So, wiped. We didn’t want to make anything until the HEROES panel at 12:45 but knew that Saturday was going to be crazy. However, we forgot to trill our r’s in a high voice when we said c-r-r-r-r-r-azy. Got some great burritos with Paul and Lane, sauntered into the Convention Center just before 11, plenty of time we figured, but it was the One True Madness. Ballroom 20 was the hot ticket of the day. They were screening the Bionic Woman pilot with the cast, then HEROES, then the Women of Battlestar Galactica, then the cast of Futurama, then Joss Whedon. When we rolled in, the line stretched so far back that we followed it almost the entire way around the Center. A few minutes later, the line lapped itself. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. I hung out for half an hour then went to go get in line for the JH Williams Spotlight at 12:30. Then they tried to disperse the line outside Ballroom 20, told people they had to right no stand there. In America! Well, Catherine was having none of it and managed to claim a place after hundreds of lesser faith bailed. But the HEROES were lost to us. They trotted out Kevin Smith and said he was going to write and direct an episode of ORIGINS. He said that he wanted to figure out a way to sandwich the two gay Japanese guys in there. When asked what his favorite part of the season was, Mohindir said “Surviving it.” which led Nathan Petrelli to quip “We signed on for a show called HEROES, but none of us realized we were really joining the cast of Survivor.” And the PA started squealing and no one could fix it so Hiro jumped down to fix things. And then gave Sylar trouble for not being able to do the Live Long & Prosper with his right hand.
And there’s lots of other great stuff they said and did. We didn’t get in. But at least we dodged the Season 2 clips they showed.
The JH Williams panel was solid entertainment. I sat on the front row, ten feet at most from Grant Morrison, who was there to discuss their collaboration on SEVEN SOLDIERS. One of the best panels I was lucky enough to catch, felt bad that Catherine had to miss it waiting in line. It was especially interesting when PROMETHEA came up and GM did an impression of Moore calling Williams up to tell him he had the gig. The PowerPoint presentation of the art looked amazing all blown up, shots of Batman and the seven mystery men from Slaughter Swamp who all looked like GM and some truly choice pages from PROMETHEA, including both sides of the cover to #32. The man truly is one of the best in the business. When asked why he bailed on DESOLATION JONES after the first arc, he just said that he accepted the gig thinking it was for him and decided that it wasn’t after six issues. Our loss, but certainly a professional answer. There were a million questions I wanted to ask Morrison, but didn’t want to slight Williams since it was his panel so just asked if they were going to pick up the stories of any of the 7 soldiers, or even do the concepts like GM did with ATOM or METAL MEN last week. Williams said that he had a pitch in for one as a writer (!) but wouldn’t specify. Morrison said he’d love to “but I can’t write EVERYthing!” Never occurred to me to bring stuff for those guys to sign, I blew it on PROMETHEA #1 and anything by GM, but still went up and shook GM’s hand, thanked him for the inspiration, I had written a lot of words on his fuel, he gave me a “Keep AT it, brother!” in his Scottish accent, which brought one Desmond David Hume to mind and made me all kinds of happy.
Made it back to Catherine. Got let in just in time for the GALACTICA panel. Showrunner Ronald Moore of ST:TNG fame came out with Starbuck and Caprica 6 and Lucy Lawless (because she’s so much more than just D’Anna) and Rose Darko herself, the President of the Human Race, Laura Roslin, Miz Mary McDonnell. They were all entertaining enough talking about the show as they head into the homestretch. Showed a clip from the RAZOR movie that should be excellent this Thanksgiving. (Stew, if you haven’t caught up yet, do!, so worth it)
We hung out for the FUTURAMA panel, which didn’t crush me, though it was cool to see Groening in person joking about what a slow weekend he was having.
Then, Joss. It was crazy, he just came out with nothing really to tout except the release of a SERENITY DVD. But then he dropped some crazy news. It looks like he’s going forward with the BBC on a RIPPER movie starring Tony Head, huge for Giles fans. Can’t wait for that. And he’s written the greatest horror movie of all time, his words, with the new wonderboy of writing Drew Goddard, a little number called THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. Wouldn’t say anything else about that, but that’s pretty enticing on title and writing talent alone (to say nothing of the hyperbole). Says he’s still focusing the totality of his energy into THE GONERS. Wants to write Buffy comics for the rest of his life. Goddard’s doing the next arc after BKV. As noted, we had just powered through the entire run of BUFFY and all but the last season of ANGEL so we could read the comics and not have anything spoiled for us. Did people ask about the comics? Did they talk about Buffy? No. All anyone wanted to know about was damn ANGEL 5! It started out all right at first. Someone asked who his favorite character of all to write was. I figured it had to be Mal. But, no, someone we’d never frakking heard of. Illyria. Then he explained who she was and how Amy reading Lady Capulet at the Sunday Shakespeare readings at his place was the genesis of the whole thing. And, yeah, pretty big thing in Season 5, apparently. The second half, looks like. Then the dude got up and dropped the Wesley bomb last, big shame, but we still don’t know a huge chunk of what goes down. (only 11 episodes left, as of this writing)
Then back up Fifth to rest, it was 6. Ate leftovers. Powered some red wine. Went back down to catch Warren’s Q&A at 9. There was a Buffy screening, but it didn’t look like anybody was going to be there and since we just watched them all anyway, Catherine joined me.
I laughed my ass off at that thing, like really fell out of the chair a few times, and there’s no way to do it justice, his accent saying those words just falling like a steel trap on the unwary. I hit him with the influences question, knew he loved Moorcock but was surprised that he was a big Kerouac fan, I asked what besides ON THE ROAD, he said DESOLATION ANGELS was the best one, to which I just told him “excellent” and walked away, just finished that one a few weeks ago myself. This is a better summation by someone who actually took notes:
(I’m there at #11, and #13 was certainly the best news of Saturday, would’ve been the whole convention if not for Morrison)
Okay, no wait, someone asked him for his best Alan Moore anecdote. He thought about it then said he rang AM up one day to see how he was doing and (in an even better impression than Gaiman or Morrison) said "I'm excellent, Warren. I've changed my diet." "Oh? How?" "I used to smoke sixty spliffs a day and eat one meal. Now. I smoke twenty spliffs a day and eat three meals. And I feel wonderful."
And, you know, I always suspected, but there you have it.
Catherine was falling asleep by the time it was done and it WAS a very dense 2 hours. We trudged up the madness of downtown Fifth Avenue at midnight. Saw Cobra Commander and Destro doing some crazy disco dancing while selling food on a street corner. Everything looked and sounded garbled and strange.
We finally made it back to Paul's. She passed out, I took a little nap then got up and had Guinness with Paul when he got home. Only one more day left.