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SDCC, WonderCon Coverage


Wednesday, 10 August 2016 11:41 Jennifer Devore
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Maybe my focus was on all the supa kawai'i Sanrio merchandise. (Have you met Hello Kitty's friend, Gudetama the Lazy Egg?! Please, leave me alone.)

Maybe my focus was on a potential brush with greatness, a possible gallery-soirée with Stan Lee. Yet, to my eyes, cosplay this year at San Diego Comic-Con (S.D.ConvCtr 21-24 July 2016) appeared less prevalent than in years past. It seemed a hipper, more mellow element pervaded the Con. A cool, lackadaisical mood lingered on the floor, like an après-surf, red Solo cup party in Long Beach rather than a meticulously planned, high-energy, kitschy cocktail party in West Hollywood. If I had to associate a drink with the vibe, it would be a craft IPA, served by a chap uninterested in eye contact and sporting a well-worn Overlook Hotel tee, a Turnberry tweed cap and mutton chops.

Note: This blasé attitude does not include anything associated with Hall H, Rotten Tomatoes' Your Opinion Sucks! panel or SyFy's Will Arnett broadcast. This is strictly a floor observation.

This year's populace felt so casual it bordered on loitering outside Apu's Kwik-E-Mart. It felt like going to a Hallowe'en party, over which you've been salivating for weeks and a friendly surfer and his buds shows up with six-packs of Sculpin, Stone and Sierra Nevada, and no costumes, except the one guy ironically wearing a rubber unicorn mask. Somehow, even though it's a Hallowe'en party, they're so damn cool, you end up feeling like the dork because you were high-strung enough to play dress-up. Being the designated dork doesn't change your good-timin' frame o' mind, but you still feel slightly stoopid and a little awkward. At times, Comic-Con felt like that:  like you're Forrest Ackerman and Myrtle Jones at the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. (Right? Am I right? Ha! Cosplay humour.)

Without a doubt, at least from the perspective of Yours Truly, the scales tipped from intense cosplay to graphic tees and jeans. Even so, there was still enough cosplay to fill The Drunken Clam; yet, with a noticeable dip in mass participation. If you swung Jar Jar Binks by the ears, you'd hit less cosplay than not. As SDCC has reached such a phenomenally coveted stature, it has become a top-shelf entertainment score. A badge of honour, as it were, attracting A-listers, H-townies and their more desperately-casual following. As much as we love the "It" crowd, sometimes, unknowingly, they mow over the IT Crowd.

*True story, kittens. Straight out of a scenefrom the hi-larious novel, The Darlings of Orange County, Moi, minding her own business, observing this and that on the Con floor, was literally knocked over by four veritable jocks in A&F and Hurley tees on their way to snap a pic of one of our quintessential Babes of Comic-Con. Whilst I do not blame them, for she was quite a treat, a little Pardon Me, or help picking up my bags might have been gentlemanly. Other than that, admittedly, it had to have been a comical sight.

 

Of course, safety, not just feeeeelings, are of prime concern for the organizers at Comic-Con Int'l (CCI). Like the joined forces of JLA and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., CCI and the SDPD - not to mention Captain America and Agent Carter - did a superhero job of keeping all of us geeks,  hipsters and jocks superduper safe. Cheers, all you superstars of law enforcement! We so appreciate you!

Perceptively astute or not, I did still see enough cosplay to keep our Dr. Lucy and her Canon EOS occupied for five days. Many of the better quality costumes were less popularly known characters than inventive creations of individualistic style. Whatever your taste, be it stylish Goth chicks or classic Marvel superheroes, please, enjoy Dr. Lucy's Famous SDCC Slideshow, or, see her whole catalogue of SDCC 2016 pix (and past years') at her Twisted Pair Flickr feed!

 

 

Aside: As I do every year, I choose a fave vendor as Miss Hannah's Pick of the Con. With so much fabulosity from which to choose, I had to pick two this time!

  • Loungefly Star Wars collection and my fab, new, giant Ewok wallet.
  • Akumuink and my last-of-a-kind Miss Black Widow tee, complete with parasol, bustle and red lace trim. Love it? So sorry. Huzzah! I got the last one!

Cheers, Miss Hannah's 2016 Pick(s) of the Con and Abyssnia all around town!

 

BTW, kids! Didn't attend Comic-Con, or did, but didn't save your official 2016 Souvenir Book, fret not! Miss Hannah (aka author Jennifer Susannah Devore) had her sixth SouvBk article published! This year: 75 Years of Archie Comics: Betty & Veronica, American Girls. Read it here!

 

Abyssinia, kids!

 

@JennyPopNet

 

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Wednesday, 03 August 2016 07:37 Jennifer Devore
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I have always pondered what an experience it would have been to claim, casually over a tankard of Port, back at my fave, Yorkshire pub, The Gargoyle's Daughter, in my twee, riparian village of Notting-on-Scythe, “Yeah, cool. I was at this amazing party last week, in London. Yeah? Shakespeare was there. No, I didn’t get to talk to him, actually. But I saw him, yeah. Cool. Had loads of people around him. Dinna wannna bother him, yeah? He was hanging out by the wooden glove-forms, writing bits of dirty sonnet for some of the guests. Crazy, I tell you. Cool. Yeah, okay cool.”

Well, that never happened, not to Moi anyhoo. History is chock-a-block with visionaries we, today, will ne’er get to meet: Socrates, Didier, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Ben Frankin, Th. Jefferson, Mozart, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Jane Austen, Coco Chanel, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Marie Antoinette (yes), Tim Burton and, natch, Stan Lee. So, I have to ask the universe, What the heck?! More precisely, what the heck, Stan Lee’s handlers?

So, you know when Wile E. Coyote sprints off a Sedona Red Rocks cliff, giving myopic, laser-focused chase to The Road Runner? The effort, the spirit, the heart woven into that sprint? Then, suddenly, Coyote realizes he’s mid-air, sans gravity, whips out his Bye-bye! sign and plummets to the desert floor with a great Splat!? So, that feeling. Mbeep-mbeep!

Allow me to be very clear here … I speak not ill of Stan Lee. Great Odin’s Raven, who would?! Stan Lee’s generous persona, infectious cheer and historic vision are the very reasons I have a beef of any kind today. I also do not speak ill of Chuck Jones Gallery. My post-event reconnaissance with an anonymous consultant, and pre-event communications with multiple, very kind individuals, assure me the gallery is not my personal Road Runner. My Road Runner, as it were, is the team of Stan Lee assistants and/or handlers at the, personally, much anticipated Chuck Jones Gallery event during San Diego Comic-Con 2016.

See, wha’ ha’ happen was …

Chuck Jones Gallery proffered a series of fabulous, RSVP-only events during Comic-Con: as noted in my Pre-Con Recon. As my coveted gig is to cover all the geeky goodness there is at SDCC, I made certain to RSVP, personally with gallery director Mr. Michael Fiacco, to attend la crème de la crème of après-Con evening events: Stan Lee signing his latest artwork from God Woke.

To be further fair to the gallery, Mr. Fiacco not only quickly and affably welcomed my RSVP (+1, Dr. Lucy, obviously) as a GoodToBeAGeek correspondent, but also forthrightly relayed that Stan Lee would not be roaming the gallery during the Friday night event, like some free-range chicken. Instead, “Stan Lee will be entering the gallery thru [sic] a back door and only signing art and posing for pictures with people who purchase it. He will not be visible to anyone else in the gallery.” Otherwise, attendees would be free to peruse the gallery, in a reservations-only setting. Fair enough, kittens.

Perhaps there would be a brush with greatness, perhaps not. In the end, a chance to prowl casually, sans the madding crowds, through an air-conditioned gallery of Marvel, Warner Bros and Peanuts creations, even just knowing Stan Lee was in there somewhere, was a treat in itself.

