It’s impossible to take in everything the San Diego Comic-Con has to offer, as I learned again this weekend. Some fans come to see movie stars and major studio previews, while others zip from one specialized panel to another. My favorite thing to do is cruise the exhibition floor, meeting people, reuniting with old friends and acquaintances, and looking for interesting collectibles—even though my shelves are full and I have no more wall space.
I did participate in several panels, including a tribute to Walt Kelly’s Pogo hosted by my pal Mark Evanier, a warm and often-hilarious tribute to longtime Disney animator and story-man Floyd Norman, and the annual edition of Rotten Tomatoes’ audience-participation gathering called “Your Opinion Sucks.” My fellow opinion-makers were Donna Dickens, Meredith Borders, Wilson Morales, and the irrepressible Scott Mantz. I felt rather plain alongside RT’s editor and host Matt Atchity, who was dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and senior editor Grae Drake, in full regalia as Buzz Lightyear, but we all had fun.
Most of the audience at the later panel had seen Michael Fiore and Eric Sharkey’s first-rate documentary Floyd Norman: An Animated Life earlier that day, but Floyd is so interesting and his friends and colleagues so colorful that everyone enjoyed being in their company—in person, rather than on screen. Animation fans will finally get a chance to see this highly entertaining and candid film in theaters and VOD, as well as home video, later in August. Meanwhile, you can watch a trailer HERE.
I also had an opportunity to record a podcast for the Nerdist folks at their weekend headquarters: Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres baseball team! My daughter Jessie and I welcomed Doug Benson as our guest. Not only did we discuss our favorite sleepers now playing in theaters, but Jessie enabled us to play The Leonard Maltin Game, which Doug featured on his podcast for so many years. This involves guessing the name of a movie based on the number of cast names you bid for, from the bottom up! Doug has been the quizmaster during the game’s long run but this time we turned the tables and had him be a contestant. I won’t spoil the results; the episode will debut on Friday. (On Wednesday night I was a guest on Doug Loves Movies, along with comedians Graham Elwood and Mark Ellis. We recorded it before a packed house at the Great American Comedy Club in San Diego and had a fabulous time. You can hear the results HERE.
Comic-Con can be exhausting, as it’s a continual case of sensory overload, but my family and I enjoyed ourselves, as we always do. We offer special thanks to the gifted artist Olivia and her husband Joel for giving us a place to park at their busy booth. That’s where Jessie and I recorded this quick video overview of our experiences in San Diego. Check it out HERE.