By Luis Monteagudo Jr.
Another Comic-Con has come and gone and so it’s time for our annual roundup of the sights, sounds and observations from this past week.
This year’s winner for most popular costume was Wonder Woman. No doubt fueled by the popularity of last year’s movie and the buzz for its upcoming sequel, women of all ages, ethnicities and sizes hit Comic-Con dressed as the Amazon warrior.
Virtual reality was a big presence this year, most notably in the exhilarating, nerve-wracking “Jack Ryan” experience that Amazon set up in the Gaslamp. There were also VR comics and Hologate, a VR game where players strapped on high-tech headgear and found themselves in the middle of a strange planet blasting aliens.“It’s so cool. There’s such hype about Comic-Con. It’s really crazy,” said actress Elena Kampouris from Facebook’s upcoming series “Sacred Lies,” talking about attending her first Con.
“Comic-Con is like the running of the bulls,” said a fan, talking to a friend about maneuvering through the dense crowds.
The “Jack Ryan” experience was easily the most elaborate and impressive exhibition at the Con. But the creepiest had to be Hulu’s activation for its new show, “Castle Rock,” based on stories from horror legend Stephen King. The exhibit took fans through a scary bed and breakfast in the fictional town of Castle Rock. The final part of the exhibit was a prison where an actress strapped down to a gurney was given a lethal injection. Yup, they did a live reenactment of an execution at Comic-Con.
“If you want characters that you would follow into a bubbling volcano, this is your imprint,” said IDW’s Shelly Bond, talking about the San Diego company’s new “Black Crown” imprint of comics.
Kevin Smith didn’t disappoint. The writer/director is a Comic-Con regular and was holding court Saturday in Hall H just a few months after suffering a heart attack. He delivered a 30-minute emotional, often hilarious monologue about the heart attack and his new thoughts on life and death. Smith was genuinely appreciative when he was handed a special award on stage by one of Comic-Con’s organizers. Said Smith: “You have no idea how slobberingly grateful I am to receive this. If I had known this, I would have tried dying years ago”
“I jumped up and down so hard when I first found out that I chipped a tooth,” said writer Delilah Dawson, talking about when she first found out she’d be working on a new “Spiderman” being jointly published by IDW and Marvel.
“Physiologically, I don’t know if I’ll make it to three o’clock,” said a fan complaining to a friend. We don’t know if he meant physically, or whether he was talking about a higher plane. It is Comic-Con after all.
Luis Monteagudo Jr. is a freelance writer and pop culture enthusiast who has attended Comic-Con for more than 20 years. He has written for The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today and numerous other publications.
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