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Spurious Comic-Con

An SFX Spurious Awards special, devoted to the madness that was the San Diego Comic-Con

Most Popular Pastime At Comic-Con
Queuing. For everything. The length of the queue for Hall H (where all the major announcements happened) became so infamously long that people were virtually camping out overnight to get a seat for the next day’s programme of events. Dave G spent two and a half hours stuck in that particular queue because no-one left the hall after the Megamind panel. That was because no-one in the Hall actually wanted to see the Megamind panel, they were just getting in early for the Tron panel. Still, good publicity for Megamind . Rich and Dave B had similarly mammoth waits for the Marvel and Warners panels, not helped by a bloody incident involving an eyeball meeting the business end of a pen which saw Hall H in lockdown for part of Saturday evening. Apparently it was caused an argument over seating, though convention Chinese whispers rapidly spun the tale into an all-out duel with replica Samurai swords and oceans of blood. See, it’s not all party, party party.

That wasn’t the only queuing action going on by a long shot. There were queues everywhere – for events, for attractions, for freebies, for coffees, for the bleedin’ loo (you really had to plan ahead for a shit at this place). The most bizarre ones seemed to start in the middle of nowhere and end in the middle of nowhere, bookended by volunteers with “Line Starts Here” and “Line Ends Here” placards. People were even queuing for the No Ordinary Family booth, despite the fact they didn’t even know if they like the show yet. Very odd indeed.

Stupidest Question at Comic-Con
“Does being in a 3D movie make you act differently?” a Spanish journalist asked Paul Bettany in the Priest junket. A pretty odd question in isolation, but even more so considering the director had just told us it wasn’t even shot as a 3D movie (it’s getting a conversion).

Most Annoying Line Of Questioning At Comic-Con
The problem with being on round table interviews is that you never can tell what magazines the other journalists are going to be from. The worst case scenario usually involves being stuck on a table full of women’s magazine journalists. Which is exactly what happened with at the Resident Evil Afterlife junket. There we were wanting to ask Ali Larter about guns and zombies and blood and guts, but we could hardly get a question in edgeways through a barrage of questions about her pregnancy. Expect an thrilling article in SFX about how she expects to balance her work life with being a mother soon. Or maybe not.

Most Fun To Be Had For Free At Comic-Con
Strangely, there was rarely a queue for the life-sized Boba Fett action figure packaging. Come to think of it, that may be why it was so much more fun than a lot of other things. But there was a constant flow of people wanting to get photographed inside it. Including us.

Most Loaded Comment At Comic-Con
Warren Ellis on the RED panel: “I don’t write comics intended them to be pitches for films, unlike some. Mark Millar for example. I bet that gets back to him within five minutes,” he added as the Twitterati instantly got to work.

Most Bemused Interviewee At Comic-Con
When Anthony Head sat down to be interviewed by SFX at the Merlin press conference, he politely informed us, “I live in Bath, you know. We could have done this down the pub!”

Most Overused phrase At Comic-Con
“They gave me a very nice cheque… I’m happy to let them get on with it…” Or variations of. Used by Warren Ellis (in regards to RED ), Toby Whithouse (in regards to the US Being Human ) and Max Brooks (in regard to World War Z ). Wonder if they’ll all have turned into Alan Moore by next year’s Comic-Con?

Best Crowd Participation At Comic-Con
The Mexican Wave during the often very silly and very packed Being Human panel.

Most Ill-Advised But Well-received Comment At Comic-Con
Russell Tovey, during the Being Human panel (and remember, series two hasn’t been on in the States yet…)
Russell Tovey: “Who’s seen series one?”
Audience roars
Russell Tovey: “Who’s seen series two?”
Audience roars
Russell Tovey: “Who‘s been doing something illegal?”
Audience roars very enthusiastically
Russell Tovey: “You rock!”
Moderator: “Er… Um… Of course, we don’t encourage illegal downloading”
Audience laughs

You Heard It Here First At Comic-Con
If Zack Snyder ever films a David Gemmell novel, you can thank (or blame us). While chatting to the director at the Sucker Punch party, we managed to repeat the fantasy author’s name about a few hundred times, in a bizarre attempt at not-so-subliminal conditioning. Hopefully, next time he’s in a bookshop, and he sees a Gemmell novel our devious spell will work its power… Is the world ready for Zack Snyder‘s Druss?

Slowest Realistion At Comic-Con
And talking of the Sucker Punch party, it took Dave G about three glasses of punch before he even realised why they were serving punch…

Maddest Party Entertainment At Comic-Con
And finally at the Sucker Punch party, how’s this for entertainment?

