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  1. #1

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    AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    On Thursday, July 24th, a friend and I went to Comic-Con in San Diego, CA. She's into manga and I'm into "Lost", "Stargate Sg1" and sometimes "Heroes". We reached the convention center...


    ... and proceeded to wait in line.


    Unfortunately, the schedule for the Comic-Con had not been posted at the time I got out tickets. Otherwise, I would've purchased Friday tickets (Saturday's had been sold out). On Friday was the panel discussion for "Stargate", with a viewing of their new film, "Continuum". That would've been cool. Fortunately for my friend, there was a panel discussion that day for the BBC show "Torchwood". I was looking forward to the recruitment by Octogonal Global Recruiting on behalf of the Dharma Intitiative. I figured even though I wouldn't get to see people from my favorite shows, at least I'd be able to do that.
    Gotta go to work. More to come.

    Edit: I can't for the life of me figure out how to post my own pictures onto this thing. Sorry, but I've tried like five times now, and each preview is disasterous.

    Edit for my edit: I think I've figured it out. More to come after work.
    Last edited by AliKzam; 07-26-2008 at 03:52 PM.
    Oo-de-lally!

  2. #2

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    Re: AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    So I'm back. We stood there for a little while. There was a hippie dude standing behind us holding a sign that read, "I am the end of the line." A woman walked right up to him and demanded that he tell her why the line hadn't moved at all in "forever". He just looked at her and said he didn't know, and she asked him, "Don't you guys have walkie-talkies or something?" At this point I was really glad I wasn't him. Apparently, Comic-Con is a non-profit event, and the $25 admission fee is to pay the rent of the convention center and other things, I'm guessing feeding all of the volunteers. There was another giant line moving to our left which was for the "Twilight" panel. Eventually our line moved, we made our way inside and got processed.
    Once inside, we sat down with our maps and our swag. We figured out where everything was, or was supposed to be, and headed inside.
    The first level was packed! We heard there were supposed to be 125,000 people there, but my parents said they heard on the news that it was closer to 150,000. At the beginning of the day, everyone was so polite (actually, everyone stayed polite pretty much throughout the day). We wandered around first, to see what there was.
    A few toy companies were there, such as Hasbro, Lego and Mattel. Among the things we saw was this Indianna Jones (with crystal skull) made entirely of Legos:


    ...And Castle Greyskull (of He-Man fame).


    Still more to come. Off to eat some dinner!
    Oo-de-lally!

  3. #3

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    Re: AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    We walked around and saw various film and television booths: Sci-Fi, BBC America, NBC, etc. There was a massive Disney booth. Each corner of the booth advertised something: Lost, The Nightmare Before Christmas (why?), The Tinkerbelle movie and something else I can't remember. Another tv show, I think. In the middle of the booth was an empty floorspace with two small displays of the Nightmare set-pieces. There were a few white contemporary couches where a few people could sit and watch Lost or Nightmare (or that other show I can't remember).
    And then, diagonally across from the booth, we saw it: Dharma!



    I actually took this picture a little later in the day, but as my fellow Lost geeks might notice, the logo has been updated. Apparently, pastel blue is in for potential bad guys. Also, I think the new logo looks like a Stargate, but that may just be me.
    We went up and talked to a gentleman. My friend told him that I wanted to do the activity for this booth. He said, "Take the test?" I said, "Yes, please." He then told us that they weren't scheduling anymore testers until 1:00pm, and the morning was all full. He handed me a flier, which looked like this:


    One the back was an origami swan. Clever, no?



    The back says: "The Dharma Initiative is a multi-disciplinary research collective dedicated to improving the human condition through innovative scientific research.
    Our directors are recognized leaders in their fields, with distinguished research histories in a wide range of social scientific disciplines."
    With that, we walked around and did some other things.
    We saw advertisements for the new live-action G.I. Joe movie. A poster with Dennis Quaid in a black suit and black berret hung from the cieiling. He looked really silly. That blue guy with the mirrored helmet (sorry, I was into Jem and She-ra in the '80s) was taking pictures with people. Upstairs in another booth, people were getting their picture taken on a unicorn in honor of "Harold and Kumar go to Guantanamo Bay". So many people were in all sorts of costumes. The ones I didn't get I figured were probably from manga. The were several young guys walking around in suits with numbers on the back of them. Next to each of them were young women with T-shirts on that said "See the Six". The only one that didn't make sense was the dude who had a "7" on his back. There were some guys dressed like terrorists holding signs that said "Free Hugs". That was funny.
    If you've never been to Comic-Con, there's really not a whole lot of options for food at the convention center. There were several Starbucks carts and one concession cart selling salads and sandwiches. I suppose they assume you'll leave for the Gaslamp District, which is right across the street. You can also bring your own food, as we noticed this one large family sprawled in the outside hall with a chicken lunch brought from home. We grabbed a bite to eat at a concession cart. After we munched our hotdogs and drank our Stargate Worlds water (turns out it's an online multi-player game and not a new series, as I'd seen rumored online), we split up. My friend went to see the "Torchwood" panel and I went back down to the Dharma booth, since it was about ten minutes to one.
    When I got back there, I ran into this:



    I walked up to one guy in the crowd and said, "Excuse me, is this the mob for the Dharma testing?" He said he wasn't sure, but he hoped so. So we all stood there. People would come up behind us and curiously ask what this was for. When we told them, they'd either say, "Oh..." and walk away, or say "Oh, we can just do this tomorrow." How nice for them. As we stood there, people would make their way up to the desk and say they had an appointment. The Dharma lady or gentleman would check their name off on a clipboard and then lead them into the booth.
    The one booth.
    A few seconds later, they would appear on the screen above us with headphones on. They would answer questions we couldn't hear, and often we couldn't hear what their answers were (150,000 people in a space will do that). I did hear one guys response to something: he said, "I hear screaming" and then his transmission was cut off.
    Even this guy made it to the testing:



    Finally, 1:00pm came, and an Elite man came up to a Dharma man, said something inaudible to him and motioned at the crowd. The Dharma man then tried to get us to form a line. Our response was to smirk a little and kind of make an effort. Then they started taking names. It was insanity! We all huddled up as close as we could get to the counter. Every now and then people would squirm out with slips of paper in their hands. I figure around twenty people passed through. I was about one layer of people away from the counter when the lady filling out the clipboard gave someone an appointment for 6:45pm and then told us, "Sorry, were all full up for today. You'll have to apply tomorrow."
    I was so bummed. Yes, I am completely biased, but that was pretty much the reason I came to Comic-Con in the first place. I was so angry at Disney for the poor handling of this situation. If I'm right, and twenty people got tested, that's only about forty people for the entire day. When they sent the emails, I pictured an area that could deal with about half a dozen people at a time and turn them out pretty quickly. Instead, many people are left disappointed. And that big empty official Disney space with couches and over-priced merchandise didn't help the situation. If this were an episode of "The Apprentice", someone would have so been fired.
    So I went over to the NBC booth (the channel, not the abbreviation for that movie). Their booth was "Heroes" and "Office" themed. On one half, it looked like the Primatech prison. Two TV monitors showed secluded prisoners dealing with their situation. One guy looked like the postman i the current webisodes, the other sort of looked like Isaac, but I never actually saw their faces. A woman was handing out swag, so I got a Heroes comic book (with three stories from the website) and a really nice DNA pin. Take that Disney.
    Then I went over to the Stargate booth. Two jaffa (who didn't look very intimidating) were standing in front of a "gate". They were also giving away free Apophis temporary tattoos! I didn't get one because I had to work the next day, and I just don't have enough concealer should something have gone wrong.
    I went back upstairs to see if my friend's panel had let out. Had I known what a bummer the Dharma thing would be, I would've gone in with her. As far as I was concerned, the convention was pretty much done for me. But there was one more thing I wanted to do...
    Oo-de-lally!

