News Archive for the ‘Comic-Con Features 2007’ Category
Sideshow Collectibles was pleased to share this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with the family of their employee and dear friend Diane Kamahele who passed away last December. Sideshow has been raising money for Diane’s children to provide them health and education benefits through the Diane Kamahele Memorial Fund and recently through a special online eBay Auction Listing that began with the start of this year’s Comic-Con.
Sideshow wanted to give Diane’s husband, Charles Hupp, and children, Charlie Jr., (8) Dylan (6) and a daughter Keilani (3), the opportunity to see the business that Diane contributed to since her early days as one of Sideshow’s first employees.
“This is the perfect opportunity for the family to see Sideshow in the context of the industry’s most popular event,” said Greg Anzalone, Sideshow Collectibles’ President.
“Since December we have willingly carried the additional responsibility of honoring Diane’s legacy through our participation in events like the San Diego Comic-Con. Our focus at the Con is not simply the exhibition of our products but the opportunity to give something back to our loyal fans. This approach to the show is what Diane would have wanted.”
During the four days of Comic Con, Sideshow distributed, Sideshow hats (all embroidered with the initials “DK” in remembrance of Diane), show bags, CD-ROMs, and Gift Cards, all free to attendees.
“Diane loved this show and saw it as a chance to share our enthusiasm for the loyal fans of not only our products but of the industry as a whole,” explained Anzalone.
Diane’s husband, Charles Hupp, and their three children experienced Comic-Con and the Sideshow presence there, enjoying both the excitement of the biggest popular culture event in the world and the friendship and love of the company’s employees.
“She was such a people person,” Charles said from the Sideshow booth at Comic-Con. “She loved to interact with people and loved this show.”
“Sideshow really is a family company. They are not only about making money; they want to help people grow. Diane really was a supporter of that vision,” Charles said. After an extended pause, he continued, “We honestly couldn’t have made it through all of this without them. Without Sideshow we would have lost everything.”
Sideshow extends a warm thank you to all who have, and will, participate in the current online auction to help Diane’s children and we ask that if you can, please donate to the Diane Kamahele Memorial Fund.
Alas, Comic-Con is over! Now that the attendees are returning to their homes and remembering the wonderful experience, we thought it would be a good time to start up our Comic-Con 2007 attendee gallery. If you attended this year’s Comic-Con and would like to share your memories, please click on the following link and send us some imagery! [Submit your Comic-Con Photos] [Attendee Gallery]
SAN DIEGO – With every day of the San Diego Comic-Con sold out, it seems like the Con managed to move many of its usual Saturday-only patrons to Sunday because – my friends – it was a little crazy!
Many of the Sideshow employees are known to be young, energetic and party animals. So, in the mid afternoon, just when many of the “Conners” started looking a little tired and showing signs of Con-fatigue, a spontanious “Sideshow Dance Party” started!
Using the Sideshow Web team’s array of multi-media gear, a little DJ action started and the first SSC Dance Team was spontaneously created. Everybody in the vacinity of the SSC booth had their spirits lifted a bit as the Dance Team brought strangers into the dance party for some effervescent play.
As a reward for those willing to join in the frivolity, SideshowDusty, SideshowChris and Sideshoweverybodyelse handed out hats to those with the most and best enthusiasm.
Meanwhile upstairs SSC contributor Adam Hughes helped deliver a fun panel on what goes into the cover of a comic. Schedules to appear with Hughes was Joseph Michael Linsner, Joe Jusko, Rowena, Matt Wagner and others as they explained what went into making a reliable comic cover.
And on the floor, as always, SSC circus barker SideshowChris tried to inform fans and those new to the company about our hourly giveaways and triva each hour were familiar, but lots of folks walking by stopped when they heard the excitement of a giveaway and joined in the fun.
Sunday’s spectators were especially fortunate as the Web team wanted to get as many items into as many hands as possible. Sideshow Chris even played “kids only” trivia for those under 12 years old and made everybody a winner.
As always, attendees were able to pick up their Sideshow exclusives and those at the booth were able to place orders on the spot or pre-order many of the items on display.
A big thanks to all those who joined SSC at Comic-Con this year and made it the best so far. We are already locked into 2008 where we know we will once again be able to see fans and friends and where we know we will make the competition drool with envy.
SAN DIEGO – If you enjoy Japanese horror, the remake “One Missed Call” might really be something to look forward to.
The concept, as explained by star Ed Burns, in attendance with co-star Shannon Sossamon, is a supernatural effect that travels time and calls people from the future so they can hear their own death.
Burns’ character, a cop who lost his sister, wants to help Sossamon’s character who seems destined to die. The two had very little time on the stage but poor Sossamon seemed as nervous as anybody ever at the convention. (Kate Beckinsale was almost as jittery in her first appearance several years ago.) I believe she is a fine actress but she really seemed unprepared and uninformed about what Comic-Con was.
Burns made some jokes about his own films and cancelled sequels. The two gave away several phones, obviously from a sponsor. Fans of horror, obviously a lot of Sideshow readers, this is definitely a film to keep an eye on.
SAN DIEGO – Comic writer Greg Rukka has been known for his work at DC and both his quality and quantity for years now. His graphic novel “Whiteout” is an interesting study in suspence and the use of monotones.
Warners Bros. brought him out along with the stunning actress Kate Beckinsale and uber producer Joel Silver. They showed a brief clip from the film which is based around a murder in the midnight conditions of Antartica, an international place of peace where temperatures can plummet to -120.
The clip really was more about the mood of the film and didn’t contain much actual footage and had very little of unlikely action star Beckinsale. The actress (who really absolutely is one of the most beautiful women in the business and Comic-Con vet) was late because of the crazy and often long freight trains that run through the path that leads to the convention center. (I was stuck there Friday with legend Ray Harryhausen – no really!)
Rukka seems pretty pleased that they developed his graphic novel and felt quite comfortable with the result. Beckinsale was glad to play a non-supernatural human and to be able to wear a big parka instead of tight black leather.
Silver, a vet of many successful genre films, had praise for the director and his actress and for Rukka for giving them such a solid source. The film could be an excellent, small thriller that, so far at least, really seems worth a look.
SAN DIEGO – Nicole Kidman is working in Australia with Baz Luhrmann and after “Moulin Rouge” that can only be a good thing. But it meant the Aussie actress had to speak to Comic-Con 2007 via video rather than in person.
She was kind enough to explain that Australia was “a long way away.” (hehe!)
The film follows the concept of an alien invasion but not with space ships or greys but by way of a virus that infects people and changes their very DNA. There were some frightening special effects and Kidman is clearly talented but this doesn’t seem especially fresh.
A short video preview clip shows that Kidman will be fighting to save a child and that the alien invasion will want to hunt her down specifically. The means of passing the organism from one person to another will clearly be by a wide and scary opening of the mouth. The drama will come from the fear of people all around acting normally but perhaps being carriers of the virus.
It reminds me slightly of a more subtle form of what happens in zombie horror film “28 Days”. I wasn’t won over and will hope for some good reviews before I spend my own money on this one.
SAN DIEGO – It almost seems too good to be true. Rather than have a comic book movie done by a Hollywood studio that clearly doesn’t get the property or the idea behind the character, why not have the production behind the comics also make the film?
Marvel Studios held its first ever (at least officially, they did something similar last year under the guise of a more general panel) Comic-Con panel to talk about two very important films for the upstart studio.
“The Hulk” film, which will be a complete reboot that ignores the Universal Studio film by Ang Lee, is the first in what the studio hopes will be a franchise. The film actually started filming a few weeks ago and stars Ed Norton and Liv Tyler (Bruce Banner, Betty Ross) both of whom appeared live at Comic-Con.
Norton claimed that he read Marvel stories growing up and actually did some major work on the screenplay of the film. Tyler hasn’t actually started filming yet.
