Comic-Con isn't so much a convention as it is a cultural festival. More than 150,000 people flock to the staggeringly large San Diego Convention Center to snap up collectibles, traipse around in costume, and play Fluxx for hours while waiting in line to see a preview of a new episode of Dexter. No longer just for comics, Comic-Con has become a mecca for nerds of all stripes. It's also one of the biggest launching pads for new TV shows, movies, and other pop culture. Comic-Con 2013 has a lot to offer, and we're collecting the best of it for you right here.
There might not be any actors or big casting announcements at San Diego Comic-Con this year, but Paramount Plus did find one way to surprise fans. It’s dropping the next episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds five days early. The episode also happens to be the very anticipated crossover episode featuring the live-action version of some of the cast of Star Trek: Lower Decks. Having already seen this episode, I can confirm this is all exactly as delightful as it sounds.Read Article >
With the actors on strike, SDCC has been much more muted than in previous years. There aren’t as many star-studded panels and zero major casting announcements. This has meant studios need to rely on something besides the labor of actors to promote their shows, and Paramount Plus settled on this surprise drop.
Jul 27, 2013
Our biggest worry going into The Verge's first San Diego Comic-Con was that it'd be as "corporate" as people had warned. As it turns out, though, Comic-Con is still all about the fans, a veritable nexus for nerd culture. Here's a taste of what we saw through the dark magick of motion picture.Read Article >
Video production by Christian Mazza
Jul 26, 2013
As much as costumes and badges, street preachers are a part of Comic-Con. Some simply hand out tracts or display scripture, while others deliver sermons or pepper their signs with topical references. "Don’t be Comic Conned!" reads one. "Your life is not fiction."Read Article >
The preachers have been there for years, promoting religion next to company booths passing out party invitations or hawkers carrying cans of Coke. But when I first saw them, I didn’t realize that I was about to witness one of the ugliest facets of Comic-Con: the subset of vicious provocateurs who set out to "win" people over by telling them they’re going to burn in Hell... and get the exact reaction they were really looking for.
Jul 23, 2013Read Article >
The 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International wrapped up Sunday, capping a four-and-a-half day cultural carnival covering just about every form of entertainment imaginable. Fresh from our trip, we look back at our experience this year — and some of the coolest things we saw along the way.
Jul 23, 2013
During Comic-Con 2009, Timmy Madere got drunk in the middle of the day and stumbled into Nothing Sacred Tattoo, the closest tattoo parlor to the convention center. He walked out with his first tattoo ever: a Green Lantern symbol on the middle finger of his right hand. Since then, it's become a tradition. Every year he comes to Nothing Sacred and gets tattooed by Todd Smithson, a skater who has tribal tattoos covering his face and zero interest in comics.Read Article >
"I came in and looked at Todd's face and body and went, okay this is the guy I want to tattoo me," recalled Madere, who is from New Orleans. He’s not interested in getting a tattoo from anyone else, or at any other time of year.
Chuck Palahniuk is working on a comic book sequel to his era-defining novel Fight Club. Palahniuk confirmed the news on his official site today, saying he was in the early process of figuring out the best way to create and publish a series of graphic novels set ten years after the events of the first book. "Nowadays, Tyler is telling the story, lurking inside Jack, and ready to launch a comeback," he wrote. "Jack is oblivious. Marla is bored. Their marriage has run aground on the rocky coastline of middle-aged suburban boredom. It's only when their little boy disappears, kidnapped by Tyler, that Jack is dragged back into the world of Mayhem." The news was first revealed at a panel at Comic-Con last week.Read Article >
Palahniuk wasn't specific about when we'll see the first installment of the sequel, but he said it could be a while due to contractual obligations. However, "since the Fight Club sequel will appear serialized in graphic form, my book publisher might allow me to launch it earlier than 2015." Artist Gabor Kiss has adapted two Chuck Palahniuk novels into online comics, but this would be the first time Palahniuk has created an original work in the medium, though he's expressed interest in comics before. It would also follow up a largely self-contained novel that, along with its film adaptation, became a major cultural touchstone at the turn of the 21st century. Which isn't to say there's no precedent: Stephen King will soon publish a sequel to his early novel The Shining, and Bret Easton Ellis' Lunar Park commented on the writing of cult classic American Psycho decades after the fact.
Jul 22, 2013Read Article >
Here's a new Heisenberg uncertainty principle for you: if you see a guy walking around in a Heisenberg mask, it might actually be the guy who plays Heisenberg. Bryan Cranston, star of AMC's Breaking Bad, walked the floor of San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday undetected while dressed as his drug lord character. He revealed his true identity only after walking to the front of a Breaking Bad panel and dramatically removing his mask. Cranston appeared at Comic-Con to promote the final eight episodes of the series, which will begin airing Aug. 11 on AMC. No new footage was shown, but AMC did show off a trailer featuring highlights from the series so far.
Jul 22, 2013
Original streaming video programming got a boost of legitimacy last week when two Netflix shows received Emmy nominations. Now Saturday Night Live stalwart (and future Late Night host) Seth Meyers is bringing his latest venture to life as an animated show on Hulu.Read Article >
The Awesomes is a comedy about the adventures of some not-so-super heroes. Conceived of back in 2006 by Meyers and Michael Shoemaker (Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), the show didn't find the right creative home until Hulu stepped up in 2011. "They were the first place that were willing to let us tell it the way we wanted to tell it," Meyers says of the relationship, describing Hulu as the "perfect vessel" for the show. The Awesomes debuts on Hulu on August 1st — Xbox owners will get it a week early starting this Thursday, July 25th — and is just one of several new original series the service will be releasing this year.
Jul 22, 2013
It's the last day of Comic-Con, and Linda Le is sitting in her hotel room in a black body suit and 6-inch heels, delicately scrunching her long black hair into a hairnet as she completes the transformation into Spider Girl, a Marvel superhero. "It takes me about two hours to get ready," she said. "So from putting my hair into a hairnet — which people don't usually do, but I don't want my wig to fall off on the floor — then I have to do the drag makeup, which is really funny, then eyelashes."Read Article >
Le is part of an elite group of so-called cosplayers — people who dress up as fictional characters on days other than Halloween — who actually make a living from the sport. She spends all year sewing and crafting her outfits, attending conventions, and hosting events as Vampy, her cosplay stage name. Her knowledge of video games and the characters in the Marvel universe is astounding. This year at Comic-Con she appeared as Jun the Swan, from G Force, and Psylocke, an X-Men mutant.
After near-cancellation and a maligned fourth season without original showrunner Dan Harmon, Community will return next year with what Harmon hopes will be a clean slate. At a Comic-Con panel today, Harmon promised that the show will bounce back from its slump and said that he's still angling hard for the requested six seasons, though he was fairly mum on a movie. "Nobody wants to not fail more than me at this point," said Harmon, who is retaking the helm for Season 5. "This is a whole new thing. We have to reground, reestablish these characters, get back to the emotional basics, and then have the most fun we've ever had."Read Article >
Harmon admitted that there's still no script for the new season's premiere, and he spoke more in terms of tone than specifics — though he did reveal that one episode would be animated, most of his statements were about simply needing to get the show back in shape. "We want to get back to that Season 1, Season 2 feel of being really organic and knocking every episode out of the park," he said. "The first couple will be about making it seem like these people live down the street from each other." Both he and fans alluded often to the largely hated Season 4, though Harmon says he's planning to move forward from it, not "actively undo" choices that were made. Even with its problems, Community will be syndicated on Comedy Central starting in October, and it will begin syndication on local networks in September.
Jul 21, 2013
Every year, a handful of people see every sword, spear, gun, and hammer that makes it to the floor of Comic-Con – and a few that don't. Halfway down the convention center, at a small booth labeled "costume weapons check," a steady trickle of characters from every conceivable fandom wait for security to give them the all-clear. Most cosplayers won’t go through it, but if you’re carrying anything that looks like it could hurt someone, it goes to weapons check. If it's deadly in fiction but safe in real life, it gets a small, shiny blue band. If there's a significant chance of injuring a fellow con-goer with it, it doesn't go in — and making the call isn’t as easy as just sifting out real-world weapons.Read Article >
Weapons check supervisor Jaime Limon is closing in on his fourth year of Comic-Con security, and he remains surprisingly excited about essentially being the cosplay TSA. "We look at thousands of different types of weapons," he said. "We get a lot of simulated guns, knives and stuff, but people take apart computers, take the components off, add them to different tubes – it's kind of hard to explain in one sentence what the most interesting thing we've seen is."
You don't usually see a woman in the lead role in a science fiction film. Sandra Bullock's lead role as a medical engineer on her first space shuttle mission in the space thriller Gravity is a rare departure from the norm. Not everyone involved with the movie was happy with the decision, writer-director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) said during a press conference at Comic-Con yesterday, especially since Bullock's character is floating alone in space for the majority of the movie.Read Article >
"When I finished the script, there were voices that were saying, 'well, we should change it to a male lead,'" Cuarón said. "Obviously they were not powerful enough voices, because we got away with it. But the sad thing is that there is still that tendency."
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Comic-Con is happening now in San Diego, which means large crowds, long lines, costumes galore, and over-the-top advertising in every direction. But about ten blocks from the convention center, there's an alternative comics convention happening on a much smaller scale. Trickster, the Berkeley-based artist collective-turned-comics-fest, has taken over a cavernous complex of a bar, the Tavern Bowl, for the four days of the convention. There are panels, signings, nightly live drawing sessions, and a store. "We're tricksters," one artist explained. "You know, like Loki. That's what we are to Comic-Con."
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Writer and director Jeff Wadlow has been on a bit of a hot streak lately. He recently signed a deal to write X-Force, and will be directing the action film Go Fast for Sony. Before those projects come to fruition, however, there's the much-anticipated Kick-Ass 2. Wadlow was picked by Matthew Vaughn — director of the original Kick-Ass and a producer on the sequel — to take over directing duties and the movie's been a big part of Universal's splash at Comic-Con this year. We sat down with Wadlow to talk about how he hit that careful balance between comedy and violence, what it's like crafting a sequel to a well-known original, and what his hopes are for the upcoming X-Force.
Jul 21, 2013
A trailer for astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey just aired at Comic-Con 2013, and it's a dazzling display of what's to come next year. Based on Carl Sagan's pioneering series, Cosmos: A Personal Journey, the new Cosmos is set for a 13-episode reboot in Spring, 2014, courtesy of the FOX network. The new trailer for the series features deGrasse Tyson in Sagan's classic spacecraft, but with fancy new graphics; the first glimpse spans the orchestra of microscopic life to the vast expanses of the universe, with a combination of breathtaking footage, solid CGI, and traditional animation. Watch the full trailer below — it's worth every second.Read Article >
Update: It looks like the trailer was taken down and replaced by a spot for another FOX property, American Dad. We've embedded another version of the video; hopefully this won't morph into a Glee trailer anytime soon.
Marvel is capping off Saturday night here at Comic-Con 2013, and Joss Whedon just took the stage and revealed that the name of the sequel to The Avengers will be Avengers: Age of Ultron. The reveal came at the end of a brief teaser, with the camera rotating around an image of Tony Stark's Iron Man helmet, while the voice of Robert Downey, Jr. and other actors played out.Read Article >
The teaser ended an extended preview of the company's upcoming slate. Actor Tom Hiddleston took the stage in character as villain Loki before showing off an extended trailer for Thor: The Dark World. The cast of Captain America: Winter Soldier then emerged to talk about the film and show off new footage, while star Chris Evans explained that the central dilemma of the story revolved around the problems his character has with the measures that people — and, one would assume, governments — take in order to protect themselves. The screened footage also featured Robert Redford. According to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the film is largely inspired by 1970s thrillers, and working with Redford — who featured in '70s classics like Three Days of the Condor — felt like coming full circle.
Jul 20, 2013
A rebooted Robocop will explore what happens when war machines start to be used for domestic peacekeeping, according to a panel this week at Comic-Con. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony and MGM showed off the first footage of the new film on Friday, revealing an update to the 1987 classic that uses the current anxiety over drones to raise questions about how they might be employed by local police departments.Read Article >
"We are more and more in a country where Robocop is relevant. You will see robots in wars," said Jose Padilha, the film's director. "The first film saw it way back then. Now we have more knowledge and we know it's coming true. First we are going to use machines abroad, then we are going to use machines at home."
Jul 20, 2013
Director Zach Snyder revealed the news to a packed panel at Comic-Con, with a teaser image showing the iconic Batman symbol overlaid with Superman's emblem. "I'm so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can't wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter," Snyder said in a statement provided by The Hollywood Reporter. "Let's face it, it's beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest superheroes in the world."Read Article >
According to THR, Zach Snyder and Man of Steel's David Goyer will write the script for the film, and Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan will serve as executive producer.
Jul 20, 2013
It's about 11:30AM on Friday at Comic-Con 2013, and there is about to be a changeover. The first two hours inside the Bayfront Hilton's massive Indigo Ballroom have been dedicated to Cartoon Network shows, while the next four hours will be devoted to its alter-ego, Adult Swim. Parents and children pour out of the room as a switchback line of mostly college-aged fans wait to fill the 2,600 seats.Read Article >
It's like the channel itself, which morphs every night at 9PM, werewolf-like, from kid-friendly 'toons to mature, bizarre, often comically violent shows. A huge range of offbeat programming has passed through Adult Swim over the 12 years it's been in existence, from anime to the ultra-relevant Loiter Squad with rap collective Odd Future. The current lineup includes The Eric Andre Show (a weirder The Tom Green Show), China, IL (originally a web series about a college run by lunatic faculty), and the longest-running Adult Swim show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force (the mundane adventures of a milkshake, a wad of meat, and an order of fries).
Jul 20, 2013
"A long time ago, we used to be friends." Almost 10 years after it first debuted on TV screens across America, beloved cult series Veronica Mars is back and on a bigger screen than ever. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in which it surpassed its $2 million goal in less than 12 hours, the movie starring Kristen Bell as the titular sharp-witted private eye is currently in-production, but already giving fans a first tantalizing glimpse behind-the-scenes.Read Article >
A "sneak peak" reel for the Veronica Mars movie made its debut at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, and now the teaser is online for all to enjoy. It features interviews with the cast, most of whom are returning from the series, as well as series creator Rob Thomas, and top Kickstarter backers, who will make cameos in the film — plus a few glimpses of actual footage from the movie itself. Viewers are welcome to try and sleuth the finer plot details, but we're sure there will be plenty of twists left when the movie debuts sometime in 2014. That's just the Mars family way.
The last time audiences saw Vin Diesel's sci-fi antihero Richard B. Riddick in theaters was back in 2004, but that's going to change in September with the upcoming Riddick. Here at San Diego Comic-Con we sat down with writer and director David Twohy after he debuted a new red-band trailer with a particularly striking visual payoff to the legions in Hall H. Riddick represents a return to the R-rated form of the original Pitch Black, and Twohy discussed the making of the film, his plans for future installments, his personal feelings on 3D, and the creative freedom that working outside the traditional studio system allows.Read Article >
Zombies are a running theme at this year's San Diego Comic-Con — from the show floor to the Gaslamp Quarter, look around and you'll see somebody shambling, shuffling, and otherwise being not alive. AMC has taken advantage of zombie fever by debuting a trailer for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead. While last season didn't end on the most upbeat of notes, things appear to be getting even worse — but we'll avoid the spoilers and let you watch it for yourself. The new season of The Walking Dead will debut on October 13th, if you can stay alive that long.Read Article >
The series' new showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, told The Hollywood Reporter that the upcoming season's first episode "blew my mind." He also revealed that the characters' constant proximity to danger may settle down for a bit — but he promised that viewers shouldn't relax too much: "They might get a little comfortable, but then things might get a little dangerous."
Jul 19, 2013
Here at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International, nothing gets more attention that science fiction and fantasy — and one of the projects that people are most excited about is the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic Ender’s Game. First published in 1985, the novel has travelled a long, rocky road on its way to movie theaters, but the first trailers released earlier this year showed a beautifully rendered take on Card’s vision with high-profile talent like Harrison Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley.Read Article >
Here at Con, we sat down with the film’s writer and director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and producer Roberto Orci (a prolific multi-hyphenate with credits like Star Trek Into Darkness and Fringe to his name). The topic was how they were able to finally bring Ender’s Game to the big screen, and the challenges of balancing flash and spectacle with the book’s deeper thematic questions.
Jul 19, 2013
‘Children of Men,’ ‘Hot Fuzz,’ and '500 Days of Summer' directors say special effects can't match real stunts
The top-tier panels at Comic-Con are usually dedicated to upcoming blockbusters or fan favorites — yesterday, thousands of people packed into the giant Hall H to see Harrison Ford or the cast of Dexter. Between these panels, though, we also got a chance to see three slightly more low-profile directors talk about their craft: Hot Fuzz and The World's End's Edgar Wright, Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón, and Marc Webb, responsible for both the latest Spider-Man reboot and 500 Days of Summer. In some ways, Webb, Wright, and Cuarón couldn't be more different. But their current projects all have the basic elements of a Comic-Con movie — alien invasions, astronauts stranded in space, superheroes. They also share a common fear: that as editing techniques get more sophisticated, filmmakers are missing a chance to provoke real, visceral awe.Read Article >
Webb's Amazing Spider-Man and Cuarón's upcoming film Gravity both rely heavily on cinematic sleight of hand. Gravity sat unproduced for years, partly because the technology to shoot long scenes set in zero gravity simply didn't exist. The "Vomit Comet" plane used for films like Apollo 13 was too small for the sets, and shots couldn’t be longer than 20 seconds. Finally, Cuarón hit on the idea of a set that would rotate around a stationary actor, making it look like Sandra Bullock or George Clooney was floating. Webb, meanwhile, had to balance the anything-goes world of CG animation with the realities of physics. "A human body can only take so much," he said. "Flying through the air at the speeds that Spider-Man would fly through the air is kind of mind-boggling and impossible."
Jul 19, 2013
At San Diego Comic Con, Capcom announced that an arcade and Sega Genesis classic is getting a reboot, with a new Strider game due to launch next year. The title looks to follow in the footsteps of other Capcom titles like Bionic Commando Rearmed and DuckTales Remastered, retaining the original game's 2D gameplay but adding in modern 3D graphics — however, unlike those games, Strider will be an entirely new experience and not a remake. Like in the original, the new Strider will be a side scrolling action game set in a dystopian future, with a focus on combat and high flying acrobatics. This time around players will be exploring a sprawling city while unlocking new abilities in order to access new areas in what sounds like a Metroid-style structure.Read Article >
Strider is being developed by Double Helix Games — the same studio behind the upcoming Killer Instinct reboot for Xbox One, and whose previous experience largely includes licensed games based on franchises like Battleship and GI Joe. The downloadable game is due to launch in early 2014 for a wide range of platforms, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC. You can check out a lengthy gameplay trailer below.