Leslie Cook

Comic-Con Wrap-up

In Comic Con on August 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm

IMGP2261It’s been about a week since our return from beautiful San Diego and the 40th annual San Diego Comic-Con. It takes about a week to recover from the sights and sounds of the event.

Over the years, I’ve found that the very best part of Comic-Con is meeting new people. It’s really rather cool. Growing up in Los Angeles, you tend not to talk to strangers. Although I do, at times, shock people by saying hello, for the most part, people here tend to live in their own little personal bubble. Not so at Comic-Con. You can pretty much strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and be guaranteed a good time. Our first day there, we had interesting talks with a publisher from San Francisco and a man who was a huge Disney fan.  Our new friend, let’s call him Bob, was very very late for his session in Hall H, and was impatiently awaiting the free bus to the San Diego Convention Center.  I don’t think Bob made his session, but he did eventually make it to the Con.

This year, we once again had the privilege of hearing the great Ray Bradbury talk about his life and voice his opinions about everything. And once again I was annoyed by his handler, Arnold Kunert. I suppose, at 89, Mr. Bradbury does need someone around to help translate questions and to act as session moderator.  he is, after all, very hard of hearing.  However, once again, Mr. Kunert spent the first 20 minutes of the session talking about his personal projects. That’s 20 minutes of Mr. Bradbury that 2000 people missed. I’m hoping that next year, Mr. Kunert restricts his comments and allows us to spend more time with a great writer.  One of the treats of the session was viewing a video of Mr. Bradbury being interviewed by Dan Rather on the evening that man first walked on the moon. Ray made lots of predictions about how mankind would forgo war to discover space and other worlds. Regrettably, none of these predictions have yet come true.

Another one of the more interesting sessions we attended was for Stan Freberg, the voice of many a classic cartoon character, and renown comedy performer. Stan and his wife Hunter spent an hour telling stories of how they met and how Stan became a voice artist. We also got to see the only Looney Toon cartoon for which Mr. Freberg actually had a screen credit, Three Little Bops. Overall, it was an hour well spent.

As usual, we also spent an hour watching the worst cartoons ever made. This annual event showcases some of the worst cartoons ever shown on television. Over the years, we’ve seen Mighty Mr. Titan, Super President (who has a henchman that looks oddly like Carl Rove), Little Papito, Johnny Cypher, Rocket Robinhood, and dozens of others. If you get the chance, check them out on Youtube…they’re very funny!  Here’s a little sample:

The last event we attended on Saturday night was a viewing of the Director’s cut of Watchman, with live commentary provided by the movie’s director, Zack Snyder. The movie was great, the commentary was interesting.  Zack was very funny at times, kind of annoying at others.  I kept thinking that it would be nice to concentrate on the movie.  At one point, he made a peanut butter sandwiches from supplies provided by various audience members. I’m not sure if I like the Director’s cut better than the version shown in theatres. Zack threw in more violence than I personally can handle, and, for me, the extra footage didn’t provide any additional insight into the story. I’m looking forward to the ultimate version that adds the Tale of the Black Freighter back into the narrative.

Overall, out 2009 Comic-Con experience was fun and much more low-key.  We concentrated more on the smaller sessions and, except for a 1 hour try at Hall H, avoided most of the bigger events.  We got less swag this year, although I’m not sure if it was because of the recession or our unwillingness to stand in long lines to get the freebees.  I do miss the baseball caps that we use to get in the old days.

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