|A Science Fiction Fanzine||Winter 2008|
Review by Charles Mohapel
A field report from a survivor of the 2007 San Diego
Comic-Con (July 25 – 29)
I was sitting in the Eureka panel when I realized that the disposable cell phone I had bought was no longer clipped to my belt and I rushed back to the Radical Publishing booth. I asked about my cell phone, figuring that the mosh pit crowd had caused the clip to come undone, but alas, my new phone was MIA. Hopeful to the last, I gave them my cell number and they promised to call it until someone answered.
While waiting to talk to the people at Radical Publishing, I noticed Steve Austin sitting quietly by himself in the shadows behind one of their giant signs. Not at all like his wrestling persona, he is very laid back and easy to talk to. I asked him what he was working on since Condemned and he said he was looking for a good script. When I followed up with “Would you consider doing a period piece like Dwayne The Rock Johnson?”, he asked me what I meant. I replied that I was referring to movies like The Scorpion King and he said that if the script was good, he’d do it.
After this brief chat I went to the Lost & Found desk but my cell phone wasn’t among the 3 they had.
Friday evening ended pleasantly with the “Babylon 5: The Lost Tales - Voices in the Dark” panel, featuring a slimmed down J. Michael Straczynski (Writer/Director/Executive Producer), Bruce (President John Sheridan) Boxleitner, Tracy (Captain Elizabeth Lochley) Scoggins, Peter (Galen, the Technomage) Woodward, Douglas Netter (Executive Producer), and Samm Barnes (Producer). Airing a few clips from this DVD production was enough to bring the gathered throng to a great fervour.
The first thing I did Saturday morning was return to the Lost & Found desk, but my phone was still missing. Upon arriving at Radical Publishing, I received the news that a kid had found it and when they called the phone, he had answered and said he would bring it to Lost & Found. I finally hit pay dirt when I returned a third time and discovered that the kid had been true to his word.
Given that the prepaid Tracphone was a reconditioned Motorola C361, it is most definitely old technology, it’s not really worth keeping to a kid who probably has a Motorola Razr or LG Chocolate phone, but it was a way of keeping in touch with my roommates. Thank God for honest kids.
Overall, Saturday proved to be a rude slap in the face to all the fans like myself who were unable to get into Ballroom 20 due to the fact that people who showed up for the exclusive screening of the pilot for the new version of The Bionic Woman, stayed for The TV Guide Hot List, and had settled in for the Heroes panel. I’m far from the only person who thinks that the larger rooms like Hall H, Ballroom 20, and Room 6ABCDEF should be cleared completely between panels. I would make an exception in rare cases like having Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate Atlantis panels back-to-back.
Despite having a first Comic-Con experience that rivalled a roller coaster ride and encountering big problems that may or may not be solved easily, Comic-Con 2007 was a very pleasurable convention, filled with great personal memories and bags packed with loads of posters and assorted freebies. Barring something beyond my control, I plan on returning in 2008.
With 123,000 attendees in 2006 and more than 125,000 in 2007, concerns have been voiced publicly that the event has simply become too massive for the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con's home through at least 2012. I want to know whether they will expand to one or two nearby hotels, or more likely, cap memberships at a more manageable figure between 100,000 and 120,000.