Monday, July 25, 2011

Live From Geek Mecca: San Diego Comic Con Days 3 & 4





Playwright Leonard Xavier Schwartz blogs from Comic Con San Diego International
On Days 3 and 4 of San Diego Comic Con International, Playwright Leonard Xavier Roberts Schwartz shares his unabashed joys and annoyances once again. If you missed day one and two of Lenny's travel log check them out here.
 
DAY 3
So I got up this morning at 2am to go to DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO to wait up for next years tickets.



You see, Comic Con has a new procedure for getting tickets...one that caused a panic amongst the world. They decided to sell have the tickets to next years Con at this years convention...no seniority allowed. And you need a badge for THIS YEARS to buy NEXT years badge. Otherwise, unless you are a retailer or industry...it means you are not getting in. And being in the movie business isn't even a guarantee anymore.
Just ask Notting Hill actor RHYS IFANS who was here for the new Spiderman panel...in which he plays the villian. I saw Rhys last night on stage...little did I know he would be Indiana Jonesed' out for having NO TICKET. Yep, he caused a fuss and they ARRESTED the fucker for causing a scene. It's true, check it out. Seems like I am bad luck for a lot of actors I came across in my travels however. Dave Chappelle, who I had encountered yesterday early afternoon bombed last night at a charity event...even texting onstage during his act. No he was not texting me.

So off I went to get my tickets.
And it was pretty much the best time I had here at Comic Con.
I met a dude in the taxi, my new Facebook friend Dale (WHATUP DALE!), and he was my travel buddy down to the DEATH STAR known as the San Diego Hyatt.  
But I was feeling PRETTY GOOD...and felt ready to rock. Last night for dinner i had the best hamburger I ever had...but it was so MUCH FUCKING BURGER I never have to eat another burger again...It was an INSANE amount of burger..this thing would have killed Ron Swanson for christs sake..
But off I went. With my new friend (and PEE BUDDY...a pee buddy who holds your place in line when you pee). Off to sit on the sidewalk of San Diego like a homeless person. At least I shaved last night, or was it earlier. Fuck me. I am so tired it's like fucking INCEPTION in my head. 
So we got in line...and we were amongst the first to get there, which means we got our 2012 badges for all four days with preview night with relative ease. Yup, I shall live to bitch another year. And being there? It was beautiful...we had a lovely view of the bay while we sat, conversation was good all around...and it was a communal experience. The kind I haven't felt in a long time. Sure we were all fucking nuts...but at least we had each other. 
So I opted out of panels today because most of them just sucked....I caught a glimpse of Frances Ford Coppola and his weird ass panel where he did a performance piece with the audience. And that just sounded like shit to me.. WHAT??? He's FRANCES FORD COPPOLA!! Well, besides the film Tetro, Coppola's made nothing but shit for 20 years (JACK Anyone?). And I just wasn't that interested to be Robert C Reynolds about it. I also didn't care for the other panels today in Hall H. There was something called Badassery and the new Snow White that is coming out. I could care less really.


The lack of good panels in Hall H today has to do with what Schwarzenegger should have done and studios should never have done; Pulling out. The Hollywood studios are mad that movies such as Paul and Skyline and The Green Hornet didn't do better at the box office....these films were shown at Comic Con and they should have done better at the box office...right? RIGHT?????
It never occurs to anyone in Hollywood that they should make better movies and not louder ones. The theory used to be you show footage at Comic Con and it meant big BOX OFFICE BUCK!!!!!
But the room they show it in only holds 6500 people...and most of these people aren't PAYING for shitty movies...hell they have other shit to get you stupid fucks...like that copy of XMEN number 4....and tell people? You expect us to tell people? NOBODY GIVES A SHIT WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY!!!! I can tell 2238 of all my facebook friends that TRANSFORMERS SUCKS...and I did...and guess what??? nobody gives a shit! They will still go if the movie interests them. I MAY convince them to go to a matinee, or Redbox or HBO the film...but most people...they make choices. And they are hardly ever informed choices. And different people like different things.
Will it hurt Comic Con? Not in the slightest. Because everyone wants to go. Even the celebs.
So what does that make us seeing the early footage? Studios think we'll sell their movie for them...but we won't. So what are we?
I'll tell you: We are the biggest, best focus group you ever had. And you should listen to what we have to say.
And enough with the 3D. Like everything else Hollywood, you drained the novelty.
So I decide to focus on the writers and artists of COMICS today. Imagine that! There are ACTUALLY COMIC BOOK CREATORS and COMICS at COMIC CON!!!