To make the evening geek-parfait, my cohort, Dr. Lucy, and I switched our cosplay schedule to wear our Marvel costumes (Agent Peggy Carter and Captain America) on Friday, rather than on the more crowd- and media-heavy, Big Saturday. Not only do I always dress in a modified theme when visiting a museum or gallery – be it The Rijksmuseum, The Getty, The Louvre or Chuck Jones Gallery – Lucy and I would be perfectly outfitted for a Stan Lee event.

 

What a perfect night it was shaping up to be. After a full, happily exhausting day inside the Con and a quick martini at Lou & Mickey’s in the Gaslamp District, Captain America and I were off to Chuck Jones, nicely situated a few doors down from L&M. Of course, the line to enter the gallery was longer than we anticipated: mea culpa here. Still, for a 5:00 – 7:00p.m. event, we didn’t want to arrive exactly on time, like eager beavers.

So, at 5:20, we sauntered over to Chuck Jones: actually, directly outside L&M’s front door was the gallery’s end-of-line. We excitedly chatted with others in line and slowly, over the next hour, the line notably shortened. Our excitement never abated, but the heat tried its best to quell our childlike spirit.

By 6:25 our spirits were not dampened, but our hair was. Too berated by the heat and humidity to care about frizzy curls anymore, we focused on the fact we were a mere fifteen spaces, it seemed, from the front door. Huzzah! A light at the end of the Chunnel! Then, either a gallery employee or a Stan Lee handler informed us they were going to start moving folks in by small groups, rather than individually.

Huzzah! Captain America and I optimistically cried out again. The weary, non-cosplayed group in front of us did not chime in to cheer. Clearly, over the hour-plus of standing in moist heat with no breeze, they had grown irritated by our impromptu recitations of Warner Bros. episodes and Animaniacs song-bursts. “We’re next!” we added, unaffected by their solemn weariness and began a quiet rendition of Pinky and the Brain‘s theme song. Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain …

With the similar sensations to opening a birthday present, our eyes widened, pulses raced and excitable grins began to widen and adhere tightly. I had my business card in-hand, eager to proffer it in humble thanks and shake hands with either director Michael Fiacco, or the friendly gallery consultant I had met weeks before, Geoff Hampton.

Around 6:35, we scuttled forward, now only about eight folks away from the door, our grins fixed as we began lightly bobbing up and down on the balls of our feet, neither singing nor reciting anymore, simply giggling each time we looked at each other. Captain America and Agent Carter couldn’t have been happier! (Who knew they were such giddy figures? Take that, Nazis!) Though we would most likely only have about fifteen minutes to wander the gallery, presumably sans Stan Lee, this was enough for us. Besides, one never knows what Stan Lee will do. He could appear for a surprise Excelsior! Who knows?

In some slapstick, Laverne & Shirley/Absolutely Fabulous/2 Broke Girls scenario, Stan Lee would spy our costumes through a crack in the open door, insist on meeting us because he was so touched we cared so much about his characters, then learn about my Savannah of Williamsburg novels and instantly declare, “Somebody, get me a brush! I must illustrate these fantastic books as graphic novels!” and then … well, alas. Excelsior!

Approximately 6:37 and a chirpy yet firm handler (I am assured by an anonymous gallery employee what occurred next was all handler-based.) exited the gallery and addressed the now-short line succinctly with a professional smile and the following message, which I paraphrase from my burned-in, Sweeney Toddesque memory …

Thank you, everybody. Stan Lee is gone. He has sold everything he brought with him. The event is now closed. Sorry for the inconvenience. Have a good night.

… and she closed the door. That was it. Not even a walk through the gallery. With only twenty minutes to go, this portion of the evening, for which we had valiantly prepared, was over and we were dismissed with what felt like a swift kick in Captain America’s vintage army pants and not so much as a plastic glass of bad wine or a toothpicked-olive-and-cheese-stack. Whether we were there to purchase or peruse, we were there first and foremost to honour and support a modern-day Shakespeare.

Aside: Be it known, Moi could not not keep up with Stan Lee’s schedule. As I feel about Queen Elizabeth II, I am in awe of his appointment calendar. Clearly, his agents/assistants/handlers have only his best health and interest at heart; for that I not only do not blame them, but applaud them. Of course, as Captain America exclaimed, “Lovely bait and switch.”

