We had a ridiculously good time in California this past week and change. I haven't quite recovered enough to post coherently about the whole trip, but (with some minor, mostly traffic-related exceptions), we had a blast the whole time. Got to have dinner and spend time with yellow3
, which was fantastic, because it's been ages (aaaaageeeeeees!
). Disneyland was more fun than I expected, and I got to ride my childhood favorite Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for the first time in decades, since the Magic Kingdom version was shut down.
Comic-con was pretty much non-stop fun, despite the sore feet and aching shoulders, and I got into some great panels that I really enjoyed -- including the MST3k 20th Anniversary panel!! (Stopping here with the exclamation points to avoid accusations of insanity, but it was great and a huge surprise to actually have made it in -- the line was unbelievable.) Also got autographs from Joel, Trace, and Frank! I'm not usually an autograph hunter, but I came across their booth quite accidentally and managed to get in line shortly before it closed, so it seemed meant to be. I picked up a fair bit of nifty Tick gear (and some Tick comics before the con; we found that comic store, yellow3
!), a Penny Arcade book, the new Fables book, a rather cute Zoidberg figure, some T-shirts, quite a lot of buttons... and probably several other things I've forgotten.
The other panels I saw, in some cases just as a side benefit of trying to get into rooms for later panels, were
- The Powerpuff Girls 10th Anniversary/Foster's Home panel, which was one of those side-benefit panels but quite a lot of fun; I had no idea the voices of Spongebob Squarepants, Eduardo from Foster's, and the Mayor of Townsville were all the same guy.
- The Spaced panel, which was terrific and if you're a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, geek-favorite movies like Star Wars, comics, games, and/or British comedies at all, the DVDs are finally available in the US and are quite worth checking out.
- Some sort of "influence of comics on the media" panel, which was another accidental one that turned out to be quite a nice surprise, as it featured Paul Feig (creator of Freaks & Geeks and director of episodes of Arrested Development, The Office, and 30 Rock) and graphic designer Chip Kidd, among others, and was quite interesting.
- The Pushing Daisies panel (a hard choice between this one, the one for Chuck, and a Fables one, but the timing on the Fables one didn't work out, and I figured Adam Baldwin would draw a lot of Firefly fans to the Chuck one, making it hard to get into. Little did I realize the frightening power of Kristen Chenowith fans... but it was a very fun panel nonetheless. The show is extremely clever and funny once you look past the sometimes twee cutesiness.
Most of these were NOT the big panels that everyone wanted to get into; it was hard enough getting into even these. (And I missed out on the Futurama/Simpsons one and the one with The Office
writers.) In some cases the room choices just seemed too small for the demand, but I'm sure putting together something as monumental as Comic-con is a logistics nightmare from start to finish. Overall it seemed to run quite smoothly, but I do think I've had my fill of standing in line for quite a while. I'll post photos once I recover the brainpower to do so.