Special Comic-Con Report July 21, 2011 – Posted in: A Picture's Worth, Blog, Featured Columns – Tags: Captain America, Chris Evans, gene colan, J.J. Abrams, Jack Kirby, Jim Johnson, Joe Simon, John Byrne, Mike Pascale, Paul Guinan, San Diego Comic Con, stan lee
Special Comic-Con “A Picture’s Worth”: “When Captain America Shows His Mighty Film” (NO spoilers!)
Roving reporter Mike Pascale’s first report out of San Diego. Take it away Mike!
First day of Comic-Con from San Diego! Gotta make this brief, so here’s a bunch of bullet points aimed at informing (please pardon any typos):
–Preivew Night was nice; once again, as in the last few years, convention staff had badge pick-up down to a science! NO waiting in line. (Then again, I didn’t show up till 6:30, half an hour after the show began. But even when I’ve been on time in the past, pros had to wait no longer than 15 minutes.)
–This time, the customary giant Warner Bros. bags were handed out with the regular con swag, so no need for the sweaty, suffering struggle to the WB booth for one.
–Saw several artists: starting with the incredible Paul Guinan (along with his wife, the terrifically talented Anina Bennett) of BOILERPLATE fame; Paul is finally a special guest of the con. He kindlyshowed me the galleys for the upcoming FRANK READE book, out February 1 (available for pre-order on Amazon). It is nothing short of jaw-dropping in its scope and creativity. And for fans of the brilliant BOILERPLATE, he finally gets the top Hollywood treatment, courtesy of none other than J.J. Abrams! (As in STAR TREK, SUPER 8.) The man has taste!
–My good pal, CBG and Back to the Past rave (and raving) reviewer, Jim Johnson, managed to get on the local Channel 6 news show. He was there for a trivia contest for CAPTAIN AMERICA tix. Cap himself, star Chris Evans, stopped by to meet everyone after a short on-camera segment. Two other contestants (including a five-year old in full costume) competed, and after two rounds of questions, all competitors were tied. So, in an act of generosity (and good publicity), the producer awarded tickets to all! I watched it on TV but Jim was kind enough to take me along to the premiere.
–We attended the “first public screening in the world” at the theater in Horton Plaza, San Diego.
The line for those who’s won a ticket lottery/online promotion was a block long, but thankfully we were able to enter via the “press” entrance. Also in attendance were proud members of all US military branches (talk about feeling patriotic–and safe!) and lots of costumed fans–including a muscular young man dressed as the hero from the TRUTH mini-series.
–As a bonus, Chris Evans stopped by–obviously a busy morning! He ran into each theater (the multiplex showed the film on all screens) to introduce the film–complete with red, white and blue-clad cheerleaders! He said he was very proud of it (mentioning he’d done a couple of which he wasn’t so proud) and hoped we’d all enjoy it. He was right.
–Cap has been my favorite hero since childhood. I had high hopes for the film, until I saw the uniform. From day one, though, I’ve hated it. I panned and criticized it every chance I got. The first trailer didn’t wow me. The second one gave me hope. A Now after seeing the full film, I can honestly say it’s the best superhero film of the year! Better than THOR and GREEN LANTERN. Right up there with the first IRON MAN.
–The 3-D was very well done, especially in the first half. Storyline took me by surprise. I won’t ruin it for you, but I will say to those like me who longed to see the original uniform (and shield), you’ll get your wish.
–Several character appearances I didn’t expect–very well portrayed (but not named till the credits). And of course, look for the Stan cameo (the “Staneo”?)
–Speaking of credits, I and a few others applauded heartedly when seeing the names “Joe Simon and Jack Kirby” appear not once, but twice! There were others credited from the modern Cap mythos, so perhaps parts of the story were taken from newer issues/series. (I’ve not read the title since the Byrne days.)
–As with most Marvel movies, make sure you stay and watch the post-credits button, including a quick preview for a certain Marvel supergroup! I swear I felt like I was twelve again.
–I want to thank Jim (Zombo), CW Channel 6 News, Marvel and the theater for what is probably the highlight of the show for me–and one of the greatest premieres I’ve attended. There was a lot of luck and good fortune involved…which got me thinking:
–I had to wonder if our pal Gene Colan (and wife Adrienne) were pulling a few spiritual strings somewhere from above. Is it possible? I have no idea. But I got choked up thinking about it. If only I could have seen the film with him or even discussed it over the phone like we used to. But then again, he had the best seats in the house! My love for the character was in no small part due to Gene’s art. I hope everyone who sees the film enjoys it even a fraction as much as his wonderful work.
That’s it from me for today. Now go see CAPTAIN AMERICA!
P.S.: I’m never too busy to remind you, if you’d like a heartfelt commission of Cap or any other character of your choice, I’m happy to oblige. Just ask Craig here. Excelsior!