Comic Con in review!

By Phil Plait | July 29, 2009 7:00 am

So, I’m almost recovered from Comic Con.

It was, well, vast. And tiring. And exhilarating, and fun, and overwhelming. Pretty much what I expected.

Jaime Paglia and me

I was there ostensibly to moderate two panels: The Science of Science Fiction, and the Mythbusters. The former was the reason Discover Magazine sent me; the panel was sponsored by them as well as by the Science and Entertainment Exchange. It featured panelists Jaime Paglia and Kevin Grazier (the executive producer and science advisor for "Eureka", respectively), Glen Whitman, Rob Chiapetta, Ricardo Gil da Costa (writer, writer and suavely handsome science advisor for "Fringe"), and Jane Espenson (writer for "Caprica" as well as BSG and "Buffy"). That was huge fun, and instead of belaboring it here you can read reviews by Hyperborea, Script PhD, Discover’s own Eric Wolff, and my bud Jennifer Ouellette (who, as part of SEE, sponsored the panel). But I’ll note we covered a lot of ground, and I thought the topics were interesting and discussed thoughtfully and intelligently by everyone.

I had a great time sharing the stage with the panelists! I want to personally thank Henry Donahue and Tricia Gately from Discover for sending me to the con and for setting all this up. I’m a lucky guy to know them.

Tory, Adam, and Jamie from the Mythbusters, after the panel at a press event.

The scifi panel was Thursday night, and if it felt like getting three men on base, Saturday was the grand slam that drove them home. I moderated the Mythbusters panel, and that rocked the house. 3000+ fans filled the huge room, and the cheer that went up when I introduced Adam, Jamie, Grant, and Tory must’ve broken some windows in the convention center. We spent an hour previewing new episodes, discussing old ones, making jokes and generally enjoying ourselves. The four of them spent some time before the panel signing the insides of rolls of duct tape, and each person who asked a question of the panel got a roll. Discovery Channel also gave away a free iPod to someone who was able to identify Adam while he was in the exhibit hall in full costume, which was a great idea.

I’ll add that DC printed 40,000 giant swag bags with Adam and Jamie’s picture on the side, and gave them away for free. It was weird seeing thousands of people walking around with those bags!

What fun! I only get to see Adam at the odd TAM and other events, so it was very cool to hang with him and the other ‘busters. I met Grant and Tory at a talk in Alberta last year, and it was nice to see them again and joke around. I wish I could’ve gotten them all into the SyFy channel party, but that’s the topic for my next post…

My huge thanks to Katherine Nelson from Discovery Channel for organizing this madness and executing it so wonderfully, as well as to DC’s Nicole Reed. Both Discover and Discovery’s teams at Comic Con were incredible to work with, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Hint hint.

Pictures of all this and more are up on Flickr. I’ll have some back stories for those other shots up next. Stay Tuned!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Cool stuff

Comments (19)

  1. the cheer that went up when I introduced Adam, Jamie, Grant, and Tory must’ve broken some windows in the convention center

    Well, that depends, of course, on if the appropriate resonant frequency was hit. I’m sure amplitude was no problem. :)

  2. NewEnglandBob

    I am envious.

  3. alfaniner

    I’ve seen a LOT of coverage of the SDCC this time around, from many different media outlets, and not even the Spock-ear-fan mocking we used to see all the time. Could it be that “geek” is morphing into “cool”?

  4. Patrick from Texas

    My friend was going to get you to sign a copy of “Death from the Skies” for me but he was there Thursday. Come to doomed Texas for a book signing sometime! Time to get back to IRAF…which I find odd using it since it’s older than I am.


  5. Gary Ansorge


    Remind me again: when are you coming to Atlanta?
    I’ll be in LA/SF from late Aug to Sept 12th.

    Hope to see you this year,,,

    GAry 7

  6. yumenoko

    I made it to the Science of Science Fiction panel Thursday (I was the girl who randomly took your picture while she was sitting in line — you had the funniest expression at that, but yes, you are famous enough in your own right to be spotted and snapped) which was brilliant. Jane was pure awesome and it’s been so long since I’ve seen her in a panel I kinda forgot that. You did a fine job moderating, keeping the pace and making things interesting. I really liked the choice of the 3 shows that were the center of the discussion, too. A really eclectic mix of themes and ideas and it was great hearing about how Kevin and Ricardo approached their part of the job. Storytelling seems hard enough, but to add that layer of science — fact or future — is truly an art! (I’m super bummed since we missed the Mytbusters panel, the line was cut off by the time we got to it, but will try harder next year)

  7. dhtroy

    Great pictures Phil, it looks like a lot of fun.

    Of course, I’m totally jealous that you have pictures with Felicia Day, but I’m glad you shared them none-the-less.

    Next time you’re in Atlanta at a CON, I’m going to do my best to attend.


  8. Someday, I shall get to go to this Nerdvana. Someday.

  9. Michelle

    Phil, I am sitting here in a puddle of drool after viewing your awesome pictures from CC. John Barrowman (squee!), JSto, Mythbusters, Big Bang Theory, Wil Wheaton, and it just goes on and on. Oh but to have been you for that weekend! Thank you for sharing and letting those of us who cannot attend live vicariously.


  10. OTP but y’all have seen this, right?

    “…Scientists claim to have created a form of aluminum that’s nearly transparent to extreme ultraviolet radiation and which is a new state of matter.

    It’s an idea straight out of science fiction, featured in the movie “Star Trek IV.” ”

    (Click name for link.)

  11. idlemind

    Didn’t know you were a MSTie. Apparently TV’s Frank was at the con, too; hope you had a chance to meet him.

  12. BigBob

    Speaking of Comic Con, see the Dr. Who panel below:

  13. DataJack

    Phil, those pictures are so awesome. Next year, after TAM, I want to go to CC.

  14. Joseph

    @ !astral – They have created aluminum based ceramic that is transparent to visible light as well which is much more in line with the Star Trek Idea. (See wikipedia entry on transparent ceramic) The company developing it is planing on using it in bullet proofing applications as an inch of this stuff will stop a 50 cal sniper round at fairly close range with little more then a scratch. Though the new state of matter aluminum is pretty darn awesome also!

    @ Phil – I attended both Panels and thoroughly enjoyed them. It was cool hearing that the writers on some of the shows I love are thinking about the ethical and moral applications of the potential technologies they are thinking up and using in the shows. My friends and I often have the same kinds of arguments that Jane and the others were talking about in reference to things like culpability for crimes of clones and uploaded/downloaded personalities. I didn’t get a copy of your book to sign this time around but I will try for it next time. Keep up the good work.

  15. Nevy C

    Adam West!! I can still picture him in those Batman tights…

  16. Michael I

    Enjoyed the Science in Science Fiction Panel.

    Didn’t quite get in to the Mythbusters Panel.

    Obviously the problem was that Phil is just too darned popular… :-)

  17. Hey Phil–I have transcribed that whole MythBusters interview in the press room and have some pictures here:

    Just click on “Day 3” of our condensed coverage! Cheers and WONDEFUL to have met you in person.

    -The ScriptPhD


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar