Sunday, July 26, 2009

Comic-Con - Day 3

Saturday is the day I become a fan. Editors are too busy to pitch to, dealing with the thousands of fans that swamp the convention center on Saturday. The big media companies stage their biggest surprises, hoping to create a "buzz" that will be carried by the attendees from the convention like some virus out into the world so that millions of other people will buy or come see what they've done. Rather than try to fight through all that, I walk the dealers floor looking to see if there is something new and interesting I haven't read or I'll go to the panels for the shows and books I want to hear about most. By Saturday night, the serious work of the convention is over and, if I'm lucky, I've restored a fresh glaze of geekiness to my skin to provide protection against the burning rays of "reality" that await me once I leave this particular space-time nexus.

Went to two noteworthy panels on Saturday:

Spotlight on Ray Bradbury - Ray Bradbury was one of the writers that doomed me to a life of imagining people and places that never were, but were still real to me. He turns 89 on August 22nd, and though I've meet him a couple of times, and seen him several more at conventions and lectures, I wanted make sure I saw him again. I was surprised to discover that his theatre company, The Pandemonium Theatre, is located a few minutes away in South Pasadena. He'll be having a birthday celebration at a bookstore called "Mystery & Imagination" in Glendale on the 22nd. They showed a clip of an interview he gave to Mike Wallace on the night men landed on the moon, forty years ago. Though it was somewhat said to see him struggle to hear what was being said and respond, it was clear that his heart still burned with several passions. The most stirring moment came from a question about where the sense of hope in his stories comes from. Ray laughed and said, "Forget hope... I LOVE life. I've always want to see more of it."

Spotlight on J. M. Straczynski - If Joe Straczynski is speaking, I make a point of listening. I enjoy hearing him talk about writing. It inspires me. And I enjoy hearing him talk about what he's working on, the focus of this particularly panel, because it is always cool and something I'll want to see. Right now he's working on a remake of the classic science fiction movie from the 50's, Forbidden Planet. "If you remember the original movie," Joe said, "and the things they didn't reveal to you, that's what we're focusing on." Hmm... There were also some hints about creator controlled comics he'll be working on, and the possibility of a Babylon 5 movie being made ("We're talking... At this point I can guarantee you it either won't be made, or it'll be made right."). Joe is also good for some excellent quotes I like to share with people:

"We're here to be magical. Do what you're afraid of."

"Listen to the quiet turning of your own conscience."

And, from Michaelangelo, "Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle."

This is the type of stuff going to Comic-Con is about.


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