Friday, August 5, 2011

The LOST Comic Con Experience Part 2 10

This is part 2 of the Comic Con article, read part 1 here

Comic Con

In a way it is a shame that we were going to Comic Con, I could have quite easily spent the four days just chatting with everyone and hanging out at the barracks. However tickets had been bought and we needed to attend.

All over the San Diego Convention Center and Gaslamp quarter LOST actors, directors, writer and producers were in attendance, most in new roles on new shows.

I have to admit my Thursday at the Con was a bit of a disappointment, I missed nearly everything that I wanted to see and to make it worse I got tweets from everyone else saying they had found and met lots of cool people. Thursday evening got a lot better when my wife and I attended W00tstock 3.0 with Will Wheaton and a cast of assorted musicians and comedians, but that’s another story.

All over the four days of Comic Con I saw people walking round with LOST t-shirts and other related items. On the day of the EW LOST panel I was in line for Ballroom 20 and saw a guy a few rows in front had a DHARMA jumpsuit on. I went over and asked if he was going to the panel and he said he didn’t realise there was one, he was just there in the jumpsuit as he liked LOST.

This photo is of the end of the line when we were "near" the front at around 2000 people mark.

So on Friday after getting into Ballroom 20, queuing from early in the morning (after 4 hours sleep), I managed to see some of the panels I wanted to. I then took the decision to leave and go to the room where the LOST panel was going to be held to try and guarantee a good seat. Some of the barracks residents were already there and at that time there was no problem in getting a seat and trying to save some seats for other people.

Unfortunately the guests in the panel room before the LOST panel were not altogether sure if people were there for them or for some other reason. I did learn a lot about the Bone series of comics, a Portuguese comic artist who didn’t speak any English and an award winning British Comic artist.

Anyway the preceding panels were finished and throughout this time the room was filling up. Just before the EW panel started I got up and looked around. I recognised so many faces and said hello to several of them. People came up to me and said hello, introducing themselves with their online names from LOSTARGs. One other LOST related name in the room, just sat in a seat like us ordinary people was Michael Giacchino, as soon as people realised who he was there was a bit of stampede to go over, get photographs and generally just say hello.

Someone even came up and handed me a bundle of cash, it was explained that the readers of the blog had taken a collection for me during the DCaaPB campaign to try and purchase a Transmission poster. After a year of trying it hadn’t happened so the opportunity was taken to get the money to me directly.

I am still flabbergasted by the generosity and friendship you have all provided and have to say thank you again for all everyone here has done and continues to do.

A banner that had been hanging in the barracks was transported to Comic Con and hung on the panel table to add to the atmosphere. The EW panel started, and to be honest the start was a bit of a blur for me, there are some videos online if you want to find them, and I won’t go into too much detail but after a brief exchange a Star Wars Stormtrooper marched down the central aisle. Removing the helmet it turned out to be Carlton Cuse. Next into the room wearing a DHARMA jumpsuit and a Bobba Fett helmet turned out to be Damon Lindelof.

I told you at the start that Surreal is the word to remember !

So after an exchange between Carlton and Damon we got to find out what the Marbled Rye is and if you haven’t seen the film yet then please do yourself a favour and watch it. You may have to search on You Tube for it as it doesn't seem to be available on the ABC site at the moment.

After that a short question and answer session took place with the people asking the questions getting a special poster, created by JJ Harrison, from Damon and Carlton. Why the panel was so special and the poster giveaway was fantastic is another completely amazing and heart warming story which shows again that LOST has become more than just a TV show. Click here to read more about the reason the posters were so special and where the storm trooper armour came from.

On a side note the process of getting Carlton Cuse out of the Storm Trooper armour was another moment that I wouldn’t have missed for all the world and couldn’t have been funnier if it had been arranged this way.

Some of the early questions in the Q&A session were about specific plot points that people wanted clearing up, and Damon and Carlton made it clear that they would not be answering anything that specific.

One final observation about the LOST panel was the final question, asked by one of the barracks residents, and the question contained that word again – Surreal.

So the panel finished with so many people wanting to talk to Damon and Carlton, get signatures etc., but not being able to as the organisers needed to set up for the next panel in the room. I did sneak in and get Carlton to sign my LOST lighthouse t-shirt, but I guess I’ll have to try and track Damon down some other time to get his signature as well.

After a brief period of beaming smiles and not quite believing what had just happened the barracks residents eventually went off for a meal in the Gaslamp quarter to dissect the events of the day and spend some time together. We even had some other LOST fans join us and cause total confusion for the waitress by asking for an extra chair.

After the EW LOST panel

The end of the EW panel was not the last LOST related item as there was a Jay and Jack meetup that night and a panel the next day. During the Jay and Jack meetup I turned round and saw Superman challenging a mere mortal to a push up contest, Superman won of course. I told you surreal was the word to remember !

However the rest of Comic Con went by relatively peacefully, with the barracks residents flying in and out to the various events. World Premieres were attended, huge lines negotiated and lots of posters, swag and other assorted goodies were obtained, just run of the mill Comic Con stuff :-)

I found out a little later that there were people arriving and staying at the barracks that I didn’t get to meet. The need to queue early in the morning in order to get in to a panel in the afternoon is one of the really frustrating things about Comic Con in my experience.

My favourite non-LOST panel was the Fringe panel and the actors producers and writers had a real chemistry and delight in being there. This was followed by a screening of the new JJ Abrams led show Alcatraz and a short panel with Jorge Garcia, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Jack Bender in attendance. A lot of the questions asked were LOST related so it seems it is going to take a very long time for people to forget about LOST.

Throughout the four days the main thing that kept us all in contact was Twitter, we could all access the internet in some form or other so Twitter was an ideal medium to stay in touch. During the Sunday morning Hall H line I found someone else I wanted to meet who was a few rows away. We only spent a few minutes talking but we would never have found each other if it wasn’t for Twitter.

After Comic Con

You may have thought that Comic Con was the end of the fun, but no not quite. Although the barracks was emptied on Monday morning it was time to take the show on the road.

The first stop was the Disney and ABC studios in LA, a kind lostie who works at the Disney studios offered to give some of us a tour of the studios. On the way packed into three cars we again used Twitter to try and negotiate our way around the LA traffic and all arrived at approximately the same time.

The LOST highlights of the tour were seeing building 23 where the production offices were located, many photographs were taken and some impromptu planking took place. The people sat in the reception of the building must have wondered who the bunch of weirdo’s were, but we didn’t get escorted out by security just yet.

In one building I suddenly noticed a lot of activity around the bottom of a set of stairs, lots of pointing and photograph taking. It turned out to be a list of the building offices and who occupies them and Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were listed. A brief plan to go upstairs and burst into the office were drawn up and then rejected as being slightly too stalkerish !

The rest of the tour was fantastic with lots to see and wonder at in the animation studios. After the tour we then moved on to Venice beach where that evening a final meal with the majority of people together was held. A final chance to talk about everything that had happened and how much fun the whole week had been. Even more people arrived, partners, sisters and others, all had a great time and it was a delightful evening.

After the meal it was time to say a lot of goodbyes and farewells. A smaller group of losties were off to Hawaii to take in some of the sights and places. Some of us had a quick trip around LA to view the Hollywood sign and some simply left for home.

I don’t think it needs saying that we were all again using Twitter to track each other and find out where we were all heading and what we were all doing.


Another week later and some have not fully got over the jet lag yet, some have only just returned home, but I think all are already wishing that we could arrange another trip to the barracks wherever it is next located.

Throughout the trip people kept telling me that the reason everyone was there was because of me, although I take a little bit of responsibility for creating the starting point for people to gather online I am definitely not the person responsible for the success of The Barracks. A presentation was held at the party for one special person and hopefully they know how much we appreciate their efforts.

I can’t give enough thanks to everyone that made the effort to come from all corners of the globe, or even just round the corner and made my wife and I feel so at home.

I said at the top that the word to bear in mind was surreal, after creating this short (!) write-up of the some of the events of the last few weeks that word seems even more appropriate. I am in denial that I was there, only some of the photographs have convinced me that I was truly in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, San Diego, and LA over the last few weeks with some of the best people I have ever met.

I hope to do it again someday and if I didn’t say hi at Comic Con then I hope to say hi in person sometime in the future.

By the way the competition I mentioned in the first part of the article will be coming in the next day or so, it is mainly for you people that were not lucky enough to go to San Diego.


andalone said...

It almost brings as much joy reading about the awesome time we all had together at SDCC as it does seeing new posts here, where it all began.

andalone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theotherben said...

Excellent article! Glad everyone had a "surreal" experience!

MJCarp said...

Zort, thank you for the kind words and for sharing your story. It was a great pleasure to meet you and Fiona. I guess I'm game if you are to do it again, but maybe somewhere will LESS to do. I hear talk of a walkabout....

Lisa-Maladylis said...

wow, sounds like fun was had by all, wish I was on the other coast at times like these. I miss all my friends here and miss chatting with you all.

Lisa-Maladylis said...

and darn it all, it didn't let me check the email box so I'm posting again anyway !

maven said...

I think your experience was everyone's! Such special memories were made and, hopefully, sometime in another place, we'll meet again. Great meeting you and Fiona finally!

Zort70 said...

I can't express how much I enjoyed the time in CA and especially the time with all the people I got to meet.

It was a special holiday that I'm never going to forget.

theotherben said...

Thus, the LOSTarg site was silent. One can hear the occasional ticka-ticka and pressing of an execute button, but nothing else.

It saddens me so.

John LaHair said...

Shades of LOST...

Breaking Gifs