday this year, but that was more than enough time to leave with a few stories to tell.

My biggest regret was that our lazy asses didn't make it down in time for the Pushing Daisies screening and Q&A. I heard it was great, and now we'll just have to wait until the actual premiere like real people. I hate being a real person.

My second biggest regret is that this isn't my story. Damn you, Furey!

But enough with regret. Here's my STORY OF THE CON.

8pm - Head out to Wangs for copious amounts of beer, fat and coma-inducing food to celebrate how awesome I am.

12am - Arrive home drunk and print out stuff for the Con. See that the registration material says we can't check in until 9:30 the next morning and freak out because the Pushing Daisies panel begins at 9:15. For those of you keeping score at home, that means the panel would be going on before we could even get in. Suckiness.

12:02am - Realize that this means we can sleep longer and just say screw it.

5am - I wake up excited and try to go back to sleep so I don't wake Jul up.

5:20am - The alarm goes off and Jul's still sleepy; resets it. But now I have an excuse, so I get up and start packing. (The beauty of a two-day excursion: 10 minute packing is not only acceptable, but expected.)

5:45am - I guilt Jul into getting up because I'm a jerk.

6:15am - Grab Buzz colas and Forbidden Donuts for the road.
Mmm, forbidden...

6:25am - Quick stop for cash.

6:35am - On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again...

8:00am - Friends have arrived at the Con and tell us they are letting people in early. Mother#$%er!

8:35am - ...just can't wait to get off the road again...

9:25am - Arrive at the Con after parking at the hotel (6 blocks away, baby) and make it through the line pretty quickly.

9:35am - Decide that it's silly to go into Pushing Daisies late and instead head to Bionic Woman at 10. It's in Ballroom 20. Remember that for later.

10:50am - Short Bionic review: In terms of sci-fi TV, somewhere between the quality of Smallville and Heroes. There's the potential for a great show here, but right now I'd say it's hovering around "decent" to "pretty good." Hopefully they'll have time to iron out the kinks and give us the next great ass-kicking woman show. Jul and I decide to leave Ballroom 20 and grab a quick bite to eat on the exhibition floor before returning to the same room for the Heroes panel at 12:45.

11:20am - Jul and I return to Ballroom 20 and realize that we are really, really dumb. A line of thousands has formed, hoping against hope to gaze upon Masi Oka and company, and the crowd control people are giving out wildly different information. Some say stay in line; some say the line is closed for Heroes. Others say the line for Battlestar (same room, 2pm) is closed, and a few are even saying that the line for Ballroom 20 itself is closed for the day.

11:25am - Jul and I split up. I stay at the back of the line and she makes the 10 minute trek to the front so she can ask questions of the crowd control people at the door.

11:45am - More confusion. More misinformation. Our friend covering the panel has trouble getting in with his press pass because the room is already at capacity.

12:00pm - Suddenly the line dissolves in front of me and I begin the long trek toward Jul and the Ballroom 20 entrance.

12:02pm - I run into the person in front of me and realize that apparently the line hasn't been dissolved quite yet. Moving again.

12:10pm - The line hasn't been dissolved. Oh, no. It's just being moved outside of the convention center and into the 90 degree heat. Much better.

12:25pm - Still in the sun. Jul joins me after she is told that the outside line is the best chance of getting into the room ... sometime.

12:40pm - Another friend joins us in the line after checking with the crowd control people at the door and having them confirm that the outside line is the best bet.

She has a story for us: "The guy from the Pushing Daisies panel..." (Bryan Fuller? Yes.) "...was trying to get into the Heroes panel. He went up to the staff people at the door and said 'I'm sorry I'm so late, but I was at another panel and I need to get into this one.' 'Sorry, room's closed.' 'No, really, I'm ON THE PANEL and I need to get in.' 'The room is closed. No one gets in.' Yes, that's right. Bryan Fuller, creator of Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies can't get in. One of the co-executive producers and the writer of two episodes of Heroes last year can't get in. Gotta love it.

