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...]


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 .

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision