Sunday, February 24, 2008


Yesterday I went to WonderCon, as I mentioned that I would in my previous post. Kirsti and I had a good time, but I'm starting to feel more and more overwhelmed by the crowds every year that I go there. This was the 22nd year in a row that I've gone, and I remember when it was just a little thing (comparatively) in the Oakland Convention Center. Now it's a huge affair at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

I've enjoyed the conventions of the recent past, but it'll be tough to top the ones that I went to when I was a teenager. For one thing, Marvel Comics, which for some reason hasn't had a presence at the Con in about a decade, used to be there, and they'd have panels and booths with all sorts of information about upcoming Marvel stuff. This was chance to meet many of the creators who were behind some of my favorite comics, and to me, they were just as important as any actor/actress/director/etc. Marvel would also try to liven up the panels by making game-show type presentations, and I recall winning a year-long subscription to Daredevil one year. Good times.

It's only been in the past five years or so that they get a big-name Hollywood celebrity to show up. It all started with Tobey Maguire's appearance to promote Spider-Man 2. Since then, they've had the likes of Christian "Batman" Bale, Brandon "Superman" Routh, Gerard "King Leonidas" Butler, etc. Kirsti and I were hoping that this year would follow suit, and since the big summer movie that was being promoted was Iron Man, we were hoping for Robert Downey, Jr. No such luck, but the director, Jon Favreau, was there, and I've been a fan of his since Swingers.

This year, Steve Carrel and Anne Hathaway were there to promote Get Smart. I'm not so sure that the movie will be anything great, but it was cool to see them anyway, as I've enjoyed their work in other stuff. Roland Emmerich was there to promote 10,000 B.C. and in all honesty, I doubt that I'll be seeing that one. This is the guy behind Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, so he's a bit of a hack, and I'm not interested in seeing another one of his overwrought films.

The exclusive trailer for Iron Man, however, looked really cool. Aside from the coolness of seeing a live-action Iron Man, it has a great cast, and the director is interested in not only telling a good story, but in keeping it faithful to the comics.

Speaking of which, I find it interesting that comic book movies have improved drastically over the past decade, and why is that? Mainly because they're getting people who are fans of the source material to make them. So, I know people who will eagerly go see the movies in the theater, but they look at me like I'm recommending anthrax when I suggest that they check out the comics as well. Oh well. (And yeah, I know, there have been some clunkers in the way of comic book movies. Still, the recent Punisher is Citizen Kane compared to the old, Dolph Lundgren version. The new one is bad, but it doesn't fail on pretty much every level like that one did. Don't get me started on Batman and Robin.)

So, I had a good time. I managed to spend a lot of money as well. I bought about $90 worth of books at half that price, so I did well.

Speaking of which, I'm trying to unload a large chunk of my collection. I'm not looking to make a lot of money off of them, but it'd be nice to get a little something. (Like a dime a piece, like I got at Comics and Cards, the comic book store that closed down last year.) Anybody interested in a ton of cheap comics? There's some decent stuff in there. Let me know before I just go ahead and just donate them.

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