FANTASTIC SIGHTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Reporting From The Floor of Comic-Con 2018

by Paul Preston and Justin Bowler
The Movie Guys

PP: This year, we’re going to break up our annual report from Disneyland for adults into three sections – Hall H, Cosplay and The Show Floor. This will give you a good idea of what goes down in San Diego. Although, you realize, I hope, that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do anywhere CLOSE to EVERYTHING. When you see a panel or movie or event or happening that interests you, to partake in it means you’re going to miss ten up to twenty other amazing things. It’s overwhelming in all the best ways. But here’s what we got to do in Crazy Town.

JB: But first, let’s go back to the beginning:

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JB: The con before the storm. (See what I did there?)

PP: Yes, Justin. I see. Let’s start with the legendary Hall H.

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PP: I attended the Hall H panels on Thursday, always a good day to go because you can usually walk right in, and this year was no different. You won’t get Marvel, Star Wars or Warner Brothers, but in the past I’ve seen Harrison Ford, Dwayne Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch, The Expendables and more. This Thursday started out with heavyweights, too – The Predator.

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PP: Shane Black led a panel with Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Jake Busey, Olivia Munn and Sterling K. Brown. Grae Drake from Rotten Tomatoes hosted the panel, you can see her hair from space. The clips showcased Black’s awesome signature foul-mouthed and fast-paced dialogue.

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PP: Quick tip for ya – never take bad seats for an answer! There are always people moving around Hall H and EXITING Hall H. Here, you can see Movie Gal Karen Volpe and I, after the Doctor Who panel, found seats in the second row of the 6,000 seat arena for the one/two punch of the Thursday panels – Better Call Saul and the Breaking Bad 10th Anniversary Reunion.

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PP: Bill Burr, member of the for-lack-of-a-better-term “Gilligan-verse”, hosted – great choice. Very funny and a full-cast panel for Better Call Saul (minus Jonathan Banks, who was represented by his bobblehead figurine). Looks like season four is when Jimmy McGill will finally start breaking bad himself.

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PP: The Breaking Bad panel led with a montage of the series’ best moments and it might’ve been the best thing I saw the entire con. A reminder of what a strong, exciting and tense show that was. Full cast was in great form, with Bryan Cranston holding court (highlight story was how he had everyone on the show insinuating to Aaron Paul how his character was going to die each week – “Oh…you haven’t seen this week’s script yet?” His character was supposed to die at the end of season one, which reminds you how great Vince Gilligan was at adapting and improvising story on that show week to week. The rest of Thursday was a little weird. There was a DragonBall Super panel, a property usually reserved for smaller rooms at the convention center with names like 4DECF. But with no Disney in Hall H, they made room for some offbeat stuff, and without them, even Saturday Hall H was easier to get into than usual. Justin was there…

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JB: Warner Brothers panel – Host Aisha Tyler asks questions while Jude Law and Ezra Miller answer questions about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald  (yes, Ezra is dressed as a large… Mushroom? Toadette)

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JB: Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks answer questions about The LEGO Movie 2. Directors and writers Lord and Miller answer questions as well. Yes, that is a cast decorated to be an Infinity Gauntlet.  When you look at those two pictures side-by-side, you see two amazing casts.

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JB: Patty Jenkins, Chris pine, and the Gal Gadot, present a clip from Wonder Woman 2.

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JB: Aisha Tyler jokes with her good friend and star of Shazam, Zachary Levi. Levi holds a can of Guinness as he enters stage that he says Jason Mamoa gave to him. Zachary also heaps praise on his costars.

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JB: Tyler gets the audience hyped over Jason Mamoa’s  entrance in Hall H!

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JB: Jason Mamoa teases the ladies and the host. Director of Aquaman, James Wan, fields questions about how technically difficult this film was.

PP: Elsewhere in the world of panels, I spent most of the day watching Matt Groening, finally attending The Simpsons panel I mean to go to every year. There was a brief look at The Simpsons visiting New Orleans from the new season (Year NUMBER THIRTY), then a brisk Q&A with director David Silverman, Groening, producer Al Jean and voice talent Tress MacNeille.

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PP: This was the first panel I’ve seen where guests were given prizes for asking a question – good stuff, too! Sometimes, Matt would draw a picture of Lisa and hand it to them!

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PP: Later in the day, Groening premiered footage and introduced the cast of Disenchantment, his new cartoon series based in the fairy tale genre. He doesn’t skewer classic tales, but spins a whole new tale with supporting voices from Eric Andre and Nat Faxon (pictured above) as well as Abbi Jacobson and Groening regulars John DiMaggio and Billy West. You can also see Groening giving out more original drawings to question-askers above. Disenchantment will debut on Netflix in August. I’m shocked Netflix didn’t take over Hall H in their attempt to keep up with the bigger studios. They were there last year and they have projects like this, Ozark andIron Fist, they could’ve replaced the Marvel games panel on Thursday, for sure… Let’s jump to the show floor. As ever, some pretty cool stuff was brought out by the studios, comics, networks, vendors and more.

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JB: Here, I ponder if I should snap my fingers and eliminate all bad movie makers.

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PP: LEGO always brings it. These are life (or larger than life) size.

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PP: Of course, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Shouldn’t have disparaged the good name of DragonBall.

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PP: Iron Maiden pinball, because why not?

JB: Deadpool band that came alive a la Chuck E. Cheese.

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JB: Make up school demonstration- so if you ever want to make “that”, you get a step by step process.  And Christopher Reeve’s Superman suit is for sale. If you have a spare $112K, then by all means, put in a bid.

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JB: Collectible action figures on display and expensive statuettes for sale.

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JB: Many fans assemble at Comic-Con for the art, like these awesome pieces.

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JB: Caught a glimpse of legendary artist Alex Ross’ Glass poster.

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PP: Civil War is probably Marvel’s finest hour. This was a cool sighting at the Marvel display. Let’s wrap up with cosplay, ’cause, as ever, there was some that totally kicked ass.

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JB: Modified Halo Character (Master Chief?). Actual working ’80s stand-up video game.

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JB: Hela (just in case you’re wondering, she is grabbing my butt in this picture) (you can tell by her face, she is regretting it). Below, I got to meet my heroes: Captain America and 1966 Batman!

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JB: These guys… Also, there are 37 more sand people standing single file behind these two, hiding their numbers.

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JB: Catwoman, poison ivy, and Harley if they were topless mermaids.

PP: Because, Comic-Con.

JB: More cosplay below… some simple, some intricate, Always awesome.

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PP: Some of my favorite include the ONLY Ghostbusters 2016 outfit on the whole floor – REPRESENT! Also, Tomb Raider was apparently bad, so I never saw it, but points to this cosplayer for the good look.

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PP: Two of my absolute favorites! And I met Barf at Wonder-Con. In San Diego, he was dressed like this one day, then in Barf-in-a-Spaceball-disguise another day. Brilliant. And, of course, it’s not Comic-Con unless I take a pic with my favorite cosplayers:

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PP: There are those who call the guy on the left….Tim. On the right, a very lively Rocket puppet operated by a guy who is doing his voice on a mic. Pretty clever and scaled to the appropriate height.

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JB: I hosted a panel!  Left to Right: Me, Bryan McGowan, Adam Hart, Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, Joette Nicole Orman, Brian Danner, Esteban Cueto. Among these people are stunt doubles for Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, The Rock, Rebel Wilson, Danai Gurira, Paul Rudd and Aziz Ansari.

PP: And with that, we’ll wrap things up until next year’s Con. Of course, there are many Cons like San Diego, but there are also no Cons like San Diego. ‘Til next year…

(…Paul & Justin’s yearly Comic-Con article will return in July, 2019)

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