SDCC Day 2: Thursday, July 12, 2012

We know it’s been ages, but it’s finally time to continue our San Diego Comic-Con blog. We feel a deep shame for taking so long to continue the journal, but with the craziness that is life, we have been unable to write. Luckily for you, we our continuing to spill our guts about the most awesome time of our lives! We’ll pick up right where we left off.

After an exhausting first day of pillaging the booths in the Exhibitor’s Hall, we decided to start off Thursday morning with a bit more of a casual approach – try being the key word. “Sleeping in” until 5am was a popular thought amongst Town and Country guests. I know this because sharing water with 500 people ended in very cold, Titanic proportions. It was quite possibly the worst time bathing I have ever had, but I was determined not to go to the convention contributing to the “Comic-Con smell.” Plus, I tried to look at it as training for the impending zombie apocalypse. After dragging Adrian out of bed (hair-first, as to avoid injury), we made our way to the breakfast hall, which was the same hall we completed registration in. This meant eating breakfast to more epic music (cue Danny Elfman’s Batman Animated and John Williams’ Superman theme). The free breakfast buffet that came with our hotel package was really good, too. Fruit, potatoes, sausage… we digress. The point is, it was a great way to start the day.

As we took the shuttle to the Convention Center, we had only a few priorities. Thursday at Comic Con is usually pretty slow. Today’s agenda included: Batmobiles, DC Comic’s Batman and the Court of Owls panel, a Q&A session with The Walking Dead brain trust, and The Walking Dead Escape. Okay, so that may not sound like a slow day, but compared to the rest of the trip, this was cake.

The Batmobiles were displayed behind the Convention Center right by the San Diego Hilton Bayfront. It was beeeauuutifulll! Warner Bros. had put on a display of five different Batmobiles used in the movies: the Hot Wheels Adam West-mobile, the Tim Burton Batmobile from the late 80’s film, Batman Forever Batmobile, Batman and Robin Batmobile, as well the Tumblers from the Nolan films.

Holy Batgasm, Batman!

It was truly a dream come true. We have never seen a Batmobile in person, so it took a lot of self-restraint not to jump in the car and drive away with a trail of fire behind us. Besides, we couldn’t; the keys weren’t in the ignition. As a consolation, we skipped from car to car, taking pictures and gawking at the Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-ness of it all.

Harley Quinn next to a Batmobile. What a little criminal!

After the festivities of checking out Batmobiles, we took a walk along the bay. It was quite beautiful and the only real time we had to experience California. We walked along the bay and got to see a bunch of boats and seagulls, and for just a moment, it was a relaxing, normal vacation.

But screw that crap. We were not delusional of the idea that Comic Con would be an overload of stimulation. So we started our trek back to the Convention Center. On the way, we ran into our first legit cosplayer. She was dressed as Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl from No Man’s Land. Sherif had a slight geek-out moment and Batgirl was very willing to take a picture with him.

A giddy Sherif and a non-mute Cassandra Cain.

However, Sherif did seem a bit disappointed that she talked to us (Cain’s character is a mute, duh).  We also ran into a woman who had turned her Big Bang Theory swag bag into a fashionable dress. This was the epitome of creativity.  We even saw KITT from Knight Rider driving around, blaring the theme song. If only the Hoff were driving. A nerd can dream… With quite a while to go until our panels started, we headed back into the Exhibitor’s Hall.

The first thing we wanted to check out was The Walking Dead’s Zombie Killing Machine. This Hyundai Genesis had been altered for zombie-killing efficiency. The prototype was designed by Robert Kirkman himself (the creator and writer of The Walking Dead) and created by the good folks at Hyundai. Why anybody would choose a Hyundai Genesis as their apocalypse ride of choice is another topic altogether, but it looked pretty badass: battering rams in the front, sniper hatch and party lights up top. It was pretty sweet.

Hyundai Zombie Killin’ Machine. Hop in baby, the apocalypse is here.

That’s also when we decided to order The Walking Dead Season 2 Blu-Ray set that comes with the RV Zombie. After re-watching the first episode of the second season, that scene with the RV Zombie was one of the scariest of the series. Getting to stab a zombie in the eye every time you want to watch an episode of Walking Dead is pretty rewarding. To further our Walking Dead excitement, the folks at AMC set up a display of Michonne, the cloaked warrior who saved Andrea at the end of Season 2. Just as in the comics, she had her two zombie pets on a chain. There was a pretty awesome photo op to become one of the two chained-up walkers, but the line made Space Mountain at Disneyland look like a cakewalk.

Our first panel of the convention was DC Comics: Tales from The Dark and The Edge.

Sherif was semi-interested in this panel, but really we were just staying in the room so we could get great seats for the Batman: Court of Owls panel.  Sitting in panels ahead of the one you actually want to see is a strategy that is completely abused at SDCC, but alas, we took part. The DC Comics panel had writers of a few of DC’s more obscure, but still awesome books. With all the success Jeff Lemire’s work (Animal Man and Justice League Dark) has garnered, there was a lot of talk about Rotworld, a current arc spanning Animal Man and Scott Synder’s Swamp Thing. Of all the writers, it was Jimmy Plamiotti (All-Star Western) that made the biggest impression on us. He’s a very decent guy, and a really funny guy. Although his All-Star Western really hadn’t impressed me, the guy who writes it did. So, I gave it another shot and it’s turned out to be quite a good book.

The next panel was MAD. The comics and the television show were both open for discussion. It was a fun panel, with lots of stories of “how far we’ve come,” explanations of crazy moments in time, and Dana Snyder’s impressions bringing the house down. Of all the panels, it was one of the most laid back we went to. They ran a few clips of comic book related shorts, as well as explained their process for making their animations. Our favorite moment, by far, was the fame-chasing blondie in a Wonder Woman outfit who came up to the podium looking for a handout (or handjob, who knows?) and a free demo after the panel. When the panelists politely side-steps with, “We can talk after the panel,” she says, “Where can we do it?” without missing a beat, which sends the ultra-nerd panelists into a speechless, red-faced state of being. If anything, I’ll give MAD a try once it comes back on September 13th.

After the MAD panel cleared the stage, we flew to the closest seats we could find for the Batman: Beyond the Court of Owls panel. Led by the creative team behind The New 52 Batman books, the Owls panel let into what was going to happen during the next arc for the Bat-family – the biggest news being the return of the Joker in the next Batman arc, titled “Death in the Family.” One of the best parts of these SDCC panels was finally getting to put a face and voice behind those who create the worlds we love so much. Scott Snyder’s announcement of a Talon book brought in tons of applause. We mention Talon in our Zero Issues blog, but it’s basically about a Talon from the Court of Owls who defects and is running from the organization. It’s really nice to see the Owls get some more love. Snyder and friends then brought out cases and cases of Owl masks for the crowd to wear. Our first legit piece of Comic-Con swag! Everybody had a moment and put our masks on in creepy fashion. We actually managed to get some pretty decent seats because you can see us on the picture that Scott Snyder tweeted of the room wearing Owl masks. All in all, it was one of my favorite panels, because it was one of the most intimate panels we sat through.

You can see us mostly because of Adrian’s hair. Far left and towards the middle. BAM! There we are. By the by, how fucking creepy.

The next panel up was The Walking Deadcomic panel. There was a lot of anticipation for this, since we had decided to forgo the TV show panel on Friday. The line was hundreds of people long; we were sure we wouldn’t get in. After more than an hour of waiting (which is modest considering some of the other things we waited for), we were finally let in to this massive room. We were a bit late, so we had to sit near the back of the room.

Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. Yeah, we were far away.

Then, it happens: writer Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard walk in very casually. They proceed to tell us that they have nothing planned for the hour, and that it would be a super-long Q&A session. This kinda caught me by surprise since the previous panels had a planned agenda, or free stuff, or at least something to say. They didn’t even allude to any future plans and they went as far as to condemn discussions about issue #100, released the previous day. So in that aspect, we were a bit disappointed. All that aside, hearing Kirkman and Adlard play off one another and tease each other was an amazing experience. There was also a pretty special moment when a fan who stepped up to the podium attempted to put her entire leg in her mouth, thanking Kirkman for writing a character whom, unbeknownst to her, had been brutally murdered in the 100th issue. Good job, kiddo!  Oh and don’t worry, we will review that issue very soon here.

With nothing really left to do until The Walking Dead Escapeat 9pm, we found ourselves with ample time to explore. We headed towards the autograph area to find anybody we wanted to get some signings from. Nobody in the Event Guide really sparked our interest, but as we were walking by, we saw a cute blonde talking to a person in an event shirt. When this cute blonde turned around, we found out that she was Clare Kramer! That’s right: Glorificus had graced us with her presence. And while Adrian was too shy to ask for anything, let alone introduce herself to Clare, I had to shove her in the right direction to get a signed picture and a keepsake on my phone of them. Clare even took a picture of Adrian’s peacock tattoo.  It reminded me a lot of The Dark Knight Rises swag bag incident the previous day. Sometimes we both need reassurance to do things we may not have the strength to do on our own. And luckily for both of us, we have each other to count on.

Glorificus and Adrian. Geeked!

After leaving the Convention Center, we took a walk through the Gaslamp District and the area surrounding Petco Park, the San Diego Padres’ stadium. We found this really neat, and expensive pizza place, where we watched Team USA Basketball take on the Dominican Republic in one of the most underwhelming games of the summer. After that, we tried to convince ourselves we weren’t too tired to run from zombies. But after a fifteen-hour day, it was difficult to convince ourselves otherwise.  We found out quickly that it wouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds. The Walking Dead Escape was one of the most thrilling and terrifying things we’ve ever done. So much so that it deserves its own post.

After the insanity that was the Escape, we were faced with a dilemma. The next day, it was planned that most of our time would be spent in Ballroom 20 to see a bunch of panels, namely the Firefly 10 Year Reunion. People were already camping out overnight. Not in the Convention Center, mind you, but on the nasty-ass ground outside. So either we go back to the hotel, shower, get a decent five hours of sleep, or we lay our sweaty, nasty selves on the concrete and guarantee we get the best spots for the panels the next day. Needless to say, we went back, showered and got some rest. And it wasn’t the worst mistake we could have made, because we did end up making it in the Ballroom.

That’s about it for the second day. We definitely got into the swing of things throughout the weekend, but a lot of it was trial and error. Stay tuned for Friday’s events. We promise it won’t take another month!

And we leave you with this… until next time!

Sherif is such a Brony. Cat’s out of the bag, mister.