Comic-Con Blog

From Paradise to the Geek Prom

The Voyage Home

En Route

We’re aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 803 from LAX to HNL. We left about a half hour late, as the crew scrambled to untangle an overbooked plane. Fortunately they found enough volunteers to move to a later flight on Hawaiian Airlines. They were also offering $250 upgrades to First Class, which we seriously considered… but I figured we should save that money for our annual trip to the Big Island.

The last couple of days have been crazy, and I haven’t been able to blog. (Did Twitter and Flickr, though!) Sure, there were hours in line, but with great friends and people surrounding us, there was too much good conversation and no downtime at all to start tapping furiously away on my iPhone.

Definitely like the native WordPress app, though. It’s pretty good for blogging on the go, and can only get better. With a long flight ahead of us, though, I’m back on my trusty MacBook.

Friday Flashback

On Friday, we got an earlier start, but not that much earlier. I got the bright idea to take the trolley to Fashion Valley Mall to try and find someplace to eat for breakfast before going down to the Convention Center. We found out the hard way that Fashion Valley Mall, like most malls, doesn’t open until 10 a.m. Our only option was a Starbucks, and I wasn’t about to “eat” someplace that ubiquitous.

We hopped back on the trolley heading south, and Plan B was to stop in Old Town again, where we’d found a decent breakfast the day before. But there were crowds of Comic-Con attendees at every trolley stop, and within a couple of stops it was standing room only. People weren’t able to climb aboard. By the time we’d reached Old Town, we knew that if we got off, we’d never get back on.

So, Plan C, we arrived at the Convention Center, which was again swarming with people. From the helicopters passing overhead (news choppers?), the giant center probably looked like a sticky piece of candy covered with ants. We headed in the opposite direction into downtown, committed to finding food.

We ended up at a too-cool-for-school bar and restaurant called Soleil-K. And, with seats on the sidewalk, it was fun to watch a parade of costumed con attendees go past. But there were also smokers present, and the service was slow, and the food was terrible (unless “over easy” means “raw” in San Diego lingo). If we’d gone across the street to Subway, we’d have been happier and fed within 10 minutes. Instead we lost the better part of an hour.

Still, Comic-Con beckoned, and we made our way over.

Wait. Did I cover Friday already? Um. I think so. But not the morning. I guess I disliked Soleil-K so much I wanted to be sure I mentioned it.

Fast forward, then, through Richard Hatch and the “Showrunners” panel, Jen’s inexplicable selection of a “Pea Standing Up” doll for Katie, the Jacuzzi, and waking up at 3 a.m. Ahem.

Last Day, “LOST” Panel

On Saturday, I reluctantly woke Jen at 4:45 a.m., and we dragged ourselves to the lobby to catch our taxi to the Convention Center. Fortunately, there was absolutely no traffic, and our driver dropped us off right in front of the center shortly after 5 a.m. There were probably 200 people in line already, several from the night before, stretching from the entrance to the center to the east lawn. Fortunately, Jay and Jack, Colleen and John, Ralph and Ben, John, Sidne, Alirio and Jana were already there.

They had told the folks behind them of our impending arrival, but to make nice, I handed out some macadamia nuts. Even though they were “Heroes” fans.

See, because Hall H was hosting both “Heroes” and “LOST” panels, the huge line was packed with fans of both shows, both sides likely annoyed with the number of fans of the other show taking up valuable space. There was a lot of good-natured ribbing, but fortunately no fistfights.

Trip

The next four hours consisted of standing (and sitting) in line. And there’s really not much to say about that. The sun came up, folks snuck off to bring back food, a few other people found their way into our party. The Twitter users among us basically tweeted variations on “still in line” for most of the morning. Lots of great conversation, though. Including reports of where the end of the line was. By 9 a.m., folks were saying it had reached Seaport Village. That’s to the waterfront, past the Hyatt hotel, where Jen and I had our fancy dinner.

