Free Stuff? Whoop-doo!
Comic-Con 2008? Whoop-doo! While still a cramped, crowded queen beehive of milk-tittied nerd boys and celebrity has-beens, this was by far my best experience with the convention center floor yet. I've been visiting San Diego's top tourist attraction for seven years straight now, and this is the first time I didn't feel like I was trapped in some nerd concentration camp, bleeding from the waist down. A kidney explosion. Our team kicked out the best Comic-Con coverage by far (its true, check out all of the other sites and print outlets...There is no other comparison). And I actually, for once, had a lot of fun contributing to it. But that doesn't mean it was all rose pedals and no thorns. There was plenty to Boo! and Whoop-doo! at this year's fuck bomb of a Comic-Con.
Edgar Frog? Whoop-doo!
Apologies first, shall we? If you hadn't noticed, we've been covering the living shit out of Lost Boys: The Tribe. We, here, were very excited about this upcoming entry in the two Coreys cannon. I know. I wanted to see it more than any other film this summer. Including The Dark Knight and Pineapple Express. We've interviewed Corey Feldman numerous times over the course of the last few months, and it surprised me when we sat down with him at a hotel near the convention center, and he expressed his displeasure over our negative review of the film. "Whoa!" I told Corey, "We haven't even seen it yet!" Feldman quickly picked up the awkward slack and blamed our negative review on Moviehole. Then, on camera, we both proceeded to call Clint Morris a jerk. Spicing up our negative feelings toward the guy, we brought him up more than once, calling him names that were especially funny to me at the time. Understand two things, I still wanted to see the film, and, also, I was upset at those few folks who'd gone out of their way that day to tell me just how bad a sequel it actually was. To make this clear, Corey got it wrong. Neither Clint Morris nor Moviehole gave Lost Boys: The Tribe a bad review. Their review was quite positive. So, basically, we called Clint an asshole for nothing. Feldman already got back to him and apologized. And I must do the same. Even though it's still pretty damn funny. Sorry, Clint Morris! Moviehole gets a big Whoop-doo! from us! Always has, always will. I just got caught up in the moment. And sitting there, talking to Feldman, I instantly wanted to punch anyone that said anything bad about his upcoming film. Why? Because I'd been waiting to see it for a long time. And I genuinely like Feldman as a person. I want to see him succeed in his endeavors. If nothing more than for the selfish fact that I like watching him work. About Lost Boys: The Tribe? I've since seen it, and I like it. Though it's not the film we've been waiting nearly twenty-one years for, it still gets a big Whoop-doo! from me. Feldman owns the picture, and I hope you all buy it so that we can see part 3. Just check out the two alternate endings and the end credit sequence. You will be super hyped about the prospects of this turning into a major Direct-to-DVD franchise.
"One thing I never could stand about living inside the convention center for five days...All the damn celebrities!" It's a wall-to-wall petting zoo of has-beens and used-to-bees, both young and old, trying to hawk their autographed wares to a horde of incredulous, self-serving sweatpods that will only throw this goofy souvenir in the trash later. The twenty-five dollar autographed glossy is a unique staple of Comic Con, and if you don't at least breeze through this upper air duct at least once, you are really missing out on something quite sad and squirm inducing. Though, over the last few years, this sanctioned area has come to mean something different to me. I'm on a press line all day. I talked to one hundred and twenty-two of our hottest and most sought after celebrities and directors this year. And the misbegotten starlets that sat on the outer reaches of this area, hoping anyone would stop by and say "Hi!", is where I really lost my shit. Comic-Con 2008 was like a raw meat fever dream come true. I felt as though I'd fallen asleep in 1989, only to awaken with the rare opportunity to talk to all of my favorite stars of that time. I got to chat it up with Keifer Sutherland, Keanu Reeves, and Corey Feldman. All of which I used to worship back in the day. And they were here for legitimate, big budget projects that everybody is eagerly anticipating. Whoop-doo! Anyone that has a film coming out in the next two years, I talked to. And it was a whirlwind of passing laughs and handshakes that now seems quite unreal. But never once did I get starstruck. Not until I walked into the used car dealership of an autograph hall. And there, I saw Lori Petty. Like a preserved animal in a tar museum. She looked as beautiful and intact as the last time we saw her. Why was she up here? Oh, cause she's a genre starlet. I was taken aback. I wasn't expecting her. And it would have probably been my favorite star sighting of the week had I not, at that moment, turned around and seen Peg Bundy herself, Katey Seagal. Sitting, waiting to sign autographs for a bunch of kids that didn't even know who she was. Married with Children is one of my all-time favorite shows, and standing next to Katey was quite surreal. She is looking more beautiful ever, and I so wanted to bow down in front of her. But that would have been inappropriate. I watched her for a while, and it felt as though I was peering through a celebrity fish tank. It was at once creepy and internally satisfying. Looking back, I feel slightly ashamed of myself. Sure, they are people trying to make a quick buck and move on in this world. At the same time, that's Peg Bundy sitting there, smiling. I had to stare at that shit like a car crash! And I'll admit it. I enjoyed it.
