Commentary

Checking In On the Pulse Of Dweeb America

It’s time we checked in on Comic-Con, the get-together for comic-book dweebs founded in San Diego in 1970 that has become appointment exhibitionism for the superpowers of entertainment marketing and the star power they bring to us mere earthlings. 

Opening day yesterday was “all it was cracked up to be,” reports Natalie Finn on Eonline.com. “From the weirdness of watching practically the entire cast of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 bid their fans goodbye to yukking it up with the muscled stars of The Expendables 2, the first full day of movie madness didn't disappoint in terms of A-listers, legends, laughs and news.”

Yes, even Arnold and Sly, both of whom have been called a lot of names over the years but never “dweeb,” were there reminiscing about their bromance -- “a decades-long friendship and competition over who had more muscles, who used more oils and who racked up larger body counts in their movies,” Lucas Shaw reports on The Wrap. At heart, though, they are both sensitive painters. And masterful promoters of “The Expendables 2,” of course.

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Not that it’s not still all about the 130,000 or so fans who will mill through the San Diego Convention Center through Sunday and who first “queued up to collect freebies and collectibles during the four-day festival's preview,” Wednesday evening, as an AP dispatch put it. 

Indeed, “thousands of fans lined up for hours -- and for some people, days” to get into a Comic-Con panel featuring the stars of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," reports Reuters’ Piya Sinha-Roy. "If you told me tomorrow that we had to reshoot some scene, I'd be so happy because I do enjoy living in this world,” says Kristen Stewart, who plays Swan in the film.

And that goes double for the fans.

"For nerds, Comic-Con is a total safe zone," Nerdist.com’s Chris Hardwick says. "A lot of times, you have to keep the stuff you're passionate about at bay, but here, it's the fun, safe zone, where you get to be as open about your loves as possible."

What better place to gauge the mood of The People than convocation of otherwise normal citizens living out their wildest dreams?

“Costumes Let People Be Anyone They Want,” reads the hed on Kathleen Miles’ blog for Huffington Post, which is amply illustrated with photos that prove the point. And “fantasies become realities, even if just for a few days.”

“It does get crazier every year,” Tim Burton, the filmmaker with an admitted “weird mental process” says in a Los Angeles Times piece by Gina McIntyre recounting his presentation yesterday. He was promoting his Oct. 5-release “Frankenweenie,” which is a 3D flick about a boy trying to bring his dog back from the other side. “I remember coming in the late ’70s. You’d see a few Princess Leias and a couple of Vulcans down at the Holiday Inn.”

Burton, who revealed that “a little of his own life experience helped animate” the film, was later joined on stage by a bunch of fans dressed as some of the bizarre characters. “This makes me feel like my family has come to see me,” he quipped.

Burton’s “Frankenweenie” and Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” (out next March) require “little more of a push” than some of the directors’ past movies, “and Disney’s marketing muscle helped both coast onto fans’ must-see lists by the time” a panel moderated by Nerdist.com’s Hardwicke was finished, writes Todd Gilchrist in the Wall Street Journal.

Another upcoming Disney tentpole, Rich Moore’s videogame-based “Wreck-It Ralph” starring John C. Reilly, amplified its already considerable buzz with a lengthy clip and a Q&A with the film’s stars, which also include Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Alan Tudyk and Jane Lynch, Gilchrist reveals.

Among other trends, Fox News Latino’s Rebekah Sager reports that behind the scenes, Latino creators “are actively inventing future worlds and characters more brown than their predecessors.” 

If you’re in the area, all of the weekend’s scheduled events are listed here

Vanity Fair’s Julie Miller run downs some of the “highlights and strangest sights expected over the next few days, including programs and games such as “What’s New with Magic; Making a Living in Manga; Ball-Jointed Dolls Collectors Group; Twilight Fan Fiction Group; Luann-analysis: A Stripper Revealed; Girls Gone Genre; The Fiction of Halo 4; Munchkin Booty; Munchkin: Axe Cop; Munchkin: Zombie…” Suffice to say, munchkin aficionados will not be disappointed.

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