The Nerdy Bird’s First Flight to CCI – Part 3

Wed, July 29th, 2009 at 11:02am PDT | Updated: July 31st, 2009 at 10:23am

Comic Books
Jill Pantozzi, Contributor
6

Dear Diary,

I’m starting to feel like Comic-Con International doesn’t love me anymore. Who were all those other people mobbing the show floor? I thought CCI and I had something special. I probably should have expected this. Things were going too good. It’s cool, CCI, I don’t need you. I had some friendly panels to keep me company today and they were much nicer to me. I’m thinking about seeing them again tomorrow too.

Even I, with my super duper handicap girl powers, wasn’t able to get into Hall H right away for the vastly popular “Lost” panel. By the time a spot opened up there were only about 25 minutes left but that was plenty. I think I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it was the most entertaining panel of the week. Stars Jorge Garcia and Michael Emerson joined producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof for a question-and-answer session that was filled with surprises.

Fans seemed very interested in Nestor Carbonell’s character Richard Alpert and his origins. Cuse said they’d be remiss if his back-story wasn’t revealed in the sixth and final season of “Lost,” and Lindelof said, “Richard’s flashback is fairly involved.” More importantly, fans wanted to know if Carbonell comes to set wearing his famous eyeliner or if it’s strictly for the show, at which point the producers said he was waiting backstage.

They cut to video of Carbonell putting on eyeliner and talking to himself in the mirror. “This is cobalt. I asked for onyx. I only wear onyx. What is this? An amateur hour!” he shouted before showing up on stage for real.

Comedian Bob Stencil appeared in the fan line. He got so worked up over time paradoxes that his nose started bleeding ala the time travelers in “Lost.” He called in his Constant – a can of DHARMA Initiative beer. Apparently Cuse and Lindelof were expecting him as they had an already made “Bob Stencil Hatch” DHARMA logo T-shirt waiting for him.

Someone wanted to know if the name of Jacob’s “friend” on the beach was Esau. Lindelof passed the question off to Emerson, who said, “That might be too much, but I like the way your mind is working.”

“You’re good at this,” Lindelof agreed.

Another video introduced an actor who the producers said was their last surprise. Foghat’s “Slow Ride” accompanied a montage of classic Sawyer clips. Josh Holloway walked on stage and immediately took the fan’s side. Apparently Cuse and Lindelof had been hiding the secret ending to “Lost” in a lockbox on stage and Holloway just happened to be carrying a taser gun with him. He used it to “disable” Lindelof and take the key to the box from around his neck. Holloway then stuck Lindelof’s hand in a pitcher of ice water.

After the box was opened, Holloway squinted at the piece of paper he retrieved from inside. “Oh my god. You don’t know how to read!” said Lindelof.

“I left my glassed on the island,” said Holloway.

Emerson took over and read the “script.” It involved Sylar, Parkman and a burning circus tent. “What the fuck is this?” asked Emerson.

There was one more treat for fans. A video was put together to “commemorate some people who could not be with us,” said Cuse. “Hard to Say Goodbye” by Boyz II Men played over several deaths in “Lost” history: The Captain of Oceanic Flight 815, Ana Lucia, Boone, Mr. Eko and Faraday received the loudest applause but the longest portion at the end went to Charlie. “You are LOST but not forgotten” read the title screen.

Surprise, surprise, they brought Dominic Monoghan out to booming applause. I’m such a sap, they almost had me balling over Charlie again. I actually heard from a few people that Monoghan had “Am I alive?” written on his hand when he walked out. Dear God, please let him be.

Immediately after, I attended the “IDW: Joe Hill” panel with IDW Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and of course Hill himself. I had the pleasure of meeting Hill before the panel started. He realized who I was from the sign I had on my scooter all week advertising myself (which I’m totally not ashamed about), as I had recently reviewed “Locke & Key.” He’s a really cool, subdued guy and he made the panel incredibly natural and engaging.

Hill didn’t manage to win any of the Eisners he was nominated for the night before and felt the need to get something off his chest. “I don’t write for awards and I didn’t really want an Eisner award. I mean, it’s a stupid looking award,” he said sarcastically. If he did win however, he said he would have treated it part of the family. “I would have made breakfast for it if I had it. I would have had my kids and a chair for the Eisner award.”

