San Diego Comic Con, Day 2 (technically Day 3, if you include Wednesday’sPreview Night) is almost at a close. My plate wasn’t too full today. Comic Con is made a little easier when you stop spending the entire day trying to get into Hall H and Ballroom 20 events, as I’ve done long ago. No offense to the tenacious folks who try (and succeed) getting into those crowded venues, but I’m a 51 year old man with really bad arthritis in my joints. As a result, I don’t have the patience to wait all day and to sit in the rear rows of a 6,000-seat hall, watching big name press junkets with video clips of movies/shows I’ll see in a couple of months (or watch on YouTube in my hotel that very night). To those that do wait? I salute both you and your tenacity. I’m afraid I’m just at an age and condition where I have to pick my battles a bit more carefully.
This morning I attended a couple of smaller, off-site panels at the San Diego Library in the Neil Morgan Auditorium (a far smaller, more intimate venue than the 6,000 seats of Hall H). The first event was “Masters of the Web” (which included filmmaker Robert Meyer Burnett and TV personality/podcaster Scott Mantz). It was an informative discussion about how to develop your own online ‘brand’ (be it for a website, YouTube channel, blog, or other online presence).
The second panel was the one I’d really been waiting for… the unveiling of the first completed half hour of “Space Command”; an independently-funded series pilot from the mind of author/scriptwriter Marc Scott Zicree (“The Twilight Zone Companion,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”).
The proposed series will (hopefully) follow the adventures of a young crew on a small spaceship patrolling our solar system (like a smaller-scale, but no less adventurous answer to Star Trek), promoting values of kindness, humanity and optimism.
The half hour of footage I saw today mixes adventure with social commentary in the best sci-fi tradition. There’s an underlying theme of altruism being the key to humanity’s continued survival; for example, a bitter mechanic (played by “Star Trek: Voyager”‘s Robert Picardo) extends kindness to a disaffected worker-android he repairs (the android is effectively played by “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Doug Jones).
I appreciated the crew members with the names “Lt. Bradbury” and “LeGuin,” named after two of my favorite authors; Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin. Bradbury was also a personal friend/mentor of Zicree’s. Also appreciated some of the books seen on a bookshelf (including titles from Bradbury, as well as Zicree’s own “Twilight Zone Companion”). The “When Worlds Collide”-style rocket launch was a real gas, too!
The first completed half hour was very promising but the remainder of the first series is unfinished, pending further funding via crowdsource donations. If you’re interested in pitching in? Go to Kickstarter.com and look under “Space Command” to donate to this promising series. As a passionate fan of the online seriesStar Trek Continues, you could say I am a true believer in crowdsource-funded entertainment!
After those two panels, I was generally free to roam the convention in my Fred Flintstone cosplay and take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
So, without further ado, here are more of today’s pics:
Well, that about sums up Day Two.
My arthritis forced me to retreat back to the hotel around 4 pm or so, but it was a full day. Tomorrow I’m going to try to attend panels on “COSMOS” and “The Orville” (two series both coproduced by Seth MacFarlane and Brannon Braga). If I can’t get into those? I have backup plans. We’ll see. I won’t sweat it, one way or the other.
To me, half of the adventure of Comic Con is to not have your day too planned; leave yourself some wiggle room to observe, interact, and to simply have a good time. Waiting an entire day (or more) in long lines is just not my idea of fun. I used to wait in seemingly interminable lines quite often, but now I do so only for truly special events, not big-ticket press junkets. If I can’t get into an event, there are plenty of other things to do and see here. I mean, this is freakin’ San Diego Comic Con, right?
More to come in the days ahead, including a recap at the end.