Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Turns out I didn't

It had been my intention to triumphantly declare in the title of this posting that despite the many months which had passed, and the resulting collected dust in that corner of my mind, I had been able to remember my password. We are left instead with the sad truth.

That time comes round again, Comic Con and with it the annual blog post. In this year's missive let us speak of panels, an opportunity to share elbow room with our fellow geeks in uncomfortable, stackable chairs. Regardless we wait for sometimes hours for the privilege to sit in those cramped quarters and hear writers and artists and actors provide their insight and try to sell their product. Can we speak honestly? It is mostly to sell their product.

How much selling is required could be debated. If a person endures such a long queue it is likely he or she is already interested in the property being pitched. It is rather like trying to convince a gathering of evangelicals that Jesus was a pretty okay guy. We come to see something exclusive, some new footage or news, so that we might brag to our fellow nerds: "I've seen the Green Lantern throw a giant emerald fist, have you?"

The panelists make stupid jokes which are dutifully laughed at and then once the moderator has asked each one a question in turn the floor will be opened to questions from the audience. At is at this time that the panel loses all forward momentum and crashes into the dirt, rolling and flipping and tossing off pieces.

The audience questions are terrible, universally.

They are at their worst at a panel for movies and fall into a handful of categories.

A.) The most popular: "Hello, Actor X, what was it like to play Y?"

This will invariably result in a furrowed expression as if the subject is deep in thought but the answer remains ever the same: "Wow, that's a really good question. It was pretty cool."

B.) The nitpick: "Why did you choose to change X, when it was like Y in the book/comic/TV series?"

The answer will stress how seriously the source material was taken for a few sentences and then either be dodged or say that the change was required. As an aside my favorite version of the dodge was done thusly: "I never saw a version of a script with X in it." Scripts, as you may know, are never revised.

C.) The repeat: "That footage looks awesome, can we see that again?"

Allow me to don a tin foil hat and suggest that the questioner for this one may be planted by the studio.

One final note about panels. The person on the end farthest from the podium, be he or she a producer or supporting actor, will never be asked a question from the audience. I am waiting for one of them to walk off after taking their only query from the moderator.

So in a few day's time, Gods of the Lines be favorable, I will finally know what sort of an experience it was for Andrew Garfield to portray Spider-Man. I expect it to be insightful.

"We built this city on logs and coal."

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