When Magic and Myth Meet Main Street – Notes from San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego Comic Con logoOne of my favorite panels at San Diego Comic-Con this year was the panel, “When Myth and Magic Meet Main Street”.

This panel featured Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Seanan McGuire (October Daye series, InCrytpid series), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim series), Amber Benson (Death’s Daughter series), Greg van Eekhout (California Bones) and Anton Strout (Incarnate).

I owe a lavish apology to Greg and Anton.  I was sitting so far in the back of the room that I couldn’t see their end of the table, so when they talked not only could I not hear very well but I also couldn’t see which one of them was talking.  Although I don’t quote them much here, please take it from me that they are intelligent, well-spoken people with thoughtful and funny things to say.  This year was quite the learning experience in terms of how to cover and event like San Diego Comic-Con and I hope to be better prepared next year.

Here’s some highlights:

  • Jim Butcher was asked why he sets his books in Chicago.  His answer:  “Because my writing teacher wouldn’t let me set them in Missouri”.
  • Seanan McGuire said this about her decision to write urban fantasy:  “Fairy Tales are the urban fantasy of their time.  I moved my fairy tales from dark forests to dark alleys”.
  • Seanan, who reports having put herself through college by writing Harlequin romances, said that she dislikes writing sex scenes.  Accordingly, one of her favorite scenes to write was the one in Discount Armegeddon in which Verity must get the mice who worship her to give her and her lover privacy by brining them with friend chicken.
  • Amber Benson, on the other hand, rather enjoys writing sex scenes.  She said that she only blushes because she likes to write in public (places like Starbucks).
  • Jim Butcher said, “Sometimes there are places in the world that need to be destroyed, and I might as well do it in as spectacular a fashion as possible.  I shall eviscerate them in fiction!”
  • Richard Kadrey’s advice to writers was “Write!  Carry a notebook, write stuff down, and finish what you start”.  I wrote those words immediately in the notebook I was carrying around and I still feel smug about it.
  • Seanan and Amber both cautioned against comparing you output to that of other authors.  Their advice was “Write, read, write, and don’t measure yourself against other people”.

This was the first panel that I covered (or attempted to cover and I learned a lot about writing and a lot about what to do and not to do in order to cover a panel!  The big thing I took away from this was the message to write and write and read and then write some more.  What a fun, inspiring group of people!

Wednesday Videos: Avengers 2 Panel from San Diego Comic-Con

WednesdayVideoNot sure how long this video will stay up, but here’s the Avengers panel, from San Diego Comic-Con Hall H, filmed by magicinthenumbers.  I waited in line for 22 hours to see this and you can see it from your couch BUT I’M NOT BITTER.  No movie footage included in this.

 

Orphan Black at San Diego Comic-Con

logo for Orphan BlackI waited in line for six hours for this panel and it was worth every single minute.  This cast has tremendous chemistry together.  The panel was so much fun and also very moving.  One person said that Orphan Black had helped her come out of the closet and helped repair her relationship with her mother.  “You save lives” this person said, and Tatiana Maslany teared up, as did all of us.

Orphan Black Panel

Photo is blurry because I had shaky hands of excitement. There they are!

I don’t mean to sound delusional but I couldn’t help having the nagging feeling that only one of the lead actresses came to the panel.  Where were the other eight? Oh that’s right – THEY ARE ALL THE SAME PERSON.  If you’re not watching this show, seriously – you’re missing out.  It’s that good, and not just because of Maslany’s acting, although that is phenomenal.

al the clones So here’s some notes from the panel:

The panelists were:  Tatian Maslany (who plays the clones), Jordan Garavis (Felix), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S, the character who is my personal guru), Dylan Bruce (Paul), Ari Millen (Mark), Kristian Brunn (Donnie), John Fawcett (co-creator), and Graeme Mason (co-creator).

