By Charly SHELTON
Well another Comic Con has come and gone, and boy was it intense. Around 150,000 people gathered in San Diego last weekend to see all the new movies, TV shows, costumes, celebrities and video games coming out in the next few years. I heard there were even comic books at this convention. Imagine that.
While Marvel, DC, Image, IDW and the rest of the major comic houses had booths there, the biggest turnouts for signings and whatnot were for the actors – DC held a surprise signing with the cast of Batman vs. Superman and Marvel held signings for its TV shows, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Agent Carter.” And, not surprisingly, the most talked about (and waited for) panel was the Hall H panel for Star Wars.
This is the first time a Star Wars movie has come to Comic Con because back when the original saga and even the prequels came out, Comic Con was mainly about comics. Then in 2007, as is recorded in nerd lore, with the arrival of the film adaptation of “Twilight,” Comic Con International became the place to debut new movies and TV shows. It became less and less about comics and more and more about celebrity sightings and movie announcements. Not that I hate movie announcements. Not at all. It was at CCI that “The Avengers” director was announced as Joss Whedon. Never have I seen an uproar as when he came out on stage. It was one of the defining moments of my life to be in Hall H as this news broke and the crowd went wild.
This year’s big topics were “Batman vs. Superman,” “Deadpool,” “Supernatural” and “Suicide Squad.” These were all from Hall H, which is impossible to get into for the E-ticket panels. Luckily, there are the Internet and cellphone cameras. Within moments, the “Suicide Squad” trailer was online and people outside in the convention center floor were watching it on their smartphones. The same happened with “Deadpool.”
Warner Bros. released its CCI trailer for “Batman vs. Superman” online as soon as the panel was over and when they saw the “Suicide Squad” trailer, they released the full quality copy themselves rather than hunting down everyone who posted it like Marvel is doing with the “Deadpool” trailer. If you can find it, however, it is awesome.
On the floor, chaos reigned. The crowds were really intense and everything fun required some sort of wristband or ticket. For those lucky few who planned right and got to the tickets on time, there were some really cool offerings. A parkour course for “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” was set up across the street from the convention center. Legendary Pictures gave out Google Cardboard viewers as the trailers they brought to the Con – “Crimson Peak,” “Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot” and “Warcraft” – were shown in virtual reality. This is the next media apparently. Viewers insert their smartphone in a cardboard viewer and launch the app to see a VR experience as though they are standing in the world, able to look around and even interact (in some games – most are just video). For example, Legendary showed “Warcraft” in its app, where the viewer is riding on the back of a giant eagle, soaring over Azeroth in a realistic looking 3D world. People are walking the streets of the kingdom below; the level of detail in these experiences is amazing. Several exhibitors had VR experiences and gave out Google Cardboard viewers, embracing the new technology that many want to see more often.
All in all, the Con was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go back next year. Time to book my hotel room now.
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