Comic Con 2012

By Phil Plait | July 17, 2012 6:43 am

Oh, Comic Con.

The San Diego Comic Con is the largest pop–culture (scif, fantasy, and so on) convention in America, and one of the largest in the world; over 130,000 people attend. It’s actually a madhouse (A MAAADHOUSE!), with a packed exhibit hall and hundreds of amazing panels and talks.

[At the bottom of this post is a gallery of pictures I took while I was there.]

This year, I moderated a panel called "The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder" – we talked about keeping the science straight in a pre-existing universe when you’re writing a prequel or sequel. I asked top-notch A-listers to be on the panel, and man, they came through. I had Jane Espenson ("Buffy", "Firefly", "Battlestar Galactica", "Torchwood: Miracle Day"), Dr. Kevin Grazier (science advisor for "Battlestar", "Eureka", and the upcoming show "Defiance"), Ashley Miller (who cowrote "X Men: First Class" and "Thor" with panelist Zack Stentz), Jaime Paglia (co-creator and producer of "Eureka"), Jon Spaihts (who wrote the original screenplay for "Prometheus", and Zack Stentz (cowriter with Ash Miller).

The room was packed, and the panel itself was a lot of fun (if you don’t believe me, read this io9 review and another on Physics Central). I cannot praise the panelists highly enough, and I really hope someone got video. It was amazing. And I must thank The Science and Entertainment Exchange for sponsoring the panel. Without them it literally wouldn’t have happened, and Marty Perrault did the vast majority of work making sure this event happened without a hitch. She’s amazing too.

I also sat on a panel myself for io9′s Science Fiction That Will Change Your Life, where I plugged my friends John Scalzi’s and Rob Reid’s books. That was fun, and I clearly need to do a lot more reading given the other panelist’s recommendations.

So much else happened it’s hard to list it all. I did a video interview with Neil Tyson for his Star Talk radio show, I went to fabulous parties, I went to w00tstock and The Nerdist shows. And Holy Gallifrey, I got into the Doctor Who panel (thanks Lee!) and sat in the eighth row, close enough to feel the wind when Karen Gillan flipped her long, silky, red hair. Sigh. See the gallery below for some great pictures from that panel!

But the best part, really, was meeting up with old friends and catching up. If I thanked them all individually this post would be twice as long, but they know who they are.

Comic Con is insanity, it’s a mob, it’s a non-stop sprint of nerdnitude for four days, and I loved every second of it. And you bet your lump of glowing green kryptonite I’ll be there next year – I have even bigger ideas for panels and guests. If I can pull off even half of this, it’ll shake the pillars of heaven. Stay Tuned.

Here are some of the pictures I took from my time at Comic Con. Click the thumbnail to go to a slide, or use the arrows to navigate.


Randall Munrion

By Phil Plait | February 22, 2012 10:26 am

I’m not sure why so many people think I don’t read xkcd, but a metric buttload of people sent me a link to today’s comic [marginally NSFW]. I thank all of you who did, but take note: given that I am a vastly huge geek, and xkcd is the most popular geek comic in the observable Universe, rest assured I read it.

I have something to add, but go read the comic first. Go.

Back now? OK, so now that you’ve seen it, I have to note we used to make a similar joke when I was in grad school. When my roommate Erik and I ran a night sky lab, he would show students the constellations (they had to learn a handful of them and a few stars for a quiz). In the winter, when it came time to point out Orion, he’d show them Betelgeuse, Rigel, the belt… and then when he pointed out the "dagger", he’d quip, "… and if you want to call that a dagger, be my guest. But I think we all know better."

Or is it SMBC? We need a quattuorlitteras acronymically-known web comic stats-off.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Geekery, Humor
MORE ABOUT: Orion, SMBC, xkcd

Naked I astronomy

By Phil Plait | December 10, 2011 12:30 pm

I have a billion things to do this weekend, but since today is conspiring to just be silly, I’ll just leave this here for you. Click it, and don’t forget to hover over the red button at the bottom.

P.S. That’s not my real tattoo, though Zach got the location correct.

Related posts:

-A new SMBC book! Plus, bonus me.
- I am interviewed by the Weinersmiths
- Putting the fun in funding
- Percy, Percy, me
- Science advisor of EEVVVIIILLLL

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Humor

A new SMBC book! Plus, bonus me.

By Phil Plait | November 7, 2011 1:57 pm

Perhaps the single greatest feeling in the world — better than winning the lottery, better than seeing your baby being born, better than having fresh batteries in the TV remote — is waking up to find out you’re in the latest Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic. Click the panel here to read the whole thing.

Even better? There’s a new SMBC book! I haven’t read it yet, because Zach hasn’t sent me a free copy in exchange for relentlessly shilling his stuff here on the blog, but I assume it’s at least mildly diverting. Look, SMBC is the funniest science-based web comic done by a geeky ginger who also draws himself shirtless all the time, which, let’s face it, is a niche that’s nearly saturated (assuming Rupert Grint doesn’t start one as well).

His first book, "Save Yourself, Mammal!" is really funny, and this new one is a collection of comics hand-picked by Zach, so it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever read, or Zach will send you a dozen long-stem roses flown in from Ecuador*.

[NOTE: Many of Zach's comics deal with topics that are probably NSFW. If you buy the book you may get the vapors if you are inclined thusly. Be ye fairly warned, says I.]

* Hey, if it’s on the Internet, it must be true!

Related posts:

- I am interviewed by the Weinersmiths
- Putting the fun in funding
- Percy, Percy, me
- Science advisor of EEVVVIIILLLL

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Geekery, Humor

Putting the fun in funding

By Phil Plait | October 5, 2011 7:00 am

Does Zach Weiner know me or what?

Click to see the whole comic.

I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling auditors!

Related posts:

- Percy, Percy, me
- Science advisor of EEVVVIIILLLL
- SMBC on the brain
- Save yourself, mammal!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Geekery, Humor

Science advisor of EEVVVIIILLLL

By Phil Plait | September 2, 2011 10:00 am

I was going to make an empassioned plea about how science does really make a lot of stuff better, but then decided that this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip was too funny to try to add any snark to it.

I’m just glad Zach didn’t draw the science advisor to look like me.

Related posts:

- A dinosaur dish best served cold
- SMBC on thebrain
- So, moving on
- Zach Weiner, Destroyer of Homophobes


A dinosaur dish best served cold

By Phil Plait | August 16, 2011 1:58 pm

Is this the greatest t-shirt idea ever thunk up? Why yes. Yes, it is.

That is Zach Weiner’s latest idea, which he claims is based on this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip, though it’s closer to this one, but of course is in reality based on my book.

And will I be getting one? Duh.

Related posts:

- Save yourself, mammal!
- SMBC on the brain
- So, moving on
- Zach Weiner, Destroyer of Homophobes

SMBC on the brain

By Phil Plait | August 10, 2011 10:14 am

I was on travel yesterday and didn’t get a chance to link to the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal web comic, leading to approximately a metric ton of emails and notes on Twitter telling me about it. I know, the sample I have extracted below doesn’t give you a hint why people would be telling me about this particular strip, but click it to get the whole picture.

OK, spoilers below the fold! Don’t read until you’ve looked at the comic!

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Humor, Science

Save yourself, mammal!

By Phil Plait | June 29, 2011 10:53 am

I’ve been meaning to write a review of Zach Weiner’s webcomic collection Save Yourself, Mammal! ever since I got it a couple of weeks ago, but seriously, if you’re a fan of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal then just go and buy the book, OK?

And if you’re not, buy one anyway. His comics are really funny. Bonus: it includes a snarky "choose your own adventure" series of tiny cartoons.

And hey – I’m saying all this even though there is not a single, solitary instance in the book of his using one of his cartoons featuring a beloved red-bearded balding astronomer. Not one. And yet, somehow, the comics manage to be awesome.

Full disclosure: I was going to give this book a positive review even before Zach offered to draw my new Twitter avatar, which is me as a baby, because the way he draws babies always makes me laugh. The shirt he gave me in the picture though was totally a bribe.

Have you bought the book yet? C’mon, folks. This post isn’t going to pander itself.

Related posts:

- Zach Weiner, destroyer of homophobes
- SMBC gets it right, as usual
- Comic Con 2: SMBC and me
- SMBC gets the finger

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Humor

So, moving on…

By Phil Plait | May 2, 2011 11:08 am

And now for something completely different:

[Click to see the whole comic.]

I’d assume that’s me, except I don’t wear cargo shorts. But he has perfectly captured my eyebrows.

Related posts:

- Zach Weiner, Destroyer of Homophobes
- Saturday Morning Breakfast pandering
- Comic Con 2: SMBC and me
- SMBC resolves the Fermi paradox

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Geekery, Humor

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