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Traffic Jams, Panel Overload, and Long Lines: Comic-Con 2008 Wrap-Up

First of all, true confession time: I was so exhausted from the last few days at Comic-Con that I drifted off to sleep on the couch last night before the start of Mad Men's second season opener, so we'll sadly have to wait until tomorrow to talk about that. (Trust me, I was bummed when I woke up with a crick in my neck and realized that I could barely keep my eyelids open enough to catch up with the gang at Sterling-Cooper.)

Comic-Con 2008 was certainly a convention to remember. One fellow press attendee remarked to me that it was a year in which everyone seemed to be unhappy. I can certainly understand the frustration, from the six and a half hour car ride down from Los Angeles on Thursday (thanks to that overturned Vons semi that flipped over, spilled food all over the I-5, and caught on fire) that tested my patience and sanity (though did allow me to send some emails while I remained motionless for several hours), to the technical glitch at the Fringe press room that all but made the event pointless, to the lines everywhere: for panels, restrooms, food, parties, and escalators. (Yes, there were mammoth lines for the escalators.)

Lost, was of course, a highlight for many a fan, particularly those--I would assume--who camped out overnight (and the several thousand who waited a good seven hours that morning) to get a glimpse of the Lost panel... after they had sat through the one for Heroes in the behemoth Hall H. Damon and Carlton were in fine form, as always. (Earlier, I spied them at our hotel discussing whether or not they should stay on the line for coffee, with Carlton insisting, "This is not the best use of our time." Even creative visionaries have to wait for their caffeine fix at Comic-Con, it would seem.) And nothing will top that one guy's spot-on appropriation of Jorge Garcia's Hurley. Wait, that was a costume, right?

Missed the convention? Here's a handy catch-up of the panels, with interviews with the cast of Chuck and Battlestar Galactica to come (along with a few other tidbits), once I get around to transcribing them:

Stardust: The Cast and Crew of "Battlestar Galactica" Talk Beginnings and Endings

"Fringe" Elements: JJ Abrams, Cast, and Crew Talk About the New FOX Drama

Comic-Con Gets "Lost" with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse

Entertainment Weekly Visionaries: "Lost," "Chuck," "Pushing Daisies," and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" Showrunners Speak

Damn It, Jack: "24" Teases What's to Come for Day Seven, "Exile"

Prison Breakdown: Sara Lives!

The Creators of "Spaced" Talk Future, "Doctor Who" Connections

Doctor On Call: Steven Moffat Talks "Doctor Who"

"Torchwood"'s Captain Jack to Play Captain America?

"True Blood" to Remain True to Books, Says Alan Ball

For those of you who did brave the traffic (and the body on the tracks, if you came by train) to get down to San Diego for the convention, what were most memorable aspects of this year's conventions? Which panels did you get into? Which did you, uh, wish you didn't? Discuss.


Anonymous said…
I'm very conflicted about how Hollywood Comic-Con has gotten. It's great that it allows fans to hear from the creators and actors from some of my favorite shows (Battlestar, Doctor Who, Lost, etc.) but it seems like the more popular it becomes the more impossible it is to get in to anything and the more miserable everyone becomes.

Perhaps they should split the event into two. They could have the original Comic-Con in San Diego, focusing solely on comics, and then have Comic-Con LA with a focus on TV and movies. Or just sell tickets to each event so people wouldn't have to wait in line for hours. I have no idea if either of these ideas would work but I think that if they don't make some changes it's just going to get worse every year.
Anonymous said…
i heard that they are starting to split it up into more smaller sections for the same reason, it's getting too huge!

As far as falling asleep, no worries, the same thing happened to me for Burned Notice premiere.
Anonymous said…
Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse panels were amazing. It was disappointing that I had to miss Heroes and Lost to see Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse, but well worth it I think. Josh Friedman was very entertaining and it was revealed that one cast member will die this season on T:SCC.

Joss was hysterical and charming as per usual and the chemistry between Tahmoh and Eliza is going to make for a fabulous show if they can translate that to the screen.
Amy said…
I drove down from Corona for Saturday only and mainly to see LOST. I enjoy Heroes as well and liked both panels. I also really enjoyed the Pushing Daisies panel.

I parked at Qualcomm and took the trolley so thankfully had no traffic problems. It was fun, but I was exhausted after one day, I have no idea how you all did it for four! I do wish I could have seen the Dollhouse panel, but LOST was my main goal.

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