Sunday, July 29, 2007

Comic Con - The Weekend of Neil and more

I'm having some issues uploading images here tonight and I kindof want to get some sleep, so I'll post a few random tidbits from the last couple of days.... (Likely to be updated with some pictures at some point).

J.J. Abrams wearing an infocom t-shirt (woohoo Zork!)

Overhead as I was getting on the escalator going down from the Mezzanine from a mom to her 10 year old son "I am not your pack horse!"

Watching Claudia Christian go up to Neil Gaiman and tell him how much she likes his work and Neil giving Claudia a hug (with Brian Froud looking on somewhat bewildered).

Being accused by J. Michael Straczynski of doing unnatural things with his cat, Buddy... (that's what I get for shouting out "How's buddy doing?" when he asked for a quick question from the audience in his spotlight panel).

Getting to see a preview of the 3D stop motion animation being done for the movie based on Neil Gaiman's Coraline by Henry Selick and getting a signed posted afterwards.

Realizing that my room number, 1602, also had a Neil Gaiman connection (the Marvel series he did a couple of years ago).

Getting a chance to chat with Stan Lee one on one.

Having to choose between way too many things going on at the same time. Although realizing that in order to get into either the Heroes or Galactica panel on Saturday would have required several extra hours of waiting in line, made some decisions easier.

Being sent on secret mission by Peter David (after getting a bunch of stuff signed by him and J.K. Woodward, his artist on the IDW Fallen Angel series)

Realizing that I missed seeing Neil get Snogged by Jonathan Ross at the Eisners (I had gone out with friends to get some real food), thus not having completely stalked Neil all weekend (I missed out on the Beowulf presentation as well due in part to the clueless Paramount booth people).

Being amazed at the people willing to get their head shaved and a Stargate Chevron painted on the back of their heads. I probably need a haircut, but not like that!

Being additionally amused by all the buses with Stargate, Spaceballs Animated, and Dead Like Me ads on them (the Dead Like Me direct to DVD movie was a big surprise since nothing has been announced prior to the con)

Getting to see the new Spock and the original Spock together on stage.

Pointing out to a couple wandering by the autograph line who the authors were and the husband realizing that he went to high school with Harry Turtledove and hadn't seen him for many years.

Having a conversation with someone dressed up as The Question on the down escalator discussing what DC has done with the character in 52.

Having my usual random encounter with Marc Scott Zicree. He was in the Straczynski spotlight panel on Saturday and was in the crush of people around Straczynsk after the panel. I would have stuck around and chatted but wanted to get to the Coraline screening...

That's it for now...

For all sorts of news on the movie and TV side of things at ComicCon, check out The Futon Critics panel blogs and Ain't It Cool News has a lot of reports. I don't yet see any there for the Coraline screening, though...


Friday, July 27, 2007

ComicCon Thursday

I just got back from the preview screening of Stardust with Neil Gaiman and Jane Goldman introducing the movie and doing a short Q&A afterward. I really enjoyed it and will have a more detailed writeup later. As Neil has been explaining, it is like the book, but is different from the book, but is still very good. Like the book is the Earth 1 version of the story and the movie is the Earth 2 version of the story. Definitely worth checking out in the theatre. If it does well it will help to ensure more movies based on Neil's work get made.

A few news tidibits from today.

Sylar is Spock and Spock is Spock
At the Paramount panel today, J.J. Abrams announced that Zachary Quintos (Sylar on Heroes) was playing Spock in the new Star Trek movie and brought him out on stage. After playing with the audience a bit, they then announced that Leonard Nimoy would also be playing Spock and brought him out on stage as well. Full reports can likely be found on Ain't It Cool News and elsewhere.

Dead Like Me reunion movie. According to the reps at the MGM booth, the Dead Like Me DVD movie will bring back the entire cast except for Mandy Pantikin. Replacing him (not sure if it is as a new character or the same character) is Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond on Lost).

Straczynski gets a new project green-lighted?
I caught up with J. Michael Straczynski at his signing this afternoon. While he was in the middle of signing my books and comics, he got a phone call. The call was to inform him that some project had gotten the go ahead and Joe was very pleased to hear that and had a big smile on his face. He confirmed it was good news and also indicated he couldn't say anything about it yet. Maybe we'll get some hints from him tomorrow? (actually later today.)


Thursday, July 26, 2007

ComicCon is Here!

Comic Con International started tonight with Preview Night, with definitely the biggest turnout for preview night I've seen. Tons of people are trying to get to that special booth for a freebie or exclusive or tickets to a screening. There was definitely more stuff going on this preview night with lots of signings at the comics booths and more of the exhibitors doing the exclusives and freebies. I spent most of the night checking booths, grabbing some exclusives and freebies and trying to track down signing information for some of the booths. I did get a chance to chat with some of the artists on hand including Charles Vess, Brian Froud and Kinuko Y. Craft and got some stuff signed by Warren Ellis. I'm glad I did the CBLDF VIP package for the Stardust screening. When Paramount handed out regular passes they were gone in just a couple of minutes.

Biggest bag award goes to Warner Bros for their gigantic Smallville/Doomsday bags.

MGM has buses decorated with stuff for their shows, including this one for Stargate SG-1.
Other busses have ads for Dead Like Me promoting a new direct to DVD movie that I hadn't heard anything about.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A New Blog Post - Catching up and Getting Ready

Lots of things going on right now, almost too many to keep track of as I get ready to head out for ComicCon International. Let's take on the TCA Press Tour and related developments in this post....

TCA Press tour - The annual Television Critics Association press tour has been going on, starting off with cable and going into the networks. You can look at the blogs of a lot of critics by following the links from the TV web site. Others worth checking out in total include:

Michael Ausiello of TV Guide, who's been doing live blogs from the network presentations (I've linked to the July Archives which gets you easy access to most of his reports).

Matt Roush of TV Guide (again, July archive)'s reports & blogs

Maureen Ryan's reports from the Chicago Tribune
Mixed in with her TCA reports are some interviews and such:
Ron Moore on Battlestar Galactica's Razor
Bionic Woman panel report
Torchwood panel and John Barrowman interview

SciFi made several announcements, with associated press releases (with links to the press releases) Online content to include Farscape webisodes
Followup reports have indicated the deal for the Farscape webisodes had just been made and they don't know yet which actors will be involved.

Galactica Razor preview minisodes online and on the channel and other development news
Essentially stuff filmed for Razor that was trimmed from the final broadcast version. More details on Maureen Ryan's report. Also in the SciFi press release is info on shows and miniseries in development including a modern day take on The Odyssey with Ben Browder and Andrew Prowse (Farscape director). Other shows include UFO Hunters from the people who brought you Ghost Hunters.

SciFi Wire has a lot of reports and interviews that have likely come from the TCA sessions. Best way to look at them is to check out the Television and SciFi Channel categories.

A few miscelleaneaous notes on SF TV oriented news and info...

Flash Gordon Pilot now 90 minutes - According to the SciFi Schedulebot, the originally announced two-hour debut of Flash Gordon is now 90 minutes.

Doctor Who Ratings Soft for return. - The SciFi ratings report today on SciFi Wire shows that the debut of Doctor Who did a .9 household rating, which is a bit lower than the run for series two in the spring. Enterpise's Monday night airings are still doing well. Notice that, as has been the case, Painkiller Jane failed to make the top ten, garnering less than a .8 household rating.

Top Ten SciFi Channel Shows

Bruce Almighty 1.4
ECW 1.2
Final Destination 2 1.0
Star Trek Enterprise 1.0
Doctor Who 0.9
Death Valley 0.9
Twilight Zone 0.9
Freddy vs. Jason 0.8
Cabin Fever 0.8
Final Destination 0.8

Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 7/2/07 -- 7/8/07


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Emma & Will on the Road & Westercon Toast

Emma Bull & Will Shetterly started a three week road trip/signing tour at the Poisoned Pen tonight. Both have new books out, Territory for Emma and Gospel of the Knife for Will. Emma sang a few songs and each read a bit from their new novels and then answered some questions. Will talked about how he did this book in a different point of view than most books, which has put some people off of it. He does have it currently available online to read if you want to try it out first (Will is a real pixel-stained technopeasant web scab). Emma talked about how Steven Brust got her interested in Tombstone by dragging them to the movie when it was originally out. Will pointed out that she did a lot of research on the book and the real life events depicted in Territory are probably more accurate than most other accounts that have been publised or dramatized. As always, they were fun to chat with and after they were done they did a bit of looking around the store and picked up a couple of books (which usually happens at the Poisoned Pen for some reason). They will be heading up the West Coast and into Canada over the next few weeks, so try to catch them if they come your way.

Finally, getting my camera hooked up to the computer meant that I also can share this picture from WesterCon 2007 in San Mateo of Toast! (Actually Toastmaster Jay Lake and artist/filmaker/author Frank Wu (wearing the Toast costume) . Jay's new book, Mainspring, has just been released, and he and Frank have recently collaborated on Greetings From Lake Wu.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Its been busy these past few weeks, between moving, unpacking, Westercon, unpacking, catching up on various stuff and getting ready for San Diego ComicCon.

For some reason, I can't put anything into the title for this post....

Westercon in San Francisco was not an overly busy convention or overly crowded. Most of the panels I participated on were sparsely attended, including one with Tad Williams and Tom Galloway where we talked about the DC Universe's recent big events and upheavals and how Tad's work on Aquaman fit into the whole scheme of things. I did get to do a SF TV preview which on Sunday night which was probably the largest crowd of any of the panels I did. One panel where the panelists and the audience were about equal numbers was one about "If I ran a TV network" with Derek McCaw of Fanboy Planet. We talked about a wide range of subjects, not just necessarily much related to the actual topic of the panel.

Also at the Westercon, the Phoenix in 2009 bid for the 2009 Westercon was victorious in the site selection voting. It is FiestaCon and will be held over July 4th weekend in 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.

The latest updates for the SFTV Schedules is now up, including a list of the SFTV oriented panels at the San Diego Comic Con. I'll be there based out of the Arizona SF Conventions table on the Mezzanine where we will be promoting upcoming Arizona SF conventions including the Westercon. Stop by and say hi and pick up a badge ribbon (while they last).