Saturday, September 8, 2007

Comic-Con 2007!!! (Part 5 - The Last Day)

(Just a quick administrative note: I've been informed that one of my readers [my father, to be exact] experienced some sort of system failure when trying to check out my blog. While I personally believe this was a fluke and/or freak accident, I can't help but think my 100+ pictures couldn't have helped the situation much. Hence, I'm going to play on the safe side and change the formatting of the blog for a little bit. For the next little while, I'm only going to be showing one post on the front page. If you'd like to check out any previous entries, just click the "Older Posts" button at the bottom. This is just temporary, until the Comic-Con series rotates itself out of my normal 10-post format. You see, children, Uncle Andrew does this because he cares!)

Okay, then, welcome back to the program! When we left off last time, I was just beginning the fourth and final day of Comic-Con. The Sundays in San Diego tend to be a bit more subdued than the other days, mainly because the biggest events have already taken place, people need to go home, and...it's "Kids Day." Ughughughugh... Fortunately, I didn't see any little punks running around the floor; I think the family-oriented activities were on the upper floors of the convention center. But the fact remains, it was the smallest of all four days. So, to be honest, this may be the least "exciting" of all my entries in the series.

Marketer Malone: "Andrew, m'boy! You're trying to sell your product. You want people to read this, don't you?"
Me: "Yes, Marketer Malone."
Marketer Malone: "Then don't downplay its quality before it even begins!"

This is the goddamn best thing you're going to read all day! So let's get to it!

Now, I've seen this guy before. He was at last year's Comic-Con (thought I didn't take a picture of him then) and at other conventions where people dress up. For those that don't know, he's dressed up as Buddy Jesus. He does that exact same pose with absolutely everybody (I did a quick Google search). I particularly like the little neon halo thingamajig. Well, I guess I could complain that he's unoriginal by dressing up as the same thing all the time, but if you've found your niche, I guess you should stick to it.

Ah, here's another of my "hand-and-them" pictures. I really like the style, personally. Has a very unique look.

As for the subject of this photograph...well, you don't know him, and even after I describe who he is, you won't care. But still, it was an awesome experience for me to meet him. As you may be able to tell from his shirt, this fellow works for Wizards of the Coast, the company that creates and produces Magic: The Gathering. This fellow is Brandon Bozzi, a relative bigwig in their creative department. He was at the con to showcase Wizard's new online game, Uncivilized: The Goblin Game. He seemed somewhat surprised when I came up to him and knew who he was.

Anyhoo, I asked if I could ask him some question. He said he was about to take his break, so I was able to walk with him to purchase an overpriced pretzel. While with him, I discussed a variety of things, from Wizard's plans for their online community website, Gleemax.com, to possible future internships in the Wizards creative department (which would be an absolutely awesome job). He was extremely friendly, sociable, and open, and goes to further my belief that Wizards has some of the best customer relations of any company I know of.

Yeah, remember when I posted earlier about the Batmobile. Well.......apparently, I forgot by Sunday that I had taken a picture of it earlier, so I took three more.

Interesting note: You see that little spinning doohickey on the hood, by the windshield. I completely forgot what that's called......but I know what it's for!

You see police radar guns work by sending multiple radar signals towards the car. The signals then bounce off the car and return to the gun. Depending on the delay betwixt the returning signals, the cops will know how fast the car is going. Now, when you're driving with one of those little spinners on, the radar signal will hit that thing, and because its spinning at some high speed, the relative velocity is greater than the car itself. Thus, when the signal goes back to the radar gun, it will say that the car is going, like, 300mph when it clearly isn't. The cop will have to decide that it's a fluke reading, and let the car go.

At least, that's what I think that little thing is. I don't know; I'm not sure if it's shaped or positioned correctly. Plus, those things are illegal, and Batman is a law-abiding citizen..........right?

Okay, my final conclusions? It's a hideous car. Black with orange piping just doesn't work. It just goes to show that everything was uglier in the 60s: the cars, the people, the mindsets, everything. And for those of you born in the 60s, I'm so very sorry.

