BOOS! and WHOOP-DOOS! Comic-Con 2009 Off the Dust of Comic-Con 2009 Part 1 Off the Dust of Comic-Con 2009 Part 2 Off the Dust of Comic-Con 2009 Part 3

We shut Dick's down. As some of the party moved towards the Hard Rock, we decided to call it a night. It was the only sleep I got the entire trip, as I was to be up and going at it full bore on Thursday with no plan of stopping for a second. 10:00 am was the Masters of the Web panel. Paulington was at the table, and all the guys arrived in their tway Twilight gear. Kevin Munroe, director of Dead of Night, moderated the presentation, kicking things off with an open discussion directed towards the audience. The framework of this verbal essay was on par with what we've seen in earlier years. The same old hobo backwash about running your own site, getting paid, and not getting laid.

Some dude in the audience suggested that Hollywood studios had been sending microbots into the Internet to chew down the wire when any particular critic was a little too harsh with their product. It was a weird point of discussion. Paulington explained that they'd simply changed the name of the Internet so that the bots couldn't find it. Someone in the back of the auditorium started jumping up and down screaming, "We won! We won!" That was some whacked-out shit. And it didn't really make any sense. Superman's Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington, along with the super sexy Anita Briem, arrived to show off footage from their Dylan Dog adaptation. It was the highlight of the panel, and one of two clip reels that I got to watch. The film looks amazing. Its Sam and Brandon fighting zombies in a warehouse. It has vampires and werewolves. Even Curt Angle. Amazing. Afterwards, the cast fielded some questions from the audience. Some fat fuck grilled Briem about her alleged lesbian affair with Megan Fox while both shot films in New Orleans earlier this year. Briem was good-natured about it. Paulington later told me that he wanted to say, "I heard a rumor that you fucked a fat kid, but we're not up here talking about it. Because its none of our business." But he was afraid of the repercussions it might have caused.

Afterwards, we chatted with Dead of Night producer Gil Adler and his lovely wife, who claimed Gil was a vampire and that she was his blood source. They are two truly remarkable individuals, and always fun to chat with. We then hit up the cast, and I promised Sam Huntington that I would get him a pair of twenty-dollar Adidas from Ross' Dress for Less. (You had to see the shoes, they were pretty awesome.) This is the exact moment the Con hit warp speed for me, Paulington, and our cameraman Timmy (quite possibly the best videographer around and a friend to die for). We had to run the entire length of the convention center floor with just four minutes to spare. The place is huge, and we were all out of breath by the time we caught up with Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell for Astro Boy. Then it was all the way back to the other end, where we hit the Disney line in anticipation of both Tron: Legacy and Tim Burton. After waiting for three hours, we were informed that Tim wouldn't be coming down the line. We did interview Chris Miller for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but while we were doing that, we failed to notice the Tron: Legacy producers had come and gone, only hitting the first few spots on the broadcast line. Obviously this sucked, since both Burton and Tron were big draws at this year's Con. Disney failed to tell any of us that they'd left the building, and that interviews were over, so the forty of us waited patiently through the dawdling hours. During that time, we did get to chat with Rumor Willis and her Sorority Row cast mates. Which pissed off those around us. The girls weren't part of the Disney line, and we were one of the few outlets on the list. This singled us out for ridicule amongst our co-workers. Fuck 'em.

Nearing the four hour wait mark, we were about to leave when little Bobb'e J. Thompson (of Role Models fame) decided he'd do his 1:1 with us outside on the red carpet. All of the other reporters had given up the ghost, leaving us on an empty press line. Bobb'e was in high spirits, but a little tired from his busy schedule. He decided he wanted to autograph the carpet, and then the wall behind him. Which was quite funny to everyone except his PR escort. Thompson broke the big scoop that he'd be starring in a Six Pack remake with Mathew McConaughey in the Kenny Rodger's role. Though I continued to spread this news throughout the day, I couldn't muster up much enthusiasm for the project from my peers. Bobb'e saved our hide a little bit. If we hadn't been out there with him, we wouldn't have caught wind that the cast of Tron: Legacy was making its way towards us. As most of the other reporters had already hightailed it for brighter horizons filled with flowing Patron (i.e. The Wired Enclave), we were but a few to snag proof of this exciting event. Yes, we actually got to speak to Bridges. He didn't really have anything too exciting to share, but it was The Dude. And he abides. And all that shit. Pretty darn cool, even if the footage shown in Hall H (which we of course missed) failed to impress.

Directly after speaking with Mr. Bridges, we had to rush into one of the small rooms off to the side of the press line to chat with the legendary Joe Dante about his upcoming 3D thriller The Hole. We got his take on 3, and we also spoke with his leading lady Haley Bennett. Truthfully, I don't remember her at all. As our time was crunched down to the nanosecond, we literally ran out of this room and back out onto the patio. There, producer Craig Perry gave us a very insightful look at The Final Destination 4: 3D. I was truly looking forward to my David Faustino/Corin Nemec interview for Star-ving, but because of the Disney debacle and wait time, we missed it. We love those guys, and they were willing to meet us on the carpet. But things grew too late in the day. We rescheduled, as fate would have it, which led to one of the crazier moments of the Con. More on that later.