12:55pm - Back inside. Air conditioning. Thank god.

1:30pm - I decide to see how long the line is in front of us and end up going down to the exhibition floor to waste time and see if I can get one of those giant Superman Doomsday/Smallville bags everyone has or a Harry Potter bag: no such luck.

1:50pm - Back upstairs and the sea of people surging toward me tells me that the Heroes panel is letting out and gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, we'll make it into the Battlestar panel.

2:05pm - Holy crap. Only three hours of waiting and we're back in the same room that took us 2 minutes to make it into at 10am that morning. Huzzah.

2:15pm - Panel begins. Women of Battlestar. Sweet.

3:15pm - Battlestar panel is pretty fun and entertaining. No groundbreaking news that I can think of, but I did become the seven millionth person to realize that Katee Sackoff would make a great Harley Quinn.Come on, Nolan, you know you want to. We move closer for the next panel.

3:30pm - The Futurama people brought free comics with them for us. At a comics convention. Craziness.

4:30pm - Possibly the best panel I saw all weekend. Five cast members did a table read of the comic, doing about 20 different characters between them. Kickass.

4:31pm - We creep ever closer, for the annointed one is about to appear, the always entertaining...

4:45pm - ...Whedon. Aww, he's so cuddly.

5:45pm - Buffy Comic Season 9. Firefly comic. Angel Comic Season 6. Goners. Special Joss/Drew Goddard project that I won't name out of respect for him even though everyone else will. Ripper. Something new he's got on Myspace. The possibility of some Jossverse D2DVD stuff. Probably more I'm forgetting. The only thing missing is a new TV show. Pretty please, Joss, with impaled network executives on top. I never thought I'd say this to another man, but ... staff me.

6pm - We're on the exhibition floor, following a friend of ours to meet the artist he's been working with. Jul is of course looking away, I think calling someone on her cell. I look up to see wide-eyed Whedon-y goodness barreling toward me: Joss runs past us and I turn to Jul and say, very cleverly, "Joss Whedon just ran past us." After a stunned second, we both turn around to see Joss slam into a little boy. Ack! He stops briefly to make sure the kid's okay, then continues running.

6:30pm - Reach Irish pub for dinner. 15-30 minute wait.

7:30pm - After the wait staff gives away our table, we finally seat ourselves by pulling two smaller tables together.

8pm - Our order is taken. We're totally going to make it to the Buffy Sing-A-Long. Totally.

The rest of the night takes place after two or three beers, and thus will not be timed. Sort of.

9ish - We make it back to the convention center in time to wait for the second Buffy Sing-A-Long of the night, beginning at 11:30, and promptly call a few friends that have abandoned us to partying so that we can meet up with them and get drunk instead. I mean, we love Buffy, but Sing-A-Longs seem to be happening in LA now every few months. How often can you get drunk with a bunch of nerds? I think I just answered my own question.

While waiting for one of our friends to show up, we caught a few minutes of Masquerade. Most that I saw was pretty ho-hum, but I have to give props to two ... let's call them skits.

1. Beetlejuice - Black and white striped BJ suit, perfect makeup, rotating umbrella hat ... and 15 foot arms with giant hammers at the ends. Well done, sir. Well done.
2. Potter and Co - Absolutely brilliant. Someone finally answered the question we've all been asking for years: What would Grease look like if performed using the world of Harry Potter. Malfoy as Danny Zuko. "Greased Lighting" as the most hydromatic of broomsticks ever. Choreographed dances in wizard robes. I dare anyone who saw it to tell me it wasn't amazing.

After we met up with our friend, we headed over to his company's boat in the marina and basked in some comic industry gossip for a while, which was interesting, but since we were mostly just sitting there drained us to the point that we just wanted to go back to our hotels by the time we left.

Sunday was slow. Breakfast with friends, walking the exhibition floor and then home. And I didn't get to meet up with any blog friends (sad).

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