Okay, remember how I said last time, when I showed you the picture of the Ark of the Covenant, that there was something special that happened with it? Well, I was just wandering around on Sunday, when all of a sudden I heard these voices behind me. Cheers and whoops and the like. I turn around, and a couple of fake Indiana Jones dudes were right in front of me, holding the Ark. I was trapped between the exhibitor table and the Ark. There was no escape for me. So I decided to take some pictures. And then I decided to follow the Ark, to see where my adventures took me. I was a leaf on the wind - I was ready to soar.

Yeah, I'm not sure what happened here. I think I was trying to take a really good, and somewhat stylistic, picture of the Ark, but I somehow ended up with a decidedly unglamorous picture of the middle-aged faux-Indy's torso and crotch.

......Let's move on.

While we were walking around, there were people yelling, "Don't open it, don't open it!" Obviously, the had some sort of prescient idea of what would happen were the chest opened. I, on the other hand, took the opposite mentality. "Open the chest!" I yelled, "Open it now!" Some nerd then looked at me.

Nerd: "You fool! Don't you know what will happen?"
Me: Damn right I do!"
Nerd: "But you'll kill everyone!"
Me: "That's your own damn fault, sucker! I'm closing my eyes!"

Now you may be wondering what all this is about. Why was there so much about Indiana Jones at this year's Comic-Con. Well, in case you haven't heard, there's a fourth movie coming out next year. (Don't worry, it takes place 19 years after the last one, so it won't be totally weird that Indy is suddenly two decades older. They were passing out posters at the Paramount Pictures booth, and I must admit, it looks pretty interesting.

...By the way, I like that guy in the little fox hat.

And here's what Indy would look like if he were a woman...and 20-something years old...and living in a time period where women could wear spaghetti straps, camouflage brassieres, and short shorts.

So, apparently the idea behind this whole thing is that these people were traveling around the floor, stopping at every so many booths for a photo opportunity and to pick up some mysterious cards with numbers on them. This particular stop was at the Pirates of the Caribbean booth, as you may have gathered from the fact that there's a statue of Jack Sparrow there.

It's appropriate, I think, that Jack Sparrow is lifting a little doubloon above what appears to be a golden treasure chest.

I'm assuming (or I would at least hope) that there was some sort of payoff for sticking with these people until the end of their journey, but I had already stayed with them for, like, 10 or 15 minutes, and they didn't seem to be going anywhere fast. So, my attention waned, and I decided to let them go on their merry way, as I went on mine. And that's the end of that chapter!

Ah, yes, the oooool' Batman LEGO statue. Yes, I took a (blurry) picture of it last year, and I took another (less blurry) one of it this year, but I think this is the best one of the lot of them!

And I must say, I think we need more gargoyles (and spires, for that matter) on our buildings nowadays. In fact, I think we should just make all our cities look like Prague.

Ah, this is the most inspirational picture to come out of the whole convention. Two bitter enemies, a pilot of the Rebellion, and an Imperial Scout Trooper, holding hands in solidarity. They're able to put aside their differences and come together, as though they were Michael Manley and Edward Seaga. Perhaps, one day, if we all believe, then these sides will stop fighting. They will learn to love one another, to raise their children together, to be one family. Now, with this picture in place, we all have an avenue to dream.

[NOTE: Immediately after this picture was taken, the scout trooper shot the pilot in the face. he remains in critical condition.]
Now, this crate was at the convention since the very beginning, but it was closed. Nobody could see what sorts of wonders lurked inside. Oh, people tried looking through the cracks to get a sneak preview (I know I did), but it was impossible to see anything. So, what lay inside...?

Treasure...?

Horrible secrets...?

A low-fat snack bar that doesn't let you down in the flavor department like so many others...?

No, it's.........

This. Apparently, they opened the crate on Saturday evening. This is Iron Man...or at least, the prototype Iron Man costume for the upcoming movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. Now, if I knew more about Iron Man, I'd have probably figured this out beforehand, since Iron Man's real name is Tony Starke, and the crate said "Starke Industries" on it. Oh, well.

According to the people at the Marvel, this is just a costume that is used in the earlier parts of the movie, until he changes into his normal USC-colored outfit. This makes me think that this suit will figure into some sort of sequel, where they will most likely bring in the very Iron Man-like War Machine, who looks a lot like this outfit.

Whatever the case, the Iron Man movie looks like it could be interesting. I'm just hoping their interpretation of Iron Man's voice is similar to Black Sabbath's.

And here's a trio of Green Lanterns. As you may remember, some internet quiz said that I would most likely be the Green Lantern if I were a superhero, and as you may remember, I tended to agree with this. Now, if I had to have the form of one of these three doppelgangers, which one would I be?

Well, I really like the first one's little neck scarf and staff, but I also like the second one's leather outfit. The third one is...well, it's a little rotund for me, and I'm not a woman. So, if I could mix the first two, I would. Otherwise, scarf and staff win out.

I will say, though that I give "mad props" to the middle guy for wearing the ultra-green contact lenses.

I don't know why I waited until the last day of the con to take a picture of this. I literally commented on it every time we passed by. And it went something like this:

"You know, I really can't see the practicality of having a book chained to your hand. Think of all the things you're giving up. For starters, you're no longer able to wear normal t-shirts, unless they have the widest sleeves ever. And it can't be particularly comfortable to go to bed with. And what if you want to go swimming? I bet that floating fish would say one day, 'Oh, look at that pretty lake over there,' and the monk dude would be like, 'Ooh, I wanna go swimming,' but that goth guy with the messed up hair says, 'You can't; you have a book chained to your hand,' and the monk's like, 'Goddammit! I hate this book!' I bet that monk dude stinks since he can't take a shower. Well, maybe he can take a shower, if he puts a plastic bag over the book. But what about that chain? Won't it get rusty if he takes a shower with it on. Yeah, it sucks to be that guy."

And here's my final picture from within the convention halls. As you may be able to tell, this is Mystique from the X-Men universe. In particular, it's the comic book version. I'm sure dressing up as the movie version would likely make her the most popular (that is, most photographed) person in San Diego that day, it would probably be extremely difficult to pull off, and she may have been taken by one of those early 1900s beach cops who arrested women in "indecent" bathing suits.

Still, it's an extremely well-done outfit, and the blue paint across her body is very rich and evenly applied. A well-done costume, I'd say. And, interestingly enough, this was a completely candid shot. I don't even think she ever realized that I was taking a picture of her. Does that...does that make me a voyeur? Creepy.

And.......I was off.

Because the drive to the airport was along the coast, we were treated to a bunch of tall ships which happened to be around that day. It seemed really funny, as they almost appeared to be driving along with the other cars. It was a whimsical, non-nerdish way to round out my Comic-Con experience.

But it wasn't all candy and roses. When I was a the airport (not pictured), I was stopped by security for being a terrorist. Or, at least, that's what they thought I was. Why would they think that? Well, you know how you're not allowed to more than 3 ounces of liquid/gel in your items, and they have to be in a plastic bag. Well...

Security Woman: "Sir."
Me: "Yes?"
Security Woman: "What do you think this is?"
Me: "....Toothpaste?"
Security Woman: "You do know the policy about liquids and gels, don't you?"
Me: "But it's in the plastic bag."
Security Woman: "You're only allowed to have 3 ounces or less."
Me: "I do. It's mostly used up."
Security Woman: "This is a six-ounce tube of toothpaste."
Me: "But it's empty! There's, like, half an ounce left in it."
Security Woman: "The packaging says it's six ounces, and so we're going by that."
Me: "That's ridiculous. The tube is flat! Do you think I've created some sort of wonder liquid that doesn't take up any space in a container?"
Security Woman: "Sir, please refrain from talking back. Now, you can either use the rest of this before you go through the gates, or we'll throw this away."
Me: "I'm not using an ounce of toothpaste at the airport."
Security Woman: "Then we'll throw it away for you."
Me: "Why don't you just keep it for yourself if I can't have it? It's perfectly good toothpaste. It shouldn't go to waste."
Security Woman: (Throws toothpaste away.)
Me: (Taking my bag.) "I sincerely hope not all airport security are as wasteful as you are, madam."

I can't begin to explain how upset that woman made me. In any event, because I was able to arrive at the airport so early, I was able to get an early flight. Unfortunately, because I was the last guy on the plane, they had to check my bag in. So, when I got back to Oakland, I had to wait at the luggage claim. But there was a bunch of confusion about what was going where. And I didn't end up getting my luggage until approximately the same time that my originally-planned flight arrived. So, my total saved time ended up being probably 5 minutes. That's why I never like checking in my luggage.

So, those parts of the flight home weren't particularly cool. The view, though, was.

Again, I began taking pictures from my window. It was a clear day today, so there were no seas of clouds. I was able to see the ground though. As you may be able to tell, this is the farmland of California. I'm constantly amazed at how...squared it all it. It seriously looks like some sort of civilization-building video game landscape from the mid-90s, back before graphics were the end-all, be-all.
What amazes me even more than that, though, is how uncivilized (in the truest sense of the word) so much of California is. We have the largest population of any state of the US, with millions upon millions of people, and yet there is simply so much wide open space. Now, I am in no way saying that we should expand our cities into these untamed area. As anyone who knows me well may know, I absolutely love rolling hills. The Microsoft picture "Bliss" really is my bliss. It's just interesting to think about.

Now, if I'm not mistaken, I believe I see a city in the distance, in what is essentially the middle of nowhere. I can never comprehend what it would be like to live in one of these cities, so separate from the rest of the world. Unless you go to a place like UC Merced (and Lord help you if you do), how good is your internet or phone connection. Are you essentially a pack of biped wild dogs with cars instead of fur. Is there some serious island tribe-like inbreeding going on? Is it a place where you can enter, but never return from? Who knows!

What I do, know, though, is that this is a real purty shot.
And finally, we have some random lake...*cough* What's really cool about these pictures, though, is that they really come full circle. If you are going through the pictures on my computer, say, in order, and you click "Next" after this one, it will take you to the very first one, which is also another picture from the sky. To the uninformed viewer, this may seem to be just a continuation, and it turns out that we're going back to San Diego for more Comic-Con fun! Hurrah!

And so, that is all of the pictures I took at Comic-Con 2007! Are we finally done with this series? No, not by a long shot! Well, actually, we're pretty close. Next time, I'll be showcasing all the miscellaneous items that didn't really get shown here. It's the light at a very long tunnel, so I hope you can make it.

Marketer Malone: "Andrew..."

You'd better make it! It'll be the greatest thing since sliced ham!

Marketer Malone: "M'boy, you'll go far."

Until then...

4 comments:

DAD said...

GREAT ADVENTURE, WORTH THE WAIT TIL IT WAS SERIES WAS COMPLETELY OVER. I LAUGHED, I CRIED, IT WAS JUST LIKE I WAS THERE - BUT DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY THE ENTRANCE FEE! THANKS FOR THE TRIP!

DAD said...

EDIT- "WORTH THE WAIT TIL THE SERIES WAS COMPLETELY OVER"

Andrew Schnorr said...

THANK YOU, FATHER, BUT THERE'S NO NEED TO TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS, UNLESS YOU'RE SHOUTING (FOR EXAMPLE, I'M SHOUTING THIS RIGHT NOW). I THINK ALL THAT EBAYING HAS GONE TO YOUR HEAD.

Julie said...

I hope you weren't really rude to that nice security woman who was just doing her job. I thought I raised you better than that. Hope you're not one of those young whipper snappers that thinks he's entitled! ( ;
Hugs, Mom