Shortly after discussing the flaming wreckage of the latest Final Destination, we hoofed it back to the red carpet press line, where we hit up the cast of Pandorum, speaking with martial arts expert and recent action figure likeness recipient Cung Le, villian extraordinaire Ben Foster, and the feisty Antje Traue. We thought this was the finale for the day, but Fox had been keeping Avatar a secret. As we were about to disembark for cocktails with Snake Eyes and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra character creator Larry Hama, it was announced that James Cameron was about to make his appearance on the broadcast line.

Buzz about the just-shown footage started to hit us hard. Some called it mind-blowing, while others described it as life changing. Of course this hype would all change once we sat through District 9. But the moment at hand belonged to Cameron and his crew of hard-working actors. Stephen Lang talked about being the bad guy, and Sigourney Weaver compared her character to Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist. She then dropped the bomb that there is no way in hell that she'll be appearing in Ghostbusters 3. Looking down the line, James Cameron was still quite far away. There was no guarantee that we were going to get him. And I was missing out on Cocktails with the real Darth Maul. So I handed the microphone off to our team B reporter Brian Gallagher. Timmy gave me massive shit, wishing me dead with his eyes, as he still had to man the camera. The guilt landed on my back like a velociraptor, and I felt like a heel all the way up until my lips were on that first beer of the day. Paulington, feeling no guilt whatsoever, decided to go with me.

Paulington and I hit the Quarter Kitchen at the Ivy, where Ray Park was engulfed in a sea of Internet journalists and bloggers. It was noisy, and quaint, and it took me a minute to locate my first beer. There were two bartenders, neither of which was ever in the room at the same time, so I had a constant flow of alcohol going. The first guy brought me a refreshing German pint, but I wasn't able to catch the name amidst the noise. The second barkeep brought me a double shot of Bushmills, neat and tight. Then another beer arrived. And then another. Larry Hama was in this swarming hive of madness, but I'm not sure what he looks like, so I missed him. Unable to keep up with this constant buzz of noise around me, I decided to take a seat in the back of our hospitality suite. Within fifteen minutes, I'd had four beers and a thick lowball. One of the waiters was unable to unload his secret stash of hor'dourves, so he set them down in front of me. This was the first food I'd laid eyes on all day. Spring rolls and potato gnocchi in red sauce. Yum. We arrived late, and didn't have much time. Before I knew it, we were off to see Neill Blomkamp's District 9. But I still got my fair share and was full.

I don't like watching movies at Comic-Con. I go there to work and drink. That's it. But to get into the exclusive fireside chat with Peter Jackson afterwards, I would have to sit through his latest producing credit. The District 9 trailer looked pretty ho-hum to me. My excitement level was null and void. At some point earlier in the day, we'd also talked with acclaimed visual director Terry Gilliam and diminutive actor Verne Troyer about their The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Things got a little weepy when we began discussing Heather Ledger and how his death affected the cast and crew of the film. Around this time, "someone" gave me a small chocolate peanut made with hallucinogenic mushrooms. As it failed to melt in the heat of the sun, I decided to eat it just as the lights were going down on District 9. Maybe it's just the drugs talking, but this is the best film of the summer.

While it starts off a little slow, this giant sci-fi action masterpiece, which was shot on a shoestring budget of $30 million, transported me back in time, to when I actually enjoyed watching movies. It holds the same kind of joy and excitement most 80s movies were able to achieve, and made me feel like a ten year old kid again. This was a sentiment heard theater-wide, and there wasn't one hater in the bunch. It literally rocked the house, and word of mouth should kick it through October at the least. We will see sequels, and Neill Blomkamp has positioned himself as the next Steven Spielberg. Again, maybe the chocolate peanut had something to do with my enthusiasm for this gut punch smash-em-up. But I don't think so. Afterwards, we headed over to the Holamar Hotel, where Peter Jackson gave an intimate fireside chat about the film and all of his upcoming projects. He talked extensively about 9 and Hobbit. He also showed us the trailer for The Lovely Bones, and it looks like no film I've ever seen before. It's definitely the book. But in a way you haven't quite imagined. Afterward, the lights came up and Paulington looked at Peter Jackson, stating, "That took me right back to the toilet were I first read The Lovely Bones." A silence fell over the crowd, and I nearly chocked on my double Maker's Mark when I heard these words emit from our waning journalist.

As Paulington tried to explain himself, Jackson shook him away and dusted off some old home movies. For at least forty minutes, we sat watching Peter build life-sized World War II bomber replicas. A waiter brought out a plate of small cheeseburgers and tiny roast beef sandwiches, but I could not reach them from my location. After the talk, I hit up the snack table, and gorged myself while drinking three Shiner Blacks (which I'd never tasted before; it was pretty damn good). There was at least three more parties that we'd been invited too that night, but this was work. So we headed back to the Hilton Bayfront, where Paulington and I shared transcribing duties on the Jackson presentation. We also shared nips of Seagram's Seven with Brian Gallagher, as he was busy writing up the New Moon press conference from earlier in the day. We were all awake until about 4 am in the morning. Which sucked, because I had to be back at it at 6:45 that same morning. Off the Dust of Comic-Con 2009 Part 1 Off the Dust of Comic-Con 2009 Part 2 Off the Dust of Comic-Con 2009 Part 3