Sexy Wonder Woman? Whoop-doo!
Perverts and Security Guards! Boo! That sounds like some sort of weird reality show, and I won't be surprised to learn a month from now that Chris Hansen and his Dateline: To Catch a Predator crew were actually on the Con floor. Why do I think that? Well, I'll get to it in a minute. First I want to say, I have never seen such rude, crude, totally clueless, mean spirit, stupid, shitfaced security guards in my life. The 2008 batch of Comic-Con floor controllers was the worse. And I had more than a few run-ins with them. They fucking sucked. And I don't think I'm the only one with that stated opinion. I've dealt with a lot of security guards in my life, and I've been friends with more than a few. I understand their job, completely. Sadly, these guys and gals didn't. Maybe they'd been wrongly prepped on how to handle the hordes. Sure, the place was more crowded than every before. But what I saw were people trying to help each other out (for the most part). People trying to make way for little kids and their parents. And these Act III fuckshits were fucking that up at every turn. At one point, I went to buy a Lost Boys: The Tribe DVD while Feldman and Jamison Newlander were there signing, and it turned into an Abbott and Costello screaming match routine. One guy would tell me not to stand in line, the other security guard would tell me to get back in it. They wouldn't tell me where the end of the line was. But then, once I was situated, they'd tell me I cut in front of a dozen people. It was madly frustrating. And finally, I just got out of line. Then, one of the female guards told me not to sit where I was, eating a pretzel. I didn't argue with her. I got up to move. But she unleashed some pre-written diatribe upon my head, following me as I tried to find a place to enjoy my noonday snack. "Fuck, lady! I moved! I don't need the whole song and dance!" But she continued to go on about it, even after I found a new place to sit. Frustrating. And then they handcuffed some cute fifteen-year-old girl that looked about as harmless as a ladybug, and dragged her down the convention walkway in front of everybody waiting to get into Hall H. Why? Because she was protesting Twilight. What the fuck happened to free speech? I guess that's not allowed at Comic-Con anymore. I'm on her side. Twilight looks like it might suck. Uh-oh, someone get out the handcuffs. I've said a no-no. Now that I've gotten that bit of a bitch session out of the way, I must do an automatic three-sixty and commend the small batch of security guards working the lower level of Hall A and B Sunday afternoon. They were quick to grab two old perverts caught taking up-skirt photos of little girls on the convention floor. One was a fat, bald, sweaty dude with a giant smile on his face, even after he was caught. His buddy was your typical, old, creepy shitbag with a gross, roving tongue. The mom, walking behind her daughter, the victim, saw what they were doing, and a man standing nearby was quick to grab the fat man in a headlock. The old creepy dude tried to make off with the camera, but before you could say, "Boo, shit, or nothing!" Those Act III security guards had both men pinned to the wall. It took eight of them to heave fatty into a sanctioned off tent. I mention Dateline: To Catch a Predator, because it all went down so fast, and seemed like an inside sting operation. Also, about forty-five minutes before this, I was standing at the exit door of a small video panel when this fifteen year old girl, smoking hot but (seemingly) underage, goes walking past giving me the most lecherous eye. Just a "come fuck me" stare that you wouldn't believe. Then I saw her do it to some other guy over the age of thirty, and it suddenly felt like she was trolling for a quick handout. Entrapment? Possibly. But I wouldn't put it past that Chris Hansen. He is a sneaky devil. Luckily I ignored the girl and went back into interview Derek Meaks (the new Jason Voorhees). Who knows, you might have seen me up against the wall for simply waving "Hi!" to her.
The Sexy Jesus? Whoop-doo!
The parties and freebies this year? Whoop-doo! There were way too many free drinks fiercely flowing over the course of these five sun burnt days down in San Diego. It was a beggars delight, and if you cried about not being able to get fucked-up without busting apart your wallet, you just weren't doing it right. Hats off to Robert and Stephanie Sanchez and IESB for throwing, hands-down, the best party of the Con. Even AOL had to agree, so you know its true. The SSCC Wrath of Con 2008 Party offered the longest open bar. They had many mingling celebrities on hand. And let's not forget to mention the go-go dancers decked out in their sexy little pink Crank 2: High Voltage undies, black electrical tape securely fastened on their rock hard nipples. These boner bringing bitches crowded every corner of the patio space, turning the Hard Rock Cafe into the must be spot of the whole convention. It was truly a beautiful site. They also offered up the best gift bags to be found throughout the weekend, included in which was an awesome Crank 2: High Voltage t-shirt sporting a set of taped-up boobies. Honorable mention also goes out to Sony's DC Online party held Wednesday evening (otherwise known as preview night). This little shaker got things kicked off on the right foot. It was certainly a punch in the gut. I can't count how many free tequila shots I squirted back in its honor, or how many free scotches accidentally found their way into the mix. Add in all of the free beers I chugged before closing time, and it would probably equal my hotel bill for the entire duration of my stay. Let's just say I broke even on Preview Wednesday. As for the convention floor freebies, I hear the Sci-Fi channel big frakkin' bag was pretty cool. Some even noted it as the "swag of the week". I missed out on most of the convention floor giveaways, as I was up in the video line 99% of the time. But I did see all of the free t-shirts that were going around, and even managed to get my hands on a few. Though I sort of dissed Red Sonja in my last Boos and Whoop-doos!, the Red Sonja t-shirt gets the top prize for best all-around freebie. Sporting an image of Rose McGowan liking the bloody blade of her sword, there was no denying this was the must have fabric of the moment. Super cool, and I might just have to eat my words about McGowan being the next Sondra Locke. Or maybe not. Sandra looks just as hot, if not hotter, on the original poster artwork for Clint Eastwood's Gauntlet. And if Red Sonja is even a smidge as cool as this t-shirt, I'll be happy. Other honorable mentions go out to the Lost Boys: The Tribe headbands and the Terminator Salvation t-shirts. This was some of the best swag I've seen in years. And there were plenty of cool one-off posters being handed out, too. So sorry you missed out, Mr. Geekgasm (I'm not picking on him, Gasm and me go way back).
Sexy Ghostbusters? Double Whoop-doo!
Probably the biggest Boo! of the whole five days goes out to the omnipresent pretzel vendors that seemingly provide the only nourishment within the convention center. Trust me, after seven years, we've learned to pack our own snacks and water. In the past, just last year in fact, those running the press lines have been known to go without food for days on end. By the time we get to the parties, there is nothing left to fill our empty stomachs with but booze and liquor. Eventually, the bell will toll, and to continue going forward, we'll undoubtedly have to make a pit stop at one of the many pretzel stands seen throughout the Con. It's definitely a tradition. That inaugural first bite of some greasy old pretzel that has been lingering in a box since last year? I needed it. And boy, did I ever get it. On Friday afternoon, after chatting up at least fifty different celebrities, we decided to hit one of those creepy old red, white, and blue carts. The line was a forty-minute wait, which put us back a bit and almost made us late. Arriving at the front of the line, we discovered a bit of false advertising. Even though they touted the delicious nature of that signature nacho pretzel dog on their menu, they didn't have any more on hand. We'd have to huff it down to A&B to actually get one, as this cart only sold plain pretzels. A minor discrepancy, I guess. So, we ordered the regular old salt and dough jobs. Even after sitting in the microwave for a good four minutes, these inedible things were rough, tough and cold. My teeth barely made in indent in them. If we'd have been in the army, or trapped in the rubble of the con after an earthquake, we could have certainly used these things as rope. Tossing them midway through our eaten journey, those disgusting pretzels became an after thought. So, Saturday, still wanting one of their tasty nacho pretzel dogs, we made it over to the cart near Halls A and B. Another forty minute wait proved to be a waist of our time. They'd done away with the flavorful honey mustard sauce, and the actual hot dog nestled inside that decade old pretzel shell was colder than a dead hooker's snatch and a little less flavorful. It was another five dollars and fifty cents that soon found its way into the trash. Hopefully, next year, I'll come to my senses and save my money. Probably not, though. Because, when and if done right, the nacho pretzel dog is one of the best things about the con. So sad that we can't say that this year. Or maybe I just wasn't suffering from the rotgut hunger of years passed enough to truly enjoy it. That's probably it.
Sexy Knight Rider? Whoop-doo!
Ron $tencil? Boo! I have nothing against the man behind this quasi-Ron Burgundy meets Hunter $. Thompson by way of Johnny Depp caricature (except for when you catch him out of costume, he won't cop to the fact that he wears a fake mustache...The guy preens like he's the second coming of Andy Kaufman, which is a totally gay thing to do amongst your peers...That $hit is so old, dude. Neil "Gregg Turkington" Hamburger doesn't even do that.). He has long been a mainstay of the convention center floor, and has garnered a generous fan base of Hall H attendees who're hungry for any sort of microphone assassin that can go toe-to-toe with these annual celebrity panels. While his questions are just as stupid and boring as the rest of the geeks that get up there on that big screen, he knows how to work the crowd. And how to get a certain feigned response from whichever actor he is pestering at the time. Cool. But he belongs down there, with his people. Not up on an actual press line. Even Spike TV's Skeletor managed to outshine this poor little ex-Braniff International employee. For a second, I was excited to see him work some of that old Ron $tencil Hall H magic that I've seen conjured up in years past. But his one-on-one interactions were embarrassing to experience. For both him and everyone within a thirty mile radius. As our editor Timmy says, "It gave me the idiot shivers." Seeing his interface with Malin Ackerman on the Watchmen video press line was awkward and uncomfortable. Certainly not funny at all. Of all the videos he shot there, that's the only one he's posted thus far? Listen, I'm all for fucking around, but this is a major problem because it takes space away from other outlets that would have actually utilized the time for something good. Something entertaining. Something worthwhile. Not this garbage, any of which has hardly been used as of yet. Seriously, Frosty and his site Collider weren't allowed access to some of the red carpet moments this guy got. Which is too bad, cause Frosty (had he not been knocked on the noggin right at the start of Comic-Con 2008) would have created some excellent content out of it. None of which we've seen on Ron $tencil's site. I don't blame Ron, I blame his employer, Foreskinshowing.net, or, rather, Fistshoving.net as Mr. $tencil pronounces it. Alex Blightington, the man in charge over there at that stink bomb of a hovel, hired Ron but gave the man absolutely no direction. He just let the poor bastard run loose, and then stood in the background smiling like a jackass. This is why most people loathe Alex B. He doesn't give a shit about anything. So, he got less than excellent coverage from his coveted video placement on the carpet. He doesn't care. He'll just turn around and steal it from somewhere else. Yes, Alex B. has become one of the most hated movie bloggers on the planet. Even other blog critics in Japan and Guam hate him for his shifty practices of Digging other people's news, which he so confidently places on his own rickety Vietnam brothel of a blog. And the guy has a hard red rocket of love cock-on for our own Paulington J. Christensen. He must. First, he scoops up Christensen's articles and then prints them word for word on his own site, generating traffic and revenue from someone else's copyrighted material (Paulington hasn't seen dime one)? Then he goes out and gets some hack with a moustache to do his on-camera interviews for him? Does the guy jack-off to our site's front page at night? I'd bet money on it. He saw Paulington, and then decided that he, too must have a crazy guy with a mustache. Well, Alex B., our guy's mustache is Real. $tencil's moustache and technique is as fake and fucked-up as your clone bred diaper disposal of a site. It's really too bad your guy doesn't know how to work a press line. It's depressing, to tell you the truth. Why? Because, like I said, Ron $tencil's placement on that red carpet pushed other, more worthy news sources off of it. And that is a fucking crime in and of itself. Alex just needs to roll himself up in those WALL-E bed sheets his mom bought him and go to sleep for a very long time. Douche knuckle wannabe thief. Again, Boo!
Another F*cking Joker? Boo!
This year's five-day non-stop costume and Cosplay parade? Boo! If I ever see another person dressed up like the Joker, it'll be too soon. Every time I turned around, there was some new dude copping Heather Ledger's look like Alex B. cops other people's content. Jokers were everywhere. It was like Chunky A says in that Owwww! song. I've seen many Jokers in my life at Con. Light, dark, short, tall, nerds of all kinds. Listen up, geeks. There's more than one character in the comic book universe to dress up as when you head down to San Diego. Did you honestly think you were being original? Did you think you'd be the only one? Also, there was a fat version of every character walking around the floor throughout the event. Fat Batman, Fat Indy, Sailor Full Moon, and Fat Wolverine. Just fat, as far as the eye could see. Which makes me wonder why they don't create a really cool group of fat super heroes that tubby and his gang of snack fiends could dress up as. Make them cool, with really neat super powers. No one wants to be seen scooting around the convention floor on a rascal, pretending to be The Blob. Sure, I've seen that conceit, but never intentionally. The few non-Jokers I saw didn't really put too much effort into their costumes, either. The Halloween kids just didn't have it in them this year. And that's kind of sad. Watching people walk past in some gregarious outfit of their own making is one of the best parts about Comic-Con. The whole enterprise is really flying away from its intended roots.
More Crappy Costumes? Boo!
Speaking of roots, I tried to find one comic book this year, and it proved to be impossible. Boo! The Con doesn't care about comic books anymore, even though it's right there in the title. They're more concerned about pimping the latest in film and television franchise. I'm all for that, but I really wanted to buy The Lost Boys Reign of Frog four part series. You'd think it would be easy to it hunt down. Nope. That quest proved nearly impossible, until the artists of this new DC comic book miniseries showed up at a booth. They signed the first two issues and handed them over for free! So this Boo! quickly turned into a Whoop-doo!. Still, I feel for the pulp industry. They are being run out of their own backyard. Soon, we'll probably see something called "The Real Comic Book Convention" popping up, somewhere. I guarantee it. And about the Reign of Frogs? Excellent, if not a little short. The main arc of the storyline plays like a true sequel to the 1987 movie, and is a bit more worthwhile to seek out than it's equally timed DTDVD cousin The Tribe. Whoop-doo!
Family Guy? Whoop-doo!
Finally, we come to the film section of this journey. The reason my cohorts and me arrived on the scene in the first place. To chat with those behind the biggest properties coming up within the next year. I don't remember dreading anything out of the bunch. Even Race to Witch Mountain sounds kind of cool when Dwayne Johnson talks about it. Certainly the highlights were getting to talk to the legendary Sid & Marty Krofft about their upcoming big screen adaptation of Land of the Lost. They even brought along some Sleestaks. McG seemed to wow the crowd with his Terminator Salvation footage. It has certainly bumped him up and out of that pissed-on league of dreaded directors (for the moment being). Talking with the entire cast of the Watchmen, you can automatically sense that those guys are onto something really special. We already know that Pineapple Express kicks much booty. I've heard dreadful words spit out about Will Eisner's The Spirit footage. It's campy. It's atrocious. And it probably is, but when was the last time we had something so glorifying awful that it became an instant cult milestone? Way to long. Yes, Comic-Con 2008 pimped its flicks like a Cambodian hooker at midnight, and I fully bought into the vage dive of it all. Call me an easy target.
Laker Girls? Whoop-doo!
My favorite part of Comic-Con 2008? Watching the Pineapple Express car get busted for hot boxing. The studio reps said it was for expired tags, but we have video of the entire incident. The cops pulling them over, the smoke coming out of the car window, the driver showing us the fake smoke machine and the promo bongs that wouldn't work even if they were the last pot smoking devices on earth. Oh, those guys got off scot-free because they were pretending. They didn't get arrested. But it sure was funny. Anyway, hope to see you all again next year. Next week, we will be returning with your regularly scheduled edition of the Boos! and Whoop-doos! So, always remember...
Feast 2? Whoop-doo!
Eat food! Kill Grandma! And fuck Alex B. with a thorny stick right in his tight, tiny pee hole.