Title: The Front Lines
Word Count: 800
Characters: Mostly Robin Wood, a smidge of the Gunns
Summary: Robin thinks about all the varieties of monster he knows, a couple of years before he comes to Sunnydale.
The main difference between Robin and the other kids...
WonderCon — April 2-4, 2010
McDiva likes to throw her birthday party at WonderCon, because she and her friends can get all dressed up (it’s called cosplay, mom!) and flit about on their own, looking at stuff and generally collecting bragging rights along with oodles of swag. I suspect that she really likes having her birthday party there because her friends are likely to buy birthday presents for her at the Con. Crafty. Anyway, the Con was held here in sometimes-sunny San Francisco over Easter weekend, which handily coincided with Spring Break, so we invited all her friends to come to the Con on Friday for a party, and the wild revels began. Only 3 kids were traveling for the break, so it was good to have something for the rest of them to do while school was out, was my thought.
The weekend before, her crew all went out to Golden Gate Park in their finery and proceeded to make a film at the Conservatory of Flowers and amid the woods and meadows of the park. Parents were invited not to attend, but we were allowed to drop off and pick up. ;-) Here’s the vid, which is super-duper ultra cute, if you go in for parasols, crinolines, gigantic top hats, and whatnot. And really, who doesn’t?
In preparation for the Con, McDiva created a new dress, and all was adorableness.
WonderCon is not Comic-Con, though it is a comic con. It’s actually easier to locate comics at WonderCon than Comic-Con, these days. It’s all a bit of a hoot, though I was essentially a den mother on Friday. I brought snacks! I made sure the little lost lambs found the flock again, and checked to see that everyone was hydrated. I only talked with my comics friends in fits and starts.
But, I also managed to arrange a photo shoot with James Marsters for the birthday girl and her fellow Spike fans among the guests. Heh. I remember my friends and I taking a picture with the Easter Bunny at about that age, and I still treasure that photo. This is better, although I found dealing with Froggy's crew to be pretty harrowing. *shrugs* If JM is wondering why he’s always asked to play villains these days, it might have something to do with how willing he is to look menacing with a group of barely pubescent girls. Just saying. The girls were thrilled and think it’s a fabulous photo and that it’s funny he looks like such a “creeper” (in their parlance). The casual photo from after the play last summer is more my taste.
It was a fun day, but I missed the Girl Power panel, and totally spaced out the Kevin Smith talk, which is always really funny and profane.
It was crazy exhausting, though, so I got a late start on Saturday, missing the Happy Town panel. McDiva and her friends say it looks awesome! There was some scary stuff at the beginning, but then they were able to watch without covering their eyes. They are all big Amy Acker fans, and one friend reprised her Halloween costume of Dr. Saunders from Dollhouse for the occasion, complete with drawn on facial scarring. They also ran into an Australian YouTuber that they fangirl, Natalie Tran, at the panel. By the time I got there, the line for the Disney/Pixar preview panel was completely out of the question, so I just wandered a bit with MiAmor, sipping samples of TruBlood, until it was time to feed the
After, I toddled off alone to the Warner Brothers panel, but happened to catch the tail end of the Resident Evil panel, which ended up being really exciting because I heart The Fifth Element so much and Mila Jovovich is the Resident Evil heroine, which I had somehow forgotten. She and Ali Larter were present, and very fun, happy, and well-spoken. Nifty. The first thing up from Warner Brothers was a film called The Losers with Zoe Saldana and Jeffery Dean Morgan, and while it certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to pass the Bechdel Test, it has a certain appeal. In the clip they showed, the two principals get acquainted when she lures him to her motel room and tells him she has a business proposition, which turns into a knockdown drag-out fight, complete with setting the room on fire. As the place burns and she manages to pin him to the floor, he says, “I’m listening.” Heh. All the actors and the director were there. I guess it’s based on a comic. It will have lots of big guns and explosions. Sort of Lethal Weapon-with-a-girl, I guess, but I never actually saw Lethal Weapon, so what do I know?
I hid my eyes during the Nightmare on Elm Street clip, but the panel was fun, with lots of familiar faces, including actors from Veronica Mars, Supernatural, Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the new Freddy Kruger himself: Jackie Earle Haley! He said he was excited to do the part, and that internet buzz was what got the casting people to talk to him. “Apparently, you guys think I’m creepy, or something,” he complained, with gratitude. I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I was with his Rorschach in Watchmen. I’m happy that he’s working, if that’s the kind of work he’s capable of. I won’t be going to Nightmare on Elm Street, though, no matter how cool the actors and excellent the production values. Not my cuppa.
We saw interesting scenes from Splice, starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, about genetic experiments. The writer/director, Vincenzo Natali, was a really interesting guy, and acknowledged his debt to David Cronenberg. So if you like his sort of stuff, I suspect you’ll like this. Chris Nolan was there with his producer wife to show footage from the upcoming Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page. It looks pretty amazing. Something about stealing intellectual property from the dreamscape. Very trippy. I wasn’t a huge Dark Knight fan, but I did like Memento, so if he’s going back in for twisted mental exercises, I’ll probably be there.
Then we saw a variety of trailers. Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood with Russell Crowe & Cate Blanchett looks just as gritty and interesting as you’d think. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World looks hilarious and like Tron ought to, but won’t. Robert Rodriguez is directing (or producing?) the newest Predator film (more Adrien Brody), which: okay, but not for me. I still miss El Mariachi. The Twilight Eclipse trailer was vigorously booed, to the point that I felt rather irked. It’s as if the scorn heaped upon it is for the fans of the work, and not the work itself, which I find disturbing. I don’t see the point in driving away girls who are already bound to be a little overwhelmed by the boys’ club of the Con. I don’t plan to touch it, even on DVD, but nobody is out there throwing tomatoes at Nightmare on Elm Street, I notice. Harrumph.
The Kick-Ass panel was next, and the buzz about it at the Con was something fierce. The premise of the movie, based on the comic by Mark Millar, is of normal people deciding to dress up like superheroes and fighting "crime". It's been described as a mix of Superbad and Kill Bill. The panel had the desired effect, in that it hooked me but good. The clips, well, kicked ass. After that, all the actors trooped out, including Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad), Nic Cage, and the darling Chloë Grace Moretz. But best of all was the screenwriter, Jane Goldman (of Stardust). She is apparently some sort of minor celeb by marriage in the UK. She is my new girl!crush. OMG! She had brilliant, fire-engine red hair, a t-shirt that read “Schrödinger’s Cat is Dead” and was absolutely the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen James Marsters, yo. Then she spoke, and she’s British and intelligent and funny, so I was completely lost. *fangirls madly*
The most awesome part of the panel, IMO, was when Ms. Goldman was asked how she felt, as a mother of daughters, about the controversy surrounding the character of Hit Girl. Apparently some people have issues with the character’s language (the actress says that she’s not allowed to say those words at home, and I should hope not!), and the fact that she’s an 11-year-old assassin. Children shouldn’t be associated with either bad language or extreme violence, it seems, which is a point that I can see, but allow Ms. Goldman to tell you her thoughts about the character:
The interesting thing was that to me she felt like such a strong female character because of the fact that she was pre-teen. In so many ways, it was like she was a non-sexualized strong female character. It’s almost unheard of in cinema. The only other comparable one I can think of is maybe Ripley from Alien. But other than that it’s all sexy girls with guns. That’s supposedly a strong female character, but to me it’s not actually a strong female, really. *stops for cheers and applause from (female) members of the audience* Yeah. In some ways, that was what struck me first, rather than the idea that people might be outraged. The other thing is that we’re so used to seeing women and children as victims of violence. The fact that it should kick off when we suddenly see a child as a perpetrator of violence: surely that’s less offensive? I don’t know. To me, that’s less offensive.
My, my. Doesn’t she sound like a rational creature? The actors talked a bit and were amusing, especially the almost voiceless (due to allergies to Louisiana pollens) Nicholas Cage, who managed to croak out his love of comics and why he’s channeling Adam West (Batman on TV) for his role of Big Daddy. Go watch the trailer and see what you think. (Some trailers require an age confirmation.) It’s an R-rated film, though, so although it’s funny, I suspect the violence and language make it a no-go for many kids. From the clips, there’s no indication it meets the Bechdel Test, either. And the panel had warnings for major character death, too.
Afterward I went to stand in line for the US premiere of the new Doctor Who episode, "The Eleventh Hour". The WonderCon showing wasn’t simultaneous with the UK premiere, but they both happened on the same Saturday evening. MiAmor took one look at the line, which wrapped back into the service tunnels, and decided to go home, since we were under the impression that it would air the next night on BBC America. Unfortunately, it turned out to be two weeks until airdate, not 24 hours, so now he's peeved with himself! McDiva and her posse were already inside, having opted to sit through the Green Lantern comic panel in order to secure good seats.
As I filed in, my new girl!crush, Jane Goldman, was sitting in the back at a raised table. I have this idea that all the Brits that had to be at the Con for promotional reasons flashed their passports for preferred seating at the event, since they couldn’t be at home when it aired in the UK. Heh.
It all went off without a hitch. Everybody was very excited to be there. It was delightful. McDiva adores the Eleventh Doctor, and I think the new companion is sassy and fun, which I love in a gal. No spoilers here, folks. Airs on BBC America on Saturday, April 17. It was the capper of a great weekend, the only disapointment being that the vendors at the Con had already sold out of Eleven's sonic screwdriver.
Favorite t-shirt of the Con: two strategically placed tribbles, with Star Wars-style writing below, reading “These are not the tribbles you are looking for.”