6:38p.m. and I cannot express the swath of real disappointment that coated the remaining devotees in line. If the coastal, summer humidity was heavy that July eve, the weighty defeat drizzled over us like heated maple syrup. With that, we all shrugged and wandered our separate ways. The non-cosplayers to, likely, someplace boring and relieved to escape our animated outbursts; Captain America and I off to meet a pirate, a Viking and a Rotten Tomato for Dirty Shirleys.

Whilst the literary comparisons are vast, the ubiquity and psychology of Stan Lee’s universe is as comparable and relative as all that bequeathed to us by William Shakespeare. Unbeknownst to all or not, our daily lives are tinged as much with Stan Lee as with The Bard, if not as eruditely. Next time you’re in the shower singing Spider-Pig, trippingly on the tongue, enjoying a beach bonfire and think Flame On!, or find yourself on a wild-goose chase for a Con-exclusive FunkoPop Stan Lee, you’ll recall this post.

Oh, my stars and garters! you’re thinking. What a maroon!, rolling your eyes Liz Lemon-style until you hurt yourself. Well, if you find this all much ado about nothing, your Spidey-senses are tingling. ‘Tis merely the rantings of a spoiled girl to a charmed life born, and thus nothing else this summer upon which to harp. However, the powers-that-be at GoodToBeAGeek (mortal fools!) have provided me the elbow room necessary to Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!

No, yeah, cool, jk. ‘Tis not serious, seriously. The world is replete with true tragedy and what seems like daily horror. This pseudo-gripe is meant in good humour, in a Peter Griffin “What Really Grinds My Gears” kind of style … mostly. Of course, as Shakespeare penned, Many a truth be said in jest.

In the end, Captain America and I are merely bummed we missed out on not only a possible brush with greatness, but also Chuck Jones’ special Comic-Con exhibit. I wanted Chuck Jones, Stan Lee and Stan Lee’s handlers to know we are very sorry we missed him and his latest works. Though I am loathe to wear my heart upon my sleeve, if you know Mr. Lee, or any of these folks, let 'em know, would you? Now that I’ve ranted … all’s well that ends well.

Mbeep-mbeep!

 

 

@JennyPopNet

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Monday, 11 July 2016 12:56 Jennifer Devore
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If you’re paying attention to comic-reference specifics on The Big Bang Theory you’ll note one franchise regularly takes a hit: Archie Comics. Jughead, Reggie, Archie and the kids at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe might be beneath Dr. Sheldon Cooper; yet, he wouldn’t even take notice if Betty and Veronica took up permanent residence with him and Leonard … unless they sat in his spot. Clearly, Not-Dr. Wolowitz would absolutely appreciate America’s hottest sweethearts.

Admittedly, for Yours Truly anyhoo, Archie has been somewhat of a doof for decades. (Of course, so are copious numbers of comic book readers.) Never a moment of ennui with Betty & Veronica, though! Always trendsetters, always beauteous, regardless of the era. Well, the doofy ginger and his crew be undegoin’ a sea change, kittens; some severely need it, some just look even better with age. Archie Comics is taking the very sage opportunity of San Diego Comic-Con (San Diego Convention Center July 21 – 24, 2016) to premiere it’s newest franchise-complement: Riverdale the TV series.

In addition, on the Con floor, Archie Comics artists will be signing various new titles, including Betty & Veronica #1 with its supa kawaii, very San Diego-apropos, casual beach-happy, SDCC-exclusive, variant cover by Adam Hughes (DC Comics,  Playboy, Lucasfilm): $10. If that’s not enough all-American good timin’ for you, stop on by and meet the cast of The CW’s Riverdale at the Archie Comics booth when you pick up your new-and-improved B&V, or any number of new floppies. (Please, see full, con-schedule below.)
With a new TV series, sparkling-new Betty and Veronica, Archie, Archie Horror and a slate of fresh-from-the-vine comics, replete with contempo and classic characters, Archie Comics is set to take its place, once again, as the suburban cul-de-sac of America's fave teenagers, yet this time with a Millennial tint.

Riverdale Pilot/Screening/Q&A (Saturday July 23, 2016 6:30p-7:25p, Rm 6BCF) Riverdale will premiere mid-season on The CW.

Archie Comics Creator-Signing, SDCC 2016 Schedule, Booth #1829

  • Thursday, July 21

1p-2p BETTY & VERONICA: Adam Hughes

3p-4p NEW RIVERDALE: Adam Hughes & Derek Charm

4p-5p ARCHIE ALL-STAR: Dan Parent

5p-6p DARK CIRCLE COMICS: Duane Swierczynski, Adam Christopher, Frank Tieri

  • Friday, July 22

Noon-1p BETTY & VERONICA: Tula Lotay, Tom Bancroft, Colleen Coover, Adam Hughes

1p-2p NEW RIVERDALE: Adam Hughes & Derek Charm

3p-4p ARCHIE ALL-STAR: Dan Parent

4p-5p ARCHIE ACTION: Tyson Hesse

5p-6p ARCHIE HORROR: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

  • Saturday, July 23

10a-11a JUGHEAD: Derek Charm

11a-12p ARCHIE ALL-STAR: Dan Parent

2p-3p BETTY & VERONICA: Adam Hughes

  • Sunday, July 24

10:30a-11a RIVERDALE: Cast TBA

11:30a-12:30p ARCHIE ALL-STAR: Dan Parent

12:30p-1:00p ARCHIE HORROR: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

1p-2p BETTY & VERONICA: Adam Hughes

 

Check back here, and/or follow me @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek and Instagram for all the geeky goodness at San Diego Comic-Con starting Preview Night at the S.D. Convention Ctr. July 20, 2016!

P.S. For a full history on Betty & Veronica, don’t forget to head upstairs at the ConvCtr, to the Salis Pavillion, to pick up your official, 2016 Comic-Con International Souvenir Book! Our Miss Hannah (aka Jennifer Susannah Devore), hopefully, has her sixth SDCC article in this one: a 75-year retrospective of America's Sweethearts, Betty & Veronica! To read her past, published articles on Catwoman, The Simpsons, Hellboy, Peanuts and Tarzan, visit her SDCC Articles page at JennyPop.net!

 

 

 

 

 

 
Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:09 Jennifer Devore
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Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. You sit there, like an idiot, waiting in hair-tugging madness for Netflix to release your fave series' next season. Then, before you've had time to digest it properly and publicly declare it Fresh or Rotten ... blam-O! It's over!

You waited all this time to see who's dead, who hooked up and what they wore while it all happened. Then, in one long weekend, it's over. How the hell did that happen so quickly? All that anticipation and it's done and gone like yesterday's jam. (Wait. That's not right. Jam lasts forever. Init?)

Cheers, kittens! It's Moi, Miss Hannah Hart and like S3 of TURN, S4 of Bates Motel or a 2013 bottle of Coppola Director's Cut Cabernet, Comic-Con will have taunted and tempted you seemingly for-ev-er and then, Poof! ... all that delayed gratification is nothing but a sad ring of residue.

Why the harbinger of so much doom and gloom, Hannah? the fair reader wonders.

Fair point, fair reader. What the captain means to say is, SDCC is coming down the pipe fast, kids: less than two weeks. If I've learned anything in my 116 years of existence (Earthly and otherwise) it's time gets away from you, fast; so don't put off the little things. San Diego Comic-Con is the same thing. It seems like forever to wait, but it'll be here, and gone, before you can say, Bazinga!

When the Lolitas start looking old, it's over. Trust me, they start looking old pretty fast. Then, it's another year (save WonderCon, but that's still next Spring) before you get any Comic-Con mulligans. So, now, two weeks out, is your time to make it perfect.

Add those extra accoutrements to your costume; you'll wish you did when you see the work others put into their cosplay. Work in some extra days at the gym so you look superduper tight in that Harley Quinn or Thor costume. Polish up your portfolio if you're bringing artwork for a Portfolio Review Session with on-site, industry pros. Line up your panel schedule so you don't whine to your significant other every time you watch an episode of Bob's Burgers in the Autumn, I could've seen them in person! Don't let "Coulda Shoulda Woulda" be your motto.

The best way to keep track of all those panels, not to mention the allotted time you'll need to dash like The Flash from ballroom to ballroom? MySched of course! Even better? Sync MySched with the Official Comic-Con Mobile App (for Android and iOS). Worried about a connection? No worries! Just download the app and you'll get automatic updates regularly, sans Internet: special guest bios/photos, Exhibit Hall/hotels/ConvCtr maps, panel schedules and links to SDCC social media, for when you do have a connection.

Note: Of course, there is always Wi-Fi inside the Con; yet now there will be plenty of free Wi-Fi outside the Con, around San Diego: 100 HotSpots July 8 - 24, provided by a partnership between CCI and Cox Communications. Just look for the “Cox Wi-Fi Free” network on your device.

Re: those panels, check the official CCI Programming Schedule for the full buffet. From Silicon Valley to The Strain, from Torchwood to Wynonna Earp, from The Vampire Diaries to iZombie, from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along to Rotten Tomatoes' tar-and-feathering, pitch-capping Your Opinion Sucks! panel (Friday, July 22, 2016, 6:45p, Rm 6DE) you're going to need to queue up your ducks. FOX alone will be using the venue to proffer thirteen new, and returning, series.

20th Century Fox will introduce Son of Zorn24: Legacy and The Exorcist as well as a preview of a musical-revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fan-faves returning to FOX include Scream Queens, Family Guy, The Simpsons, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, and Salem. Hide your toads.

All this yummy, geeky goodness means celeb sightings in and around the ConvCtr; and even if you won't admit it, you know deep in your Dark Souls your pupils would dilate if you caught a glimpse of Emilia Clarke, RDJ, Emily Deschanel, Peter Dinklage, Emma Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Matt Groening, Kit Harrington, Mekhi Phifer, Kevin Smith, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stan Lee, Conan O'Brien or Will Arnett.

Speaking of Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, BoJack Horseman), Orange County's fave, obnoxious older-bro, Gob Bluth, will host Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con: a three-night, live telecast, airing Thursday, July 21 - Saturday, July 24, 2016, 8p.m. EST/5p.m. PST. The nightly spectacle will tape live on the Marriott Marquis & Marina rooftop. A standing-only, undoubtedly frenetic crowd will juxtapose beautifully against the serene, San Diego Harbor views as Arnett interviews actors, pros and fans atop the Marriott, sprinkling each evening with behind-the-scenes nomnoms and any SDCC "breaking news": presumably with interstitial squibs for his newest flick: The Lego Batman Movie (2017).

Note: Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con is a free, but ticketed event. You must have a badge and, I must report, as with all things Comic-Con, these free tix were gone within minutes of the availability announcement. It is possible, however, to join the huddled masses on ... The Waitlist. Bonne chance, chatons! If you did get tix, event organizers tell us there is no seating, SRO. They are honest in admitting SyFy Presents will be “slightly” oversold; yet, if you have tix, “as long as you arrive 30 minutes prior to the arrival time on [the] ticket you should be admitted”.

 

Kittens, get your gear in gear! The Con is nigh! If you need more detailed specifics on all goings-on, from panel updates/changes to pop-up screenings, from an up-to-the-minute Con-cast to Con-exclusive merch, from hotel info to off-site activities, bookmark San Diego Unofficial Blog. Only the folks running Comic-Con know better what's happening at SDCC!

 

Abyssinia on the Con Floor, Kids!

 

 

Check back here, and/or follow me @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek and Instagram for all the geeky goodness at San Diego Comic-Con starting Preview Night at the S.D. Convention Ctr. July 20, 2016!

 

P.S. Even if your badges were mailed to you this year, don't forget to head upstairs at the ConvCtr, to the Salis Pavillion, to pick up your official, 2016 Comic-Con International Souvenir Book! Our Miss Hannah (aka Jennifer Susannah Devore), hopefully, has her sixth SDCC article in this one: 75th anniversary of Archie Comics, a Betty & Veronica retrospective! To read her past articles on Catwoman, The Simpsons, Hellboy, Peanuts and Tarzan, visit her SDCC Articles page at JennyPop.net!

 

 
Friday, 01 July 2016 09:46 Jennifer Devore
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“Comic-Con is the one time of the year when all nerds can set aside their personal opinions and focus on their petty differences … ”

-Will Arnett

Two Daphnes: post-apocalyptic and classic. Photo: JSDevore

Cheers, kittens! ‘Tis July and that means Comic-Con in these here parts! Final touches to costumes, triple-confirming hotel reservations, extra days at the gym and squirreling away all the forgotten pocket-dough you find doing laundry. Oh, wait … how rude of me. You didn’t get a badge? You’re not attending San Diego Comic-Con (San Diego Convention Center, July 21 – 24, 2016)? Oh, dear. Well, in that case …

So, dear reader. Did Badge Quest vanquish you, again? La pauvre. Forget to pre-reg after last year’s Con, so you could at least have the opportunity to be vanquished early on this year, as quickly and easily as a paladin with zero-invisibility? Registered eventually, woke up crazy-early on open-reg, massacre morning, yet still missed out, even on Sunday badges? What a loser. (JK. Not really. K, maybe. No, jk.) In the end, perhaps you just don’t give a f^%$, but someone you really care about does. However it plays out, come the third week in July you are stuck in downtown San Diego with hours to kill, but no badge. Now what?

Yours Truly (and my supa con-cohort Dr. Lucy) has been very fortunate to have regularly obtained badges, by varied manner of acquisition. (Yes, even ghosts need badges. That’s how bonkers this pop culture phenomenon is.) Whilst a number of folk I know find interest in the Con, none enough to do the early footwork themselves: a mere velliety with no effort. Further, I believe the innate coveting comes more because they may not have a badge, rather than a crushing desire to see a panel with the entire Chanel-cast of Scream Queens, or nab an SDCC-exclusive, Star Trek Barbie. What assuages the unbadged best? Assuring them there is almost as much to do outside the Convention Center, in what is popularly known as The Comic-Con Campus, as inside the Con. (Heh heh. No, there isn’t really; but it’s kind to let them know there’s summat they can do whilst they’re waiting patiently until you join them for après-Con drinkies.)

Luckily for the unbadged, San Diego’s downtown is host to myriad entertainment, even in non-Con times. (Whaaaat? Non-Con times? What is this arid, desert existence of which you speak?!) Walking distance from the San Diego Convention Center – providing you’re mildly healthy – gives you a breadth of activity: Gaslamp District bars, restaurants, shops and galleries, and the Waterfront’s harbourside diversions, like Seaport Village, Star of India (1863, still-seaworthy sailing ship) and Little Italy.

A short drive or ferry ride proffers more divertissements. Natch, my fave nearby haunt is The Hotel del Coronado and its luxurious, beachside enclave of Coronado Island: one-time home to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) author L. Frank Baum, and location for Marilyn Monroe signature-flick, Some Like It Hot (1959). Ferries scoot across the bay every half-hour to/from Coronado at the Convention Center Landing (5th Ave.), and hourly at the Broadway Pier Landing (N. Harbor Dr.): same regularity on return trips at Coronado Landing. (Be smart! Verify Flagship Cruises ferry schedule during the Con.)

If a grand Victorian resort – world’s first to have electricity, in 1904 – , quaint island shopping and multi-million-dollar beach houses aren’t your cup o’ cuppa, try Point Loma. Point Loma, too, boasts multi-million-dollar beach houses, yet it is also home to San Diego Comic Art Gallery, IDW Publishing and Stone Brewing Bistro (host of Hop-Con 4.0, a beery, hoppy alternative to SDCC Preview Night: Wed. July 20th at 5:00p.m.). All three establishments are housed at Liberty Station, a former U.S. Naval Base-turned-unique shopping/dining/work atmos.