The first guy I meet is somebody who is so talented and has a VERY limited body of work: Jordan Raskin. Never heard of Jordan? Go to his website...I read Jordan back when I was 13 and was loved his work SO much...He did a Predator book and was somebody who should have been a bigger artist and almost was...I will say his work, even now, that I have seen puts a lot of these younger artists to shame. Check him out.



I bumped into a guy who was dressed like a politician...and he was BURT WARD...that's right ROBIN everybody! The goofy one from the 1966 TV show...Burt's a great guy...and very friendly. Overly friendly. Like, I am not buying you lunch friendly. Oh Burt. You leech.

I saw Jorge Garcia (HURLEY) on the floor. He looked at me and said. "Hi there!" I said "Shalom!" to him...to which he responded "Shalom...to you too! Haha!" He's a great guy.



We had lunch with Lamont and Cory, two lovely people who I always enjoy seeing and talking to (Lamont is a screenwriter you'll be hearing a lot from in the future).

And so Thomas Jane.



I decided that I was going to make amends with T-Bone today...why not right? It's the Sabbath and you can't hate forever. So after meeting Lance Henriksen (Alien) I stroll over with Callie to see Thomas motherfucking Jane to break bread, make peace, and above all, give him the Sharpie I accidentally stole from him last year.

So I mosey on over to talk to Tom with Callie. We stand in line and instantly Callie doesn't like him...she stares at him like she is Drew Barrymore in Firestarter. Tom starts getting itchy and I look for signs of smoke and a quick escape route.



Tom decides to take a call...a lengthy one. So much so that he ignores the people waiting to see him...like the douchebag he always is.



After about five minutes people get pissed and start to disperse. The only part of Tom Jane most people got to see after that was his plumbers crack...and trust me ladies no amount of NAIR is going to clean that ground zero up. Watching Tom Jane bend while talking on the phone may be someone's idea of heaven and earth. It's not. It's like that porn clip you never wish you clicked on that now has infected your computer.



I decided to try to give him back his Sharpie tomorrow...after I wipe Callie's first wet diaper on it. Lovingly of course.

Speaking of love, no Tyrese Gibson again!!! Aww...



We met up with my friend Roxanna this afternoon..and that was lovely. I hadn't seen her in ten years and I realized how much I missed her...it was so nice to talk and watch Callie and her son play...Best line of her son" "I want a brother when you can mom. Not a girl Girls are HARD."
And that brings me to Amy Winehouse...that's when I heard the news. I know you probably expect me to make a joke (Thomas Jane sucks) but I really can't.. I never liked her music but she is somebody's daughter and was once a little baby...I hope she has the peace she never seemed to have in life. So the day went on, and we had a great time, but I wanted to save this fucker for last. 
Earlier in the day these two girls start playing with Callie...They are both kinda scuzzy hoes but hey they aren't touching her so the chance of contracting AIDS is at a minimum. And then I hear this whiney bitchy male voice that says "Come on, girls, don't make us wait."
Who was this bitchy lil man? None other than film critic Leonard Maltin.
Leonard (not me) decided to gather up the Maltin Family in the van just in time for the Annual Maltin family outing.
I said "Hey Leonard Maltin" to which he replied "Oh hey." sounding very much like every girl who were about to break up with me.

He then says"Stop playing with the baby and come on girls!" 
As a side note...how BAD do you feel for those girls being the daughters of a film critic?? Can you picture it? "Daddy, how do you like my dress? "Well dear I give it two and a half stars.:"
Holy shit. And these girls were scuzzy..,but I do feel for them. Leonard Maltin is an insensitive prick who is also a collector of old things apparently.
He started getting testy. "Girls you are making us wait...and you know how I get when I wait."



I took the last remark as "Maltin Code" meaning: "Don't make me beat you when I get home" or "Get over here and move out...otherwise I am burying you in the coffin in the backyard overnight....again."



Good Ol Maltin!!



So they sadly move on...but they each give me a look... They each gave me a look that will haunt me forever. The look in their eyes was fear in one girl...and terror in the other. But each spelled the same message for me: The look? It was a look that spoke volumes. It's a look that says "Daddy is an asshole" I feel for them. I really do. I shoot back a look that says "I know. I'm sorry I can't help you :("



As the Maltins went about their charmed day I realized something. Something important. Leonard Maltin and his wonderful family of his daughters and his wife who I thought was his elderly mother...(MAN WAS I WRONG!!! hahah!!! SHIT...THAT ONE WAS ON ME), Leonard taught me that it's all about sharing things...your original family you are born with and the ones you make waiting for tickets at 2am at Comic Con.



We are all one big happy family...The Maltins, The Schwartz's. The Griffin's. The Corso's. The Calitri's. The Gronski's. The Schoolcrafts. The Obamas. The Palins. The Smiths...and you and I. We are one big happy family, and together and only together...with a little bit of order...we may indeed survive this together. Because we need each other right now. More than we ever have,






Fuck. Now that I think about it, the look the Maltin girls were giving me? One was looking for weed and the other was soliciting.



I was TOTALLY off.






One more day!
DAY 4
The day actor THOMAS JANE and I made up.
Oh sure, Thomas or Tom or whatever handle he is going by these days is still a self involved prick. But that self involved prick from HBO's HUNG is now something to me that I never expected: an all right dude.
More on that later.
Sunday is traditionally "SUCK" day at Comic Con mostly because it's "KIDS Day." But to be honest. I had a BLAST.
Maybe you need a kid to enjoy KIDS DAY! But this year Sunday was cool.
I took lil Callie to the Cartoon Network Booth. Somehow we both ended up in a kiddie mosh-pit with some anime looking jackoff saying "DANCE KIDDIES DANCE!" And they did. Callie went nuts. Scooby Doo was in the mosh pit as well as a few other cartoon characters. I decided to vacate the premises after Tom and Jerry started to grind up against me. After turning down what I considered a three way offer from Tom and Jerry I went forth.
As a side note, there is nothing wrong with a three way. And I probably would have said yes had the offer been from Burt Ward and Leonard Maltlin.
Ah, but today is not Saturday at Comic Con. That means no real great panels, and the few they did have I saw in the recap reel.
The Supernatural boys were there fighting evil and their sexuality in a new season coming this fall. Castle was their with Nathan Fillion, and I walked past Ron Perlman anad Katey Sagal whom I met last year. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was there having a great time but like I said, been there done that in previous years.
So I decided to walk the exhibit hall.
But no matter where i went those FUCKING KIDS FROM GLEE WHERE IN MY PATH!
You know the show! GLEE! About those outcast underdog social misfits who sing songs. WELL HERE'S A NEWSFLASH. In REAL LIFE? THE ACTORS WHO ARE IN THE SHOW ARE MOST DEFINITELY NOT OUTCAST UNDERDOG SOCIAL MISFITS. THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT OUTCAST UNDERDOG SOCIAL MISFITS. INSTEAD they are all SNOBBY ASSHOLES and ALL OF THEM DESERVE A" SLUSHEE" TO THE FACE!!!! PEOPLE, THESE ACTORS YOU WATCH ON THE SHOW ARE AS "HOLLYWOOD" AS IT COMES. They are the corporate "outcasts" and if you met them in real life you would punch each of these fools in the mouth. I am done with Glee. Unless the Hellmouth rises up in Mckinley High and Giles shows up to find a slayer.
Fuck Glee. The show depresses me. It should be called "Glum."
The woman Who plays Coach Beast is nice though. She shook my hand and was sweet. I should have offered her a gun with one bullet, especially if the show keeps running for many years and she's locked into a contract.
So I walked around. The SOUP NAZI made friends with Callie, despite the fact she is a Jew. Callie even allowed him to take a picture with him. Building bridges. Gotta love Comic Con.
The rest of the day I saw some great artists, the best of them being Micael Zulli. I got his book that won't be coming out for a few months. Check this guy out...google him. He's worked with Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper. Beautiful book.
Oh yeah. Those fucking kids were back with their signs that said "FREE HUGS" again this year. Man, way to ensure no girl will ever kiss you...and that you'll go to prom stag. Go ahead, tell everybody you are going stag because it's cool. We know the truth.