The other heavy hitter from Marvel (and Paramount) is probably the winner of this year’s unofficial “buzz award” for what is generating the most talk around the Comic-Con. I mean of course the forthcoming “Iron Man” movie helmed by Jon Favreau. He was on hand along with Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark, Iron Man) and Terrance Howard (James Rhodes and future War Machine).
The feature will be the first from Marvel Studios and Favreau credited “Batman Begins” for showing that a superhero film could perform very well at the box office even with a darker tone and by not pushing a current Hollywood superstar. This film, despite the familiar faces, goes against conventional Hollywood casting by not being “young enough” and not having “big enough name”.
Stan Lee, fresh off his live interview at the Sideshow Collectibles booth also made an appearance saying that at lunch with Robert Downey Jr. he finally got a good table!
As revealed last year on SideshowCollectibles.com from Comic-Con 2006, producers Kevin Feige and Avi Arad confirmed a question that an “Avengers” movie was in the works. This is of course only logical with “Iron Man,” “Hulk,” “Captain America,” “Ant Man,” and “Thor,” films all in some stage of progress.
SAN DIEGO – While it isn’t a Sideshow license it is one of the sacred texts in comic book history and in a couple of summers it will be a serious, R-rated film with themes and ideas that are meant for a mature audience.
Warner Bros. has been trying to bring the Alan Moore-authored piece to the screen for at least a decade with several writers, directors and producers, each trying to find the correct combination of talent and budget to make a great film out of a great comics series. (It was a comic series, later collected into a single book – never a true graphic novel.)
The big WB brought director Zack Snyder, who just proved his worth on a comic book film called “300″ that made something like $1 gazillion in world-wide box-office totals. So in contrast to Comic-Con panels studded with stars or dripping with footage or photos or video taped messages, Snyder was largely alone on stage to simply talk about how he would tackle perhaps the most difficult and most important comic book movie to date. In other words, best – movie – panel – ever.
Unlike Spider-Man, who is already universally familiar to most viewers, the public are almost complete strangers to the team of super heros (meaning a large, almost unweildy cast) that make up the Watchmen. He is faced with making his characters distinct and giving each of them a conflict in the relatively short space of his film.
Intending to announce all the casting news at the panel, Snyder admitted that he was glad the press cared enough about the film to have broken the news already, stealing some of his thunder. The announced cast is:
* Rorschcach – Jackie Earle Haley
* Nite Owl – Jeffery Dean Morgan
*Hollis Mason – Steve McCaddy
*Laurie – Malin Akerman
*Doctor Manhatten – Billy Crudup
He addressed internet concerns that the casting is too young. He tried to cast actors aged enough to play both the older versions of the characters and their younger selves in flashbacks without casting two seperate actors.
“We have real actors for this movie, it is not an exercise in marketing,” he said.
He brought Haley and Akerman on stage, and although they kept mostly quiet, they each were surprised about the size of the audience. It seems likely that Snyder used the event to show his actors the expectations of the audience and to actually prepare them for the film.
He was pleased with Warners (and probably owes some of the risk taking to the performance of R-rated “300″) for trusting the material to actually be what it was: a film for mature audiences.
“We are not making it accesible to teeny-boppers for marketing purposes,” he said.
He is making the film a period piece set in the series’ 1985 setting and said sets are under construction, including a backlot New York City, to make that a reality. Mars and antartica will be the only blue screen work in the film.
Crudup, as Doctor Manhatten, will not be the actor with blue paint. Instead when he is in that version of himself his performance will be digitally tracked, by way of Andy Serkis and Gollum, and rendered in CGI.
“He needed to be more than a man,” Snyder said. The character occasionally splits into multiple beings and grows several stories tall.
Snyder is actually using the comic in storyboarding process and said of the opening sequence where Rorschach uses a grapeling hook to elevate himself to an apartment building that shooting it any other way than what appears in the comic would be insane.
He admits that Alan Moore wants nothing to do with any of the adaptations of his work but hopes that someday, if he watches it at home on some quiet evening that he will think, “Wow, they didn’t %# this up too badly.”
