One of the more bizarre things about Comic-Con over the years is just how increasingly busy the party scene has become.   And like a major film festival or convention (ie, E3), the parties are just as much publicity events as anything else and Thursday was no exception.

Strangely scheduled almost all at the same time, the first event of the night was an early evening shindig to celebrate "The Green Hornet."  Set in a space near Petco Park to allow the inclusion of a number of cars from the Michel Gondry action flick, the reception found stars Seth Rogen (wow, has he gotten slim), "Inglourious Basterds" star Christoph Waltz and Gondry mingling with the press hoping to create good buzz for the January release.  "Hornet's" real test will be in Hall H on Friday when the picture debuts new footage for the masses.

At the same time, over 700 people got a surprise "golden ticket" to attend the first public screening of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" after the film's end of day panel.  Afterward, Universal Pictures kept the surprises coming as Canadian rockers Metric, who contributed to the soundtrack, performed four songs for the crowd in a performance HitFix's Daniel Fienberg described as "Energetic! Loud! And maintaining the excitement and momentum from the film itself."

Over at the Hard Rock Hotel, IGN and Lionsgate held a shindig to celebrate their new action adventure "The Expendables."  IGN Movies editor Eric Moro introduced Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin and Randy Couture who then helped honor their "Expendables" director and co-star Sylvester Stallone by inducting him into IGN's Action Heroes Hall of Fame.  It was a classy idea that will be very easy for IGN to make an annual Comic-Con event. 

Meanwhile, when the 10 PM hour rolled around, 500 special "Tron" fans  (as well as some press including HitFix's Drew McWeeny) got a sneak peek into an expanded Flynn's Arcade just a few blocks away.  Last year, the recreation of a key set from the both the first "Tron" and "Legacy" was one of the most buzzed parts of the con, especially with the lifesize model of a lightcycle capping off the space.  This installment finds a much bigger "backstage" as they have installed the film's "bar at the end of the line" set for fans to wander through.  This writer had the chance to see it in person while filming was going on in Vancouver and is looking forward to walking it Friday night when alcohol will be served.

The adventure continues tomorrow night...