Skip to main content

Dispatches from San Diego: Comic-Con 2011 Preview Night

I'm not in San Diego for this year's Comic-Con (marking the first year in about six that I haven't traveled south for the annual pop culture confab) for a number of reasons. While I'm sad to be missing some friends and some of the events (particularly the Game of Thrones panel moderated by George R.R. Martin), I'm feeling a rare sense of Zen that I never do this time of year.

However, Mark DiFruscio was on the scene to offer his report on Wednesday's opening Preview Night and some photos from the convention floor.

* * *

The 2011 San Diego Comic-Con kicked off Wednesday night with an uncharacteristically subdued Preview Night.

While a throng of Con-goers still managed to pack the aisles of the exhibit floor-- frequently to suffocating degrees-- absent were the more overtly eye-catching feature film promotional displays of recent years such as the life-sized Owl Ship from WATCHMEN, the Light Cycles from TRON, and even a deceased Abin Sur under glass from GREEN LANTERN.

Although Marvel Studios did fill up a fair amount of real estate to promote AVENGERS and Sony offered up a few life-sized replicas from MEN IN BLACK III, there was an undeniable shift in focus this year, away from the big budget blockbuster films, and toward upcoming television projects and Blu-ray releases. Particularly noteworthy was WALKING DEAD's rooftop display centered around a frighteningly realistic Michael Rooker mannequin caught between a hacksaw and a handful of zombies.

The evening's Most Incongruous Award goes to the "NBA Garden," which was apparently there to promote some rather odd Kobe Bryant and Derek Rose dolls.

Ultimately it remains to be seen whether the reduced role of blockbuster films at this year's San Diego Comic-Con signals the beginning of a trend but it's hard to recall the last time the convention felt this much like trade show.

[Photos from Preview Night follow, after the jump...]


















Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have

"Gilmore" Guy: Who is New Showrunner David Rosenthal?

A few days later and I am still processing the news that Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino--and her exceptionally talented husband, writer and producer Daniel Palladino-- announced their departure from the whip-smart drama after six seasons. The news wouldn't be such a blow, save for the fact that Gilmore Girls is as much about Amy and Daniel as it is about Lorelai and Rory. In their capable hands, the show explored a supremely complicated family dynamic through the beautiful friendship of mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory... and did so with smart dialogue usually found in a Nick & Nora film rather than on television. Zany subplots abounded as did quirky, beloved supporting characters. And now, after six seasons (including this most recent--and very shaky--season where Amy and Daniel wrote less episodes than usual), Amy and Daniel are passing on the showrunning torch to... Dave Rosenthal?!? For those of you in the audience unfamiliar with David Rosenthal ,