(Continued from part 1.)

Our hotel was located within walking distance of the Little Italy trolley stop. Diagonally across from a coffee shop (“It’s a Grind”) that we frequented during our stay was this restaurant:

Indigo Grill

Katie informed me that one of the Indigo Girls has, in fact, opened or invested in a restaurant, but this doesn’t seem to be it.

Here’s another restaurant (or more likely a bar) that we spotted, this time in Downtown San Diego:

Martini Ranch

This was Friday night with Sean, when we were wandering around the Gaslamp District and environs looking for a place to eat. We found ourselves wondering… was this a martini made with Ranch dressing? A place where martinis grazed and rustlers had to watch out for stampedes? Did they serve a crispy ranch martini with bacon?

Actually, “Grand Admiral” Sean should take the credit for the next one: I don’t remember if it was this year’s con or a past one, but he was on one of the escalators with Timothy Zahn, who remarked that the view always reminded him of the view inside the Death Star cannon. Inspired, I checked out that particular escalator, and Zahn’s right: it does look like the Death Star cannon!

[View from the escalator on the east half of the San Diego Convention Center]

And, in closing, an image from our hotel room this morning. It seems that Salvador Dali had somehow gotten into our room and transformed our soap:

'Melting' soap

(Continued in Volume 2.)


Last in the Comic Con preview series: Serenity, the feature-film spinoff of Firefly. Joss Whedon showed up, explained he wouldn’t waste any time since they didn’t have much, and that he “had something to show [us].”

Let me just say that, even if I hadn’t just finished watching Firefly, I’d be interested in seeing Serenity. If The Peacekeeper Wars closes the current chapter of Farscape, it looks like Serenity is designed to open a new chapter of Firefly.

After they ran the preview, he said he had something else to show us — “actually nine things.” The whole place screamed (the program had said only “surprise guests”), and out walked the entire main cast of the show! Like the Farscape group, these people are great fun to watch. (Edit: quotes are now available) Unfortunately, most of the audience questions were directed at Joss. It’s a comic book convention after all, and he writes comic books — plus there are lingering Buffy and Angel questions. To make sure they were included, Joss directed some questions of his own to the cast. Some of which were, shall we say, “interesting.”

As to the future of the Buffyverse: Angel, as a TV series, is dead. But it could eventually come back as a movie or TV movie. And while Buffy has run its course, there’s always the possibility of another spinoff (although clearly some people in the audience haven’t caught on to the fact that Eliza Dushku is busy right now).

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

Let me just say that the upcoming Farscape miniseries looks incredible. They ran a trailer they had just finished — not the one that’s just started airing, but one they’ll start showing later on — and it looks like it may be the most intense four hours of Farscape ever. They’re very cagey about the actual plot, but the clips show a level of danger, action, and drama at least equal to Farscape at its best.

The stated goal is to “bring this chapter of Farscape to a close” — to tie up the major dangling storylines and leave things open for other miniseries, feature films, comics, spinoffs, etc. Who will be around by the end is unclear, but it’s clearly going to be a heck of a ride.

They opened the floor for questions from the audience, and let me just say, hilarity ensued. I’d never seen any of this group at a convention before, but when anything funny comes up, David Kemper, Claudia Black, and Ben Browder just run with it. (Edit: quotes are now available.)
Continue reading

[MirrorMask Logo]Yesterday I mentioned the MirrorMask panel at Comic Con. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean were both there to talk about the movie and play a trailer-like clip they had put together the night before.

MirrorMask came about when Sony noticed that while Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal didn’t do very well in theaters, over the years they’ve become strong, steady sellers in the home video market. So they went to the Jim Henson company and asked if they could do a fantasy film in the same vein, on a budget. So Lisa Henson called up Neil Gaiman by way of asking for Dave McKean, and explained the situation: They only had a $4 million budget, but they wouldn’t have any studio interference. They went on to say they knew they couldn’t afford Neil to write the screenplay, but could he at least come up with a story, at which point he said (Edit: corrected quote) “If Dave’s directing it, I’m writing it.” Continue reading

Well, Lucasfilm has announced the official title for Star Wars: Episode III. I would have preferred Rise of the Empire, but it’s better than either of the last two titles, and it does provide symmetry with Return of the Jedi — which they’re clearly playing up with everything from the logo (there were zillions of T-shirts around Comic Con with the title in exactly the same red-on-black style as the old Return of the Jedi logos) to things like Anakin’s hair (which looks oddly like Luke’s in ROTJ).

And reportedly George Lucas has stated that this time, “revenge” is staying in the title.