Most Famous Guests At Our Hotel At Comic-Con
At one time or another we shared lifts with Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton and Michael Dorn. Oddly, though, Garrett Wang, who was signing at the same stand over the weekend, was nowhere to be seen in our hotel. Do different Trek crews have to stay in different hotels?

Best Autographer At Comic-Con
We can blow our own trumpet here. Mighty 2000AD and American Reaper artist Clint Langley signed at the SFX booth on the Saturday, but he was giving everybody who turned up more than just his signature. Each and every person in the queue got a personalised piece of art created then and there. What a gent. And watching him work was fascinating…

Most Unexpected Guest At Comic-Con
This would have gone to Harrison Ford in any other year (he’s never done a Comic-Con before but turned up this year to promote Stanner Stair Lifts or something) but he was well and truly trumped by… Helen Mirren. No, really. There she was, the former Queen Of Great Britain on the RED panel, wearing a Harvey Pekar* T-shirt, grinning like a loon, and telling us the worst thing about filming her first action role was trying to fire a gun without sticking her tongue out of her mouth. Surreal.
* The creator of American Splendor who died recently.

Most Mystifying To Foreigners Placard At Comic-Con
“Captain America Says Don’t Goat To Anaheim”. Well, this is clearly a reference to the rumours that Comic-Con may be on the move, but what’s all this goat stuff? Time for some Google-fu. Ah, okay, Anaheim was founded by a goat. Forget we asked…

Most Successful Freebie At Comic-Con
The Dexter tattoos that made it look you were bleeding from a cut. Everyone was wearing them, mainly on their cheeks.

Most Un-Unexpected Announcements At Comic-Con
Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers with Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as Hulk. Well, blimey, who'd’ve guessed? Anyone with the internet…

Best party venue At Comic-Con
Flynn’s Arcade for the Tron party: neon lights have never looked so cool.

Most Desperate Attempt To Mislead Gullible American Journalists At Comic-Con
Resident Evil Afterlife director Paul WS Anderson: “James Corden is a huge British comedian, he’s like the next Ricky Gervais. In England he’s more famous than Ricky Gervais, so he’s the next kind of international star from Britain to come into the comedy field.”

Most Unexpectedly Petite Star At Comic-Con
Felicia Day: she’s absolutely tiny! Very cute, though. You better not let Paris Hilton see her, or she’ll start carrying her around in a handbag.

Most Sparkly Stormtrooper Variation
Is that Damien Hirst inside the bling mask?

Best Disguise At Comic-Con
Although we cannot corroborate this, allegedly Frank ( The Dark Knight Returns ) Miller managed to navigate his way through the crowds without being hassled by disguising himself with a V For Vendetta mask!

Most “Surely A Warner Bros Plant” Panel Question At Comic-Con
The cutest little all-American child breathlessly gives Ryan Reynolds an excuse to recite the Green Lantern oath during a Q&A session. 6,500 people all go “Awwwww” at the lad’s wide-eyed fan gasp when Reynolds obliges.

Oddest Early Morning Sight At Comic-Con
A jumping Spartan at 7.30am on the convention centre steps. Any suggestions?

Weirdest Thing To Slap Branding On At Comic-Con
Yeah, we totally get the connection between Piranha 3D and Segways… No, we’re lying. We don’t

Most Pointless Cordon Sanitaire At Comic-Con
It’s very kind of the staff at this autograph stand to protect their talent from the thrusting hordes… except that the thrusting hordes seemed to be thrusting elsewhere. Maybe it’s inverse psychology. If they stand like this, punters might just think that [NAMES DELETED TO SAVE EMBARRASSMENT] are really important and worth lining up for. Didn’t work…

SFX ’s Biggest Buzzes At Comic-Con

  • Scott PilgrimVersus The World (the screenings were electrifying – more like being on a football terrace than in a movie theatre)
  • The Walking Dead (the trailer was AMAZING)
  • Sucker Punch (looks much better than anyone was expecting)
  • The Avengers (Joss and his posse)
  • Green Lantern (other sites may have claimed they were underwhelmed by the panel, but we loved the fact that the film is going to be more of a space opera than just a superhero flick, and Reynolds was magnificent)

SFX Smells A Stinker At Comic-Con
Green Hornet looks like it it could get most of its ticket sales from people who thought they were going to see Green Lantern Honestly, nobody seemed to give two hoots about it. Even director Michel Gondry seemed to be bored and writing out a shopping list during the press conference.