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Girls, Baptists and Hollywood Invade Comic-Con. Film Blog Water Cooler 7/21/10

Girls, Baptists and Hollywood Invade Comic-Con. Film Blog Water Cooler 7/21/10

I’ve never been to Comic-Con, and I really shouldn’t care much about it since it’s just a big hype machine and there’s no place at Spout for fueling that buzz and promotional junk. However, I’d be lying if I said I don’t get a little bit excited this time of year. I know much of what’s announced and teased at SDCC won’t end up in front of my eyes for months if not years to come, but I’m nevertheless curious if Edgar Wright will reveal he’s doing “Ant-Man” next and inform us who he’s already cast in the lead role. And I’m also eager to see that first bootlegged clip of the surprise footage of “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” show up on YouTube. The event may be geek prom for some, but for me it’s more like geek December 20. As in the approximate time we would begin “accidentally” finding our Christmas presents hidden deep in our parents’ closet. Yeah, I think of Comic-Con as being like a spoiler of things we really shouldn’t be privy to yet. And I have no issue with that.

Besides, the whole film blogosphere is either in San Diego or living vicariously through their peers who are attending. I can’t not pay attention to what’s being said around the water cooler, even if it does involve a lot of needless chatter about how there are — gasp — girls at Comic-Con. Like I said, I’ve never been there, but I’ve seen enough photos to know this has always been true. Alas, it’s better than the usual talk of how Hollywood is invading, so while we wait for reports from actual film and footage screenings, this is what we’re getting from the introductory pieces:

Gina Bernal interviewing Marjorie M. Liu for Speakeasy:

Though the image of the “comic book geek” has evolved, the genre is still stereotyped as predominantly male — a convention Liu disagrees with. “I think that comic books have appealed to female readers for years,” Liu said. “I don’t know why it’s still stereotyped as a male genre, especially when you go to Comic Con—and the X-Men panel—and see that at least half of the people sitting in the audience are women.”

Elisabeth Rappe at Cinematical:

A lot of people loathe ComicCon. A lot of industry people regard it with a mixture of sadness, regret, and nostalgia. This is an event that began in a guy’s basement, and boasted nothing more than a few boxes of comics. Now it’s this megalith of pop culture where comics and their longboxes are taking a smaller and smaller seat at the table. Actually, I think many — not just comic book professionals — feel the con has been taken away from them. Fans lament the focus, the crowds and occasionally grim “Welcome to ComicCon, time to queue up!” atmosphere. ComicCon used to be a casual geek party. Now it’s an obstacle course that even Rambo would sweat to navigate. (Since Stallone is coming to the con this year, we should totally put it to the test!)

Rappe and other “Jedi-level fangirls” at Hero Complex:

There’s a common misconception, especially in the outsider-media coverage, that female fans are “only going” to Comic-Con to scream for the famous men — we can’t simply be geeks because, well, we’re female. As you can imagine, it’s easy to feel slighted when confronted with that mindset and, for many ladies, the automatic response has been to pull out some arcane trivia to assert true geek cred or somehow downplay our femininity. “Oh my gosh, don’t see me as a girl, see me as a geek.

Jill Pontozzi at Topless Robot:

Comfortable shoes? Check. Your four best superhero t-shirts? Check. Sketchbook? Check. Condoms? Che… wait, what are you going to need those for? You’re not getting laid. Or are you? Here’s a few tips for the geeks and geekettes that will hopefully help you get some action for the first time at Comic-Con. Or, you know, the first time ever.

9) Stalk the Smaller Panels

If you want the chance to talk to a member of the opposite sex, sitting in Hall H all day isn’t going to help you (although standing in line for it gives you plenty of opportunity to start conversation). Go over the panel schedule again and look for something that interests you that involves few or no celebrities. Something that promotes discussion is a plus. You’ll likely be able to get a good look around a room like that and if someone strikes your fancy, wait until the panel is over and ask them what they thought of the topic. Might I suggest the “Geek Girls Exist” or “Where Are the Action Chicks?” panels? I’m slightly biased seeing as how I’m on both, but they really are a good start.

Jill Pantozzi at Newsarama:

There are plenty of enlightened men out there, but don’t think for a second that we’re exaggerating when we say we have been shirked and scoffed at by strangers when we talk about our geeky loves. It’s the same reason girls feel uncomfortable walking into comic book shops. Guys are stunned to see them there and occasionally are downright rude. That includes the employees. Hence, the “Geek Girls Exist” panel. I truly hope we get an even 50/50 mix of males and females to really hear what both sides think. Do women want the distinction? Should there be one? How do the men feel?

Robert Fure at Film School Rejects:

Guys, don’t assume you can use the girls bathroom. There’s chicks at Comic-Con now!

Hahaha, Oh My God, Laughing Out Loud! They’re referencing the fact that most nerds are dudes! Oh shit, man, what next, will girls start playing video games too? Maybe one day they’ll leave the kitchen and get jobs as well, am I right, guys? Guys? Yes, there are girls at Comic Con. In fact, there are lots of girls. Girls dig dressing up in costume and playing the Free Hug game or whatever the shit that is. But for a solid decade now there have been lots of fangirls – especially in recent years with Joss Whedon, Twilight, and other female friendly media going super mainstream.

Meredith Woerner at io9:

Every year some big-name geek icon roams the Comic Con floor, cunningly disguised by a mask. But who are they? And what masks are they wearing? We’ve compiled a list of celebrity maskers so you won’t be fooled again.

Eric Eisenberg at Cinema Blend:

If you’re planning on going down to San Diego this week for Comic Con, prepare to run into some real psychos. No, I’m not referring to the 30-year-old fat man dressed up as Princess Zelda. Rather, I’m talking about the members of the Westboro Baptist Church who are planning to picketing the event. For those not familiar with this specific group of hate-mongering assholes, the WBC is best known for their intense hatred of the homosexual community, going as far as to picket at the funerals of fallen US soldiers and victims of hate crimes. So what is getting their panties in a bunch about Comic Con? Idolatry of course.

Steven Lloyd Wilson at Pajiba:

It used to be a small affair, really something that artists went to in order to look at each others’ stuff. Where the big comic book companies announced their new titles. Where fans gathered in panels and meeting rooms to hash out the philosophy of Star Trek or the best techniques for drawing realistic musculature. Then the really big companies started moving in, Sony and NBC and the rest reserving the cavernous Hall H to debut trailers and footage for upcoming features. It didn’t sell out so much as it made room at the table for the popular kids who realized that the geek’s table was kind of the coolest one in the cafeteria.

Most coverage of Comic-Con tends to focus on reporters going to those big halls and then typing up what they see on the screen. It’s sort of a silly exercise, this describing what happens in a trailer or video clip. Look, either the trailer is going to be released online and you can see it yourself, or it’s not. But either way, a reporter describing to you how it looked is sort of pointless. It’s like listening to a friend tell you about a movie they saw: well then this happened, and then this happened, and it looked so cool …

Luke Y. Thompson at Deadline:

There’ll be a screening of the pilot for the new TV show Nikita which seems to be the umpteenth re-take on Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita, starring Maggie Q. Seriously? Were fans crying out for yet another version, after the Bridget Fonda theatrical remake and the long-running Peta Wilson series? If you’re answer is yes, head straight to Ballroom 20 at 6 PM.

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