Comic-Con: Big bags, ‘Fringe’ and the floor
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It’s just the preview night, but the ‘exclusives’ sellout frustration, shoulder bumps, stroller trips and aisle clogging fun is already in full stride. A few highlighted items, besides the crowds and $5 pretzel dogs:
-- Every year, there’s THE bag. The prized big bags that patrons will most likely carry around throughout the Con and are often completely given out by Friday. Bags from Warner Bros. (a vintage WB network bag with ‘Smallville,’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ ‘Veronica Mars,’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’ pictured (below), and a Wonder Woman bag), Little Big Planet, BET Animation, and a big frakkin’ bag from the Sci Fi Channel were the ones making the rounds on the floor. Bag, you say? While it may not seem like much, they are coveted, as evidenced by the fact that many sported last year’s well-received Warner Bros. ‘Smallville’ bag.
-- Hot booths included the California Browncoats (fans of Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly’) booth which had an exclusive ‘Serenity’ comic book and were the only booth to sell t-shirts from Whedon’s recently released Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along blog); the NBC-Universal booth, which sported two-headed Hiro ‘Heroes’ dolls and a sold-out ‘Battlestar Galactica’ toaster; the Mattel booth, the DC booth (showing the ‘Watchmen’ trailer ad infinitum; the’Star Wars’ booth because ... it’s ‘Star Wars’; and the Sideshow Collectibles booth, which showcased some alternative looks at Darth Vader among other things.
-- Wednesday’s preview night is usually reserved for shopping the floor exclusively, with no TV or film programming, but in a first for Comic-Con, new TV show ‘Fringe’ had a 6 o’clock airing in the huge Ballroom 20 area. J.J. Abrams sent along a personal video introduction in which he congratulated the crowd on seeing the ‘first not illegal, unleaked, evil internet screening’ of the much-hyped show. A harrowing opening few minutes involving planes, mysteries, government agents in bed and melting faces left some of the sparse crowd gasping.
-- Jevon Phillips