Every day at
San Diego Comic-Con is entirely unique. Though the show floor exhibits remain largely the same, the schedule of panels and presentations is far reaching and widely overlapping, leaving attendees to prioritize and decide which movies, TV shows, video games, and other topics they are most interested in hearing about.
On this second day of Comic-Con 2012, the schedule forced my wife and I to part ways for the majority of the day. Despite our late return the night before, we got up early once again so she could get in line for the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” panel, later continuing to the “Monster High” panel, before finally meeting back up with me hours later. But I was fine with the alone time, as no one is ever alone at Comic-Con, constantly surrounded by likeminded fans all eager to get into the same presentations.
San Diego Comic-Con, Day 2 – Friday, July 13, 2012 Unlike our time spent in the massive 6,000+ seat Hall H on day 1, the presentations we attended on day 2 were upstairs in much smaller venues each only holding a few hundred people, making lining up early even more necessary. I got in line for the Ninja Turtles with plenty of time to spare. But Michelle's "My Little Pony" room held half as many people, only around 400, and she called me to say she didn't get in. But after waiting and missing half the panel, a few people left and she was admitted to enjoy the second half. Meanwhile in my Ninja Turtles line, a couple Nickelodeon teen stars filmed a segment with fans in the background shouting, "TURTLE POWER!" Remember those Turtles hats I picked up yesterday? For wearing mine to the panel, I scored a bag filled with swag including a retro action figure signed by Turtles creator Kevin Eastman! This panel offered a first look at what the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" show on Nickelodeon will be like when it debuts in a few months. The entire main voice cast was there, beginning with Leonardo... ...played by "American Pie"'s Jason Biggs... ...Donatello... ...voiced by Turtles veteran Rob Paulson, formerly the voice of Raphael... ...leaving Raphael to be voiced by Sean Astin... ...and Michaelangelo voiced by... ...Greg Cipes. April O'Neil has been changed into a teenager for this new series to put her on the same frame of mind as the Turtles. She's voiced by Mae Whitman. Hoon Lee provides the new voice of Splinter, who now has a bit of a sarcastic edge to him. And then there's the villain, Shredder... ...menacingly voiced by the smiley Kevin Michael Richardson. Artwork was shown off from the new series, walking fans through the process of how the new look and feel of the show was reached. It's a mixture of classic Turtles action and comedy blending with a bit of anime. Some characters have been given a totally new design, like this creepy version of the Rat King. Ending the panel was a surprise pizza delivery from Turtles creator Kevin Eastman who debuted the new series' intro, which takes the old "heroes in a half shell" hook and winds it into a hip-hop remix. The crowd loved it. Me? Undecided. I've been a Turtles fan since I was a small kid watching the '80s cartoon and I think the new show looks promising, particularly the anime-inspired action sequences. I could do without the rap title sequence though. From there I immediately headed to a scheduled interview over lunch about Epic Mickey 2 with creator Warren Spector, Walt Disney Archives' Becky Cline, and a few other folks. I'll be sharing more from this session on the podcast soon. Just before entering Hall H the day before, I saw that Disney was giving away Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ears in the Gaslamp area. I couldn't make it because I was in line. Then on this day, sure enough, they were once again giving them away while I was sitting in the Epic Mickey interview session. How's that for irony? By the time I reached them, they were all gone - for the entire weekend. I even asked Warren Spector for a pair, but he didn't have any to spare. From there I quickly headed back upstairs in the convention center to get in line for the "Tron: Uprising" panel. Upon arriving I found two Slave Leias standing ahead of me. Who knew Leia is a Tron fan? Landing a great seat for the "Tron: Uprising" panel, I was excited to see some of the show's biggest stars and its creators discuss this continuation of the "Tron" series. The writers of "Tron: Legacy" are also consulting producers on "Tron: Uprising," ensuring the story flows. The constant across all things "Tron" is Tron himself, Bruce Boxleitner, who was as lively and funny as ever. Tricia Helfer, best known for other sci-fi projects including Battlestar Galactica, voices the Grid, admitting she feels like her performances are always lacking while speaking her lines in such a monotone manner. And "Tron: Uprising" lead character Beck's voice belongs to Elijah Wood, the second Hobbit I'd seen at Comic-Con within a few hours. He's a big "Tron" fan and jumped at the chance to voice the role.