One high point? Getting a text message from a “Transmission” listener who had heard my cell phone number on our show. He said he was in line and wondered if he could meet us. I texted back our location, and he was only 15 or so people behind us. He came over with his brother and was incredibly nice. They were bubbling with questions about the podcast and Hawaii. It was only when he handed over his business card, though, that things got really interesting.

I noticed it had an NFL logo on it. And his position was referee. And I might not know nothing about sports, but I knew Jay and Jack loved sports, so I handed the card to Jay. And his face lit up. And he yanked Jack over immediately.

Trip

The man was Ed Hochuli, NFL Referee #85. And he’s apparently widely know as “the buff one.” Jay and Jack were fans, and beside themselves… even moreso when Ed and his brother professed love for their show as well.

(Sorry, Ed’s brother. I forgot your name. And I hate that I did, because I bet that happens a lot with Ed, and I knew you’d hate that so I tried extra hard to remember.)

We also saw “LOST” blogging superstar Anil, a.k.a. “The ODI,” who was, of course, far ahead of us in line. He gave us SDCC ODI T-shirts and took some video of the group.

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At around 9:30, the line started moving. In fits and starts. It took a while, but then almost suddenly we were flowing freely like a river into the Convention Center and into Hall H. And Hall H was, as promised, massive. Seating for 6,500, and a long, long walk to the front, which is fortunately about where we found seats. Center section, about 15 rows back. Considering there were probably 500 or so rows of seats, that wasn’t bad at all.

Trip Trip

There was still a long wait until the “Heroes” program began. Signs for the “Save Log Carrying Guy ’08” were handed out, and Jay set up a three-way “Super Mario Kart” game with Jen and Colleen. I think it was the first time we ever used the network feature on the Nintendo DS.

I did, at one point, have to visit the men’s room. And was amused to find a long line, whereas the women’s room had none. Comic-Con, it seems, is one place where being in the gender minority has some benefit.

Finally the lights dimmed. Cheers erupted. They showed some promotional stuff on the huge screens, one bragging that the huge screens were showing “true HD video.” They also promoted the Blu-Ray versions of the “Heroes Season 1 and 2” DVDs.

Finally someone came out, and… stalled for time. Apparently there were still people missing backstage. He played the usual auditorium stalling games, including the section-by-section scream contest. Then, he sprinted off stage, and when he returned, he brought the entire cast of “Heroes” with him.

Now, we might have lost our interest in “Heroes,” but in terms of giving fans what they wanted out of Comic Con, they pulled out all the stops. There must have been fifteen actors there. Zachary Quinto. Hayden Pantierre. Cristine Rose. Milo Ventimiglia. Greg Grunberg (who kept his own camera pointed at the audience the whole time). Ali Larter. Masi Oka. James Kyson Lee. And more. And god bless Jen for being to remember even that much.

Then they showed the premiere episode of the upcoming “Season 3: The Villans.” The episode was titled “The Second Coming.” There were some surprises. There were some funny lines. But really, there was much of the same from the previous two seasons, including forehead-slapping predictability and time-travel games that conveniently allowed tweaking of things that had come before. Still, I tried to respectfully report bits and pieces on Twitter, and heard back from a few fans who were grateful (if somewhat spoiled) for it.

The “Heroes” panel Q&A was, of course, short, given that most of their time was taken by the episode. There were a couple of pretty bad fan questions (including one woman who, despite Rule Number One, asked to take a photo with Ventimiglia. He still humored her). Two folks who came to the mic stumbled so badly they were literally booed away by the audience. The best question wasn’t even a question – a young boy, maybe seven years old, came up just to say, “Silo, you’re the most awesome villain ever!”

He meant Sylar (Zachary Quinto). But for the last moments of the panel, Quinto insisted his name was Silo.

When “Heroes” wrapped, a fair chunk of the audience left. More than I would have expected, at least. I concede to being surprised that there were that many “Heroes” fans in the room… and that many didn’t feel like seeing what was up with “LOST” even after waiting hours for their seats. The room quickly filled up again, though.

The “LOST” presentation was great, too. Like “Heroes,” part show, part Q&A. Much of the program was devoted to setting the stage for the DHARMA Initiative-based ARG that’s apparently going to lead up to the start of Season 5. The sponsor of the presentation, for example, was the newly reconstituted DHARMA Initiative. They showed some of the video clips taken in the DHARMA Initiative recruiting booth (including a clip of John, saying the animal with which he most identified was the owl), and brought out Hans Von Eegen, who declared the candidates to be “pathetic… stuck in a state of arrested development.”

For the Q&A, it was Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Their shtick was to give away a prize to everyone who asked a question, picking a prize to match the question. Sidne (who also got a plug in for “Save Log Carrying Guy ’08”) asked about Richard Alpert, and she got a shirt that said, “I asked a Richard Alpert question and all I got was this stupid T-shirt.” Someone wasted a question asking when Season 5 started — you know, stuff that everyone already knew — and he got a “LOST” calendar. And someone else complained that the flashback-flashforward switcheroo in “Ji Yeon” was cheating. He was heckled, and Damon and Carlton gave him… the “Heroes” DVD set.

Hilarious.

In short, though, the audience questions were pretty weak. There was even a repeat question from the “Showrunners” panel the day before. But, podcast listener Stuart — once again dressed as Hurley — asked a good question about Daniel Faraday. They said his notebook contains things that happened and that will happen, and will factor heavily in Season 5. For his question, he got a big tub of DHARMA Ranch Dressing.

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Another prize was the Jack (Matthew Fox) action figure. Cuse and Lindeloff got into an argument about how accurately it depicted the actor. And sure enough, to much screaming, they brought Matthew Fox on stage.

Of course, because question askers lined up before he appeared, not one question came up for him. Someone called him “actor guy” before asking his question of Cuse and Lindeloff.

What else? Here on the plane are the other things that come to mind:

  • Kate will see Sawyer again.
  • No comment on what will happen to Kate and Jack (see item number one).
  • We have not seen the last of Locke and Jin.
  • Danielle Rousseau’s story will be told, but not in a traditional flashback or flashforward.
  • Vincent (the dog) is fine and will make it to the end of the series.
  • They will explain Daniel Faraday’s tie.
  • The Season 4 DVDs will include a feature to watch all the flash forwards in chronological order.

The panel ended with a video “stolen” from the DHARMA booth, a “classified” video featuring Dr. Marvin Candle, a.k.a. Pierre Chang. He recorded a message before “The Purge” to viewers in the future (where George W. Bush is president and where people use the Internet), discussing their imminent demise and the need to resurrect the DHARMA Initiative.

All too soon, the “LOST” show was over, and we flowed out into the blinding sunlight. Out of curiousity we went to see how long the line for the “Battlestar Galactica” panel was. It was long. So we headed up to the Sails Pavillion to catch up and rest with our friends.

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Ralph, Ben, and associates recorded their panel, and Jen foraged for something to eat. I uploaded the audio from the “LOST” panel. Then, we hit the expo floor again for some last-minute shopping. We got some stuff for the kids at the Mattel booth, and bumped into Jay and Jack at the “Ghostbusters” booth. Ultimately we followed them up to their room for their “LOST Podcast with Jay and Jack” panel.

There was a long line waiting to get in. Jay was giddy. He ran down the line with his video camera. We waited for the “Little Lulu” panel to get out, and then the crowed flowed in. It was standing room only, well over a hundred people in attendance. And Jay and Jack graciously invited Ralph, Ben, Jen and I up on stage to be on a full panel with them.

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And it was great. It was all Q&A. And really, the questions were as much sharing theories as they were asking for our thoughts. Jen was a little shell-shocked to be in front of such a huge crowd, but she did great. It was over way too soon. I ended up literally throwing macadamia nuts to people in the room. Outside, listeners pulled us and the other podcasters aside to take pictures with us. It was surreal, and humbling.

We said our goodbyes there, surrounded by our fellow podcasters, our friends, our listeners, absolutely feeling our before-dawn start time but aching mostly with gratitude for having had such a great time, and for having the sage guidance and advice from those that had done Comic-Con before. As I told Jay, we would have been chewed up and spit out the first day had it not been for everyone’s help.

Before we left, I did a short interview with Nelson Wong for AARising, and we made one last run through the expo floor. Then we flowed out onto the streets of San Diego, happy, fulfilled, and hungry.

Once again, another plan. Hop the trolley to Mission Valley and find someplace to eat. And, for once, the plan worked. At Mission Valley, we walked and walked in search of food, ending up back at In-N-Out burger. The place where our Comic-Con adventure began on Wednesday. We had another Double-Double combo (Jen’s straight up, mine with onions but no sauce), and walked all the way back to the trolley station.

Back at the hotel, we couldn’t resist hitting the indoor pool and Jacuzzi again. It was heavenly.

Finally, we packed, got our travel documents in order (requiring only a small fiasco at the hotel business center), and turned in for the night. We woke up at a wholly reasonably 8 a.m., and started our journey home.

Escape from L.A.X.

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I figured we’d grab the trolley down to Old Town before taking a cab to the airport, since Old Town was definitely closer to the airport than Hazard Center, and we still had our trolley passes. But the concierge told us about the nearest stop, which was located next to several rental car offices.

We climbed aboard, along with several people on their way to the last day of Comic-Con. Sure enough, at our stop, an Alamo rental car shuttle was waiting. We looked as much like Alamo customers as we could, and got on without a hitch. We got dropped off at the LAX Commuter Terminal three hours before our flight at 12:20 p.m., and hopefully asked to catch an earlier one.

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We didn’t get on the next flight to leave at 10:20, so we settled in for some breakfast. Which, honestly, wasn’t the worst breakfast we had in San Diego. (Again, that’s Soleil-K. Suckers.) And, on the 11:20 flight, they had room for us. Hooray!

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Except there was a problem with an overhead compartment door, and we were delayed for half an hour. Still, that gave us an extra half hour in LAX to make our connecting. No problem, right?

Well, landing at LAX, it was clear we were very, very far from our Northwest gate. I couldn’t find any interior shuttle signage like we did when we last came through, and when I asked a security guard, he directed us downstairs to catch the “A Bus” or blue line to Terminal 2, on the other side of the airport.

Turns out that meant actually leaving the airport, climbing on a bus that wove in and out of L.A. airport traffic, and eventually reentering via yet another TSA security check point. We survived, but Twittered our frustration. We got to our gate with 40 minutes to spare.

I’m pretty sure that if we’d taken our original flight from SAN to LAX, we wouldn’t have made it.

But we did. And we’re coming home.

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July 27, 2008 Posted by | Updates | 6 Comments

The Transmission Special Report: LOST Panel

This special edition of “The Transmission” features the audio from the “LOST” panel. Danielle Rousseau’s story, Daniel Faraday’s notebook and tie, and Vincent. Held in cavernous Hall H, the presentation featured both questions and answers as well as video clips and performances relating to the Dharma Initiative ARG. Warning: Adult language, not all of it from the stage.

MP3 File

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Updates | 4 Comments

Darkness Before Dawn

It’s 3 a.m. PDT. I just had a weird dream about an underwater park. Not a park dedicated to oceanography, but a regular ol’ neighborhood park that just happened to be underwater, and enjoyed in that state. And now I’m awake and can’t get back to sleep. So I figured I’d update just to wrap up our Friday at Comic-Con. We’re supposed to be up in under two hours anyway.

The Entertainment Weekly “Visionaries: The Showrunners” panel was great. With five other TV shows represented on the panel, I was sure “LOST” was going to be only periodically mentioned. But I clearly underestimated the power of “LOST” fandom. Jeff Jensen, the moderator, actually started the event warning fans not to ask boneheaded questions about “LOST.” Even the other (essentially sidelined) panelists joked about “LOST” — said one, “I feel like a Pip.” And when the line for the microphone opened up, the members of the panel jokingly counted them out: “That one’s for ‘LOST,’ ‘LOST,’ ‘LOST,’ ‘Gossip Girl,’ ‘LOST…'”

Some of them were familiar names: “Tapdawg,” who’s been a video madman, and fellow “LOST” podcaster Jo of “JOpinionated.”

Overall, a bad scene for fans of “Pushing Daisies,” but great for “LOST” fans like us.

Memorable moment? Damon Lindelof was talking about the “LOST” universe outside of what’s shown on TV: mobisodes, ARGs, and the like. He said something to the effect of, “Average viewers aren’t going to give a shit.” As his answer continued, the next panelist pointed at a note on the table in front of them, and he trailed off and then read it out loud. “Please be aware that some members of your audience may be under 18 years of age.” So no cursing? “You guys are fucked.”

After the panel, “Podcasters Row” regrouped outside and plotted their next steps. Many were going to join the line right then for another EW panel at 6 p.m., then stay in place for a Kevin Smith appearance to follow. Jen and I, knowing an early morning awaited us on Saturday, opted out of any more programming and wished everyone well.

I ended up grabbing a spot on the floor in a large hallway next to a power outlet to quickly upload the audio from the “Showrunners” panel. Well, sort of quickly. I used my EVDO modem rather than the Convention Center’s overtaxed free Wi-Fi, but it still took over 40 minutes. While I did that, Jen braved the expo floor to do some shopping for the kids.

She came back with a couple of boxes of LEGO for the boys, and a stuffed “Pea” and matching necklace for Katie. The “Pea” was basically a green dot with legs. Jen had no idea what it was but thought it looked cute. We visited the website, and found a lot of “Pea” jokes. If you know what I mean. I thought it was cute, too, but we’ll see how Katie reacts. I think it’ll just further reaffirm her frustrated lament, “My parents are weird.”

We then headed out to find dinner. Our first thought was to jump the trolley to Mission Valley to see what the dining options were there (and end up at In-N-Out if it came to that). But after seeing a mob at the trolley station, we decided to walk The Gaslamp District instead. And I’m glad we did. Definitely a flashy, noisy, touristy area, but still an interesting place with great energy. We walked past dozens upon dozens of restaurants, nightclubs and bars, and stores (including a Hilo Hatties and a Longs Drugs!).

Jen spotted a pizza place, and that was it. We crossed over to Ciro’s Pizza on Market Street and 6th, where we got two slices of New York-style pizza and a 20 oz. drink for $6. Considering what we’d paid for our romantic dinner on the waterfront the night before, it was a fantastic deal. We sat out on the sidewalk and watched the Geek Parade flow past.

When we finished, we decided to undo all our dinner savings and hop a cab back to the hotel rather than finding and taking the trolley. Finding a cab, though, was an adventure as well. Every time we spotted one or two on a nearby corner, we’d walk there only to find none. Finally by chance, one dropped of a fare where we were standing, and we hopped in.

He warned that rush-hour traffic was upon us, but we didn’t mind. We whipped through downtown and onto Highway 5 north. About 20 minutes later we were back at Hazard Center. It cost about the same as our trip from the airport, which made sense only when we passed the airport en-route. I clearly haven’t quite figured out the layout of this city.

Back at the room, we just stretched out and relaxed. Then, on a whim, we decided to check out the pool. The heated indoor pool. It was wonderful, and we had it all to ourselves. Then we hopped out and jumped into the jacuzzi, where we met another nice Comic-Con couple that had come down from Northern California.

Of course we talked about Comic-Con. They were pseudo veterans of the event, attending since the days it was held at the Civic Center (but not in the dim hotel basement). They confessed to being disappointed this year, primarily because of the crowds. Each year Comic-Con gets larger and larger, this year being the biggest yet. They said the lines were unmanageable and left thousands of fans unfulfilled… something we certainly saw time and time again. Their experience today with the autograph line for “Red Sonja” was exactly the opposite of our (much more modest) experience with Richard Hatch. In short, standing in line for two hours in advance of something you wanted to see was no longer enough – this year’s average mark was probably four hours. That knocks out half a day for one thing, and that one thing may fill up anyway.

We confessed we’d be there before 6 a.m. this morning, but that we’d be behind hundreds of people that were camping overnight. They said the turning point was the year when Angelina Jolie showed up. From their description of the madness, I believe it. Back in 2003, attendance was an eye-popping 80,000. This year? 120,000.

And the problem, they said, really wouldn’t be solved by more space. Hall H is already cavernous and is devoid of any of the intimacy and direct contact Comic-Con was once known for. And Comic-Con would be drowned into insignificance in a place like Las Vegas (whereas it becomes a keystone event for the city of San Diego), and would be surrounded by “really bad things” in L.A.’s Staples Center (whereas San Diego is just beautiful). Basically, registration would have to be limited… either by numbers smaller than the caps set for this sellout year, or by raising registration prices.

I had to admit, paying $75 for four-day access seemed like a steal. I’ve attended conferences that cost $500 to attend, and ran conferences that cost $7,000 to attend. And none were as huge or chock-full of stuff as Comic-Con. While clearly young kids with limited resources might be priced out, I could easily see paying $300 for our four-day pass.

It was nice to get a historic perspective and a local’s view of Comic-Con (they were originally from San Diego). And in yet another small-world moment, the wife had once lived in Hawaii.

As the sun set, we headed back up to our room for a hot shower and more unabashed lounging. After a quick phone interview with Burt “Bytemarks” Lum and L.P. “InfinityPro” Faleafine (also starring fellow con-er Jonathan “HAWYN316” Wong), we turned in and slept like babies.

Until my weird dream.

Here’s one of the only non-iPhone photos I got today:

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More photos here!

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Updates | , , | 5 Comments

The Transmission Special Report: Visionaries Panel

This special edition of “The Transmission” features the audio from the Entertainment Weekly “Visionaries – Showrunners” panel on Friday. Panel members were Carlton Cuse (Lost), Damon Lindelof (Lost), Josh Schwartz (Chuck, Gossip Girl), Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles). “LOST” fans were an unstoppable force, and despite moderator Jeff Jensen’s best efforts to steer conversation towards all panelists equally, most of the conversation was about our favorite show. Topics included the writers strike, mobisodes and web content, Warning: Adult language at 15:30 minute mark… but it’s funny.

MP3 File

July 25, 2008 Posted by | Updates | Leave a comment

Stumbling Towards Geekery

We’re in the animated “Spiderman” panel. It’s a full house now, though we just walked in during the “Marvel/B.E.T.” panel. We were bad and saved seats, and are now with Jay and Jack Glatfelter, Colleen McAllister, John Norton, “Chris In Boston,” Clif, and Adam McLearan from San Francisco. It’s podcaster’s row! Also in the room is Jo “JoJopinionated” and Anil “TheODI.” And plenty others of course.

We’re all here waiting for the EW “Showrunners” panel with Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse of “LOST” (plus folks from “Chuck,” “Gossip Girl,” etc.).

We thought we’d get an earlier start today. Woke up and headed out before 8:30. Decided to try and find breakfast at Fashion Valley, so took the trolley one stop over.

Turns out the mall opened at 10 a.m.

We went back to the trolley station, and got a first taste of the Friday crowd. The platform was full. the first trolley that came by was so full, no one got on. We squeezed onto the second.

Our second idea was to breakfast at Old Town again, but we knew if we got off we’d never get back on. So we rode all the way in. Sure enough, by Old Town, no one was getting on (or off).

We talked to a Pouson Ivy and Harley Quinn on the trolley. They were working Comic-Con and would be working G4 in a couple of weeks, too. We gave them nuts. Harley said she was going to visit Hawaii next week!

The crowd around SDCC was the biggest yet. We headed in the opposite direction to get breakfast, reading Twitter reports of the madness inside. We ended up at the first restaurant we saw, Soleil-K.

It wasn’t very good. A Tweet that came in recommended Hash Hash a Gogo on 5th for next time.

Eventually we headed in and surprised ourselves by mostly knowing our way around. We walked the expo floor just for a taste, then headed over to the meeting rooms.

On out way through the Sails Pavilion, Jen spotted Richard Hatch just setting up for his autograph session. So, on a whim, we jumped in line. Curiously, he unpacked and laid out his own stuff.

He was very nice. He took time to talk to everyone. One fan had his girlfriend on the phone and Richard had a long conversation with her.

We gave him some macadamia nuts and he tore right into them. He said he loves Hawaii, visits Maui often. He signed a photo and then took a photo with us.

We took a deep breath and headed to 6CDEF. How long was the line?

There was no line. We walked right in. It was the “Marvel/BET” panel. An we waited.

When the panel ended, Jen and I nervously tried to hold seats. It’s not allowed, it’s done all the time, but I’m a big chicken. Everyone ran up from the back of the room, and… Here we are.

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July 25, 2008 Posted by | Updates | , , | 1 Comment

The Transmission Special Report: Thursday Half Day

This special Thursday edition covers the first official day of Comic-Con… but we only spent half the day there. We saw some sights (including breakfast in Old Town and dinner on the San Diego waterfront), but still managed to get into the DHARMA Initiative recruiting booth. We wrap up by setting the stage for the next two days.

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July 24, 2008 Posted by | Updates | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whew

The “Dexter” panel was a lot of fun. Michael C. Hall was great, Julie Benz was too, Kristen moderated well, lots of audience questions.

The Season Three trailer was a hit, they were buzzing with the Emmy nominations, and hints were dropped of a big twist in the premiere.

We like what we’ve seen a lot. Though to be honest Jen gets freaked out and can only watch now and then. We’ll definitely get the Season 2 DVDs out in September.

The panel ended with Mark Ecko (?) talking about the “Dexter” game. Exclusively for iPhone/iPod Touch. Not everyone was happy to hear that. But imagine “stabbing” someone with your iPhone? It’ll also be serialized, ARG style.

Afterward, things wound down. The expo floor was being cleared. None of the night programs inyerested us, so we just struck out into the city.

The sun was setting and we followed it west. At that hour, any city is pretty, but San Diego looked great. The air was cool, locals were out walking their dogs, and we walked pass reflecting pools and sculptures.

I’ve wanted to see the waterfront since we arrived, so we walked to Seaport Village. Picturesque, golden, peaceful. Hungry, we ducked into the nearest restaurant: Harbor House.

We splurged and started with the oysters. Then, peppered ahi salad and a roast beef sandwich. With lemonade. Romantic. Delicious.

After sunset, we walked to the nearest trolley station, passing the half-operational “Top Gun” bar, Kansas City Barbeque. After nearly getting hit by a trolley (those intersections are confusing!), we headed back to Mission Valley.

Well, we’re still en route. Green line, Santee-bound.

Man. This was a half day. Half Comic-Con day. Take it easy day. And I’m exhausted. Friday and Saturday may kill us.

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July 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Descent

When we arrived at the Convention Center, we got in at Gate A, and stepping into the expo floor… it was almost calm. Huge crowd, but lots of space, and I was starting to feel relieved. Perhaps somehow Preview Night was just unusually frantic.

Then I realized we walked into the comic book end of the hall.

Sure enough as we pushed into the center, it was wall to wall people. Hogs masses trying to move past or each other, gridlock at every row, people futilely trying to clear space to take a photo or watch a presentation.

It was as crazy as everyone warned.

And it’s only Thursday.

People were handing things out everywhere. And people were in costume everywhere. Overwhelming.

We hit the booths we had to hit to pick up stuff for friends back home, then headed back to the DHARMA booth. There was a second set of appointments to give out at 1 p.m.

There was a mob waiting. They weren’t allowed to have a line, so, a mob. The crew seemed nervous.

By magic (not really), we got the second and third slots. We saw Jay Glatfelter fight his way through, nabbing the 5 pm slot. In a flash, they were booked up.

Jen took the Ganymeade (?) test, I took Amalthea.

What was your first live concert? What is the sound of terror? What was the first album you bought? Who is your constant? What is the sound of red? When were you last truly happy?

Word association for photos: a tree-lined road at night. Skeletons. A child in a sprinkler. Little red riding hood in bed with the wolf.

We both passed and got our super secret access cards. the cards are for Phase II of the ARG, though apparently our tests (which were videotaped) could turn up at the Saturday panel (and be published or “otherwise exploited” by ABC.

Exploit me!

At the DHARMA booth, we met a woman from Mexico. She’s going to camp overnight to get into Hall H for “Heroes” and “LOST.” I’m worried.

Out of curiosity, we picked a panel at random: “Middleman” with former “LOST” scribe Javier Grillo Marxuach. Big crowd, a top show on ABC Family. Funny!

The “Dexter” panel was three hours away, but the line for Room 6CDEF was already wrapped around the building. Since rooms aren’t cleared we weren’t sure what our prospects were. So, we joined the line.

After about 40 minutes, the “Red Sonja” panel ended and a crowd flowed out. After that, the line zipped ahead. And we found ourself in the “Street Fighter IV” panel.

Huge, enthusiastic crowd. Video clips with loud applause. Some poll where “Cami” won. I don’t have any idea what’s going on. But it’s exciting to be around people excited about something.

And I had time to blog!

“True Blood” is up next, then “Dexter.” What’s “True Blood”? I guess I’ll find out!

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July 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 7 Comments

Meandering

Taking our sweet old time today. Slept in, for one… didn’t get out of bed ’til almost 9 a.m. It was odd to not have little people jumping on our heads for not waking up by 7 a.m. Showered, then headed out.

The first people we saw? Two dead ladies. Welcome to Comic-Con!

We decided to visit Old Town, a historic district halfway between our hotel and SDCC. Pretty, Mexican frontier town on another gorgeous day. It was kind of like a living theme park… a real town but impeccably maintained. We ate at the Coyote Cafe, where the peeling paint and exposed red brick was painted on. But, the food was good.

We walked through the historic state park, checked out old offices and schoolhouses, and walked past a Chuck Jones gallery and dozens if shops and restaurants, most blaring Mexican music onto the street.

Now we’re finally heading to Comic Con, to hopefully not get trampled on the expo floor. I have a couple of booths to somehow find to pick up stuff for friends. We may then hit random panels… As the only one Jen highlighted was for “Dexter” late this afternoon.

I hear there’s now an animatronic dinosaur at the DHARMA booth, too.

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July 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

The Transmission Special Report: Comic-Con Preview Night

This special edition of “The Transmission” podcast comes to you direct from Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Recorded on the brink of collapse in our hotel in Mission Valley, we recount our trip from The Island, talk about meeting other “LOST” podcasters in person for the first time, share on-the-scene reports from the first of many lines, visit the DHARMA Initiative recruiting booth and check out the advance screening of the pilot for J.J. Abrams’ new series “Fringe.”

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July 23, 2008 Posted by | Updates | 2 Comments