Comic-Con International 2008

NEW: Check out the Interviews Page for my interviews with Michael Shanks, Ben Browder, and Amanda Tapping!

Comic-Con 2008 was a whirlwind of panels, interviews, lunches, drinks, and random encounters. Here I will briefly share my experience, along with some pictures, and the Comic-Con interviews will be posted in weeks to come. Caution: prepare for excessive name dropping.

Wednesday

I went to the Wednesday night preview, which is only open to those with 4-day memberships, along with about 70,000 of my closest friends. It was a slightly terrifying experience, and it took me over an hour to check-in via pre-registered press. I must say that overall, besides the Preview Night hiccups, the convention was run very efficiently. From what I could see, all of last year’s problems were addressed. Very well done, Comic-Con staff!

The Crowds

I had dinner that night with my good friends Doselle and Janine. All I have to say is Cask IPA and fresh sausage tacos cannot be beat.

So, on to the Con stuff.

Thursday

First I went to a panel about a new TV show called Kings. It looked excellent, and the panel was hosted by Heroes and Aliasstar Greg Grunberg.

Greg Grunberg

I met with Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary. We conducted (no pun intended) an interview on the showroom floor in between him autographing cds for fans. Richard Hatch sat next to Bear, and Richard spoke with hundreds of fans over the course of four hours. Both were great gentleman and a pleasure to speak with, and I’d like to thank Bear for taking time for the interview. I’m not sure the audio is good enough for the podcast, so it might be a site-exclusive text interview instead.

Richard Hatch

I also finally met Scott Sigler face-to-face. He didn’t try to kill me or anything, and I sat at his table, while giving him plenty of space, of course, as he signed books for fans.

Scott Sigler

Then I saw my good friend Jaime, one of the first persons to welcome me into this field on a professional level. I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

Jamie Levine

As fun as the day was, I longed for the evening event, which was the red-carpet premiere of Stargate: Continuum. I had some face time with stars Michael Shanks, Ben Browder, and Amanda Tapping. All three were very kind, and I enjoyed, as an actor myself, discussing issues of subtext and writing. I found Michael’s answers especially interesting, as he would like to learn more about the past of Daniel Jackson. After the interviews we watched Continuum on the hanger deck of the U.S.S. Midway, surrounded by fighter jets. It was truly awesome. I sat in the back row of the press section in front of Beau Bridges, Michael Shanks, Lexa Doig, and the rest of the cast and crew. A final note about the cast: I met several actors over the weekend, but Shanks, Tapping, and Browder really impressed me with their humility and genuine appeal. There is nothing presumptous about these people, and I knew I was speaking with real folks who appreciate what they’ve had the opportunity to do. I didn’t think anything could make me a bigger fan of this franchise. I was wrong.

The movie itself is very well done. It really feels like a motion picture, whereas Stargate: Ark of Truth felt more like a two-part episode with the commercials removed. My only criticism of the movie is that it should have been longer. There was so much left unexplored, but that’s a compliment to the rich script and excellent acting. Here are some pictures of the evening.

Stargate Continuum

Richard Dean Anderson

Ben Browder and Richard Dean Anderson

Amanda Tapping

Chris Judge

Martin Wood and Brad Wright

Friday

I interviewed comic book writer Doselle Young and author Gary Philips about the new anthology The Darker Mask, a collection of original short fiction featuring heroes of color and ethnicity. This book looks really good, and the interview was a blast. I’ll drop that in the podcast soon.

I also met Lynn Flewellingand Scifi Weekly editor Scott Edelman.

I left Comic-Con early that night to go to UCSD, where I interviewed Neil Gaiman for our continued coverage of the Clarion Workshop. Neil was a true gentleman and a pleasure to talk to. The interview will appear in episode 57.

Saturday

I arrived early so I could park at the Convention Center, but the parking lot was already full and locked down at 7am. After searching the streets for a place to hide my truck, I ventured into the Dealer’s Room (not was easy as it sounds), and met Orbit’s publicity guru Alex Lencicki. Alex has been a great friend of the podcast, sending us books and helping to arrange interviews with authors.

Speaking of which, he introduced me to Lilith SaintCrow, and we stepped outside for an interview about her books and the writing process. She was really sweet, and I could have easily spent the next few hours talking with her.

Next up was Eldon Thompson, who writes both fantasy novels and screenplays for Hollywood. We had a great talk about his various projects and the machinations of the movie business.

Tobias Buckell joined me for lunch. It was great to finally meet him in person. And I had to rip him away from Robert J. Sawyer and Charles Stross to do it. Sorry, boys!

After having a brief talk with Milo Ventimiglia in the bathroom (no, neither one of us was “going”), I attended a Ray Bradbury panel with the hopes of asking him a few questions afterward. I had been in communication with filmmaker Roger Lay, who has directed a new Feature based on Bradbury’s short story Chrysalis, but the insanity that is Comic-Con prevented this from happening. Thankfully, I had a wonderful time chatting with cast and crew Roger, Cheyenne, and Cory about the film.

Ray Bradbury

I wrapped up the evening by hanging out with friends in one of the hotel bars until 2 in the morning, which is pretty late considering I had to drive home. Toby introduced me the vast and intricate world of Scotch, and I met artists Todd Lockwood and Rick Berry.

Doselle, Toby, and Shaun

More than previous years, Comic-Con was an enjoyable and successful experience. I had a really great time, and I have some fine interviews to drop in the feed. So, keep your iPods open and ready.

The List:

People with whom Shaun had unexpected close encounters, which means I either said hello in passing or stood next to them:

Richard Dean Anderson, Joe Hill, Jim Butcher, Greg Bear, William Dietz, Zach Quinto, Robert Picardo, Lou Ferrigno, Casper Van Dean, Milo Ventimiglia, Tim Russ, Jeff Mariotte, Lynn Flewelling, Herb Jefferson Jr., Vicki Petterson, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, and Jeremy Lassen. I know I’m forgetting people, and people I know, so I apologize.

Here are some more pictures from the convention.

Poison Ivy

Castle Greyskull

He-Man is Back!

Trap-Jaw, Teela, and Evil-Lynn

The Stargate

Bumblebee

Iron Man

I surrender

Doselle Young and Vicki Petterson

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Comments

  1. Anon N. says:

    Hey! I think that’s the wrong Rick Berry website, try http://www.rickberrystudio.com/

  2. Shaun Farrell says:

    Got it. Thanks!

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