Friday was my favorite day. It was the last day I remember actually feeling well before coming down with West Nile or adult onset mono or whatever the hell it was I ended up getting sick with. Today I learned how to be a panel camper. I'm a Joss Whedon fan, so I wanted to make sure I got a good seat for his panel. I wanted to stay for the two that followed- Seth MacFarlane 'toons. This was my first Comic-Con, but one doesn't need to be a seasoned geek veteran to know that such things might be popular and it might be necessary to show up early. It does help when one wants to cut in line, though. I didn't really know that I had, but the next day, I discovered that I had accidentally cut hours of standing out of my day. I'm a lousy liar, so my real ignorance helped me pull off such a feat.
Though I got to sit down, I have to admit, I was mostly texting friends throughout the "Stargate" panels that preceded. I just haven't gotten into that show (but I liked the movie). Anything that comes on Sunday afternoons on Fox makes me feel a little ill. I don't have cable, either, so that's the only version of the show I have seen. Still, the actors were pretty funny. Most of the jokes they were making were broad enough to be funny to anyone, so I was satisfied.
The Joss Whedon panel was excellent. The writers and stars of "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" were there. If you aren't familiar with it, get familiar with it. Trust me. I am now an adorer of Felicia Day. Halfway through the panel, she admitted that she was "twittering under the table." Of course, this was sex joke kindling and the panel burst into teasing, which I'm sure was quite embarrassing. Besides feeling her pain*, I thought "how cool!" Since I've been back, I've looked her up on facebook and twitter and imdb and... Turns out that she is also a geek goddess: musician, mathematician, gamer, web designer, actress, filmmaker... She might be our queen, in fact. I am now a fan. The panel was just plain fun. I was relatively close to the stage, but my iPhone took better pictures of the screen:
The following panel consisted of the cast of "American Dad." You can clearly see all of them in the below photos, right?
It doesn't matter. They're cartoon voices. You probably don't even know what they look like. Should've done a sound recording. Anyway, I was like a giddy kid at this panel. It was split into three parts. The first part consisted of a table read (almost as sexy as a dance, but more implicit). Seeing real people do the voices of the characters I loved was like magic. It was particularly cool to see Seth McFarlane do several voices (including Patrick Stewart, who was not there to do Deputy Director Bullock). Cool and weired. It's strange to hear cartoon voices come out of real people.
The second part of the panel consisted of the voices set to animatics (rough black and white sketches- kind of like moving storyboards). The final part was the completed thing- colors, music and all. As an animation geek, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The last panel of the day was for "Family Guy." The cast was there (Seth Green!) and did the voices, but kind of randomly. I like that show better, but I thought the American Dad panel was more interesting. They also showed a trailer for "The Cleveland Show." Eh. I feel it's kind of pushing it. But I'll probably end up watching it. The funniest moment for me was when Mike Henry, who does several voices on the show, did an impression of his character Fouad, "that foreign guy at work" who helped Peter understand humor. He's one of my favorite randomly recurring characters because of his "ability" to point out obvious jokes. Example:
Peter: I think Fouad is an illegal immigrant, and I cannot stand by while he steals wages and opportunities from citizens. I mean, this is an American company! You don't see Nike or Microsoft or General Motors or Ford or Boeing or Coca-Cola or Kellogg's profiting from non-American labor.
Fouad: [in the hallway] Oh-ho-ho! Is funny because they all do! Oh-ho-ho!
Seth Green took a photo of the audience and asked us to raise our hands. He said he would e-mail it to us. "Fouad" replied, "Oh-ho-ho! Is funny because there no way he can!"
*I was on a press screening panel once for the New York Film Festival. A fellow filmmaker (and friend, so I will not name names) told the press that my films were "what they might show in insane asylums on Mars." I was kind of speechless. I just leaned into the microphone and said, "thanks... I think." I think I turned about 20 shades of red. Turns out she meant it as a compliment (?) Later, the New York times wrote that my film series was "Churning and relentlessly, abstract, it's not easy to watch." Which, apart from being an oddly constructed sentence, sucked (especially since they reviewed the next film as "cinematic poetry"). I'm not blaming. I'm just sayin'...