First off I was planning to catch the Q&A panel with some of the cast of The Pirates of the Caribbean films - David Bailie, Kevin McNally, Lauren Maher, Lee Arenberg, Martin Klebba and Vanessa Branch. Unfortunately the public transit system was not on my side and it took me forever to get to the convention center, so I ended up missing the panel completely. Sorry internets. :(
But I did make it to the Marvel: X-Men panel with plenty of time to spare. Even though I don’t regularly keep up with all things in the comic book realm of geekdom I did want to cover at least one panel dealing with it. This seemed to be as good an opportunity as any. The panelists were Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Editor Jordan D. White, Rick Remender (Uncanny Avengers), Brian Wood (X-Men), Ramón Pérez (Wolverine & The X-Men), Declan Shalvey (Venom) and Arune Singh (Director of Communications). They discussed plenty of upcoming storylines for their respective books and made a special announcement which was so important that MTV was covering it -- in the coming months they will release a new comic book series titled “Wolverine: Killable”. I think the title says all you need to know about it. My friend who was with me at this panel joined me specifically for this announcement and didn’t seem too impressed. None of the crowd did either if I remember correctly.
Next up was another Marvel panel titled “The Next Big Thing” with Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, Editor Jordan D. White, Kieron Gillen (Iron Man), Mark Waid (Indestructible Hulk), Josh Fialkov (Ultimate Comics Ultimates), Nick Spencer (Secret Avengers), David Marquez (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man) and Arune Singh (Director of Communications). Most of the guests were recycled from the previous panel, but I didn’t seem to mind because they were entertaining to begin with. My problem with both of these Marvel panels is a personal one… I don’t read any of these comic books they were discussing so I was lost the entire time. I assumed they’d be talking about their plans for the future of the company and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that didn’t really happen. It was just “Wasn’t that cool when Cyclops shot Scarlet Witch in the face and she went crashing through the Quinjet?” and more questions like that from audience members. The highlight was when one of the writers spontaneously played the main theme to the 90s X-Men cartoon on his ukulele.
I did take something away from these panels – I am glad I don’t spend hundreds of dollars a month on all these crazy titles because I’d be one broke mother fucking geek. I mean seriously, there’s like thirteen different “X-Men” titles out there! Is that really necessary? All the storytelling you’re wasting on all these variations of the exact same concept could be saved for a couple of titles and you’d be set up with years’ worth of material. I know that the more titles they put out the more money they will make, but in my case I’d get burned out on the sheer overload and keeping track of all the individual storylines would make my brain leak out of my ears. I don’t know how some of these people do it, but more power to you. I’m a HUGE "Green Lantern" fan, but I don’t buy every issue of the multiple spin-off books. I ignore some completely (“Red Lanterns”, “Sinestro Corps”). I think I read five comic books seriously and that’s it. I might start reading “Wolverine and The X-Men” just because it sounds like an interesting idea.
Lastly was the panel I’d been waiting for all day – the Game of Thrones Q&A with James Cosmo and Natalie Dormer. Regardless of the fact that I’m not completely caught up with the current season of the popular cable show I wanted to attend, spoilers be damned! It was worth it. James Cosmo was what you could call a gentle giant. His easygoing manner and great sense of humor won the audience over and me as well. He answered every question enthusiastically and some in great detail (discussing filming in Iceland). I wished more people had asked questions about his role in Braveheart, but his one description of filming the epic battle scene he was involved in was pretty awesome. Natalie Dormer was great as well, if not a little passive aggressively bitchy. She wasn’t mean, but she seemed to cop a bit of an attitude toward fandom. It’s cool as she told the audience it was her first ever convention appearance so I’m sure she was a bit overwhelmed. Regardless, she had the best moment of the night when a fan began to proclaim what at first sounded like his undying love for her coming to an end. “I need to mend this rift between us” I believe his exact words were. She tensed up as if she knew something like this could come from some unbalanced uber fan. When she asked him “And why is that?” he explained “I’ve seen your chest, now you can see mine” as he lifted his shirt to show off his freakishly ghost white torso. The crowd went absolutely nuts and Dormer had tears in her eyes. Once this kid sat down she told us that when he started his crazy rant she grabbed Cosmo’s hand for dear life. There were awkward moments (a fan demanded that Cosmo recite a line from his character’s death scene in the novel) but most of the time the panel was a light and breezy affair. I especially enjoyed when a fan asked is Cosmo had brought any specific item back with him from his time on Game of Thrones. His response was “Frostbite!”
Once that panel let out it was the end of the 2013 C2E2. Literally. It ended at 5pm and that was when the whole convention shut down. I was sad that it was over since I didn’t get to see nearly everything I wanted to, didn’t get to check out all the cool cosplay on Saturday (sorry Mary!) and being of the absentminded variety of geek I forgot to bring business cards to hand out to the vendors that repeatedly asked for them. On the other hand I am fucking exhausted both physically and mentally. Audio/visual overstimulation and walking around for hours in improperly cushioned sneakers can ruin a man! But there’s always next year to get it all right!