We got up bright ‘n’ early on Friday, July 13 – 6:00am – to head down to the already long line for Ballroom 20. We hung out in line with Jack, Cesar, and his wife Ann. Most of the people in line were there for the “1oth Anniversary Reunion ofFirefly” panel, which featured Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Sean Mahr, and writers Jose Molina & Tim Minear. Despite some line cutters (people literally ran past us once they opened the convention center doors and ushered us up the escalators all the way down by “G” and we had to walk almost entirely around the upstairs in order to get in line again.), the wait really wasn’t that bad. It passed pretty quickly, probably because we kept moving up every 45 minutes or so. That does a lot for your psyche when you’ve been waiting in line for 4 hours, haha. We heard that Adam Baldwin stopped by to see the people in line around 10pm and later on, sometime after Jana got in line at 1am, a fairly intoxicated Joss Whedon also came by and hung out for quite a while with the people who were camping out overnight.
So let me put that into context: The man who directed the biggest movie of the summer (The Avengers) showed up in the middle of the night to hang out with the fans who were there to pay tribute to a TV show he’d made 10 years earlier that lasted 10 episodes on air. Without a bodyguard.
I’m going to go slightly out of order in this post, because the enthusiasm I have over the Firefly panel still is so great that I just really want to talk about it first. It was fantastic. Hands down the best panel I’ve ever been to at Comic-Con, including the Lost ones. There were some classic moments, like Joss & Nathan choking up or Nathan, Sean, & Alan doing “Firefly: The Radio Show” and ad-libbing gems like: “You have a fever!” (Sean.) “And the only presciption is more Firefly…” (Nathan). Even the final question was a winner: If Joss had known earlier that Firefly was going to be canceled, how would Season 1 and “Serenity” have been different?
I don’t even know if I could do it justice, so I recommend reading this HuffPo article that sums it up & includes Tweets and this EW article that writes about it in “real time.” Between the two, you’ll get a full wrap-up of what went down. Or you could just watch it yourself if you’ve got a free hour:
Anyway. The first panel of the day was also super fun: Community. The very first thing addressed was the elephant in the room: Will Community be the same without Dan Harmon? New showrunners David Guarascio & Moses Port reassured everyone, “It’s all going to be okay. A couple of months ago we were a lot like you, fans of the show. Now we’re here helping to keep it going. We want to keep it the weird, wonderful gem that it is. And that’s not going to change.” They also pointed out that most of the writers were still on board, they’re “not going to screw it up.”
With that out of the way, there was lots of fun to be had. Alison Brie (Annie) rapped. Danny Pudi (Abed) did his Batman voice. Joel McHale (Jeff) teased that we’ll finally meet Jeff’s father, to be played by Eddie Murphy. We found out there’d be a trip to an “Inspector Spacetime” convention. Fun times. Also at the panel were Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), and writers Megan Ganz and Andy Bobrow. When the panel started, the audience did a “6 seasons and a movie” chant. Alan Sepinwall has a great play-by-play of the panel if you’re interested.
In between Community and Firefly was the panel for The Legend of Korra. During the first half of the panel, I left to refuel with some very, very hot coffee (it was still like 60 deg in Ballroom 20). The second half of the panel was pretty good, even if I didn’t know much about the show. I need to get on watching the original Avatar: The Last Airbender. A lot of the audience cleared out after the Firefly panel, but Jay, Jana, Jim, and I stayed for the Bones panel. It was…okay. It got better as it went along, but it just had the unfortunate timing of following the best panel of the year. Plus, it took the moderator a little while to get into the swing of things. David Boreanaz definitely enjoys himself at these things.
After the Bones panel, Jay and I were starving and needed a break. We decided to hit up Cine Cafe for sandwiches. As we headed up 5th towards the deli, we were stopped by a few people who were promoting the YouTube building (?). “Wanna meet Stan Lee?” They asked us. We looked at each other. Despite being starving, how could you resist an offer like that? So, were turned in the opposite direction and headed towards the building rented out by YouTube to see about Stan Lee. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Comic-Con. You can be given an opportunity or run into someone and have your plans change in a second, as long as you are willing to be open and ready to go with the flow.
When we got there, we saw that Stan Lee was being interviewed on a “stage” along with Mark Hamill. So, we watched this for a bit. As the interview was wrapping up, I noticed that if you filled out a survey at the table behind me, you’d get free candy. Given that I was still starving, I immediately slinked over to the table. Just as I had gotten my mini-Milky Way Midnight, I turned around to triumphantly show Jay and noticed that he was not where we had just been standing. I looked further and saw just in time as Mark-freaking-Hamill was signing Jay’s Comic-Con badge! Yeah. Luke Skywalker trumps miniature candy bar.
After we finally ate (Side note: Anyone else severely disappointed in Cine Cafe this year? The staff had big ‘tudes, the food wasn’t as good as in the past, and despite being there at 3:30pm with absolutely no one else ahead of us, still waited 20 minutes to get sandwiches.), we headed back to the hotel to relax, hit up the hot tub, shower and get ready for the Jay & Jack meet-up that evening.
The meet-up was held at the East Village Tavern this year. It’s a bowling alley/bar. There was a nice turnout this year. It was a little bit smaller than in previous years, but I think that’s because there were less members of the “gang” at SDCC this year. But it was great to do my yearly shot with Jo, hang out with Ralph, catch up with Richie & Jim from Destroy All Media, and meet new people like Trish and Cortney. I’m sorry that this post has been so lengthy, but I really had a great Friday at Comic-Con this year.
Stay tuned for Saturday’s post!
Waiting in line with Cesar & Ann at 6am for the Community & Firefly panels.
This is what the lines for Ballroom 20 and Hall H looked like around 9am that morning. Note how far back the lines go.
These next pictures are all from the Community panel:
These are from the Firefly Panel:
The Bones Panel
Mark Hamill and Stan Lee at the YouTube Venue
Last three are from the Jay and Jack meet-up: