LIVE BLOG - SATURDAY July 25, 2009 - 6:10 PM
By Jeff Katz
What a wild, wild night.
I've had the privilege to make five movies and I can't say I've had a harder experience than being part of throwing a party at Comic Con. Despite an altogether stressful day of coordinating (and dealing with guest list issues), the Wrath of Con party was a big hit for the third annual year. Give credit where it's due, the TNA folks stepped up big time and the match between the Motor City Machine Guns and Daniels/Suicide was such a success it got covered by none other than Nikki Finke (www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com), the dominant Hollywood gossip column of the online era, which dubbed it one of the highlights of the evening. Daughtry did a great job as well and despite a massive demand for limited tickets - even the great Joss Whedon was turned away, to my own surprise - the event seems to have been very well received. As a wrestling fan it was pretty damn cool to see the high-flying style and innovative work in the ring win over a very jaded Hollywood crowd, even earning a nice "TNA" chant after the finish. Zachary Levi, a good friend and star of NBC'S CHUCK did a great job as celebrity ring announcer and had a blast. Filmmaker Zack Snyder and writer-producing team Kurtzman/Orci were also honored in-ring for their contributions to the genre. Great to see old friends like Milo Ventimiglia, MMA star Cung Le and the ubiquitous Seth Green having a blast. I'd expect all of us to be a part of the event next year (hopefully with more guest passes in tow!).
The Con itself has been a unique one, as we close in the American Original launch panel today. In an unusual twist, I've found myself spending more time in the hotel getting ready for the panel than I have on the floor itself. I'm hoping to get some good floor time in yesterday before heading back to Los Angeles. Did the Dynamite Entertainment panel for my friend Nick Barrucci, as he publishes our FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH comic books. Then moved over to the Horror Comics panel where I got to see the great Marv Wolfman and interact with a bunch of my young genre friends like Steven C. Miller (Automaton Transfusion) and Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash).
The big announcements yesterday included a stunner in the comic book world - Marvel Comics has acquired the rights to the legally-challenged cult title MARVELMAN after years of ongoing litigation stalled any movement on the title. This is a big deal in the comic book world and is going to be a major story to watch. DC Comics hasn't been out of the conversation by any means, especially given the massive popularity of the BLACKEST NIGHT crossover written by my old BOOSTER GOLD teammate Geoff Johns. Black Lantern merchandise is EVERYWHERE and DC seems to have a major licensing hit on its hands.
On the movie front, DISTRICT 9 from producer Peter Jackson has been much buzzed about. The bulk of the film web bloggers have been blown away by the film, which is a modestly budgeted sci-fi epic with a hard R-rating, shades of Jackson's earlier work. Director Neil Blomkamp, who had previously been attached to direct the Halo adaptation, is clearly one to watch. The other buzz title yesterday is KICK ASS, based on the comic, which currently lacks distribution. Based on the word of mouth coming out of their panel, one would suspect that won't be an issue much longer. Nicolas Cage and Christopher Mintz-Plasse star.
Otherwise it's all systems go for the American Original launch panel today. We've got a pretty loaded line-up including Paul Scheer of MTV's Human Giant, Scott Aukerman of Mr. Show fame, Blair Butler from G4's Attack of the Show and many more surprise guests - including some friends from the world of sports entertainment that I think readers might find intriguing. I'll unveil artwork and more for the first wave of American Original Press comic books and will reveal the first names in the Comedy Death Ray anthology series, which will feature some of the biggest names in the business. We'll also be revealing our first film project, a major animation deal and much more. I even woke up this morning to receive a DVD from some guy named Heyman. Perhaps I'll reveal that little nugget to the world, as well. Stay tuned.
Yours in fandom,