The hardcover collection of “Head Games” is going to be released in September and will include some cool extras. Hill said there have always been a lot of questions as to the origin of the keys and decided to give a little background. “In the back of the book there’s something called ‘The Guide to the Known Keys’ and it’s excerpts from the diary of a Revolutionary War figure who made the keys out of something called the Whispering Iron,” he said. We were treated to a few pieces of artwork from this material, made to look like old parchment and depicting figures in almost medieval-looking settings.

During the question-and-answer session, a fan was curious as to which key Hill would like to use if they were real. Someone in the audience shouted out “Gender Key!” before he could answer. “The Shadow Key from the next arc would be pretty fun but if I told you what it did I’d ruin the comic,” he said. But out of the keys readers have already seen, “Who wouldn’t want to have the anywhere key? Take an afternoon in France, get back home, no flight, no security.”

One of CCI’s exclusives this year was a limited edition Ghost Key from the series. Israel Skelton from Skelton Crew Studio, who produced the keys, was in the audience and his praises were sung highly by Hill. Hill also expressed his desire to one day have all of the keys on one big ring, including the six-foot tall Giant Key that we’ll be seeing in the next chapter of the story, “Crown of Shadows,” come November.

Later in the day I attended the “DC: Green Lantern: Blackest Night” panel because I’m a huge GL fan and got some potentially huge news. The Dex-Starr portion of my Red Lantern costume yesterday was such a hit that DC is considering making one. “That was a one of a kind,” said Ian Sattler when yet another fan asked if he could have my furry friend. “But I think you guys have made enough noise about it that we might actually get a toy.” He suggested writing letters to help move things along in that area. And no, you cannot have my Dex no matter what you offer me. As Larfleeze would say, he’s all MINE!

However, you can look forward to more Dex in the comics, “There will be a fight between Dex-Starr the Red Lantern cat and Krypto,” said Geoff Johns.

Editor Eddie Berganza and “Green Lantern Corps” artist Patrick Gleason were also present on the panel but Johns fielded most of the discussion. Anyone who’s skeptical about the spectrum of Lanterns should be aware that he has put a lot of thought behind them. “You’ve got rage, which is just a primal instinct to survive,” Johns said. “It’s like, you know, one of the first things we learn as living things. As you go through the emotional spectrum it’s all about a kind of evolution. When you hit willpower it’s really the will to suppress your fear and your rage and your avarice, to suppress all of that and grow as an individual. Then you get to hope which is a more complex emotion to something that once you can kind of keep yourself in check you can figure out your spiritual side of hope and compassion which is, I think, even a tougher emotion to master and to confront, especially in today’s society. Then that goes to love which is the most pure but can also be the most powerful and distorting as rage.”

There were several pieces of important and intriguing Green Lantern news to come out of the panel as well: Sinestro taking on Carol Ferris was one of the coolest. “What you think would be a one-sided fight but Carol’s a lot stronger than Sinestro believes,” said Johns.

Johns was driving home the point that we still have a lot to learn about the Black power rings. “The black rings aren’t about who’s dead, the black rings are about who’s alive,” he said. There’s apparently a “big bad” behind the Black Lanterns and Johns gave a hint about their charging process. “The Black Lanterns are essentially charging up in unison to something but I don’t want to spoil it on a panel.”

And there was also some disgusting information given away about the Black Lantern’s power battery. “The Anti-Monitor is now inside the battery as food,” Johns confirmed.

A fan told the panel that before the screening of “Green Lantern: First Flight” at CCI, the audience all said the Green Lantern Oath together. Johns loved the idea and asked us all to recite it with him. And I got it on tape.

Oh and there was one more bit of information given away, something that’s been wondered about for a while now. Can men become Star Sapphires? “Both can join but men aren’t really worthy; most men aren’t worthy to join,” said Johns.

With the way things have been going with CCI, I might just be recruited.

Love,

Jill

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TAGS:  cci2009, blackest night, lost, joe hill

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