You can watch the full “Tron: Uprising” panel and Q&A here:
VIDEO At the end of the presentation, identity discs signed by the cast were raffled off, but not before Boxleitner threatened to derez the entire audience. Tron lives! I had to make a quick exit out of the "Tron: Uprising" panel to get to related interviews clear across the convention center. But when I spotted this Ariel lounging around with Flounder nearby, I had to stop to snap a picture. After a 15 minute walk, the cast and crew of "Tron: Uprising" arrived shortly behind me, minus Elijah Wood. This is the chaos of a Comic-Con press room. I'll be sharing "Tron: Uprising" interviews with Bruce Boxleitner, Tricia Helfer, writers, artists, and its director on our podcast soon. I learned a lot about the series, its creation, and how Disney perceives the "Tron" universe internally. (In short: They love it.) By the time interviews had ended, it was after 4pm, leaving only a couple hours left of time to explore the show floor. I met back up with Michelle, swapped stories about our day. (She loved her "Monster High" panel and even asked a question.) We headed to the Marriott and swung by the Nintendo Gaming Lounge. The man who draws Mario was there signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Take a quick tour of the Nintendo lounge here:
VIDEO Also making appearances: Mario... ...and Luigi! Kirby is celebrating his 20th anniversary and visitors could lounge around on bright pink beanbags. Girls with plenty of energy were dancing away to Just Dance 4 for Wii. It looked exhausting. Also at the Marriott, we claimed our panel tickets for swag ("Oz" posters from the day before, "Tron: Uprising" poster from earlier). After exploring the show floor some more, we headed out to the Gaslamp Quarter to begin celebrating Friday the 13th. Throughout Comic-Con, this area is filled with uniquely-dressed women handing out flyers, business cards, and other swag in promotion of local restaurants, bars, nightclubs, web sites, upcoming movies, and all kinds of other businesses. In the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter on 5th, in honor of Friday the 13th, was this year's zombie walk.
Take a stroll through the zombies in this video:
VIDEO With FEARnet- and Capcom-sponsored "protest" signs waiving in the air, hundreds of zombies marched through the streets. Despite their lust for brains, they're all eager to pose for cameras. This zombie was nice enough to catch her bloody drool in a cup. Thirsty? Zombie walks are fun for all ages... ...unless you're a human victim. Braainnnnsssss.... ....BRRAAAIINNNNSSSS.... Equal rights for zombies! They came in all shapes, sizes, and shell bikinis. No one expected any medical treatment from this group. S.T.A.R.S. was on the scene to protect the uninfected. After escaping the zombie hordes, we walked another 15 minutes to Horton Plaza's Tilt arcade to check out the limited-time Fix-It Felix Jr. video games Disney had put there in promotion of their upcoming film "Wreck-It Ralph." Reaching a certain score won a free T-shirt and Xbox Live avatar download.
See the game in action in the video below and
play it online: VIDEO A long, long second day at the San Diego Comic-Con wasn't quite over yet, as I had arranged admission for us into the invitation-only Con of the Dead party put on by FEARnet, located at the Voyeur nightclub.
No invitation to see the sights of the exclusive party in this video:
VIDEO The Con of the Dead party was perfect for Friday the 13th and post-zombie walk, blasting rock and dance music to keep everyone moving. Ghoulish go-go dancers offered a bit of sexy... ...to go with the sinister, in the form of hanging bodies over the dance floor. Sanguine shades of red and purple doused party goers. But a camera flash revealed this busty body. Jason approved. Looked like the zombies got to Snow White. DJ Amanda Jones kept the party going all night with her enthusiastic dancing and perfect mix of music. This was one party that wasn't going to stop until all were dead... or at least undead. If dancing and an open bar weren't enough, upstairs Capcom had Resident Evil 6 demos set up. Michelle spent nearly our entire time at the party playing all the way through, loving every minute of it. The game comes out in early October. A few scary characters lined the exit corridor. This one tried to follow me out. On the way back to our car, we bumped into "America's Next Top Model" winner and reality TV star Adrienne Curry, who was not only nice enough to pose for a few pictures, but also struck up a conversation with us. Celebrities are people too. Running into this band of fiends promoting San Diego's Haunted Hotel attraction was a sign of things to come, as the swag bag given out at the Con of the Dead party included a ticket for it. I was far too tired by this point (and on the hunt for dinner) so that would have to wait until Saturday. After dinner, we finally made it back to our car, parked at the convention center, where we'd be returning once again the next morning for day three of the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con.
Check back soon for the day 3 and 4 Comic-Con photo wrap-ups.
San Diego Comic-Con 2012 Day-by-Day Photo Reports: July 11 – Preview Night July 12, Day 1 – Twilight, Walt Disney Studios, costumes, Walking Dead Escape, Dawn of the Con July 13, Day 2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tron: Uprising, zombie walk, Con of the Dead July 14, Day 3 – Marty McFly, Futurama, The Simpsons, Frankenweenie Electrifying Garden, True Blood July 15, Day 4 – Batmobiles, Iron Man 3, Epic Mickey 2, LEGO, collectibles, and wrap-up Also from Comic-Con 2012: Best of Comic-Con Cosplay: Sexy and surprising costumes command attention during San Diego Comic-Con 2012 “Frankenweenie” touring exhibit electrifies San Diego Comic-Con as Disney producer Don Hahn explains its origins Inside ‘The Walking Dead Escape’, unleashing zombies on San Diego Comic-Con with gruesome, grueling experience “Wreck-It Ralph” retro excitement extends across San Diego Comic-Con with playable arcade game and panel presentations More photos from San Diego Comic-Con, Day 2 – Friday, July 13, 2012: More photos from the zombie walk:
More photos from the Con of the Dead party: