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Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary takes you deep inside Comic-Con – the annual confab of nerds and geeks that’s become as over the top as everything it celebrates. The movie’s just so much fun it’ll make you want to glue your Spock ears on permanently.  The interviews with Kevin Smith alone are worth the price of admission.

Many filmmakers had approached the Comic-Con people about  a doc, but Spurlock was the first to get the greenlight – mostly because of dispensation from Comic-Con gods Stan Lee and Joss Wheedon.  And with a phalanx of film crews roaming the 61,000 square feet of geeky activity, he managed to capture what many have told me is the essence of this truly unique event.

I think perhaps the most amazing thing about this film is that it takes an otherwise marginalized group of people and makes you desperately want to be one of them.  I regret that I never got into video games!

Have you seen “Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope?”  What did you think?

CHECK OUT THE BUSINESS FOR KIM MASTERS’ INTERVIEW WITH MORGAN SPURLOCK.

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  • http://startingoverat24.blogspot.com/ Brandon

    Back in 2008, I was sent to Comic Con for work. This would be my first time experiencing Comic Con in all of its glory. At the time, I kept a blog at the time about my dating trials and tribulations. I was in a bit of a rut because I was single and still treading water in the murky swamp of the dating world.

    I did not come out of Comic Con with any stories of romantic conquest.

    I came out with some rank, 4-days-of-sweaty, swag-greedy, Cheeto fingers-funk on me. But no romantic conquest.

    The closest I came was when a timid, Storm Trooper removed her helmet and approached me at the booth. She was about 12 and was your stereo-typical emo kid. Long, dyed-black bangs with red streaks (a la' Rufio) that hungover one side of her face. She caked on the eye liner, that much I could tell from her only exposed eye. She looked up at me (sans smile), no emotion, completely deadpan, and said, "I just want you to know, you have gorgeous eyes."

    She put back on her helmet and left me confused as she disappeared from my life into the mass of costumed conventioners.

    Hey. I'll take the compliment where I can get it.

    I witnessed a lot of romance this weekend. And by that I mean, I wept for my gender as I saw hundreds of guys line up to have their buddies snap pictures of them standing next to busty, booth babes wearing costumes not much larger than an eye patch.

    * * *

    On Friday, I returned to my hotel after working a grueling, twelve hour day. There's something about hotel rooms when you're single. Being alone in a hotel room at night is one of the most lonely circumstances I've experienced in awhile. I flipped on Forensic Files for a bit of a distraction, but I was restless. I grabbed my jacket and headed out alone to see what the Gaslamp District of San Diego had to offer.

    I found a bar not too far away from the hotel. The bar scene was in full swing, but it wasn't too hard to find a place to sit… especially when it's just yourself you have to worry about.

    I downed a shot of house whiskey and nursed a pint of pale ale for some prime people watching.

    It was great. These people have all come together in one place to completely geek out and be themselves without apology.

    One couple caught my attention; a girl dressed up as Rogue from X-Men and her boyfriend was dressed as Magneto. They had their own little table at the corner of the bar, holding hands, ignoring everyone else around them and engrossed in their own private conversation. The rest of the world was in slow-motion for this unlikely couple.

    Maybe it was the whiskey, but it got me thinking. How fortunate was it that these two X-Men aficionados have found each other! There is someone out there for everyone!

    And with that thought, I smiled, downed my beer and closed out to return to the hotel.

    The faint clamor from the bars and soft glow of the television almost drug me back into that lonely place I was at only a few hours before. But as I bit into my soggy ham & cheese sandwich, I thought to myself: If Rogue and Magneto can put aside their differences and find true love, my chance would come too.

  • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

    You had me at "Cheeto fingers-funk." Send me an e-mail Brandon and we'll see you at the screening on the 5th. mattsmovies@kcrw.org. Congrats!

  • M the gothic

    I once worked in the comic book/ collectibles industry and was a "hired gun" working for collectors who shopped at Comic Con. One day, after working an excruciating day dollying long boxes of comics off the convention room floor back to our hotel room blocks away, I was invited to party with a known rock star that had his own comic book line. Not a fan of this particular star or his comic and totally exhausted, I declined. Turns out he counted up the guys at the party and trucked in some "professionals" to entertain them in his nearbye suite. So this is more of a story of what I didn't do, as opposed to what I did at Comic Con.

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      Wow, a close call. You're in!

      Send me an e-mail at mattsmovies@kcrw.org.

      M

  • https://www.facebook.com/mendoza.alonso Alonso Mendoza

    My favorite Comic Con story took place two years ago. I was walking the floor and I passed the bongo booth, and noticed a line Matt Groening was singing. I don't get star struck easily but I giggling like a little school girl when I saw him. The sad part was the line was closed and couldn't get in. However 15min later he walked out and I was able to take a picture with the man helped mold my humor today. Flash Forward to the 2011 Con I printed the picture of Matt and myself to have him sign it. This time around I was able to stand in line. He takes the picture and noticed he was wearing the same shirt he wore last year. Proof: http://imgur.com/cLtNy
    Thanks for doing this,
    al

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      That's hilarious. You're in! What the hell is the bongo booth?

      Please send an e-mail to mattsmovies@kcrw.org.

      M

      • https://www.facebook.com/mendoza.alonso Alonso Mendoza

        Sweet Thank you. Bongo is the name of Matt's comic book company.
        Again Thank you
        Al

      • Mark Collins

        Bongo COMICS. the Simpsons line of comics

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      Note: Bongo is the name of Matt's comic book company and he was singing (autographs) – not singing. I was confused, too.

  • Viridiana

    My most memorable comic con moment had when I met jim lee. That

  • Viridiana

    My most memorable comic con moment had to be when I met Jim Lee. Im not sure how many compliments he receives from females, all I know is that being at comic con gives me the opportunity to be around artists who I look up to and admire. I love comic con!

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      I have no idea who Jim Lee is, but send me your name at mattsmovies@kcrw.org and we'd love to have you at our screening on Thursday!

  • Elissa

    I'm terrible at planning for Comic Con. Even this year, which will be my fourth year attending, I have yet to acquire a pass let alone a hotel room. I'm definitely going but don't ask me how I manage to always make it work, somehow I just do. Three years ago a friend took pity on me and gave me his extra pass. Last year I went with friends who work on the video game side of things. Two years ago I managed to find a job and was actually paid to be there.

    My first time attending the whole experience kind of blew my mind. And each successive year has continued to top it. I don't know how that happens but it's part of why I love comic con. Every year has offered something different and each year is amazing in its own special way.

    I've made great friends with folks in the industry, writers, comic book dealers, artists… People I see and talk to all year long, not just during this one weekend. I've also had all of the brushes with celebrity, I had a total fan girl fail when I attempted to profess my love to Nathan Fillion. I literally walked up to the man, said "Hi" and froze. I did one of those deer in headlights things. It was terrible. I think he said something along the lines of "Hello, my name is Nathan" and all I could think of to reply was "I know, you're amazing." Luckily his brain was still working while mine was not and he managed to coax the camera out of the death grip I had on it. I walked away from the experience with a picture and maybe a slight case of extreme embarrassment.

    Honestly though, the best things I've taken away from the madness are the friends I've made. Okay, and maybe the great Kingdom of Loathing Mug I got last year. I drink so much tea out of that thing…

    I really could ramble on forever about this thing or that. I have no idea what this year will bring. But I might end up sleeping on a boat. So there's that.

  • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

    Sweet! Send me an e-mail to mattsmovies@kcrw.org and you're in!

    M

  • Todd Agnello

    Last year, I swore I was done, but every year I try for that one crazy chance in hell to get a fleeting ticket to the biggest geek blast ever, San Diego Comicon. Every year that I have gone starting back in 1999, I swear that year is the last, but like George Lucas can't stop himself from cashing in on Star Wars I can't seem to say no to the ever growing geek hoard of the "Con".

    Last year I only went because my buddy Barry has transwarp reflexes that got me into the cue for last minute ticket sales. Then while I was there I didn't stand in a single line, but I just walked through the floor enjoying the many sites and sounds of the most perfect, nerd fest on the planet.

    At one point my friends and I stared in horror at the never ending line of walking corpses lined out into the San Diego harbor for the panel on AMCs The Walking Dead. Watching these lost souls cueing up for the event they would never get into, we came up with the name for the madness, "Linecon". This all day line was the normal for most every cool event at this super popular, stuffed beyond capacity, event.

    This year, after the first online tickets sold out in less than 30 minutes, I vowed I was done with Linecon. But, maybe if I can watch Mr Spurlock do his thing at one of my most beloved geekathons, it may be enough to satisfy that Comicon hunger.

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      Send me your name to mattsmovies@kcrw.org and we'd love to have you at our screening on Thursday!

  • http://domojun.tumblr.com June

    The first year I went to a Comic-Con was in NY a couple years ago, with my friends from Toy Design school. I am a conflicted nerd, so I debated whether to dress up; I was wary of being associated with the whole "Cosplay" thing… especially because I am in my 30s! (At least now I could justify attending as a "Pro", because I was finally a professional Toy Designer.)

    But, I love Wonder Woman, and I knew of a cute artist that was tabling who had recently created a great Wonder Woman print that I was planning to buy. So I decided to go halfway and wore jeans but had a Wonder Woman top, tiara, cuffs, and lasso. I was such a noob, that I didn't know that people would stop me for photos! (I don't really like a lot of attention, but I was a good sport and would stop for the pics.)

