[I found these notes in the archives from an article that was never completed or published. My first visit to San Diego Comic Con was in 1996. My only memory of that visit was getting an autograph and a drawing of Homer Simpson from Matt Groening in a the first trade paperback of Simpsons Comics (see bottom of the article). My next visit was in 2006 and I returned every year until the Covid pandemic caused the 2020 iteration to go virtual, which I have sampled. Other than my being able to drive up and buy tickets the day of the event, the essence of the Con has reamined the same.]
I arrived Friday and after dealing with traffic on the streets and in line, my first panel was Bryan Singer in the middle of discussing Superman Returns. I was surprised at those who praised him and the film after what he had done to Superman (pre-marital sex?), but I got the impression the detractors got to the mike first. He was asked to return to the X-Men because of how poorly X-Men 3 was, which got a round of applause. He said he had to see who was still alive, but then said Ratner did a good job coming in at the last minute. Singer talked about a sequence cut where Superman goes to Krypton. He wants to include it on a re-release of the film, but said vehemently that it would not be on the DVD due to the scope of the sequence it needed to be seen on the big screen.
Surprise guest Richard Donner came out. They chatted briefly about the new Superman II DVD and then showed a great new clip where Lois attempts to prove Clark is Superman by jumping out a window of the Daily Planet. He is able to save her without revealing his identity.
The dealer room was so big that it took me over 90 minutes to walk every aisle without stopping to shop. Of course, there were delays when free stuff was given out, a line formed for an autograph signing, or when people stopped for pictures.
I attended a panel where Roger Corman was speaking. He chatted about the business and his longevity in it. He is the king of independent cinema and deserves to be honored for his lifetime of work. He might be a B-picture maker, but he helped start the careers of Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, John Sayles, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Howard, Robert Towne, and Jack Nicholson. Producer Gale Ann Hurd was in the crowd and thanked Corman for all he had done.
He had many great stories about the business. For example, Dinocroc was a huge success on Sci-Fi Channel. At the next meeting, Corman was told how great the ratings were and the executives asked for another. He said, Dinocroc 2, but they explained that movies with numbers do poorly, yet movies that are similar in nature do just as well. Corman quickly responded, “Did I say Dinocroc 2? I meant, Supergator,” which will be airing in 2007. The fans mainly thanked Corman for his work and asked about different properties coming to DVD. A handful passed him scripts and films.
In the Digital Bits room, I saw trailers for La Femme Nikita: Season 5, and Justice League Unlimited. The Warner Brothers DVD panel focused on the 50th anniversary DVD of Forbidden Planet and people were falling all over themselves to get a photo of Robbie the Robot. Actors Richard Anderson, Warren Stevens, and Earl Holliman appeared.
A side note, all the bluetooth earpieces don’t look so odd down here because it just makes everyone look like Lt Uhura from Star Trek.
On Saturday, my wife attended the Lost: Season 3 panel. There was a fake incident where a woman named Rachel Blake believes there is a conspiracy involving the series and the Hanso Corporation, which is based on some online game connected with it.
I went to see Kevin Smith, but he was late, so they ran video of Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, and Forrest Ackerman.
Marvel Comics announced Marvel Studios, which means they are going to be producing their own films about their properties: Iron Man, The Hulk, Ant Man…Ant Man?
[The notes aburptly ended there. No idea if that was my last panel, but I did get a free T-shirt promoting Iron Man with the title and release date on the back and a glow-in-the-dark arc reactor on the front. I obviously had enough fun to keep going back.]