Ah, Comic Con! The show doesn’t seem much bigger than last year (and they’ve already filled the convention center floor), but there are more people. Last year, Friday was quite comfortable, but this year it was more crowded than I remember.

Let’s see… News from panels so far. Serenity and Mirrormask are apparently opening the same weekend (September 30), so I’ll be spending an entire day at the movies. Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier are working on a script for a CGI Groo the Wanderer film. They apparently held out for years for a deal that gave them enough creative control to satisfy them. And early next year they expect to release the 4-part comic book, Groo vs. Conan.

The Jim Henson Co. 50th anniversary panel was great fun. In addition to seeing some early experimental muppetry, we learned that they will be producing a sequel to The Dark Crystal that takes place several hundred years later, and a prequel anime series.

Katie went to the big Warner Bros. movie panel, featuring Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, V For Vendetta, The Fountain (from Darren Arenofsky), and The Corpse Bride, all of which look promising.

And if you have a chance while in San Diego, don’t miss Fellowship!, a musical parody of The Fellowship of the Ring. With the exception of one running gag that got old very fast, it was a great send-up of the movie (and it was also fun looking for tropes and in-jokes from musicals).

This year is absolutely crawling with Jedi costumes. So many that we didn’t bother to take pictures, except for one Anakin & Obi-Wan pair where the former actually looked like Anakin. There’s also a booth selling high-quality light sabres with removable, light-up blades that are sturdy enough you can duel with them. The cheap ones run for $120.

An interesting read on the Most Lucrative Movie Franchises, not so much for what it gets right, but for what it gets wrong.

Tonight’s premiere of Batman Begins marks the sixth in the series. And that’s only counting the “modern” era of Batman flicks, dating from 1989’s Batman from director Tim Burton.

Sixth? Are they including the cartoon Batman: Mask of the Phantasm? If so, why not Batman: Sub-Zero? (Curiously, the table on page two only indicates five Batman films.)

And where do they get four Lord of the Rings films? I suppose they could be counting the Bakshi cartoon, but what about the Rankin-Bass Return of the King and The Hobbit?

Where are they getting their numbers?

After four drive-bys, I finally managed to get a picture of the Gondor street sign. It was far enough away that it’s barely readable (this is the native resolution on a 5 megapixel image — it’s not shrunk, it’s just cropped). Eventually I ought to turn onto a side street, park the car, and walk to a nice vantage point instead of just holding the camera with one hand while zooming by and hoping I get an image.

Gondor Street Sign

I’ve updated Living in Middle Earth.