Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. It’s that time of year again. You know, the one where the biggest nerds/geeks/outcasts/dorks/dweebs/sportos/dickheads and attractive booth babes gather in the sextuple digits and fight for space amongst in the world’s biggest merging of art and commerce.
In years past San Diego Comic-Con has grown from one of my favorite times of the year to one of my most stressful times of the year, thanks mostly to the rabid fan base concentrated in Hall H (with a good amount of stress also due to the stupid, seemingly random hotel booking system) making it nearly impossible for me to do my job for you guys. However this year I’m feeling very zen about the whole thing and so far it seems to be my lucky year.
For instance, they had let in a little early so by the time I got to the con I was able to walk right in without waiting in any lines and I magically entered the giant show floor at exactly the right spot, right at the Gentle Giant booth which had maybe 30 people in line. So first thing I did was step in line. Here’s some of the stuff I saw as I waited (apologies in advance for lame reflections on glass. I didn’t bring my polarized lens on this trip and I paid the price today):
Every year it seems that Gentle Giant has the exclusives to beat and I figured with my very limited free time to shop I’d miss out on the two exclusives I really wanted: their full Pale Man figure from Pan’s Labyrinth and their Mars Attacks! mini-bust. But my zen-like approach seems to be doing the trick and I parted ways with too much money right off the bat.
As you can see above I also scored their exclusive Thorin mini-bust from The Hobbit, which is cool… but if you’re jonesing for Hobbit exclusives and want a small Richard Armitage on your mantle, then I suggest going one booth over where Weta Collectibles is selling their own head to toe Thorin exclusively at the Con. If I had seen it first I probably wouldn’t have bought the mini-bust, but I’d also be out another $130 or so, so I guess that’s a good thing.
Weta’s booth also had displays of a few of their Hobbit statues currently schedule for release Q4 2012. Unfortunately there was no Fredegar Chubb in sight, but maybe they’re saving him for closer to release since I’m sure they don’t want to overshadow the rest of their collection. Check out some pics below.
That’s not it at the Weta Booth. They also brought three Cave Trolls, which were a huge aisle-blocking hit with the crowd. I happened to arrive right when Sir Dr. Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop’s head honcho and all around wonderful human being, did and got this photo for you nice people:
Here are a few more shots of these ugly sumbitches for you:
Another huge attraction near the Weta Booth was AMC’s Walking Dead booth, which allowed people to be one of Michonne’s leashed zombies:
The combination of those two things meant I needed to take my giant heavy Gentle Giant bags and high tail it away from the crowds. One thing that has not changed about Comic-Con is the way all the glitz and glamour seems to sap the spatial awareness from every single man, woman and child. I especially love the people that abruptly stop in the middle of the only lane of foot traffic for no apparent reason. Those guys are great.
Anyway, you probably noticed my loot bag picture way up above included some CDs. I implore any self-respecting soundtrack/movie geek to hit up the LaLaLand Records booth. They have tons of their out of print stock, including John Williams’ awesome 1941 score (which I would have picked up had I not already obtained my copy) and what you see in that picture… Volume 2 of their Batman: The Animated Series mutli-CD set, Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture score and Harry Manfredini’s scores for Friday the 13th I-VI.
I also got to stop by the Mondo booth and say hi to my fellow Austinites and watch as people fell over themselves to buy Mondo prints. It was pretty incredible. They brought along some of their personal stock of long sold-out posters and I heard one guy almost cry thanking them for the opportunity to buy their admittedly amazing 20,000 Leagues poster. They’ve got some great stuff hitting during the Con, including Jock’s fantastic Dark Knight Rises poster and some other surprises that I may or may not have seen in advance and I may or may not want to marry.
Another fun stop was Lucasfilm’s booth, which shared some space with a little ILM sidebar table that had some motherfucking Batteries Not Included robots on it!
Sadly, no life-sized Jessica Tandy replicas. Maybe next year.
What they did have was a little section of the booth devoted to the impending release of the Indiana Jones films on Blu-Ray, including a Well of Souls corner with live snakes.
Why’d it have to be snakes?
That’s not the only cool throwback stuff on the floor. The Prop Store is displaying some original props, including an original Alien space suit and the screaming Stay Puft head from Ghostbusters:
Speaking of space suits, there were also props from upcoming movies, dontcha know? How about some gosh darn suits from Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim?
And a Tumbler miniature (and full sized Batpod):
And some guns from Rian Johnson’s Looper:
And a recreation of South Park Elementary advertising the South Park game The Stick of Truth:
And Tony Stark’s past armor display from Marvel’s Iron Man 3 booth:
But no Comic-Con would be complete without some real comic books amongst all the big studio booths:
And some wildly inappropriate cosplayers (I swear I didn’t mean to take a shot of this girl’s ass… I was just trying to take a covert shot without looking through the camera’s viewfinder and this is what I got… if it makes you feel any better the front was even more graphic):
Hrmmm, what else was there? Oh yes, some ships and an automated border patrol dude from Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. The border patrol bot wants Mexicans to leave earth, apparently. GOPbot!
In the madness I managed to maneuver myself over to the Frankenweenie booth where the producers were doing interviews amongst original puppets and sets from the stop motion picture. I didn’t do any interviews, but I did ogle some amazing stop-motion puppets, including one that’s very familiar:
The Vincent Price puppet looks to be a teacher of sorts (and voiced by Martin Landau, naturally). Here’s a couple shots of him in a classroom set:
The level of detail in these sets, especially Victor’s laboratory, were fantastic. Check out some more bits and pieces from the booth:
As preview night was coming to a close and I was just a few minutes away from making my way to the big screening Dredd I happened to stumble upon yet MORE Hobbit stuff, this one being Warner Bros’ display of breathtakingly beautiful lenticular posters. If you’re not sure what that means, they’re 3-D posters and have a solid depth and that also seem to pop out at you. The first one I remember seeing was for The Lost World where the T-Rex head was busting through the logo.
Each of the dwarves had one, there was one for Gollum, but the most impressive by far were the Galadriel, Gandalf and Bilbo posters. I’m saying right here and now there will be a ton of these suckers stolen from movie theaters across the world.
Here are some pictures. Forgive the bright lines through the first few. It took me a bit to realize using flash was fucking up the shots. As cool as they look below they really need to be seen in person to get the effect… especially Gandalf and Galadriel. The leaves in the Gandalf shot seem to be floating out in space between the observer and the wizard and Galadriel’s phial of light spreads brightness across the poster as you move your head.
That was about it. I mean, that’s not even 5% of what was on the floor, but about as much as I could document and pass along without going insane. Hope you guys enjoyed the little tour around the Con floor. I hope to be spending most of my Sunday here stopping by some comic art and movie poster booths to see what else I can waste money on.
In the meantime we got a helluva con in front of us. Tomorrow is panels on Sam Raimi’s Oz flick, Wreck-It Ralph, Frankenweenie and what I hear may be some cool footage from Skyfall.
Oh, and before I crash tonight, keep an eye out for my review of Dredd! Preview: tons of blood, slow-motion bullet hits to the face and a perpetually growling Karl Urban make for a super fun flick.