Jean Martin features the achievements of Bay Area costumers at the Comic-Con masquerade in her article for the Examiner. And there’s a great photo of Best in Show (and Lucasfilm prize) winner “Project Runway: All Star Wars,” in which all the usual characters’ costumes are rendered more fashionable. (“Use the glue gun, Luke!”) For example, Cordelia Willis in her C-3PO costume looks like she just stepped out of a Busby Berkeley musical.
A Thriller Flash Mob performance is slated for July 14 in San Diego’s Gas Lamp District. It starts at 6 p.m. on 5th Ave. (where the Gas Lamp District sign is.) The theme is “Hawaiian Zombies.”
Check the CStarProductionz site for more information. Here is a video of the group rehearsing before last year’s Thriller performance at the SD County Fair [YouTube].
Twilight fan Gisela Gagliardi, part of a group camping out in advance of the opening of the San Diego Comic-Con, died as a result of stumbling into a moving Subaru Outback as she ran through a busy crosswalk on Tuesday morning, July 10.
The 53-year-old resident of Kingston, NY was taken unconscious to an area hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The driver was questioned by police but not charged, because he had the green light.
Responding to an online petition, Twilight distributors Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment said Gagliardi “will be respectfully remembered this Thursday in Hall H”, where Comic-Con holds many of its major Hollywood-themed events, holds 6000 people.
Fans have been making black ribbons to wear in memory of the accident victim. Also, an online site has been established to raise money for Gagliardi’s funeral expenses.
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]
Comic-Con runs July 12-15 and even though File 770 doesn’t cover it systematically the con is such a big event something always catches my eye.
Bradbury’s traditional Comic-Con appearance will be memorialized by panel discussion about the late writer on Saturday, July 14 –
6:00-7:30 A Tribute to the Legendary Ray Bradbury—Some called him the greatest writer of fantasy of all time. He was a writer of legendary science fiction, an inspiration to generations, and a good friend of Comic-Con. We lost him on June 12, and now many of his friends and colleagues gather to celebrate this extraordinary figure. The guest list is still being finalized as this guide goes to press, but it should include authors William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, Marc Scott Zicree, Joe Hill, and Margaret Atwood, along with figures from the worlds of motion pictures and television. Your hosts are Bradbury biographer Sam Weller (Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury) and Comic-Con special guest Mark Evanier. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Bradbury character. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Then, James Hay has posted his extensive research about Comic-Con happenings that don’t require tickets to the con itself. Here are selected excerpts – his full list on Facebook has at least twice as many entries:
Unmasked! Comic Art in San Diego Revealed (July 7 – 31, Tue – Sat 12 -7, Sun 12 – 5)
Exhibit of art by San Diego area comic artists
Where: Artlab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave.
Darkness and Light: Art Inspired by Heroes & Villains, Hope & Heroism, (July 9 – 15, 9 am – ?)
A collection of original artwork inspired by the universe of DC Comics and its characters, raising Awareness of DC’s “We Can Be Heroes” campaign fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.
Where: Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts 363 Fifth Avenue Suite 102
Gam3rcon (July 11-15, 2012, noon – midnight)
Gaming Convention: Games, Panel Discussions, Art Exhibition, Rooftop parties
G33k Theatre (at Gam3rcon)
- Gam3rs: The Play (Jul 10, 8 pm; Jul 11, 3 pm; Jul 12, 7 pm; Jul 14, 7 pm) – Free with any Gam3rcon membership
- Spider Baby: The Musical (Jul 8, 8 pm; Jul 9, 8 pm; Jul 10, 10 pm; Jul 11, 7 pm; Jul 12: 10 pm; Jul 14, 10 pm; Jul 15; 7 pm) – $20 or $10 with any Gam3rcon membership
- I Wish My Life Was An RPG (Jul 13, 7:30 pm)
All events have limited seating. Seats may be reserved for “Spider Baby” at 619-900-4492.
