This weekend I geeked out at WonderCon, the comic book convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Here are my top 5 highlights.
1) Meeting Jim Lee
Jim Lee is a god in the comics world. He’s the genius artist behind Batman: Hush and Wild.C.A.T.s, and the founder of Image Comics and Wildstorm. Like a complete fangirl, I lined up to get his autograph and photo.
When my friend & fellow comic fan Dan Tran saw Jim Lee, he said “Oh my God, I want to kiss him.” Jim Lee overheard and gave him a funny look. Here’s Jim Lee pretending to ignore Dan.
2) The Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles panel
This was a really fun panel to watch. It featured Thomas Dekker (the actor who plays John Connor), Summer Glau (the Terminator who protects John), Brian Austin Green (Derek Reece, John’s uncle), writer Josh Friedman, and producer John Wirth.
– Brian Austin Green surprised me. He was very humble. Clearly he realizes that he’s best known for his role on Beverly Hills 90210, which doesn’t give him very much credibility as an actor. He was very grateful for the opportunity to play a more serious role. Wirth and Friedman both raved about how he nailed his audition for the part.
– Green trawls online forums to see what people are saying about the show. When fans first heard about him being on the show, the comments were very negative. But after a while they stopped referring to him as “Brian Austin Green” and just started calling him “Derek” (his character’s name), which made him very happy.
– When asked what he’s learned from the show, Green said “I’ve come away thinking that sci fi rules.” This earned him lots of cheers from the audience.
– Summer Glau doesn’t like reading about herself on the internet because it depresses her. But sometimes her mom sends her positive articles, which she does read.
– Glau is a trained ballerina. She’ll be doing some ballet in the next episode of Terminator and is also working on a ballet together with Joss Whedon. She said that her ballet training was helpful for doing martial arts scenes in Firefly, but as a Terminator she mostly just picks things up and throws them.
– Glau has a boyfriend. She managed to convince him to let her practice shooting a bb gun at him. Ouch.
– When asked “How does it feel to be back on the network that canceled your show [Firefly]?”, Glau responded “I pray really hard.”
– Thomas Dekker was a bit obnoxious and kept interrupting other people while they were talking. But he’s clearly passionate about the show, which was somewhat endearing. Lots of people predicted the show would suck, but Dekker really believed in the story & the characters, and felt vindicated when it got good reviews. The experience taught him not to back down.
– Dekker hopes that his character will get to punch at least one person next season.
– Dekker clearly has a crush on Summer Glau. He kept touching her and hugged her once during the panel.
– Dekker was supposed to wrap up the Zach storyline in Heroes but couldn’t do it due to scheduling issues. He played Claire’s friend Zach, the guy who helped film her miraculous healing powers.
– Josh Friedman originally wanted to bring back Kyle Reece, John Connor’s dead father. He was told “you’re gonna get fucking killed [by fans]” for the storyline discontinuity, so he decided to create the character of Kyle’s brother instead.
– Friedman thought “The ultimate nuclear family” would be a great catchphrase/slogan for the series :)
– The characters on the show do their own stunts, which Friedman really likes, because using stunt doubles is time-consuming and never looks as good.
– Friedman has the next season planned out in his head.
3) Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay panel
I came in late and caught the tail end of the Harold & Kumar preview. All I saw was a Ku Klux Klansman urinating on Harold’s head. There was also Q&A with John Cho (the actor who plays Harold) and writers/directors Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg.
– John Cho is hilarious in real life. When asked how his preacher father felt about him playing a stoner, he said “Smoking weed doesn’t make you a bad person.” Actually, he repeated this several times throughout the Q&A.
– When asked where Kal Penn (Kumar) was, Cho joked that Penn was in rehab for quaaludes. Then he admitted that Penn was “off somewhere trying to get Barack Obama elected.”
– John Cho plays Sulu in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek movie. Cho said he idolized George Takei (the original Sulu) while growing up and was proud to be filling Takei’s “giant slippers.” He refused to give away any details about Star Trek, but Hurwitz jumped in to say that Sulu has an Australian accent in the film. I’m pretty sure he was joking.
– Hurwitz & Schlossberg said that their biggest regret about the first movie was that it didn’t have enough nudity. They made sure not to make the same mistake twice. Schlossberg promised that HK2 has “more full frontal female nudity than any other widely released Hollywood film.”
– They’ve done several test screenings for HK2 so far and the audience reaction has been fantastic. The movie is premiering at South by Southwest and will also be playing at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in March.
4) The Iron-Man panel with director Jon Favreau
The panel was pretty short, but here are the highlights:
– Jon Favreau previewed a hilarious clip of Tony Stark testing out his jet boots for the first time. Stark takes off too quickly and slams facefirst into the wall. An overenthusiastic fire extinguishing robot keeps spraying him even though he’s not on fire.
– Favreau admitted he pays attention to what fans are saying online. He considers the internet to be a huge watercooler and finds it useful to monitor the feedback.
– If Ironman makes a lot of money, Favreau might get to direct an upcoming Avengers movie.
– When asked about the rumor that the characters from the Incredible Hulk movie would be appearing in Ironman, Favreau dodged the question. He said he wanted to keep up the “white noise of uncertainty” around the film and not give away too much.
Here are the best cosplayers I saw.
Harry Osborn in Green Goblin gear from Spiderman 3. His board was amazing — it glowed green, had spinning parts, and there’s even a tiny LCD screen embedded in it that was playing the Spiderman movie.
All my pics from Wondercon are here.