Thursday, Day 1
I decided I didn’t have any must see panels early that morning so I decided to wait in an exhibit hall line (foolishly thinking I may still be able to score a Con Exclusive Magic card set for a friend – that never did happen). The exhibit hall opens at 9:30 and panels start at 10 (or later). I did a quick round through some of the exhibit hall booths (Lionsgate for some Red 2 stuff and most of the big publishers for free books, DC for some random things, and Plants vs. Zombies for the bag and free pin – swag pics coming in a later post). And again I avoided Fox, ABC, Warner Bros, and Marvel because it was out of control. After getting some of what I wanted and deciding to forgo fighting/waiting for other stuff I decided to head to some panels. Imagine my surprise when it was only 10am, so my day of panels began.
The Anatomy of Superhero Film Music
This was a pretty cool panel although it featured people there to talk about music from Kick-Ass 2 and upcoming Marvel films. That meant that they couldn’t show any footage because clips from those were scheduled to debut in the big reveals in Hall H over the next couple days. But, it was really cool to watch clips with and without the score added. The discussion covered the interplay between the sound effects and the music effects as well as the continuity between different films (like Iron Man 1, 2, and 3). And hearing Bear’s music for Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. was pretty amazing. I foresee buying soundtracks to that show much like I did for Battlestar Galactica. Bear McCreary really is a genius.
This was one of many panels I was interested in seeing and because I was in the room already, I decided to stay and see it. I loved How to Train Your Dragon, so I was looking forward to seeing clips from How to Train Your Dragon 2. But first, I had the pleasure to see clips from the already released Turbo. I hadn’t had much interest in it previously, but the clips made me want to see it. Then we were treated to a scene from the upcoming Mr. Peabody and Sherman which look s fantastic. The end of the panel was devoted to How to Train Your Dragon 2. And of course it looks as amazing and as heart-warming as the first. And we were treated to the knowledge that Cate Blanchett will be voicing a feral, reclusive vigilante out to rescue dragons from a maniacal stranger who is enslaving dragons. And Kit Harrington will be a voice! And he was there! That was extremely exciting for me. Kit will voice Eret, a very cocky employee of the stranger enslaving dragons. Eret is the self declared best dragon catcher ever who is also really bad at verbal comebacks. Eret is intended to be a contemporary for Hiccup. WE had the chance to view a performance text with Kit providing the voice for Eret. It should prove to be a highly entertaining addition to what was already going to be a great film.
Hanna-Barbera’s Star Warriors
At this point, I really was just hanging out in the room. It was an throwback panel highlighting the Warner Archives and trying to put together animation pieces to tell the entire story as they were originally intended. It was so reminiscent of my childhood seeing some of these classic characters like Space Ghost and Captain Caveman.
Ode to Nerds
And then it was time for the Ode to Nerds panel which included Patrick Rothfuss and Chuck Palahniuk among others. Charlie Jane Anders from io9 moderated the panel, but not very well in my opinion. Though luckily the panelists and audience questions made up for that. The other thing that bothered me about this panel is that the large screen which generally shows alternates between the panelists and various images and clips displayed the nerd hierarchy diagram that floated around the internet some time ago the ENTIRE TIME. I had a decent seat so I could actually see the faces of the panelists, but people in the back or far sides of the room couldn’t. I would have been very frustrated had I been in one of those seats. And the diagram was only a focus of discussion for a few brief minutes.
Advance Screening: The Blacklist
After Ode to Nerds, I decided to stay for the Advance Screening of The Blacklist with James Spader because, why not? I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed the pilot and am definitely looking forward to seeing more of the series when it airs this fall. The opening sequence of the episode is brilliant and pulls you in, making you curious about several things all at once. I was also impressed with the dynamic between James Spader and Megan Boone in the episode, which was echoed by the actors afterwards in the panel. This is definitely a show on my fall watchlist and I recommend it be on yours as well.
Escape from the Convention
After that panel I knew I needed to get up and walk around – my bum had started to hurt from being in the same seat for several hours. I decided to take a breather from the convention and head back to my hotel for the ‘preferred guest’ happy hour. Free wine and snacks! After relaxing with my wine, it was time to head back out.
At the morning panel, The Anatomy of the Superhero Music, Bear McCreary highlighted the Black Sails screening that evening. He explained that he and a band would be performing some of the music from the show before the screening. I’d been torn about attending, but that solidified the fact for me.
The screening was scheduled to start at 8:30 and I think I got in line around 7ish. Luckily, I was behind some very fabulous women and enjoyed my time in line with them immensely. I sat with them in the front row of the theater – directly in front of Bear and the band (and what would later be the panel). The music was amazing. Bear played an accordion and at times hurdy gurdy. The first episode was very entertaining but also very violent and with some very gratuitous sex – it is Starz after all. I’m not completely sold on it, but will probably watch the next few episodes to give it a chance – after all it is pirates! And the character development has some real potential. Considering Starz has already greenlit a second season, before the first episode of the first season has even aired….there’s some faith in the show. After the screening, several actors and creators of the show discussed various aspects in an entertaining panel. After the panel ended, updon exiting the theater we got free bags (and they are actually canvas bags!).
And with that, I decided to call it a night because I had decided to brave the Hall H line very early the next morning. Little did I know that I should have gotten in line after the Black Sails screening. But that’s the story for Friday.
More Comic Con 2013, coming soon. To be continued.