By Brian Prisco | Industry | July 22, 2010 |
By Brian Prisco | Industry | July 22, 2010 |
There’s a whole big wide wonderful world besides the various commercials and marketing ploys being thrown at you in the panels. They’ve got commercials and marketing ploys being thrown at you all over the Gaslamp District and surrounding areas.
Scantily clad women are constantly passing out flyers and postcards as the sweaty nerds walking past them pass out from heat stroke and proximity to hotness. If you’re willing to brave hour-long lines, you can play demos of Dead Rising 2, the two rival Magic: The Gathering video games (I dig the Tactics game myself), you can get autographs and photos with celebrities, or you can get a pretzel dog.
As we report on the various panels, it’s hard to express the sheer mania that is the floor of the con. People will stop and click quick photos of people dressed as the entire cartoon squadron of Cobra, or a particularly fetching Slave Leia. People are lugging around the massive swag bags they offer, stuffing them with all manner of goodies. But this year, they’re really getting interactive.
Tron: Legacy has brought back Flynn’s Arcade, a lifesize replica full of what I can only imagine are various ’80s style video games and such. They’ve built it in a storefront off site, but you have to play a little Twitter scavenger dash to fetch them. And when I say dash I mean it. They’ve set up a Twitter account where on the hour they post a location in the Gaslamp district. So you see hordes of grownass people sprinting madly through the crowded streets of San Diego to find the poster they’ve hidden. You have to get your picture taken in front of the poster. THEN, you have to run to a second location and be one of the first 32 people to qualify, where you are given two bracelets and a glow-in-the-dark laser disc promotional jump drive that actually plays an HD version of the new trailer.
I tried to meet up with commentor michaelceratops to snag the bracelets, but by the time I found her, she had already obtained her goods. So, it became my mission to play musical chairs, wandering around the city, trying to approximate where the panel would be. I said goodbye to miss ceratops, and started back through the city. The tweet came in — no thanks to the shitty coverage of AT&T — and I started sprinting. I made it to the poster, clicked a quick iPhone photo, and ran to the next stop. I stood in line, only to discover I was number 36. Sad trombone.
Understand, I don’t run unless chased. By a bear. I’m not what they call svelte or atheltic. So my heart was crushed. And potentially going into mild infarction. Dejected, I wandered back down Island street to where they were setting up a parking lot with a giant outdoor screen and a bunch of lowriders. It was a promotional party for Machete. The first 500 fans in line were served tacos by the cast and crew and given passes to attend the extra footage premiere tonight.
We stood in line for a sweaty, boiling 1 1/2 hours, and sure enough, as Robert Rodriguez did an interview with G4, Michele Rodriguez handed me a beef taco through the Machete truck. We talked briefly — I said, Funny, you get charged with a crime, serve your full time, don’t bitch about it, come back, and keep acting. But your co-star, she’s bringing down the Geneva convention. White people, amiright? Of course, what I actually said was I loved you in Girlfight, you should read Irredeemable, it’s awesome. Daryl Sabara, who’s also there because he’s got a cameo in Machete, recognized me and shook my hand. Early this week, I ran into him at the Starbucks in Downtown Burbank and told him how much I enjoyed him in World’s Greatest Dad. So I assured him that I wasn’t stalking him, I was just here for free food. He laughed. Then called security.
Sadly, sweaty, and sorefooted, I checked my dying iPhone to see if maybe there might be one more shot at the Tronathan. Sure enough, I saw they posted one another four or so blocks away from where I was. So I hoofed it, shoving past the Eastbound and Down girls wearing softball shirts and mullet hats handing out chances to win Kenny Power’s Panty Dropper Wet Skii, and headed for the poster. By the time I got there, I saw the secondary checkpoint was already flooded, and headed back to the convention center.
It just goes to show you that fat, drunk, and stupid really is no way to go through life. Or Comic-Con.