Tony's California Adventure: Saturday - The Day to View Panels and Avoid the Floor

Greetings. San Diego Comic Con Day 4 is in the books as I am coming to the close of another convention. These things sure do fly by. 

I decided to get to the convention early just to see when the doors open and holy crap, I am never doing that again. Nightmare scenario, to say the least. The staff couldn't even think of pointing us I the right direction for a door that would open. Once I got in, I headed to the Marvel booth since they usually change things up and HOLY CRAP NEW IRON MAN ARMOR- whoa. It's mostly gold. I social networked it out and got a lot of "Ewww" responses back, but hey, I kinda dig it. It's kind of a brushed gold that reminds me almost of the tan used in military camouflage. 

After witnessing Iron Man, I headed up to 6DE for the New 52 Next Wave panel that featured Tony Bedard, James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, and for the first time ever as a panelist, Dan Didio. The folks discussed Phantom Stranger, Amethyst, Team 7 and Talon, once again kind of making it a PR panel, but then squeaking out a few more details as well. The Q&A questions yielded some interesting responses, namely that Tony Bedard is doing a Beowulf backup for Amethyst and that he's more excited about that than GL and Blue Beetle right now. We were then regaled with a story about how Tony stripped down to a loin cloth in high school to play Beowulf and thus earned the nickname, "Tonan the Barbarian." Bob Wayne almost quit right then and there. We'll get to see more interactions with the militaristic figures of the DCU on Team 7 with Grifter, Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor and Black Canary, so that was a nice bit of info. Phantom Stranger will reintroduce a big DCU character that we haven't seen yet in the relaunch around issue 2. Talon won't interact with Nightwing right away, but Batman will get involved at some point. The highlight of the panel involved the infamous Batgirl from last year who kept asking about the lack of female creators with the relaunch. She remarked that it had been a year but that while progress is slow, she is seeing more female creators on books and that she wanted to thank Dan for listening and addressing the issue. Great moment. Bob Wayne closed out the panel and remarked that it had some of the best questions they had received at a panel, ever. 

We then moved to the DC OGN panel that featured Geoff Johns for Batman: Earth One, Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose and Langdon Foss, and Superman: Earth One - Vol. 2 with JMS and Shane Davis. Get Jiro takes place in a world where chefs control nations and have wars with rival chefs. Jiro is a master sushi chef who takes his craft very seriously, and when it's take lightly, the result is ultra violence. The book recently crashed Amazon's system for orders so DC is obviously excited about it. Geoff covered Batman E1 and announced that Vol. 2 was coming and would feature The Riddler as the main villain. JMS and Shane Davis set up Superman E1 V2 by covering The Parasite and Clark's awkward sex life that is complicated by his powers. Questions were asked and the biggest info to come out revealed that there is a small mention of Batman in Superman E1 V2 in the form of a newspaper clipping, thus confirming that Earth One is one sole universe and that these guys might meet. Also, other characters will be receiving the Earth One treatment, though there is nothing to announce yet. 

Finally, we got to the Before Watchmen panel. JMS stuck around and was met by Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner and Len Wein. Basic PR info was displayed and talked about when suddenly, Jim Lee piped up and interrupted the panel to announce a special guest... Quentin Tarantino! Jim said that there wasn't any other self-contained opportunity to announce this, so they had Quentin pop in to announce that Django Unchained's unabridged script would be receiving the comic treatment and would be released this fall in conjunction with the movie's release. That was a fun moment and I was too shocked to snap a picture. GNAH. 

The exhibition floor and JH Williams III were my next targets after wrapping up the panels. I joined a mini line that grew larger and larger and had to eventually be capped before signing began. I was armed with a copy of Batwoman #1 but was pleasantly surprised to find a print of the Sandman promo image that was displayed Thursday night! Score! I wandered the floor a little while longer until heading up to 6DE to panel squat for Fables by having to endure the Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal) panel. 

James Marsters and Michael Jai White were there. We watched the first episode. It was awful. That's all I have to say about that. 

Next was the Fables panel and with it was a sense of urgency. They usually do a random item giveaway before the panel started, but Bill deferred to a Hunger Games style system of fighting to the death, a.k.a., jumping as high as you can for stuff being tossed into the crowd. Bill started things off by mentioning next year's inaugural Fablescon and that the guest list would include around 30 people. Mark Buckingham will be the guest of honor and the convention will take place in Minnesota during March. This year marks Fables' 10th anniversary, so the panel reminisced about their favorite moments in the series' history. A lot of focus was around Snow and Bigby, but there were a lot of Christmas moments sprinkled throughout. Hints about future issues were displayed and talked about and some questions were good at poking around those questions with no real answers. Finally, Bill made his fabled (see what I did there) announcement that this was going to be the last Fables panel at SDCC for the foreseeable future. Devoting 5-6 days to San Diego has caused Bill to miss other conventions and he's wanting to spread the word about Fables, mostly on the East Coast, though he mentioned that Fables would be receiving a 90-minute panel at the next Emerald City Comic Con. these comments coincide with a Bleeding Cool report that Bill is frustrated with the current state of SDCC and that he had concerns that more comic fans couldn't attend due to the number of passes going to moviegoers instead. I can sympathize with those comments. 

Day 4 is wrapped. Up next, Day 5. 

To be continued...