C2E2 2011 Recaps: The Panels

Tiny Intro: this is one of (hopefully) several bits of recaps from my experiences at the 2011 Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo. Most of this was written on the train home. The rest has been tweaked a week or so later as I found a bit of time to post things.

Saturday: Panel-Hopping The panel I enjoyed the most was the one I knew the least about. I’m barely literate in Marvel and don’t speak DC at all, hardly, but that’s where the group was headed first, so I tagged along to see what these were like. It was pretty fine, but sitting by Jeff, Louis, and Ali and having a running commentary about who the guys at the front were and what they were (not) talking about made all the difference.

It was clear (and it had been before) that panels pretty much go like this:

Moderator: Here are people who write and illustrate things you like.
Crowd: Yay!
Artist (one by one): I am working on something awesome. You’ll be excited.
Crowd: We will!
Artist: Inside Joke!
Crowd: Ha ha ha!
Moderator: Wouldn’t it be cool if this thing we totally planned to reveal at this panel were to happen?
Crowd: …yes?
Moderator: I said wouldn’t it be cool if this thing we totally planned to reveal at this panel were to happen?
Crowd: Sorry we were confused. Yes! It would be Very Cool!
Moderator: Then it’s going to happen!
Crowd: Hurrah!
Moderator: And now for some Q&A from our audience!
Audience Member: Will this thing I want to happen ever happen?
Moderator/Artist/Guy in the back who’s in charge of Spoiler Leakage: Maybe
5-10% of the crowd leaves as another person steps to the mic.
Other Audience Member: OMG I love you guys!
M/A: Thanks?
5-10% of the crowd leaves as another person steps to the mic.
Other-Other Audience Member: Will you please spoil the thing you said you would in no way shape or form spoil?
M/A: No
5-10% of the crowd leaves as another person steps to the mic. et cetera, et cetera.

This is fun when you’re with a group (and leave after the first few questions), but when I was by myself it was hard to feel like it was a good use of my time. I kept feeling like there was other fun I could be having on the floor with friends.

I didn’t stay very long at the Vertigo panel, just long enough to listen to Jill Thompson completely sell me on her Little Endless books and to hear Scott Snyder talk about collaborating with Stephen King for some of American Vampires, which after only a few issues is becoming my All Time Favorite Vampire Thing Of All Time.

Speaking of vampires, I did hang out in the True Blood panel for most of it. I liked hearing about some of the on set shenanigans, but the constant “wooo!”-ing from the crowd every time someone talked about being naked on set and such got old. The moderator also greeted us with “Hey there, Fangbangers!” which didn’t sit well with most of the audience, me included. In the True Blood universe, fangbangers is a derogatory term for humans that are more or less obsessed with the vampires to the point of putting their life at risk, doing anything just to be near them, etc etc. It’s a bit like greeting Harry Potter fans by calling them “Mudbloods” and expecting them to cheer. It’s true, but it’s not exactly nice.

The cast members on the panel were entertaining through. Sam Trammel is very similar to his character and seemed to be a bit ill-at-ease with all the woo-ing. Brit Morgan is just on this side of being a “I can’t believe I’m actually acting with these people” fangirl herself and nothing like her character. I’m guessing that after seeing the actress, I might be able to stand the character a bit more. A good thing, since likely without meaning to, or realizing what she was saying, she implied that her character isn’t going away any time soon. She’s got more episodes in season 4 than she had in 3, despite dying either at the end of the 3rd book or the beginning of the 3rd. That’s the only thing I “learned” from the panel that wasn’t already more or less common knowledge. These 3 were so cautious about spoilers that they were worried about mentioning things that they worried about “revealing” things from previous seasons.

Kristen Bauer, though. Wow. First of all, while she’s the “full figured” character on the show (by no means heavy, but not a twig like Sookie or Jessica), she is practically a twig in real life. I hardly recognized her when I was people watching earlier and she was at the photo-op station. Mostly, however, she is exactly how I’d hoped she’d be. Pam is my “if I were a vampire, I’d hopefully be just like that” character on the show, and I feel the same way about the actress. She’s sassy without being crass or cruel, articulate and clearly very intelligent, and drop dead gorgeous.

It may come as a surprise, but I didn’t stick around for the Vampire Diaries panel and I don’t really regret it. Hanging out by myself wasn’t nearly as fun and I didn’t want to spend another hour doing it. Between the Vertigo and True Blood panels, I’d had my fill.