Ah, I forgot to mention that Zack Snyder actually won a few points with me when he talked smack about the V for Vendetta movie. In discussing the fact that there has yet to be a decent movie based on an Alan Moore comic, Snyder said, "The problem with V was that the filmmakers acted like Alan should be so lucky that they were making a movie from his comic--that they knew better."
Fifty points. But 300 still sucked.
Anyway, after the Warner Brothers presentation, I waited in line at the Con cafeteria until I got close enough to the menu to read that a small, notoriously awful pizza cost eight dollars. So I walked to Horton Plaza and got a nice slice with tomatoes and feta cheese and things for less than four dollars. That's how it's done, as Mitsurugi would say.
I was rather disappointed to notice later that I'd missed Ridley Scott doing a panel about the new Blade Runner cut, but I was upstairs seeing Neil Gaiman speak. I figured it just wouldn't be Comic-Con if I didn't see Gaiman at least once.
This was in Room 6CDEF, which is one of the larger rooms upstairs. There was an enormous line upstairs, but at least we were inside. Ahead of me was a middle aged man leaning on a cane and wearing an extraordinarily placid smile. For some reason, he decided to speak to me; "Seen anything interesting so far?"
Maybe it was because he was so peculiarly calm, but after a brief description of the Warner Brothers presentation, I let into a bitter rant about 300, going on about how it was misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. The man nodded peacefully, smiling, saying, "Yes, that's what I read."
"I'd like to see a good adaptation of an Alan Moore comic . . ." I said.
Behind me was a guy in a button down white shirt and little glasses accompanied by a female assistant-type lady. The man said, "Couldn't [so and so] get us in?"
The woman replied, "[So and so] was talking to [someone else] and [someone else] and finally she had to start saying 'no'--She said everyone--everyone wants a piece of Neil."
"He's like a god," said the man.
I got a seat near the back of the room next to a dark haired kid I could see staring at me in my peripheral vision. I didn't really mind being far away--there are huge screens, and I have no desire to touch Neil, as much as I like his writing.
The crowd cheered as he got on stage and the first thing he said was something like, "There's nothing like looking out on a crowd of several thousand people and thinking . . . I really should have prepared something."
In fact, mostly he repeated almost verbatim a few stories from his blog. He actually took off his leather jacket at one point--a garment that's always looked slightly ridiculous in San Diego weather--and thousands of female voices screamed.
"What was that?!" he asked his swooning masses.
The guy actually looked like he was in better shape than I remember him in previous years and in DVD special features. Though the dark circles under his eyes were much darker.
He told a story about this line of "Scary Trousers" shirts people are selling featuring a cartoon image of himself. Apparently the phrase comes from an incident where Gaiman, having lunch with Alan Moore, became slightly ill when Moore discussed in detail some of the more gruesome moments of From Hell, which he'd been writing at the time. As Gaiman had to step out for, I think, the third time for air, Moore said, "Well, well, well. Neil 'Scary Trousers' Gaiman . . ."
Gaiman said Moore is very tall, and looms, and is hairy, and it occurred to me later, after on Saturday I'd seen J. Michael Straczynski mention Moore as example of a truly great comic book writer, that Alan Moore looms over the entire Comic-Con, even moreso because of his perpetual absence, year after year. I see from the Con's Wikipedia entry that he was at Comic-Con in 1985 "in his only U.S. convention appearance." He's like a vast, dark shadow over everything.
So maybe Gaiman's more of a steward. Alan Moore's the god.
Anyway, I have to cut this short on account of it being Thursday . . .