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Comic -Con International Convention wrapped

SATURDAY AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: 2004

From Borgs to Rainbow Men, from “Star Trek” to “Star Wars,” thousands of comic book fans, film fans, and those just curious gathered at the San Diego (CA) Convention Center July 22-25 for the annual Comic-Con International Convention. Jude Law, Giovanni Ribisi, Ling Bai, writer/director Kerry Conran, and others with “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” promoted their film with a question and answer series.

Mark Hamill led a panel of voice over actors promoting their film Comic Book: The Movie, a Mark Hamill directorial debut and a mockumentary filmed at Comic Con with a Miramax release. The panelists included Jess Harnell (“Animaniacs”), Roger Rose, Tom Kenny (“Sponge Bob Squarepants”), Daran Norris (“Fairly Odd Parents”), Debbi DerriBerry (“Jimmy Neutron”) and Rob Paulsen (“Animaniacs”, “Pinky and The Brain”). The actors improvised, doing individual impressions of Mr. Hamill, as well as showcased each of their cartoon voices. At the end of the panel Rob Paulsen sang his annual “Animaniacs” song about the countries. This panel by far was one of the most entertaining and mesmerizing.

Other appearances at the event included Matt Groening (“Simpsons,” “Futurama”), Ray Bradbury (“The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451”), Mark Ryden (artist), and Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Jessica Alba, and Jamie King promoting their 2005 release film, “Sin City” based from Frank Miller’s comic book series. When I asked Mr. Rodriguez what he thought of Hollywood, he replies: “I love it” with a smile. He then continued, “That was sarcastic.”

The exhibition hall showcased thousands of comic book booths, film promotions, art, new releases, and author signings. But one of the most adventurous aspects of the hall floor was costume sightings. One man, Raymond, dressed as a Borg from “Star Trek” and is a long time follower of Comic-Con. Another gentleman, Dennis, paraded around as what he refers to as “rainbow guy, or Mr. Colorful, or Mr. Artsy, or My God I must have just taken acid,” which is because these are the names he receives from onlookers.
He’s been attending Comic Con for 3 years. Dennis says, “I started out putting costumes together to be in the Doo-dah Parade in Pasadena. . . and this is it.”

The type of reactions he gets from people are “all positive reactions, lots of pictures, and what I really should be doing more is inspiring people here to [dress like this]. There are a lot of normal people here. We need to change that.” A man, dressed in a green polo shirt and baseball cap, perused by and said, “Check out this Rainbow Man—that guy’s a freak.” Dennis better get started inspiring people!

A third costume-bearing woman, Ambrea, was a tad deceiving because, as she said, “I’m dressed up as myself, but fortunately enough I kind of look like a comic book character. I don’t know the name, but she wears spiders on her boobs.” Ambrea has also been attending Comic-Con for the last couple years. Her booth, The Brotherhood Booth, was hosting a Vampire Masquerade party later Saturday evening.

When enthusiasts can gather for a weekend with a common interest the outcome is bound to be positive. When fans give fame to the “faceless” voice-over actors, these talented performers are more than thankful. When avid followers of Robert Rodriguez’s and Frank Miller’s work can get autographs from them in person, they remember that moment forever. Perhaps at the 2005 Comic-Con more attendees will dress up and The Rainbow Man will have done his job.

Michelle Paster

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