There were a few tweeks around the convention still but their ranks have thinned out. I did see the most awesome sight I've seen in awhile midday. I was outside fixing Callie a bottle by the main entrance when three tweeks without badges tried to sneak in. They all had skateboards and the security guard stopped them. They bolted and he chased them down in a Michael Mann-like chase scene finally grabbing them by the collar...all three of them! One he grabbed and they fell off their skateboards, people cheered and the cops came and handcuffed them. It was exhilarating to watch these tweeks get "collared." I got a small semi even out of the deal. Fucking tweeks.
More and more of them will try it though. Like I said times are tough and so is trying to get a badge. And the message is clear: don't fuck with Comic Con.
And so we are done. Time to move on from Comic Con 2011. You can never see it all...at best you'll only see a twentieth of it. It was time to go to do other things in San Diego and then go home And i was okay with that. Satisfied even...Until a figure brushed past me and went to his booth for the last time.
Actor Thomas Jane.
THAT SON OF A BITCH THOMAS JANE. TAUNTING ME LIKE A SHARK IN THE FILM DEEP BLUE SEA.
So I approach TJ like a Hebrew gunslinger with Callie in my arms, ready to give him back the Sharpie I accidentally stole from him last year.
Callie sizes him up, again giving him a stare much like Drew Barrymore used in the film Firestarter, He saw her looking and stared back peering over the sunglasses he just HAS TO WEAR BECAUSE IT'S TOO BRIGHT AT 3pm in the afternoon inside . There is a moment of silence between the two. And then Tom looks at Callie and says "Hello, sweetie," and waves the sweetest lil wave he can muster and smiles. And then Callie smiles back.
Tom looks at me and and offers me a free CD and I buy a book off him (the guys writes a comic called BAD PLANET and he does so with no irony). And we start to chat. I tell him I met him last year and he laughs and says "I hardly remember." I reply, "Bad year last year?" He says"buddy you have no idea."... He starts talking to me about comics and we both have a mutual love of The Rocketeer and Dave Stevens (he tells me his favorite movie was indeed The Rocketeer...and like me, is obsessed with it). He calls the Rocketeer "sexy" and refers to a lot of the things we talk about as "sexy" (The new Captain America movie was "sexy" Tim Bradstreet's art is "Sexy" ..he must get 25 cents a pop from HBO every time he uses that word).
We have such a nice chat and then I ask to take a pic with him and tell him about this blog. He asks if I am going to post the pic on the blog, as he doesn't like to have his picture taken too much. I reply "Absolutely Tom." He smiles and say "sexy, let's do it." I ask him to make a dour expression on his face and he complies. So we take the pic, and we part ways.
And I realize just then I never gave him back his Sharpie.
But I say fuck it...why ruin a good time? He was cordial enough this year...and while he is still a prick, he was in his booth all four days this year. And I think he enjoyed me because I was a tweek. I was a fan of comics. And he was too. And we actually share something he and I: we like the same shit comic wise. And we relate without having the say the words.
He's still not going to put me on Hung season 3. So fuck him very much for that. But Tom? TJ Hooker? He and I? The feud is over. So now he can sleep again.
And that's it ladies in gentlemen. I had a wonderful time this year, spending the time with my family. It was my daughter's first Comic Con and she makes me so happy because she's so fuzzy I want to die.
But I did have an experience this time I'll never forget as long as I live. It was all amazing. But running around the streets of San Diego at 2am in the morning? Outside by the water? With the city quiet and only Comic Cons awake in the world? I'll never forget how beautiful and amazing and COMMUNAL that was...I have always wanted to go to Woodstock (the one from 1969 and not the ones that try too hard) and that is what i imagined it must have felt like..at least in my mind.
So if you like comics, and you've always wanted to go, do it. Come for one day, no matter how hard tickets are to get. Find a way. Come on down here, fuck reading my blog, and write your own when you get here. This is something that everyone should experience at least once. It's magical in a way you don't even know. And here is something for everyone. And it's all ours to share.
But if you come, leave Thomas Jane alone. he's mine to fuck with. And mine alone.
Till next year!

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