I have been going to San Diego Comic Con (AKA Comic-Con International) since 1987, when I was 14 years old, but have until this year always stayed in Downtown San Diego apart from one time I stayed at Humphrey’s By The Bay on Shelter Island. Planning my travel and accommodations for 2015 was actually the first time that not only did I not get my first choice with the Travel Planners “lottery” style system for reservations and special rates for booking rooms, I did not get any room with them at all. As registered press, it has always been convenient for me to stay at the adjacent San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, which is where I’ve stayed in the previous four years. With not a lot of options, I ended up booking a room at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort on Coronado Island (see my review here). While I was disappointed with the service of the hotel, and the distance to Ferry Landing (which offers a short five minute boat ride directly from Coronado Island to the Convention Center), I did find that not only is staying on Coronado feasible, but there are some significant benefits as well. So I thought I would share my findings with those who might consider staying on Coronado in future years. [Read more…]
As in past years, this is a photo journal from San Diego Comic Con 2015, showcasing photographs of the exhibit hall, around the convention center and the Gaslamp District, and some of the popular cosplay participants. Images are from Wednesday (Preview Night), Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. [Read more…]
I am featured in the History Channel’s popular cable reality series, Pawn Stars, in the latest episode debuting this week, “Rick’s Roulette” (Season 2015, Episode 27). I served as the Hollywood memorabilia expert and authenticator for one of the segments of this episode, as a result of my work on the Original Prop Blog. In the episode, I take a look at a prop model attributed to the Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s. [Read more…]
As readers may or may not know, I own and operate the sister site to the Rock Subculture Journal, the Original Prop Blog. Founded and launched in 2007, my Original Prop Blog site is all about film and television and important pop culture artifacts – finding them, authenticating them, preserving them, and everything that goes on in that specialized art market. Today I have published a world exclusive feature that shares my video interviews with Colin Cantwell, who worked on many important movies and TV shows like Star Wars: A New Hope, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, WarGames, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He is well known as the creator of the key ships and vehicles from Star Wars (like the X-Wing Fighter, the Y-Wing Fighter, the Tie Fighter, the Star Destroyer, the Death Star, the Landspeeder, the Sandcrawler, the Millennium Falcon, and the T-16 Skyhopper) by way of the prototype models he created for George Lucas back in 1974/1975. But no one has really talked with him about his work since, so he has until now remained somewhat of a mystery to fans. As it ends up, prior to doing those prototype models, he created concept art that has been lost to the “public record” for the film series until now… [Read more…]
As I have been covering San Diego Comic-Con on my sister site, The Original Prop Blog, since 2007, I am sharing some of the photos of the people and sights in and around the exhibit hall and the Gaslamp Quarter for this year’s event. This feature focuses on photos of people in costumes. [Read more…]
As I have been covering San Diego Comic-Con on my sister site, The Original Prop Blog, since 2007, I am sharing some of the photos of the people and sights in and around the exhibit hall and the Gaslamp Quarter for this year’s event. This feature focuses on photos of the convention at large. [Read more…]
This is off topic from music, but I thought some readers might enjoy… During my coverage for The Original Prop Blog at San Diego Comic Con last week, the one “must see” discussion panel for me was the one that came about from the Blake J. Harris book, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation. Panelists included Sega of America’s former President Tom Kalinske, and former Director of Marketing Al Nilsen, as well as Nintendo of America’s former Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan and former Director of Marketing Bill White. [Read more…]
“He had all these things there… Sandman comics… things like that…” Tori Amos, coincidentally playing in San Diego during Comic Con week, reminiscing about her brother (who was in attendance) back in the day, and the inspiration for her song, “Flying Dutchman”, which was third up on her phenomenal setlist at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay. This was my second show seeing the “Unrepentant Geraldines Tour” (having seen the show in Oakland on Monday night at the Paramount Theatre). As with that show, Tori is ever full of surprises, and the two shows were completely different on many levels. The most obvious being the venues, with the indoor, ornate, classy and historical Paramount Theatre having a certain sophistication, while the outdoor Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is more relaxed, with the unmistakable coastal air and open feeling sitting out under the stars. With the setlists from the respective shows sharing only three songs (opening with “Parasol”, closing with “Cornflake Girl” and having “16 Shades of Blue” in their encores), it was two very different shows in terms of the music as well. The show in San Diego was at least to some degree a celebration of “Under the Pink”, as it was highly represented in the song choice. I loved both shows, but I’d have to say – for me – my love for Oakland’s was on more of an intellectual level, while San Diego’s was because she played more of the songs I truly love (and if I had to pick any one song for her to play, it would be “Bliss”, and she totally killed it on stage at Humprey’s. One of those rare artists that has the ability to completely change up her show night to night, this is definitely one of the best tours of 2014.
One of the most fun things about Comic Con International in San Diego each year is checking out the costumes created and worn by many of the other attendees. Some dress up for cosplay and others hope to win the annual Masquerade Party, but in any event it seems to get more and more impressive each year. And then there are the funny costumes… as well as the “photobombs” that have been know to occur (some of which can be found in the following photos). [Read more…]
“What do you think? You’re scared… you want to know more, you want to see the whole thing”… Capping off “Metallica Day” at Comic Con International: San Diego (i.e. San Diego Comic Con) with a “secret” concert at Spreckels Theatre, the metal band’s front man James Hetfield makes a mid-gig reference to the IMAX 3D film, Metallica Through The Never. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band gave away tickets to the intimate 1,463 capacity concert venue during their Comic Con Hall H appearance earlier in the day (and funny enough, Hall H accommodates a much larger crowd of around 7,000. I know from picking up my own ticket at the special will call earlier in the day that many Fan Club members were also in attendance, so it was a pretty great energy from the crowd. Though the show was not too long (they came on an hour late at about 11 PM and finished up well before 12:30 AM), it was a fairly relentless onslaught of the metal music fans came to hear.