October 4, 2011

My Time at Dragon Con 2011 (Part 2)

Sitting in on the Panel

So, these next two days were a blast! I mean they were absolutely incredible! So, without further adieu, let’s get right into it, shall we?!

Stan "The Man" Lee

So, the day starts off with a bang! Stan “The Man” Lee is here! And he’s got tons of news and tons of stories to share, and is abso-freakin’-lutely awesome! He (with some help from the gracious moderator) gets things rollin’ with a few announcements. Stan Lee’s TV series Superhumans has been renewed for a second season. Though Stan was joking that he’s not sure how many seasons it can last, because he’s certain they’ve got to be running out of extraordinary people by now! Also, he announced that he has a new project on the way. A three-way collaboration between comic legend Todd McFarlane, superstar musician Yoshiki Hayashi, and Stan himself, entitled Blood Red Dragon.

He then went on to tell us a little story about his cameo in The Avengers:
“The cameo I did yesterday, and I know you’re all so eager to hear about it…. I’m not allowed to talk about it.” <audience roars in laughter>
“BUT, but I can tell you, it is a very funny cameo. Probably the funniest line I’ve had to say yet. And I say it to…Captain America! Who will probably be a little bit annoyed, because there’s always the chance that I’ve stolen the scene from him.” <more laughter from the crowd>

He also gabbed a bit about his recent project for the National Hockey League.
The NHL Guardians!
“I created a superhero for every team in the National Hockey League…and you’ll be seeing and hearing more about it in a few months. It’s being put together. … So remember, you in Atlanta have been among the first to hear about…The NHL Guardians!”

Mr. Lee also entertained us with a very sweet story about his thoughts on getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:
“I felt very foolish about it. I mean I’m not exactly the biggest movie star in the world. And I’m not sure what I got the star for, but I wasn’t about to refuse it. So, what happened was, they had a little ceremony, and they blocked off the street. I love anything that they stop the traffic for; it makes you feel very important. … The thing that impressed me the most…I figured I’d be way off on one of the side streets. …  Well I found out that I’m not only on Hollywood Blvd., but I’m on the same block as Paul Newman and Sophia Lauren. So, obviously they reserve that block for people who are very fine actors.”

When asked which of the Marvel films were his favorites, he started with the typical “gotta please everyone” sort of answer, but then listed off what would presumably be his top three picks!
“I really love them all. Also I’m friendly with most of the directors and people involved, and if I say this one is my favorite, all the other people are gonna hate me. And I’m not lookin’ for people to hate me, ‘cause I’m really vulnerable. But I must say I loved the first Spider-Man movie, and I loved the Iron Man movie. But wait ‘til you see The Avengers.  The first X-men was great also.”

Next he talked about his favorite DC Comic Book Character. Which was interesting:
“They had a character called Lobo. And he really appealed to me. I thought he was very original and very funny, and I kinda liked it. … I’d say Lobo is my favorite.”

In between captivating the audience with his sweet stories and charming grandfatherly demeanor, he held a trivia contest for an Avengers baseball cap he brought with him from the set of the film. First, only people born on December 28th (Stan’s birthday) could compete. Second, he had to go through multiple questions, practically spoon-feeding them the answers because none of the competitors knew them. After half a dozen questions and lots of shouting from a rather angry audience, someone finally guessed a right answer, and won the hat. I felt a little embarrassed, not only for the fans, but for Stan. Though he thought it was all quite silly and the chaos was rather amusing.

Later that day I got to visit with Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew of Star Wars fame, which was a real blast! They were on a few panels like “The Stars of Star Wars,” and Carrie was there for her own separate work, as well. And afterwards they had their own booths to meet and greet. So, Carrie was shootin’ the breeze and covering all of her fans with glitter, anointing their foreheads and generally being fun and silly. And Peter was picking on all the fans with sparkly heads.

My Autographed copy of RETURN OF THE JEDI

Signed by Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew

The rest of the day was pretty fun. I got to meet Laurrell K. Hamilton, who created the Anita Blake novels and comics.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Chatting with LKH and getting stuff signed

Then I got to enjoy a Q&A with the staff of Archer. Some of the writers, the dialog editor, and voice actor Lucky Yates (the voice of Dr. Krieger and face of Agent Ray Gillette) made up the panel.

And finally, I went to the event “An Evening with Batou” (Richard Epcar). Richard Epcar (Ghost in the Shell franchise, Digimon, Ninja Scroll, Lupin the 3rd, Macross Plus, Xenosaga Trilogy, Mortal Kombat, and tons more) has appeared in anime, live-action roles, animated shows, and video games totaling over 150 projects since at least as early as 1993.


Richard - Freakin' - Epcar!
A man of a million talents! Richard Epcar!

Check out the videos of the Panel!
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

The last day of the convention I was able to catch a panel dedicated to the Adaptation of Comic Books into Video Games.

And for the final event of the final day, I lucked out! I got asked to sit in on a panel about Adapting Novels into Comics, and Comics and Novels into Movies. I got to listen to Gary Raisor (Making Friends, The Night Caller, Less than Human) and Eric Cooper (Knight Seeker) discuss their experiences in the entertainment industry. I also got to add what little bit of insight I have about the industry to the discussion. Gary and I discussed the fine line between just how much you should keep, or leave out of the source material when making an adaptation. Eric talked about his current projects, which include the third book in his Knight Seeker book series, which is in the planning stages of being made into a film with Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. Generally just answering questions about the process, the industry, the hardships, and discussing the “dos and don’ts” learned from past adaptations and hopes for upcoming adaptations.

Sitting in on the Panel

Sitting on the panel with Eric Cooper, and Gary Raisor! This was awesome!

All in all, I’d have to say that these second two days of Dragon*Con were incredible! Stay tuned for my photo album, featuring more photos than you can shake a stick at. And, of course, my interview with Sam Huntington!

Aaron Nicewonger



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