A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words
Posted on Thursday July 22, 2010, 15:01 by James Dyer in Comic-Con 2010
It’s no secret that Comic-Con is absolutely huge. To get an idea of exactly how huge you need look no further than preview night. Two years ago it was just a case of the main floor opening for a few hours the day before the Con started so that those who’d flown into San Diego a day early had more to do than scarf Subways and wander the streets getting beaten up by sailors from the local naval base. Nowadays the ‘quiet preview’ of everything on offer at the Con is rammed from port to starboard, hordes of sweating bodies swarming the aisles in a geektacular stampede that rivals anything you’ll find on Saturday – the traditional ‘rush’ day.
As the seconds ticked closer to 6pm, there were queues backing out of the main doors at every single hall and when the doors finally swung open it was like the gates of Mordor had finally given way as the men of Gondor (and Anaheim and Delaware and just about every other corner of the US and beyond) pressed forward to take the fight to the Convention floor. Polite and orderly it most certainly was not.
Once inside, however, any indignation about being elbowed in the face by a 15-year-old dressed as Naruto soon faded away as a bounty of beautiful things hove into view. Games, films, comics, toys, TV, collectibles, t-shirts, maquettes and even, for reasons unknown, a stall dedicated to Nazi erotica were present, catering to geeks of every stripe and fetish. Whether you’re into mainstream geekery like Marvel or some obscure Japanese animation about a talking hubcap, there’s something for you here at Comic-Con. What drew us primarily, however, was the world of film.
The first film-related stand, bizarrely was the gaping, waggling orange form of Mr Timms – the clockwork fish from the Rango trailer. Timms has a stand all to himself this year, with no actual mention of Gore Verbinski’s bonkers animation in sight. There was a competition to win all manner of signed memorabilia but if there’s awareness of the film going on here then, frankly, we missed it.
What we couldn’t miss was the towering monument to all things Sony Pictures. Slap bang in the middle of all things screen-related, the stand boasted all-new posters for Scott Stewart’s Priest, Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Battle: Los Angeles. Little has been released around the latter thus far (a film that’s been touted as Black Hawk Down Meets Independence Day) but it certainly drew more than a few interested eyes on the floor.
Drive Angry managed to smuggle a new poster into the Con – one you could easily have walked right by had you not been paying attention. RED, on the other hand, had a wall all to itself.
Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch didn’t so much take a poster offensive as a collectible one, featuring a selection of character maquettes from the film – and one full-size costume.
And while we’re on the subject of props. The Green Hornet car, the Black Beauty, made a return to the con this year, alongside the Priest Bike from Priest and, as if you could have doubted it, a Tron Light Cycle.
Tron Legacy was pretty well represented at the huge Disney stand, which not only showed off the upcoming tie-in video game but showcased a range of collectibles and accessories (Tron Wiimotes, Xbox Controllers and iPad cases, anyone?) to tempt the eye and the wallet.
What was conspicuous by its absence was any Thor livery. There was nothing to herald the release of Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the norse god of thunder – oh except for the thirty foot replica of Odin’s Asgardian throne! Perching on the godly seat may be the photo op of choice this year.
Eye candy wasn’t limited to the convention floor. Outside in the atriums a selection of banners hawked everything from The Walking Dead to True Blood and The Green Hornet. Resident Evil bagged the huge, circular banner in the atrium (last year taken up by the striking poster for Scott Stewart’s ultimately disappointing Legion).
The streets of San Diego play host to so much film advertising at the con these days, the area of the Gaslap Quarter near the Convention Centre feels like some kind of film-related Vegas strip. Flynn’s Arcade sits round the corner (in preparation for the Tron party), Battle: Los Angeles posters grace windows across the whole of one building, while every shuttle bus that passes carries bold livery for Showtime’s line-up of TV anti-heroes from Dexter, Californication, Weeds and Nurse Jackie.
Biggest of all were the huge (and we mean HUGE) facelifts on the adjacent hotels. The Hilton is now touting Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim, while the Marriott Bayfront has given over one side to scream about the Brothers Strauss’ Skyline.
All in all a strong offensive for all things film-related and the Con itself hasn’t even begun yet. Tune in later on for reports from the first day of panels and parties – assuming we survive!