Thursday, July 31, 2008

And now back to Saturday again.

I decided to try to catch one of Joss Whedon's panels after Tori Amos, but his and Eliza Dushku's panel for Dollhouse was just forty-five minutes later so I didn't really think I could make it. I waited in line anyway and did get pretty close before I had to face the reality that the Dollhouse line had become the Battlestar Galactica line. The Battlestar Galactica panel had Tricia Helfer, James Callis, Michael Trucco, Katee Sackhoff, Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, and Kevin Smith. I considered going in to see it, but having never actually watched the series, I thought I'd feel like too much of a poseur. Judging by how much many of my friends seem to like the show, I suspect I'm probably going to really regret missing the panel when I finally get around to watching it.

But instead, I went for lunch. Pokez, the wonderful Mexican restaurant ten blocks away from the convention centre that I normally go to was completely full most of the days I went there during the Con, which makes me wonder if word's spread about it among convention goers. So instead of Pokez, most days I was getting my lunch from various Japanese restaurants. I do recommend exploring the main floor of the Comic-Con after a bottle of sake.

When I got back, I saw there was no line for room 6CDEF, which I found a little depressing since I'd gotten there only twenty minutes before Ray Bradbury was scheduled to appear.

I'd once again not looked too closely at the preceding panel's description, seeing it was something about the DC animated universe. I was pleasantly surprised to find onstage the people behind Justice League Unlimited, a show I'd really liked; Bruce Timm, Lauren Montgomery, and Andrea Romano. Joining them was DC Comics president Paul Levitz as well as, for some reason, Nathan Fillion. Fillion voiced the relatively minor character Vigilante on Justice League: Unlimited. I know Fillion was on the Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog panel, so I'm guessing he decided to stay for this panel just for kicks. He didn't talk much.

They showed a trailer for a new Wonder Woman direct to DVD animated film, which uses the Bruce Timm style that dates back to Batman the Animated Series, which is nice to see again after all the new shitty Glen Murakami series.

The next panel was Ray Bradbury and interviewer Arnold Kunert so I moved up several rows. I'm sad to say the room was only half full, but then again, 6CDEF is twice the size of 6B. Still, it feels like there ought to've been more people.

Maybe it's just that Ray Bradbury's at the Con every year. He appeared at the Comic-Con in 1970 and many, many Comic-Cons since. It's hard to imagine he'd have much to say he hasn't said already. But I enjoyed listening to him talk, despite the kid sitting next to me, staring at me and smacking his lips really loud.

If I had to sum up everything Bradbury said with one word, it would be, "Love." The guy could not stop talking about love. When someone asked if a writer should do something or other (I couldn't quite make it out), Bradbury sounded angry, yelling, "The most important thing is love! To hell with everything else!" He said he's not making a penny off his new Fahrenheit 451 stage play, but that it wasn't important because he loved doing it. He talked about how it took forever to get his story "Chrysalis" published, which he wrote in the 1940s, but it didn't matter, because he wrote it out of love. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I've heard someone barrage an audience with the word "love" as much as Bradbury did. But, hey, I can dig it. I think he figures that's the best thing he can do when speaking to people who admire him; if you're in a quandary, go with the option that has "love" written on it. That is important to remember.

Bradbury told some good stories, too. He talked about a conversation he had with Chuck Jones about It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and how he told Jones how disappointing it was that we never actually get to see The Great Pumpkin. Bradbury made a painting of a tree which he showed to Jones, and the two decided to make an animated feature out of it. Unfortunately, Jones and his whole unit lost their jobs shortly afterwards, and it wasn't until 1993 that The Halloween Tree was made into a movie without Jones. But Bradbury seemed pleased with it. This was after he had adapted his original screenplay into a novel.

He talked about working on the screenplay for Moby Dick, and how he couldn't get it right until he looked at himself in a mirror and said, "I am Herman Melville!"

A couple filmmakers joined him onstage and showed clips from their adaptation of "Chrysalis". It looks extremely low budget, but Bradbury seemed pleased.

A woman gave Bradbury a plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex toy which he seemed enormously pleased with.

I'd better get some work done on my comic now. I think there'll be at least two more Comic-Con posts. There're enough experiences in four days of Comic-Con to fill two years, I think.

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