  4. #4

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    Re: AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    Thanks for the report.

  5. #5

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    Re: AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    At 3:00pm, Fat Momma from the first season of "Who Wants to be a Superhero" was going to be signing autgraphs! I loved that show! It was hilarious. I only watched the first season, but Fat Momma was awesome. Her power, for those who don't know was to go ten times her size when she ate a doughnut. Her arch foe was the Chicken Man. They never fully explained her storyline, but for the teaser trailer that was made for the last episode, they showed this baby chick in a miniature city to make him look Godzilla-sized. Cut to sky-scraper tall Fat Momma: "I'm comin' for you, Chicken Man!" Cut to chick: "Chirp." It was great. She got second place, but she was really sweet.
    I met up with my friend after the panel discussion. She caught the tail-end of "Doctor Who" and the first half of "Torchwood". She said both were really funny. I told her about the Dharma thing, and she agreed that was lousy. I told her about Fat Momma at 3:00pm, and then she walked right by us! So we went over to the autograph area (which is in a separate wing) to wait.
    While we waited, we stepped outside and took pictures.





    Gratuitous flower shot:





    Finally, the hour of three arrived. We went back inside. There was a huge line for "Red Sonya", which I'm guessing is an up-coming movie. Fat Momma was in front of what would be her booth, but a woman who was there until 3:00pm was stil there. Fat Momma had brought her son and daughter, who were helping her set up. A gentleman who was either security or the other woman's manager was talking with her, very friendly. Pretty soon, a bunch of people were coming up and talking with her and taking pictures. She was very polite.



    My friend encouraged me to go up and ask for a picture with her. So I went up.
    "Fat Momma?" I asked, which I never thought I'd asked anyone. She turned around and smiled at me. "May I have a photo with you?" Instantly her son turned around and started to hug me.
    Fat Momma started laughing. "He's ready to take his picture with you!"
    So the three of us posed: Fat Momma, the son of Fat Momma and I.



    I thanked her very much and we left. I decided that a picture was better than an autograph, because I'd probably lose the paper eventually.
    At that point, both of us were pretty much done with the convention. So we decided to go to the Gaslamp District.



    It was totally catering to the Comic-Con crowd. Faux ads for things, like distributor trucks for Tru-Blood, a drink on an HBO vampire series drove up and down the streets. Restaurants had Comic-Con discounts posted on their doors. And this is totally unrelated, but there are a ton of authentic Irish pubs in downtown San Diego. I had no idea.
    After walking through the Gaslamp District, and walking all day, for that matter, we decided to drive over the bridge to Coronado. Once there, we walked to the beach by way of the Hotel del Coronado.



    This is probably the best picture I took. You can't even see that dumpster behind the sign!
    We walked down the boardwalk, past the volleyball tournaments to the beach. On the way, we saw some decorated beach bikes.





    We finally made it to the beach. We took off our shoes and walked down to the water. The cold water rushing over our feet and then pulling the sand underneath them was like a complimentary spa treatment. If only long days at Disneyland could be followed up with something like this, I thought.
    I was so happy, I took pictures. Of sand.


    Sparkly...




    After a while, we walked back up to the boardwalk. The soft sand pushing up on our bare feet was like a deep-tissue foot massage. By the time we reached the sidewalk our feet didn't hurt anymore. So we went to a restaurant called Costa Azul, where I had the best shrimp Quesadillas! The prices were pretty reasonable, too. After that, we made our way home.
    The end!
    Oo-de-lally!

  6. #6

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    Re: AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonballer View Post
    Thanks for the report.
    Absolutely. It was my first one on here!
    Oo-de-lally!

  7. #7

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    Re: AliKzam goes to Comic-Con!

    Forgot one:


    Also, according to www.gateworld.net, a third series is in the works, entitled "Stargate Universe". So, my bad.
    Oo-de-lally!

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