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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437     In all the talk of graphical downgrades no one seems much preoccupied with 'why?'.  Why build something and then proceed to tear it down, piece by piece, in the hope that ever more diminished expectations about the final product won't be severe enough to...

Comic-Con 2008

Posted on Friday, August 1 @ 14:25:12 Eastern by Blake_Morse
So far you've only heard about a few of the things I was fortunate enough to check at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. It's only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the week, I did a ton of interviews, sat in on some interesting panels, and played a ton of games in between. What did I see? How much craziness was there? Ladies and gentlemen of the GR community, I present you Fan and Geekdom in San Diego.

You already know what happened the first day. I got some free lemonade from the distinguished Ben Templesmith and partied it up with Activision and Marvel. The next day, things got even more intense. I started the day off with a panel featuring the Immortal Stan Lee and renowned comic book writer, Grant Morrison. Most of the panel was Q&A with the audience. Grant talked about how he saw New X-Men (possibly the best arc in X-history) as a story of "children vs. adults "and the struggle for acceptance. Stan said there was actually a story he regretted writing (gasp!): an old Fantastic Four story about a villan named "Diablo" that he and Jack Kirby had thrown together last minute to make a deadline. I forgive you though, Stan, but only because you invented just about every great Marvel hero and villan ever. Along those lines, Stan also mentioned that he had wished he invented Wolverine.

After the panel I rushed across the convention center to grab a one-on-one with Mr. Morrison, an interview which you can hear about on my special edition Inner Party Podcast. You may have trouble understanding him through his thick accent, but let me assure you, it's all intelligent and insightful. We discussed his new project with Virgin Comics and talked about a few of his past endeavors. We even got into video games a bit, and Grant revealed that he's a huge GTA fan. If you want to hear about the kind of GTA game he would make, listen to the podcast.

Next, I was off to the "Capcom: The Making of Street Fighter IV" panel. It turned out to be way more exciting than I thought it could be. They showed new animation from Studio 4°C which looked fantastic and fantastically set up the plot for the new Street Fighter. Producer Yoshinoro Ono said that this game will be not so much a sequel as it is a return to the classic fighting of SFII, bringing back old elements and appending old rules with the new focus ability, which allows you to break through an opponent's attack and counter with your own by pressing medium kick and medium punch at the same time.

The panel then paused to screen a trailer that showed off the new focus abilities coolness. Afterwards, they broke the news that a certain British secret agent with an impeccably well-toned booty had won the online poll at the Capcommunity boards. That's right, Cammy will possibly be in the home version of SFIV. Another character that they alluded to being in the game was the ever mysterious Sheng Long. They tried to make it subtle, but I think that sort of thing is lost in translation. So I'm hardly going out on a limb when I say that Sheng Long is hidden in there somewhere. As for Akuma? They weren't saying. But come on. He has to be one of the top three greatest SF characters of all time. How could they not include him? I mean, he appears in the intro video they showed.

During the Q&A portion, one guy asked whether they would be releasing a special arcade-style controller to go along with the home version. The reply was "bug them on the boards", so if you want it to happen, go to capcom.com and bug the crap outta them on the message boards.

After all that, it was time for a little treat for myself. I headed over to the Kevin Smith hosted panel called "Scream like a girl": an all-female panel featuring Lucy Lawless (Xena), Jaime King (Sin City), Gale Ann Hurd (Terminator), and Pia Guerra (Artist for Y: The Last Man). Kevin opened the panel by asking, "How much pussy do you guys get?" Obviously, this was not going to be a serious discussion about gender equality in a male-dominated geek-world. Most of it was joke-cracking and ridiculous questions not worth mentioning, but I enjoyed myself. You can check out a play by play rundown here.

Afterwards, I went to special press Q&A that I thought would involve one-on-one interviews and Kevin Smith. I was wrong on both assumptions. Only Lucy, Pia, and Jaime bothered to show up, and it seemed like no one but myself and a few other people had either the balls or the preparation to ask any questions. I guess those nerds were afraid of powerful women. I have a recording of it that I may put in a future podcast for kicks, but since it was an open panel, I had to settle for propping my recorder on the panel desk and crossing my fingers.

One thing I learned from all this is that Jaime King, beyond being incredibly gorgeous, is also a big nerd and is totally in the know about a ton of geek stuff. So don't give up hope all you lonely fellas with a collection of Star Wars figures; there's totally a cute girl out there somewhere that'll give you some lovin' (probably not, but at least there's hope). When everyone was done with their questions, Lucy and Jaime split. Pia stuck around for a moment, and I took the opportunity to ask her for a quick sketch of 355, and when I say 'quick', I mean it. I cannot believe how effortlessly she drew such a detailed sketch in roughly a minute or so. Pia has real talent and you can check it out in the new run of Doctor Who comics.

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