He is in contact with Dave Gibbons, the original artist on the comic and he is supportive of the film and has seen the script. He drew a gift poster that works as the film’s first movie poster for Comic-Con.
Summing up his entire explanation and presentation he said, “I am interested in making a movie thats not bull&$*# and has some balls.”
The release date on the poster is 03-06-09.
SAN DIEGO – Warners sure knows how to feed a fan frenzy. With thousands packed into the infamous Hall H, the media conglomorate known as Warner Bros. took the opportunity to feed the fans as many tidbits, guest speakers, trailers and teases as it possibly could.
Happily obligated to be on hand to witness the first ever public screening of new Sideshow license “Trick ‘r Treat,” I was uh . . . “forced” to watch the rest of the coolness that Warners had for Comic-Con 2007. So knowing the Sideshow audience are readers and enthusiasts of genre cinema, I offer the first of a series of reports, including my impressions on what I saw.
“Get Smart” led the show and introduced director Pete Segal. I confess I had very little or no interest in this film at all and was resigned to suffer through it to get to the more important stuff. Even when he brough out a pretty impressive guest list, I was just not captivated by this show.
On stage was the time-traveling hero from “Heroes” Masi Oka, a big, acting, wrestling dude Duane “The Rock” Johnson, everybody’s favorite naked guy from “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” Ken Davitian and the hotest man in comedy, Steve Carell.
Much of their panel was given to Q&A, letting a number of the surprisingly strong fan base ask how the show would compare to the original series.
“We are really trying to bring the spirit of the original show,” said director Segal. “We are trying to be the other car in the garage next to the classic Corvette.”
Carell was pleased to be offered the role.
“I don’t think I could ever do as good of a job as him (Don Adams) but I do hope to do the best I can do. I look at it as a kind of comedic Bourne Identity.”
And what does he like best about the film?
“I get to act like I am athletic, co-ordinated, intelligent and sexy,” he quipped. “When I am none of the above.”
The film also stars Anne Hathaway (Devil Wears Prada) who was featured prominantly in the clip shown. And, I admit, the clip looked pretty great. The tone of the scene shown was just right with Carell spicing up every clip and making the film look pretty damn funny. It went from being a film I cared nothing about to a film I will probably want to see when it opens.
Look for a series of individual reports based on movie previews.
SAN DIEGO – There can be no doubt, the Sideshow Freaks know how to throw a bash. Led by Sideshow Dusty and King SS-Freak Dave Stephan, the corner of Island and 4th was not just geek party headquarters – it was party central.
With a spacious and private backroom, the crowds were treated to an array of on-the-house drinks and friendship and frivolity. And, besides lots of haning out and socializing, there was an avalance of Sideshow prizes, all drawn out of a fishbowl and announced by SidesowChris. One generous winner actually donated her prize to another, handpicked, deserving-looking lucky person – even before knowing what prize was contained inside. (Check our photo galleries once we disgorge our camera of all the many, many image.)
After the seemingly endless prize giveaways that included both the Sideshow archives and even a sample from as-yet unreleased items, much party behavior ensued.
Some incriminating photos may or may not exist of Sideshow people and revelers in general, dancing the night away and those appearing in dancing photos may or may not be dignified, serious professionals and craftsmen.
Prizes (not for the dancing) included: Signed war-torn Platoon Rhah figures, the all-time favorite Creature From The Black Lagoon figures, the indominable Jabba the Hutt pieces, the sold out Minas Morgul environments, one not-yet-released Asajj Ventress Exclusive figure and of course, even more! (Almost 40 items in total.)
SideshowChris and SideshowDusty also led two rounds of the infamous Doors of Indicision! which prompted great bouts of shouting from the far corners of the party-darkened digs. Everybody had a physic insight on which door would be the best for the game.
A big thanks to all the Sideshow Freaks and especially to Dave Stephan for letting the good times roll. Anticipation is already high for next year’s frivolity!