  • Donnie got some of the biggest cheers of the panel.  He is clearly enjoying his character’s trajectory from “eating, farting Donnie” to “Have a SHITTY DAY” Donnie.
  • On the show, Paul is extremely wooden and blank, because he’s constantly hiding all his emotions and thoughts.  It’s a hoot to see Dylan Bruce in person, because he’s such a crack-up – he’s goofy and silly and seems to love his co-stars.
  • Dylan says that he has a “huge man crush” on Jordan Garavis (says Jordan, “Yes, it’s come up several times on set.  We try to handle it professionally”).  He hated doing the scene in which he gets Felix’s fingerprints on the gun.  “I really thought Paul would be irredeemable after that”, he said.
  • Tatiana Maslany handled a question about what the hell is wrong with the Emmy nominating committee with class, saying, “We are at a point in which television is extremely exciting…I feel extremely lucky to be in television at this point in history, making a show like this and in company with shows like that”.  The Clone Club presented her with a special award in lieu of an Emmy:  “The Best Actress in the World Award”.
best actress award

Another Clone Club member gave Tatiana the nesting dolls! Love those!

  • Maria Doyle Kennedy regarding the moment in which she pins her enemy to a table with a carving fork:  “I wasn’t invited to dinner anywhere for ages”.
  • Ari Miller’s character, Mark, was supposed to be killed by Paul in the bar scene.  According to Dylan, that’s how they were introduced: “Hey Dylan, this is Ari.  you’re gonna kill him”, and Dylan was all, “Sorry, man”.
  • Will we ever see more of Beth?  What’s with her back story?  According to Graeme and John, “Nothing is off the table.  We’re both fabulously interested in Beth’s story.  We think there’s probably a twist in Beth’s story that we haven’t heard yet.

Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris

 

  • The highlight of the panel was seeing how passionate Tatiana feels about the importance of portraying Tony.  Tatiana said, “I love Tony.  I would love to explore him further…he offers so much in terms of gender identity and expression.  He’s a guy I’ve never seen on-screen, and I was so excited by the conversations it prompted.  Maria Doyle Kennedy added that she’d like to have Mrs. S. spend some time with Tony, because Mrs. S. would understand his struggles with identity and “she needs to teach him table manners”.

Sarah and Tony

  •  During the audience Q&A, someone asked where Cosima’s parents are.  “Their daughter is seriously sick!”.   Graeme explained, “They’re out in Berkeley.  They’re a little disengaged”.  Tatiana added, “They don’t have a car, so they’re walking.  Really slowly”.
  • At this point a woman got up and made an incredible moving speech.  I’m transcribing from hand-written notes so please forgive any paraphrasing on my part. She said, “Before I started watching the show, I was really in the closet”.  she was inspired by seeing that Cosima was more than her sexuality.  She started watching the show with her mom and “It rebuilt our relationship because she could see that Cosima was more than her sexuality, and she was OK with that…What’s it like to know the effect you have on people’s lives?  You’re saving lives.  That’s what you did for me”.  Of course at this point everyone, including Tatiana, had tears in their eyes.  Jordan responded, “We like to be reductive in life.  I don’t know why.  We reduce people down to their sexuality or their diseases or their race or gender or whether they watch Game of Thrones.  But that is not who people are.  People are complex and diverse.  There are much more interesting things about you than your sexuality”.
  • On a lighter note, someone asked if we’ll see Jesse again.  John responded, “One of our favorite moments in Season Two was seeing Helena get a little romance…it would be really cool to do more with him.

Jesse and Helena

  •  Finally, Maria Doyle Kennedy was thanked for making a career of playing complex women and she said, “I think women are generally pretty amazing and I’m not interested in playing parts where I’m just an accessory for someone else’s actions.”  BECAUSE SHE’S AWESOME!

Quick Impressions From San Diego Comic-Con and Pics!

San Diego Comic Con logoYou guys, I am so overwhelmed.  Please forgive the many, many typos that are likely to occur in this post.  My plan was to post about Comic-Con today, tomorrow, and Wednesday.  It is now obvious that I will be writing about things from Comic-Con all year.  Here’s just a few of the things I want to write about:

  • The hunger for representation.
  • Many, many thoughts from the Women Who Kick Ass panel and the super heroines panel.  So much to think about and share.  Common thread – women are complex, women don’t have to be either all perfect or all evil, women can have their own stories, and women can take up space in the world and in their own lives.
  • The difference between Hall H, which made me an excited but passive consumer, and the smaller panels which made me feel inspired and excited about moving forward in my own life.
  • The complicated  relationships between fans and stars.
  • How we crave face to face connection despite the availability of social media.  Everyone knows that the panels from Hall H will be on YouTube a day later and yet thousands of us camp overnight so that we can be there in person.  On a smaller scale, I was thrilled to get to meet a couple of people who I knew from Twitter in person.
  • On a related note, I have so many people who I’d love to do interviews with, so watch for those in the next few weeks and months.

I was totally unprepared for how overwhelming five days at Comic-Con would be.  There are so many huge websites that post Comic-Con news the instant it breaks, so I’m going to use this blog to talk about what the experience of Comic-Con is like, how it is different yet similar to other conventions, and highlight some things that I know are of special interest to my readers.  Yes, I did make it into the Orphan Black Panel, you guys!  I waited for five hours and I did it for you!  And it was great!

Right now it’s late so I’m going to leave these pics here for you to enjoy and will blog more extensively (including posting more pics) over the next few weeks.

Here I am!

Here I am!

The Flash and Green Aroow

The Flash and Green Arrow

By the way, I got to see the pilot for The Flash.  It’s rough, like most pilots are.  I got the sense that most of the actors haven’t figured out their characters yet.  Barry Allen is adorable, ethical, and gifted with an abundance of common sense.  I adore him unreservedly.   I’d grade the pilot as a B- with lots and lots of promise to be a fantastic show.  Back to pics:

 

These cosplayers are probably very happy that Marvel announced that there will be a Guardians of the Galaxy 2!

These cosplayers are probably very happy that Marvel announced that there will be a Guardians of the Galaxy 2!

Of all the Thors I saw this week, male and female, she was the most Bad Ass of them all.

Of all the Thors I saw this week, male and female, she was the most Bad Ass of them all.

The real-life superheroes of Comic-Con.

The real-life superheroes of Comic-Con.

These people told me that they didn’t feel heroic  – they just felt tired (it was Sunday afternoon).  But they are actually saving lives, as are the thousands of people who donate blood at the annual blood drive every year.  They don’t just consume superhero stories – they live them.  Whether you donate blood, donate money, or donate time, find a way to make the world a better place.  Go to a protest, write a letter, volunteer someplace, mentor someone, hug a friend.  You don’t have to be Batman.  Do what works for you – but do something.

Your move, D.C.

Your move, D.C.

More tomorrow!

 

San Diego Comic Con or Bust – And a Cry For Help!

San Diego Comic Con logoWe are on the way to Comic Con!  Car is full of cosplay, snacks, and monsters.  Will be posting about Comic Con next week and can’t wait to share stories with all of you!  I have a professional badge, one non-paying adult guest, one paying adult guest, and three children ranging from four to ten years old.  I have no idea what to expect given the crazy composition of our group but I’m very excited.  If something goes terribly wrong with registration, then I’ll be posting next week about the Comic Con scene of downtown San Diego.  For quicker updates, follow me on twitter at @geekgirlinlove or on Facebook.  I’ll be tweeting like crazy so follow along!

photo-7

Now I have a problem.  The three shows that I most love (that are currently on the air) are:  Arrow, Sleepy Hollow, and Orphan Black.  Do they have panels?  Of course they do!  and the panels are, I kid you not – at the same time, on the same day, in different rooms.  I have to pick amongst my darlings.  I am dying here.

So help me out, GGL’s.  Should I go to the panel for:

Arrow Tv show logo

or should I stare adoringly at Tom Mison at the panel for:

logo for Sleepy Hollow

or should I go to the panel for my beloved:

poster for Orphan Black

Leave your answer in the comments.  I’ll do my best.