I went to Dark Horse Comics' Joss Whedon panel yesterday afternoon curious to hear what, if anything, he had to say about the making of "The Avengers." Instead, the superhero movie barely came up, but Whedon did add some more fodder to my pre-Comic-Con discussion about how certain series translate from one medium to another.
For the second year in a row, "Community" took over the Indigo Ballroom(*) at Comic-Con and provided a raucous, risque, multi-media love-fest between the show's actors, creator Dan Harmon and the fans.
"Community" has found its new teacher, and I can describe the casting in two words:
Michael Kenneth Williams, beloved by "The Wire" fans for his work as larger-than-life stick-up man Omar Little - and also by "Boardwalk Empire" fans for his current role as non-bookcase-building Chalky White - has agreed to appear in at least three episodes of "Community" season 3.
As I said in last week's "Torchwood: Miracle Day" review, I'm too swamped with Comic-Con to give a proper write-up to tonight's episode, but I have a few quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I sit at my desk and read blogs for a living...
Over the last few days, it appeared that the two main creative architects of "Lost" were having a Twitter war, as Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse kept sending increasingly hostile tweets at each other about something they only called "the Marble Rye." It got to the point where some "Lost" fans were sending out anguished tweets about how Mommy and Daddy were fighting.
As it turns out, the entire beef was staged to set up Team Darlton's surprise, hilarious entrance into the memorable "Entertainment Weekly Presents... Totally 'Lost': One Year Later" panel.
The way Comic-Con logistics work, I wound up attending the "Locke & Key" screening while "The Walking Dead" made a triumphant return to the Con over in Ballroom 20. Fienberg has the blow-by-blow of that in his live-blog of the panel, including the news that the new season will debut on October 16, and now in a 9 p.m. timeslot. (So that AMC can no doubt use it as a lead-in to "Hell on Wheels.")
One of the things that happened at the panel was a screening of a nearly five-minute trailer for season 2, which AMC has wisely already placed online. Take a look, though keep in mind it's not one of those trailers that keeps every upcoming plot point carefully-hidden; it'll tell you a few notable things about where the new season seems to be going.
Also, they used a pull quote from my review of the series at one point, but keep in mind that the phrase was specifically referring to the series pilot, which to my mind was easily the high point of that abbreviated first season.
Comic-Con has for the most part evolved from a fan event into a marketing event, where the bulk of the panels are designed to sell something, hype something, get the gears of the publicity machine churning.
That's what made the "Locke & Key" screening and panel on Friday morning so unusual - and cool. Here was a screening for a pilot that hadn't been picked up by its network, that was never going to air anywhere, and that comics publisher IDW had gotten special permission to show just because they wanted fans of the "Locke & Key" comic to get a chance to see the work.
As the writer and lead producer of the pilot, Josh Friedman, put it before the screening, "I hope that we can not think about what could have been, but just appreciate what is, because what I think we have is pretty fantastic."
As I've said, the busy schedule of Comic-Con and then press tour is going to put a lot of regular reviewing on hold for a while. But I did get a chance to watch last night's "Louie" this morning, and while there's no time for a full review, I have a couple of thoughts on it, after which you can discuss, coming up just as soon as I suddenly find myself doing a Bill Cosby impression...
When FX asked me to moderate the "Wilfred" Comic-Con panel, I wondered what percentage of the room would be filled with people just hoping to get a closer look at "Lord of the Rings" alum Elijah Wood, and what percentage of the questions would be Frodo-related. And when FX sent me a copy of the incredibly raunchy and twisted - even by "Wilfred" standards - episode being screened before the panel (it airs next Thursday at 10), I wondered just how those Frodo fans would react to 21 or so minutes of (minor spoiler alert) a guy in a dog suit trying to seduce a stuffed giraffe.
I needn't have worried. Though the crowd response to the opening moments of the episode was a bit reserved, it seems that was the result of the audio being played too low, and once the volume was cranked up so everyone could hear Wood and Jason Gann banter and say and do inappropriate things, their laughter was frequent and at times explosive. (And, at other times, just plain horrified. And rightly so.) And though I was all prepared to keep a running tally of the number of "LOTR" questions, there were actually none - and only a couple of questions that even began with a Wood-worshipping preamble.
In his many voiceover roles, H. Jon Benjamin has played a spy ("Archer"), a frustrated burger chef ("Bob's Burgers"), a soccer coach ("Home Movies") and a little boy (also "Home Movies"), among others. Thursday afternoon at Comic-Con, he tried to play the role of insurrectionist.
Late in the "Archer" panel, a fan asked about the possibility of a feature film about Archer, Lana and the rest of the agents of ISIS. "Archer" creator Adam Reed said he considers the idea all the time, but "The trick has been getting FX to even entertain the thought of considering it. I get the, 'Well, we'll see. When you're 12, we'll talk about getting a pony."
Reed then pointed out a handful of FX execs sitting in the front row and said, "Don't let 'em leave until they agree to do it."
And then Benjamin smiled maliciously and barked, "There's thousands of you against them!"