Like Alice in Wonderland, if all this noise is screaming at you, cross-armed this-a-way that-a-way, there is a safe place: OutsideComicCon has your 411. Be ye unbadged, or badged-but-bored after the con doors close, OCC has plenty of suggestions, nicely organized and detailed at their site: from Conan at Spreckles Theater (likely no tix left), to Comedy Bang! Bang! Live! at The Irenic; from Gam3rcon at New School, to Magic the Gathering tourneys at the Marriott; from Star Trek‘s makeup-collection debut at MAC Cosmetics, to Star Trek: Beyond film premiere at the Embarcadero; from Suicide Squad at the Hard Rock, to Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque at Brick by Brick … phew, there’s far too much to cite here! Please, visit their 2016 Events page, kids!

If you desire a more serene escape, a respite far from the madding crowd, but still smack dab in the middle of it all, Daffy Duck into Chuck Jones Gallery on Fifth Ave., in the Gaslamp. Set in a light, cool and welcoming brick space, the gallery serves as either museum or dream boutique, depending upon one’s cabbage count. The gallery boasts original works on paper and canvas, as well as cels, sculpture, lithographs and limited edition copies of not only Chuck Jones and Warner Bros. delights, but also Disney, Marvel Comics, Dr. Seuss and Peanuts (Charles Schulz, Bill Melendez and contempo, Peanuts-interpretive artist Tom Everhart). Geoff Hampton, an affable and patient CJG art consultant, was happy to field numerous questions and displayed none of the condescending strain so commonly oozing from other gallery folk. Mr. Hampton informed Moi the gallery enthusiastically engages a Comic-Conesque overlay during SDCC, highlighting their Marvel works, keeping well in tune with the vibe of our Con.

Beyond highlighting Marvel Comics, Chuck Jones Gallery will be hosting a slew of pen-and-inky events for the duration of SDCC: guest artists include Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons), James C. Mulligan (Disney), Rodel Gonzales (Star Wars) and, wait for it ... Stan Lee and William Shatner (both of freaking awesomeness inc!). For a full schedule of talks, signings and exhibits, visit SDCC Unofficial Blog.

(Please note the gallery does not have a space within the Convention Center; so, be certain to seek them out, badged or not! Re: artist events, please call 619.294.9880 to RSVP.)

Of course, the overwhelmingly popular, just-waiting-for-my-fill-in-the-blank activity is drinking and strolling in the Gaslamp. (Not simultaneously, though. This ain’t New Orleans, kittens!)  For you drinkers, caveat emptor, I say! Beware tavernkeeps promising Con-deals. If they can slither into your Apple Pay, they will. (Of course, there are a number of proper deals around town, if you show your badge. Curses! the unbadged declare. Foiled again!) Moreover, whatever you pay, wherever you drink, find thee a taxi, an Uber, a Lyft, a shuttle, a trolley, a train, a spaceship, a landspeeder, a Tron lightcycle, a royal sedan-chair: whatever it takes to get home, or back to your hotel, safely.

As far as the crowds, (Ohh, Jebus, the crowds!) be nice and superduper patient. Don’t poke strangers with your parasol (guilty); if you do, apologize profusely. Hold onto your purse, not to mention your bippy. Say Pardon me, no matter how tired you get of saying it (and you will, after the hundredth time bumping into someone). Hold doors for folks, say After you! often, but don’t hold up the line. Compliment congoers’ costumes, as we spend an awful lot of thought, time and money on them; and save the snark and criticism for … never. Just be nice. My tried and true, popular, SDCC 2014 post, “Boobs Are Not Bunnies“, should help.

Abyssinia on the Con Floor, Kids!

Check back here, and/or follow me @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek and Instagram for all the geeky goodness at San Diego Comic-Con, starting Preview Night at the S.D. Convention Ctr. July 20, 2016!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net

JennyPop’s SDCC pages

jenniferdevore.blogspot.com

amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 
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Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!