Where: 10th Avenue Theater, 930 10th Avenue
TRICKSTER (Jul 11, 3 pm – 1 am; Jul 12 – 14, 11 am – 1 am)
Comic book art event: Symposia, animation and live-action short film screenings, signings, drawing events, rooftop terrace with full restaurant menu, DJs, and live music.
Cost: Free, but there is a $40 fee for individual symposia
Buy Symposia Tickets –
(1) Plot Construction
(2) Character Development
(3) World Building
Where: WINE STEALS/PROPER, 795 J. Street
Cartoon Network’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition, (July 11, 11 am – 5 pm; Jul 12 – 14, 11 am – 6 pm)
75 Artists take a close look at cartoons from Hanna-Barbera to the Cartoon Network
Super secret good time party and artist reception: July 14, 6 pm – 11 pm)
Where: JETT Gallery, 989 W. Kalmia St.
Adventure Time: Keyper Seeker Experiencel (Jul 11 – 15, hours vary)
The New Children’s Museum is re-conceptualized to a fully immersive Adventure Time experience, featuring a recreation of the Land of Ooo, riddles, puzzles, and, of course, adventure.
Cost: $10 (?)
Where: The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave.
Nerd Machine HQ (Jul 12 – 15)
Celebrity panels, videos, Video gaming, Vizio tech demos, DJs, Dancing
Cost: General Admission: Free, $20 for each “Conversations for a Cause” panel (money to benefit Operation Smile
Where: Block No. 16 Union and Spirits, 344 7th Avenue (7th and J)
History Channel Cross-Country Cookout (July 12 – 14)
Sample free BBQ and enjoy History Channel entertainment and giveaways.
Local eats from SD favorites Hodad’s and Phil’s BBQ from 5:30 – 8:30pm on July 12th and 13th.
Where: 80-foot Ultimate Smoker and Grill Truck, Parking lot at 100 Island Ave
Haunted Hotel (July 13 – 14, 7 pm – 11 pm)
The haunted attraction opens once again for Comic-Con
Cost: $16.99 (Cash only)
Where: 424 Market Street (4th and Market)
Space Art Show (Jul 14 – 28, hours vary)
Where: Space Travelers Emporium, 1947 30th St.
All ages are welcome.
Final Leg of the Course of the Force, 5 day run (Jul 11th, 7am – 12:30 pm)
Join a Olympic Torch-like run (carrying a light saber) event to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation
Where: Runs from Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach to Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
Cost: $500 for ¼ mile segment (it’s for charity folks), Free to watch
(Register as runner at https://events.trustevent.com/templates/index.cfm?fuseaction=templates.home&eid=1011)
Runners will receive a Star Wars Ultimate FX lightsaberTM along with other gifts celebrating the Force.
Readers Day at the Wired Café, (Jul 12, 11 am – 5 pm)
Wired fans are invited to an event featuring gadgets and gaming, specialty cocktails, WIRED WiFi and charging stations, new arts and entertainment releases.
Cost: Free RSVP for tickets to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: 6th floor of Omni Hotel, 675 L Street
W00tstock 4.0, (Jul 12, 7pm)
A night of Geeks and Music with Will Wheaton, Adam Savage, Paul and Storm, Bonnie Burton, Marion Call, The Doubleclicks, Rob Reid and more
Cost: $44.65 including Ticketmaster fee
(Buy Tickets at W00tstock 4.0http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0A004849DC314148?brand=balboatheatre&CAMEFROM=CFC_SDCIVIC)
Where: Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
Ages 6 year and older
San Diego Symphony Summer Pops – The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess (July 12, 8:00 pm)
Cost: $20 – $76 (Buy Tickets at http://www.sandiegosymphony.org/calendar/view.aspx?id=3081)
Where: Embarcadaro Marina Park South, Foot of Marina Park Way behind convention center.
Munky King Carnival, (July 12, 8 – 11 pm)
Party featuring games, shooting gallery and artists
Preceded by the Designer Toy Award Nomination announcements from 7:30 to 8 PM
Where: Bar Basic, 410 Tenth Ave.
March for Undead Rights, (July 13th, 5:30 pm)
San Diego Zombie Walk stages a walk through the Gaslamp in protest of discrimination against the undead.
300 marchers will receive tickets to the Con of the Dead Party (Below)
Cost: Free (Come in zombie costume/makeup, bring protest sign)
Where: Walk starts at 4th and Broadway (do not arrive before 4:30 pm)
The Nerdist Podcast Live! (Jul 13, 7pm)
Chris Hardwick’s popular podcast on all things Nerdy does presented live with Jonah Ray & Matt Mira
Cost: $31.50 Reserved Seating advanced sale including Ticketmaster fee (Buy Tickets at http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0A00488AEAB74BAB?brand=balboatheatre&CAMEFROM=CFC_SDCIVIC)
Where: Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian and James Hay for the links.]
There will be a Ray Bradbury Tribute at Comic-Con in the 4,000 seat room on Thursday, July 11 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Bradbury biographer Sam Weller will be putting it together. More details as they become available.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]
Last February 5 tickets to San Diego’s Comic-Con International 2011 sold out in seven hours. The company running the online registration system admitted it was overwhelmed by record demand and crashed more than once.
The con is making changes in an attempt to satisfy more members in 2012. The two main ones involve pricing and a new membership ID system.
Comic-Con has stopped offering a discount for 4-day badge purchases in hopes more people will purchase only the days they actually will be attending, leaving more badges available for others.
Then, everyone who intends to purchase, apply, or register for a Comic-Con badge must sign-up for a Comic-Con Member ID.
A Comic-Con FAQ attempts to minimize the confusion over its new terminology:
I still don’t understand – What is the difference between Member IDs, badges, and tickets?
A Comic-Con badge is required for entry to any Comic-Con event. This is the physical badge you will wear at Comic-Con.
Additionally, a Member ID account is required to purchase, apply, or register for a badge for Comic-Con. The Member ID will act as your “login” to the EPIC online registration system when it at a later date.
Without a Member ID you will not be able to log on to the EPIC online registration system and purchase a badge, nor complete a press, professional, trade professional or volunteer application.
Comic-Con does not sell “tickets” to our event. After you register for a Member ID and purchase your badge through EPIC online registration, you will receive a barcode confirmation e-mail that you will bring onsite to exchange for a badge.
I did not find the date for open online registration posted on any of the pages linked above; perhaps it has yet to be revealed. Conrunners will be watching with interest to see how the giant of the sf/fantasy field fares this year.
Richard Alf, co-founder of San Diego’s Comic-Con, died January 4 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 59.
While Shel Dorf had the vision for first Comic-Con in 1970, Alf’s contributions were indispensible – he fronted the money, up to several thousand dollars, for the first three cons and was paid back later. Alf’s VW was an essential asset, too, another co-founder, Mike Towry, told UT San Diego because Dorf and the others didn’t have cars in those days.
Alf co-chaired the first Comic-Con, then was sole chair of the 1971 edition which he brought to UC San Diego. There he was able to offer attendees dorm rooms at discounted rates. However, reports UT San Diego the arrangement was not a complete success:
“Unfortunately,” Alf told KPBS-FM in 2010, “they had booked us in with other study groups. There was a Montessori study group there, there were some other study groups there in the same dorms with us, and they’d interspersed us on different floors. And so it was just a matter of people couldn’t get to sleep at night because there were — this constant activity going 24 hours a day.”
Towry and Alf co-chaired the 1972 event, moving it to the El Cortez hotel.
Richard Alf was the son of Edward F. Alf Jr., a psychology professor at SDSU from 1963 until 1988, and Martha Alf, an artist. Alf is survived by his mother.
[Via Steven H Silver, Airlock Alpha, and the Associated Press.]
Almost 200 pages of original drawings were stolen from a car belonging to pro comic book artist Brent Anderson the day after Comic-Con ended. Anderson is best known for Astro City.
While Anderson was visiting the San Diego Zoo a thief broke into his Honda Civic and took a black zippered slipcase containing four portfolios of art. He theorizes on his blog:
I don’t believe it was anyone from the recently ended Comic-con who stole my artwork. I believe it was an opportunistic smash-and-grab by someone looking for money or jewelry, not comics art. (They stole our luggage containing our dirty clothes and toiletries.) The thieves left behind three of the Itoya portfolios of art which were in plain sight right next to where the stolen slipcase was. If they’d specifically wanted the art, they would have taken those, too.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]
Warner’s main studio operation is bringing nothing. Ditto Disney and DreamWorks. The Weinstein Company, a perennial presence, will also sit this one out. Even Marvel Entertainment, whose panel for “The Avengers” was a highlight of Comic-Con 2010, is on the fence about whether it will mount a major presentation.
Comic-Con, as a growing number of movie marketers are realizing, has turned into a treacherous place. Studios come seeking buzz, but the Comic-Con effect can be more negative than positive.
Whoa, baby! Surely you don’t mean that fans might do something more than just mindlessly cheer the promos? That would be a dangerous trend for sure. How long ago did that start? In the middle of the trailer for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis?
David Glanzer, Comic-Con’s director or marketing, takes the view that these studios’ absence amounts to nothing more than a blip on the radar: “Not every studio comes every year.” And well might he do so, for other big studios will be on hand. Universal will be coming to promote Cowboys & Aliens, Paramount will roll the new Tintin movie, Twentieth plans to hype Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Sony wants to raise big expectations for The Amazing Spiderman, still a year away from theaters.
This is the internet of our discontent.
Fans complain when an e-commerce site crashes and keeps them from making a desired purchase.
They also complain when a site works with perfect efficiency.
There ain’t no justice!
Tickets to San Diego’s Comic-Con International 2011 sold out in seven hours last Saturday, February 5. Internet and TV news outlets made breathless reports that the overwhelming demand crashed the online ticketing system three times. Fans vented their frustration about repeatedly getting “Over Capacity” error messages.
Ticket Leap reached out with technical explanations about why their system was not prepared for the unprecedented strain:
In 2009, [Comic-Con] sold out after 6 months. In 2010, it sold out in 2 months. On Saturday, Comic-Con International 2011 sold out in 7 HOURS (200x faster than last year if you’re keeping track). Needless to say, the demand was unbelievable, reaching a peak of 403,000 page requests per minute and a total of more than 35 million total page requests throughout the day.
An interesting contrast to the Comic-Con ticket story is what happened the first day that the 2011 Worldcon accepted online hotel reservations.
Renovation’s hotels the Atlantis, Peppermill and Courtyard by Marriott began taking online reservations on January 18. The Atlantis is the designated party hotel and it’s the closest to the convention center, to which it’s inked by an air-conditioned sky bridge. Doubtless these attributes are the why fans reserved every available room in the Atlantis on the first day.
When that happened a few fans felt the committee deserved criticism, yet it’s hard to pin down what they ought to be blamed for. Quite unlike Comic-Con’s situation, fans wanting to reserve a room for the Worldcon seemed to have no trouble getting through to request reservations. And I personally think that was the story. No system crash. Information readily available. Either people were able to make reservations where they wanted, or they immediately found out their first choice was unavailable and they needed to pick an alternative.
That’s an infinitely better situation than the days of paper forms when it’d be weeks before you found out whether the tourist bureau had put you in your first choice or somewhere else. (That’s right! When I was your age we didn’t have the internet, we had to walk 20 miles through the snow to…) And rooms are still available at the other official Worldcon hotels.
However, all the Comic-Con tickets are gone. Honestly, beneath the media’s surface treatment of this as a pop culture consumer crisis the stories really seemed to be a coded celebration of Comic-Con’s commercial prowess. So many people want tickets they broke the computer!
Surely Comic-Con’s organizers must be delighted when news coverage increases the pressure felt by the City of San Diego to do whatever it takes to keep the event in town for the long term. Because overshadowing last weekend’s story about frustrated ticket customers is the fact that an enormous number of people do have tickets and will be coming in July to enrich the local economy.