Luckily, I didn’t have long to wait for the first star appearance, since Neil Gaiman was participating on the panel for the DVD and Blu-ray release of the film adaptation of his book, Coraline. In case you aren’t familiar with Neil, you should check out his books Neverwhere and American Gods, or if your taste run more to the ridiculous, Good Omens, which he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett. Some of his writings have been made into movies; the aforementioned Coraline, as well as Stardust and Mirror Mask. He also has a blog that you can find here that I can’t recommend enough.
Neil Gaiman (in the center of the pic)
The panel for Coraline began at 10:30, but I made sure I was there well before, since I was taking no chances with this one. While the panel also featured the director of the film (the same guy who directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, etc.) and Terry Hatcher who voiced one of the characters…I was all about Neil. He didn’t get the chance to say much, since there were a large number of people on the panel, but just being in the same room as his was pretty cool. I mean, I know it’s lame to get all fangirly over someone, and it’s not like I had the chance to speak to him personally, but on that day, in that place, sitting within 30 feet of me, was the guy who has written some of my favorite books! If I didn’t care about being arrested, I could have touched the head that housed the brain that had created stories I have gotten lost within!
It was pretty cool.
And for once, the questions asked by the fans were pretty good. I especially liked when someone asked Neil which book he wished would be adapted for film next. He mentioned that The Graveyard Book was currently being developed (not as scary as it sounds, trust me), but mentioned that American Gods was the one he would like to see as a movie. This, of course, got a big round of applause.
After Neil Gaiman, I was kind of in a blurry glow of happiness, but I had enough wherewithal to get my butt to the next panel early; a sneak-peak at the new Starz show Spartacus: Blood and Sand (which you can find a post about on the tv blog soon). The show looks pretty badass and features Lucy Lawless who was also present on the panel.
But let me just say this: if you ever get the chance to ask a question to the panel in a situation such as this, think VERY CAREFULLY about what you are going to ask. Because the questions here were, frankly, embarrassing. Remember, the people on that panel are there because they are promoting that specific show. Nobody wants to talk about something they did 15 years ago. So, the endless parade of people asking Lucy Lawless about Xena got really old really quickly. Oh, and to the dude who asked, I kid you not, “Do you think you will ever work with Kevin Sorbo again?” Thanks for wasting my time.
After Spartacus, the four of us, me, Rachel, Selvi, and Carly, dashed over and joined the line to get into Ballroom 20 because nothing was going to keep me from the Joss Whedon panels that afternoon. We managed to get in for the panel before it, Bones, and then…it was time. I was about to see Joss Whedon!
The line for Ballroom 20 was so long, we had to wait outdoors, but at least the view was nice!
He came out with no fanfare, just walked out to the podium and introduced the episode of Dollhouse we were about to watch (a super special “lost” episode, in fact). He looked good, bearded, and seemed to have lost some weight. After the screening, he and Eliza Dushku came out and there was an hour long question and answer period.
Joss and Eliza
Joss in person is just what I expected/hoped: funny, clever, self-deprecating, thoughtful, and appreciative of the fans and the success they have brought him. I don’t want to sound lame, but it was really was a big old love fest. We loved him for loving us and he loved us and for loving him, and that’s because none of us got enough love in our childhood. There was a lot of scoop spilled on the show (as usual it will be on the other blog), but it was just cool to sit there and watch him work his dorky mojo. And, unlike the Spartacus panel earlier, all the questions asked were appropriate and addressed things everyone in the room was wondering.
After Joss had finished, it was getting late in the day, but we all decided to stick around for the TV Guide Sci-Fi Hotlist panel that was starting next. We moved up to the front and scored third row seats for a panel that included Zachary Levi, John Cho, Rebecca Romijn, and Scott Wolf (among others). Zach was fun, but honestly we were all a bit wiped.
Me and Carly in Ballroom 20.
After that panel wrapped up, we dragged ourselves back into the streets and found another place to have dinner; a great Italian place recommended by a pair of guys I chatted with while waiting in line to get into Ballroom 20. They were hating on Twilight (which seems these days to be as popular as the books themselves), but I am not one for criticizing other people’s fandoms. Everyone is entitled to geek out about something, right? Anyway, one of these guys had really done his homework and assembled his own Comic Con pocket guide, including a list of restaurants nearby. So we checked out the Italian place at his recommendation and stuffed ourselves with delicious pasta and wine.
All in all, it was a very good day.