    Anyway, I hit it off with the cute artist and the following year, I even went back to the NYCC with him as attendees. But this time I decided I didn't want the extra attention, so I just wore my normal clothes –a dress and a bow (that had Wonder Woman on it). Shortly after we walked into the throngs of Comic Con attendees, a guy stopped me and said "Excuse me, can I take your picture? You look JUST like the girl from 'The Guild.'" I had no idea what he was talking about, so I hesitated but let him take the picture. I turned to the cute artist friend, to ask what that was about. He explained that "The Guild" was a web show starring Felicia Day, who was known from other tv shows. I still didn't know what he was talking about.

    But later, I went home and subsequently watched the whole show and really enjoyed it (even though I don't play MMORPG games). Ironically, the cute artist, who wasn't used to being just an attendee, was more quickly overwhelmed by the crazy crowds and was compelled to leave NY Comic Con sooner than I wanted to.

    Later, I took him to a Marvel vs. DC Burlesque show, which I think he enjoyed a lot more. I was almost in tears from the burlesque performance of o"The Flash" by the dancer, "Iris Explosion," but the burlesque version of Wonder Woman had a great 1940s look, and also a fun stage cat-fight between her and Cheetah, involving a lot of rope. Oh no, the conversion to full Geek-hood is imminent!

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      Toy Design school? Really? Send me your name to mattsmovies@kcrw.org and we'd love to have you at our screening on Thursday!

  • http://minstercheng.com Chung-Mau Cheng

    I knew she was the one when she was excited that I invited her to the Con. Three years ago was supposed to be our first Con together, but a family emergency kept Cynthia from coming with me. Still, just knowing she was a fellow nerd hooked me. I’ve been to countless Cons, but sharing the experience with my soulmate for the last two years has meant more than all the other Cons combined.

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      That's so beautiful. Send me your name to mattsmovies@kcrw.org and we'd love to have you at our screening on Thursday!

  • http://minstercheng.com Cynthia MinsterCheng

    In case my husband's story doesn't convince you to give the last pair of tickets to us, we've been reminiscing about actual Comic-Con experiences.

    I didn't realize how lucky we were my first year to be staying in the Hilton right across the street from Hall H. Everything felt magical that year – my first panel was a talk with Danny Elfman. I was at the last show of Oingo Boingo ever on Halloween in high school and his movie scores have been a joy to listen to ever since. Hearing straight from his mouth that he couldn't afford more hearing loss from live shows, I finally laid to rest fantasies of the band reuniting. Later, while sitting in Hall H, one of the guys featured in Spurlock's doc sat next to us and we learned a bit about how overwhelming it can be to have your every move filmed. The whole weekend was great and ended with a bang. We went to breakfast in our hotel. On one side of us, Charlaine Harris was being interviewed and on the other side, J.J. Abrams & Joss Whedon were chatting. It was the perfect end.

    The Con continues to hold a special place for us. I was let go from my job shortly after we got married and it's been difficult at times to stay upbeat. As a wedding gift, my cousins promised to pay for our Comic-Con tickets. It is cheesy and weird, but getting our four-day passes a few weeks ago changed my outlook on life. It's like the color was turned back on.

    • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

      I replied to your husband to send me your name to mattsmovies@kcrw.org and we'd love to have you at our screening on Thursday! Please introduce yourselves to me when you're there!

      • Chung-Mau Cheng

        Will do! And thank you again!

  • Jeff

    I went to my first Comic-Con in 1989. Back then I drove down for the day from Los Angeles and parked in the the convention center parking lot. The word had not yet gotten out. There were no movie and television companies remotely interested. Just comic book guys. The next time I went again was in 2000. By this time things definitely had changed. You couldn't park in the convention center anymore, but you could still buy your tickets in-person the day of the convention.

    Since then it has gotten progressively harder to get tickets and the cost has become unfathomable. I have had to resort at times to volunteering and buying tickets from friends to get in. I haven't missed a Con since 2000 but last year the only way I could get in, since I was unable to buy a ticket was — "to sneak in".

    Over the years I have acquired an arsenal of information on how to breach comic-con security and last year I was finally forced to put my unholy knowledge to work. While I know this is not the proper thing to do, it did allow me to keep my perfect track record of attendance. This year I will be attending as the guest of a professional. But I will continue to keep my eye out for "chinks in the armour" because you never know when I may need to call upon my "cloak of invisibility " once again.

  • http://blogs.kcrw.com/mattsmovies mholzman

    You don't need to crash our screening! Send me your name to mattsmovies@kcrw.org and we'd love to have you at our screening on Thursday!

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