NY Comic-Con: Battlestar Galactica, Moonlight, Venture Bros. - VIDEOS
by Annie Wu, posted Apr 22nd 2008 8:22AM
Okay, I'm finally back from the New York Comic-Con and I still smell like the Javits Convention Center. Fandom seeps into the deepest layers of one's skin and take at least a few weeks to wash out. It's a scientific fact.
The first panel I attended wasn't even TV-related. Worrying that the Battlestar Galactica room would fill before I could even step into the line, I sat through the preceding panel for Wall-E and Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian to guarantee a seat. As it turns out, the theater is absolutely huge and two big screens were on either side of the stage, so my worry was kind of pointless. I was reminded of what I already knew: Wall-E looks insanely cute, Chronicles of Narnia has a greasy-haired new guy and the Jesus lion again. However, this is when I began to play a game that lasted throughout the entire weekend: Analyze the differing levels of scary devotion throughout various fanbases!
Off-topic Wall-E/Chronicles of Narnia fanbase report: Animation geeks giddily chatted about the quality of Wall-E over the three excellent clips but didn't get the chance to express it through a Q&A. However, teen girls completely monopolized the Narnia Q&A. When some girl asked for a hug from that William Moseley kid, the jealous shrieks that erupted from the crowd damaged my hearing more than the screaming J-Pop fans at Sunday's closing TM Revolution concert. America, this is your future.
The Battlestar Galactica panel that followed featured Sci-Fi's Mark Stern and actors Michael Trucco, Rekha Sharma and Michael Hogan. The only clip shown was a basic trailer for the current season, so nothing big and spoilery was offered. The only spoiler was for the previous night's episode, which many of the audience members hadn't seen. When a big detail about the fate of one of the characters was revealed against the crowd's protests, the groans were overwhelming and damn near as bad as the fangirls' screams from the previous panel. Discussion ranged from angry Starbuck sex (meow), the versatility of "frak" (look forward to "gaggle-frak" in the near future!), Cylon reveals (Sharma was particularly excited about her character's big reveal), and the existentialist qualities of the show (yes, I'm sure if Camus were alive today, he'd be a BSG fan). As I left the theater, I heard a thunderous "So say we all!", so I made a run for it before the place burst into a dangerously passionate BSG lovefest.
Because BSG are alarmingly quick, the full panel is on YouTube, split into multiple parts:
The rest are here.
BSG fanbase report: About 50/50 male to female ratio. Lots of "frak" and attempts to be funny. And maybe I was just sitting around a weird selection of people, but the BSG audience had some really obnoxious laughs. The strained guffaws were a sharp contrast to the high-pitched titterings of the Narnia girls.
I also saw a disturbingly devoted fanbase at the Moonlight panel. The guy that introduced Moonlight kept saying "Moonlighting", which just made me think of Bruce Willis staking Cybill Shepherd through the heart. Stars Alex O'Loughlin and Jason Dohring were the only two on the panel. The questions were directed mainly towards O'Loughlin and covered topics such as the experience of being in-character, the future of Mick and Beth (O'Loughlin couldn't guarantee anything, but he thinks that they'll "seal the deal"), and the placement of the urinal next to Mick's freezer. On the audience's part, there was just a lot of repeated screaming of "Season TWOOOO!" Also, unlike the BSG panel, there were actual spoilers in the featured clip. Don't read on if you don't want to know! ... Ready? Okay.
Mick needs to turn back to a vampire, so he turns to his friend. Josef, doing what any good vampire-BFF would do, mutters, "Forgive me..." and then bites him on the neck. After a super-intense moment, they fall over. Fanfiction writers everywhere die from happiness. Mick and Beth also kiss after a candlelight dinner. There is also some sort of overnight stay and there is a sweet exchange just before Mick has to go back upstairs to his freezer. Fanfiction writers are briefly revived, only to die again.
There are small clips scattered through YouTube, but this fan has full audio from the panel.
Moonlight fanbase report: Middle-aged ladies a-go-go. If I remember correctly, there were more ladies with babies than men at the Q&A microphone. No joke. I also stayed for the Harold & Kumar panel (to see the hilarious Neil Patrick Harris) and there weren't any babies there, so the "But Sunday was Kids Day!" excuse is moot.
The Venture Bros. panel was the thing I had been waiting for since the NYCC website first hinted at the possibility of one. I ninja'd my way into the afternoon screening of Mirageman about halfway through to guarantee a good spot for VB, which was still hours away. Judging by last year's overwhelming attendance, I knew embarrassingly early arrival was the only way to be able to see the guys. For some reason, the first three rows had been roped off for VIPs, which was a bit frustrating. At least the Top Cow comics presentation preceding VB featured special guest Seth Green, so I didn't feel completely lost. When the Top Cow guys left, the sneaky VB fans that had been sitting in the room the entire time started getting ready for the main event.
One of the coordinators on-staff then came in and told us that the panel would be moving next door to a larger room. Wow.
All hell broke loose, especially in the first few rows full of early birds, as people attempted to make a dash for the door. The word "bullshit" was thrown around more than once, let's just say. More screaming was heard when the coordinator added, "... Instead, the Eli Stone panel will be here." Eventually, we pushed through and I made a run for the center fourth row in the massive room. Good thing too, because as soon as the outside line started filing in, the room filled up quickly.
The place was probably four times larger than the original location (and last year's location) but it was still absolutely packed, with people standing around in the back when the doors closed. It's just another sign that it is silly to underestimate the sheer size and power of the VB fanbase. I could feel a sudden spike in the excitement in the room when Jackson Publick, Doc Hammer, Mike Sinterniklaas and James Urbaniak finally arrived, looking sharp as usual. Being around so many giddy fans made me nervous that I'd do something stupid, so I tried to keep low-key the entire time. That said, I admit I did flail my arms a little too much when moderator Ken Plume from Quickstop started flinging Dum-dums into the crowd.
The panel took forever to start, but it kicked off with a bang. They rolled a montage of clips from Season Three, which promises to be much better than our Junior Prom, because we're guaranteed third base. Score! We got to see the likes of The Monarch and the new Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Dr. Henry Killinger in a new... position, the return of Hunter Gathers in another flashback, and the Alchemist complaining about MySpace. Unfortunately, we didn't see any 21 and 24 or much of Dr. Orpheus or Triana, but I've convinced myself that their clips are just too awesome to be shown this early. I also predict that "... The Nozzle" is going to be this season's new "IGNORE ME!" The full panel isn't online yet, but the super-sweet montage is:
I also managed to out-geek myself when I silently noted that Brock's talking car reminded me of KITT but sounded more like that from Blake's 7. I proceeded to beat myself up and steal my own lunch money.
Before the Q&A, Doc and Jackson asked the crowd to settle a bet... If you could lose one finger or one toe, which would you choose? After the crowd overwhelmingly opted to lose a toe, Doc and Jackson cheered and demanded their winnings from Ken Plume. Ten dollars richer, they opened the floor to questions.
Here's an extra-quick rundown of the basics: The third season will start June 1, there is a soundtrack on the way from JG Thirlwell (as I previously reported), but the songs with lyrics will not be included because they weren't done by Thirlwell (those are available online for official download anyway); Otto Aquarius was not pulled from The Tick; there are no plans for a VB video game nor a feature-length film, although the big wigs haven't responded negatively to the idea; the team has no big plans for hot Kim and Hammer is convinced that people only like her because they want to either be or be with her; Brisby is not going to return either, but the guys were surprised enough by the question (Publick's immediate reaction was to grimace and ask, "WHY?!") to suggest that maybe they could set Brisby's dead legs on fire and shoot him out of a cannon in the background of something; Myra will be back; Hammer's favorite David Bowie album is "Station to Station"; Brock could have easily taken off Molotov Cocktease's chastity belt/bikini bottom, but the barrier is more of a symbolic one (Hammer's explanation of this was hilarious, half-shouting half-asking the fan, "What's keeping you from getting laid?" and proceeding to remind me of how much I love the writing on this show); and in a fight between #1 and #24, #21 would totally win, because of his never-say-die psychosis (this was followed by a hilarious half-demonstration by Hammer, screaming and flailing his arms in character).
The group was asked to share their favorite childhood cartoons. Urbaniak, with minimal peer pressure, sang the theme tune to his short-lived favorite, The Oddball Couple. He was also asked to bring some of his Dr. Venture sleazy cool and deliver a pick-up line. Borrowing Hammer's aviators, he gave us, "I'm blind, but... I can sense you want to fuck me." There was also the strangely ominous answer of "... Not yet" when someone asked if Dr. Venture and The Monarch are actually brothers. They also briefly touched on the old news that Stephen Colbert won't be returning to play Professor Impossible. They expressed their love for the man, but sounded like they had pretty much given up trying to get him back. My favorite surprise question came from a couple dressed as The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend (in purple?), who wanted to know if Hammer would be willing to perform at their wedding. Hammer gave them a maybe, but agreed to take the wedding invitation. That took some serious balls, Monarch guy. Other folks asked really annoying questions, the answers to which every fan should already know. For example, one fan wanted to know if Hank is a clone of Brock and Dean a clone of Doc Venture. And this kid was a cosplayer! Needless to say, he was met with groans and boos.
VB fanbase report: Big and scary. Period. I'm sure they could have easily packed the same theater that the BSG and Moonlight fans took over.