Sunday, July 29, 2007

MY DAY AT THE CON (aka Geoff Keighly Teaches Me The Meaning Of Fandom)

So I went to the 2007 Comic-Con on Thursday and had an absolute blast. The con itself was way more crowded than usual (the thing just keeps attracting more and more people)! The crowds- along with the traffic jam that stretched out some 30 blocks in front of the convention center and saw me stuck in my car for over an hour- would have usually been enough to put me in a foul mood for the entire day. But I’ve really been into positive thinking lately (The Secret and all that…it really works)! So instead of focusing on the maddening crowds, I decided to shift my perception to the fact that I was- first off- simply walking around: alive, healthy, and semi-young. Considering the large amount of folks who needed wheel chairs and canes to move about the convention floor (not to mention those poor souls too sick to attend in the first place), I easily counted myself as lucky. Toss in the fact that I was walking around a massive room stuffed with all the things that inspire me and stir my soul-from sci-fi movies to long lost toys from my childhood to actual pieces of pop culture that I've had a hand in creating-and you’ve got the makings of a great fucking day.

And when I decided to view things from that perspective, I found myself so grateful; so excited that I could share the day with my fellow geeks; enjoying the things that all geeks love so much. I surprised myself and got a bit of a high from the whole thing. Even more surprising, it's a high that I am still on. I’m back at work now, fueled and inspired to work my ass off in order to do my part to make sure that all of the games out of EAT SLEEP PLAY are worthy of- one day- being included in the amazing cannon of geek culture.

Ok, so what did I do specifically at the con? Well, I’ll tell you (he’s going to tell, he’s going to tell):

#1- HUNG WITH MR. KEIGHLY- I did an interview with Geoff Keighly from GAMEHEAD (Spike TV). Geoff’s a great guy who has always been nice to me and good to the games we make. I really appreciated his interest in our new company and that he allowed me to go on-air to talk about EAT SLEEP PLAY. So we gabbed a bit about that kind of stuff, the con in general; and then started walking the floor together, talking some more while the camera crew followed us around. I imagine some of it will make it into the show (should be airing in a few weeks). Hope so anyway, as I had a fun time doing it! So while we were walking around, I spotted this college age kid who was dressed as PUCK, the stocky-ass, Canadian super hero from the Marvel comic ALPHA FLIGHT. Didn’t get a pic, but here’s what he looks like in the comic:

So imagine a very out of shape guy, very short guy dressed in this outfit and you’ll get the idea.

So I thought it would be funny to go up to this Puck-Kid, chat with him on camera, and- to be totally honest- make fun of him a bit. Sort of like the whole Triumph the Insult Comic Dog making fun of the Star Wars geeks in that classic clip…but much less funny considering I’m really not all that clever/funny of a guy. But what the hell, right? But God, when it was over, I just felt bad. Really bad. Like, who the fuck am I to make fun of someone? Especially someone who clearly is passionate about the same things I care about? I mean, sure, I thought the guy looked pretty silly but hell, he was happy, having a good time, and seemed to know the difference between reality and fantasy. It was a really mean spirited thing to do (although I was not that bad to him) and I really wish I had not even gone up to the kid. Afterwards, Keighly and I were talking about it and Keighly set me straight: he was like, ‘ah, the guy seems happy, he’s having fun, and hey, that’s some of the kind of people who like the stuff you and I do.’ And Geoff was right, 100% right. What an ass I was. I mean, I wasn’t really that bad to him but just the idea that I felt I had the right (and the desire) to poke fun at this kid…ughh, doesn’t sit well with me. Puck-Kid, if you are reading this, I’m really sorry man.

#2- MET UWE BOWL- So Geoff was going to interview infamous film director Uwe Boll and I asked to come along. I thought it’d be neat to meet someone who has to deal with his own internet slings and arrows; see how he deals with the abuse. He turned out to be a nice, nice guy.

He is passionate about his new movie (Postal) and seems really like a decent person. I’ve never seen any of his films however so I’m not sure if he deserves the shit he takes or not. I can tell you when Geoff- on camera!- asked me if I would let Uwe direct God Of War, I told him….err, wait. Maybe that will make it onto GameHead in a few weeks. So I’ll wait till it airs before I spill the beans! But he was cool!

Oh, and check it out! He gave me some plans of the set to his new movie, FARCRY, that he’s making right now!

I taped over his email cause I know that the worst thing the net needs right now is Uwe's private email floating around! Can you imagine the hell?!?

#3- HUNG WITH COLLEGE FRIENDS- Was really nice to hang around with Jeff Goldsmith (who hosts the wonderful CREATIVE SCREENWRITING podcast for Creative Screenwriting magazine…check it out here:

So I hung with Jeff and Scott Hyman (fellow geek, USC alum, and game industry veteran). I never used to like to bum around with folks at Comic Con cause I liked to just lose myself and explore. But for some reason, I really dug hanging with my fellow geeks this time around, and checking out the sites. Here’s an interview Jeff and I did with Gametrailers at the show. They just kind of found me standing on line for pizza and started shooting. I like interviews like this- very casual, very real. Much better- to me- than the PR bullshit we hear all the time. Check it out here:

Oh and here's another one from the con with me, talking about the new company:

Man, my forehead is shiny as shit. What's up with that?!?!

#4- SPENT SOME MONEY- Bought some stuff….check it:

Here's some of what I bought. I always wanted some original comic art. This page is from JLA 112 from Ron Garney. I like it but would have loved something with Spidey but those were going for mucho bucks.

Cool DVD I got from the Stan/Joe/Kevin gabfest at UCLA a few months back. It's good...not great, but decent.

I wore out my cassette of this back in high school, writing movie scripts while I blasted this on my boom box (yeah, we called them boom boxes back then, fuck off!). It doesn't hold up all that well, kinda cheese ball. But still, it brings back memories and there are some parts that are still pretty good.

Thing is, I thought this CD was long out of print. But you can find everything on the comic con floor. In this case, some dude was selling bootlegged soundtracks. Some were soundtracks long out of print/press/circulation/whatever…some were soundtracks that were never released (WarGames?!? With dialogue from the movie?!?! What the hell!!!) But it was great to buy these and the dude was super nice cause his credit card machine was down and I had no cash (the wife had take out our limit from the ATM earlier that morning so I was kinda living off credit cards for the day). But the guy- this was so nice- just gave me the cd’s and told me to mail him a check! Amazing huh?

Oh, and check out my Spidey! Suck it, Tallirico! No way you could have this one!!!! (note: just kidding! did anyone see Tommy's amazing Peter Parker/Spidey costume?!? That was great!)

Bought this cool spidey statue for my home office. It’s fun setting up the home space, the San Diego branch of Eat Sleep Play! I love working from home and figured I needed to surround myself with lots of geeky things to keep me happy! Maybe when I get the place all decked out, I’ll shoot a video tour of my home office. Why? Who knows…it’s late…just an idea ☺

#5- LOOKED AT COOL STUFF- Saw lots of cool stuff. Like this:

Fat Ronald! See, now this is how they should fucking promote McDonalds to kids. You ask me Ronald is as bad as Joe Cool was. They really should ban that fuck. He’s bad news.

KRATOS LIVES! How cool is that, to see a character I had a huge hand in creating on someone’s tee shirt! This is actually the second time I’ve seen a GOD OF WAR tee-shirt (first was on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica a few weeks ago). It’s really a thrill to see something you worked on out there in the world, clearly an important enough character to someone that they put on a tee-shirt with the damn dude on it!

Isn’t that nice? Not sure if you can read the text, but it’s a girly looking R2D2 like action figure (called RT-K2) that seems to have been made for a kid at the Make A Wish Foundation. Warms the heart.

Here’s ROCK N ROLL from 1985…one of the first GI JOE action figures they made (from that time period). I remember buying Rock N Roll and his cool motorbike at my local Service Merchandise in Alabama…this was like 2-3 months before the cartoon and comic hit so I just thought they were cool toys. Didn’t know they would go on to be a mini cultural phenom.

Flash and Ming Bobbleheads! The day they hit, I’m buying them. Hell, I’m even going to give the new Flash Sci-Fi series a chance! Loves me some Flash G!

The Ark! What can I say?!? I wish I could have stolen it and taken it home. And OH MY GOD! Forget Marion being in Indy 4! What about those fucking rumors on the net about what Indy is looking for this time??!? HOW FUCKING COOL WILL THAT BE IF IT TURNS OUT TO BE TRUE?!?!!!!!

TURN YOUR KEY,SIR! I'M SORRY, I AM SO SORRY.....ahem, anyway....SO, what the hell is this? A sequel to WarGames?!?! Dude, I don't care if this is some low budget Sci-Fi Channel original series or straight-to-video movie: I wanna see it! WarGames is in my top 10 movies of all time! Was there any footage of this? Any news on plot? Stars? Someone give me some info!

Look at these things! Day one purchase! So fucking cool! I gotta get Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers! They are scary…but cute at the same time! Who knew it was possible! Same company had some cooler, more realistic toys from the classic 70’s/80’s horror flicks- like a little play set where Jason as a boy- from F13th- was leaping up from the water, like he did at the end of the movie! Man, that scene scared me to death as a kid! Speaking of Jason, anyone see Jason X and that scene where he had the chick in the sleeping bag and picked it up with her inside and started slamming the bag against the tree?!?! OH MY GOD! That was the best kill ever!.....well, that or the hammer in the bald guy’s head in Halloween II.

Ok, it’s getting real late and I gotta get to bed. I really need to make more time to write better blog entries in the future. I used to put more time into making sure they read well, were meaty,etc…but these days I’m so busy I feel like I’d rather post more often and just more brain dump than really write a nice entry. Ah well, something for me to think about…

Goodnite ya’ll!