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I said I would post on Monday, but I lost my internet connection for the day. Frustration? I nearly gouged my eyes out.

When you hear the Voter Registration people on the sidewalks yelling out, "Please register to vote! You have to register even if you're not from this planet, you're a superhero, or you're the Captain of a starship!", you know you've arrived at Comic-Con.

Four days, 250,000 people, a million memories. Even without being a superhero, I too performed feats of wonder such as being at three different panels at the same time. I'm not joking. For instance, at 3pm on Saturday I was at the DC Comics, Ray Bradbury, and Sky Captain panels at the same time. o_O

We begin with the ROTK Extended Edition panel. Then we move on to David Wenham and Billy Boyd's autograph session. After which I bring you Dominic Monaghan, Cillian Murphy, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Keanu Reeves, and Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Then, of course, fans in costumes.

So without further ado...

ROTK panel. In which Billy Boyd steals David Wenham's heart:

I mean, look at that poor enchanted man.

It really was something to behold. Billy was in top form and David just turned to him on the couch, propped his chin in his hand, and stared at him with such adoration in his eyes that my own eyes were bleeding. I couldn't get a shot of it because when he was in that position *cough* I couldn't see him from that angle except on the big screens they'd put up around the hall. The close-up on the screens was such that you could practically look up their nostrils, and to see those baby blue eyes staring at Billy like that... I was wiping my chin every two seconds, my friends.

Before David and Billy joined the panel, we got to see the five minutes or so of extended footage. (The EE is coming out in December, fyi.) First, I must protest because they didn't give me enough of a warning. I knew it was going to be shown, it was right there in the events guide. But I still wasn't ready, dammit. I mean suddenly the lights went out and there was fucking BOROMIR on the screen. Smiling!! *WAILS* It was a scene between Faramir and Denethor, and Boromir was standing behind Faramir. He was a memory. *cries* (You can get a blow by blow of the clips from Ain't It Cool.)

When the Faramir scenes came on, The Guy sitting on my left gave such a loud gasp that I thought he had keeled over and fainted. I looked at him and he said sheepishly that the Faramir scenes were his favorite in the book. I said so you must be happy they're all back in and he grinned like a lunatic and just kept nodding. I wanted to stroke his hair. I thought to keep on the alert in case he did faint, but during the Faramir/Eowyn scene it was each person for his/herself.

I could not breathe during that scene. Jesus my eyes are stinging even now thinking about it. It cuts to Faramir's face for the last part, and the look in his eyes... Remember how in the theatrical cut we all died when he teared up after Denethor ripped into him? Well try and imagine the equivalent of that as a look of pure, pure love. It was... it was like I had suffered a concussion watching that scene. It was stunning.

In one of the extended scenes Faramir talks to Pippin about his childhood with Boromir. *screams* I've only ever read about that in slash. To hear the words come out of Faramir's mouth was like... *is fucking dead*

But the hilarious thing is that after the clips ended and David came out and everyone started screaming, The Guy asked me who it was! I said, Faramir, and he fucking squeed. A guy-type squee, but I know a squee when I hear one. His girlfriend, who was sitting on the other side of him, just burst out laughing.

David was just too adorable to put into words. I just wanted to sit on the floor and cry. He was talking about a new movie he's doing, and was trying to describe how his character goes to a money machine. Then he stops and says, in Australia we have these machines that you can take money out of, called Automatic Teller Machines, ATMs. What do you call them over here? ♥♥♥

"ATMs!" the audience yells out. David was actually startled by that revelation. He said, you see, our two countries are not so different after all, we have such common ground to build on. And I promptly died from the degree of wanting I had for that man.

The madness that was David and Billy's autograph session:
It was bloody epic. Lives were affected, tears were shed, riding crops were brandished, a massive fangirl explosion was narrowly avoided.

First of all, the day before at the ROKT panel they'd said the guys would be signing the following day and tickets would be given out at 10am. Well, it was Saturday at 10am, the most psychotic day of Comic-Con, with about 75,000 in the convention center.

Fans had been lined up since 3am. I got there at 9.30am and went to the New Line booth. There was no rhyme or reason to who could get tickets, they would just raise their hands in the air and if you could snatch a ticket, you got one. I got one.

Then it was wait till god knows when for them to start. They got interviewed briefly, and then stood around the pavilion signing posters for New Line. David looked a bit shell shocked. lol. He took people's cameras and snapped shots of the crowd for them. Very nice of him.

As I'd gotten a ticket, I stood back from the crowd and watched Billy and David just take it easy before the madness began. Billy was quite relaxed, but David was a tad jittery, standing up and sitting down, and chatting almost nonstop with Billy. *smushes*

There were these two girls, who had gotten tickets. They couldn't have been more than 13, but they were busy touching up their make-up! Face powder, lip gloss, "Do you have anymore breath mints?", eyeliner, "Hot for Hobbits" t-shirts. I thought, good lord! When I was their age, I-- and then I remembered, and thought, ahem carry on.

Saw this woman in line and took a pic. She said she spent months on this. I so believe her.

So they got started with signing, but then I realized I was at the end of the line and it would take the rest of the day to get up there. So I moved forward to near the front of it. I had no intention of cutting in line. In fact, I had no intention of standing in line. I just wanted to try and get into the signing area, take pictures, and leave. I stood for a bit, eyeing the security guard, trying to gauge whether I could talk my way into the sacred signing area.

But suddenly this woman standing next to me starts snarling at me that I was insane if I thought I could cut in, and the back of the line was over there. I looked at her, smiled harmlessly, and turned back to the security guard with absolute determination. She had made up my mind for me.

I strode up to the security guard as if I owned the place and flashed my badge, which had COMP (complimentary) stamped in big red caps on it... and he immediately let me through. LOL! I had no idea it would work!

But so there I was, on the other side with the boys and a gaggle of all kinds of people. I tapped one New Line woman on the arm and explained that I didn't want autographs, just needed to go take a couple of photos and leave. One minute, tops. She went to the New Line woman who'd brought David and Billy to the Con and spoke with her. I smiled as harmlessly as I knew how. Which I do, mind you.

I was allowed in. I ducked under a GIANT security guard and found myself standing in front of Wenham. I pulled up my camera and clicked until the GIANT security guard curtly told me my time was up. I said, "You're a doll," he grinned and I was home free.

Here's what I got:

David Wenham at the New Line signing pavilion.

Billy Boyd at the New Line pavilion.

When I was done I went to my hotel room (it was across the street, omg like in [ profile] stewardess_lotr's Men of Myth conventions!), showered, changed my clothes, snacked and took care of a couple of things, then returned to the New Line booth to take distance photos... and the line had not moved! It had been about forty minutes! Good lord.

But before I could take more photos they both got up and were being led away for a pee break. I was at the wrong position to take pictures, so I just watched as they walked around the booth, walking right next to all the fans sitting on the floor waiting in line.

It took a little while for the fans to register what was happening, but as soon as they realized who was walking past them, the fucking auditory level of the squeeing was surreal. I think some people must have damaged their cameras trying to pull them out. It was hilarious just to watch the ripple effect of them walking by on their faces.

One girl yelled out to David how he was finding the whole thing. He just shook his head slowly with a dazed look on his face.

At this point security had to really control the crowd and the one next to us was being overworked. Finally, a Klingon woman lent the security guy her riding crop. She said Klingon women used it to keep their males in line. I just kept a straight face.

He was kind enough to pose for me. *grins* He as having a blast, and I think he learned a lot about Klingon women too.

As we were laughing a young girl came up to my side and sighed heavily. I turned to her and she said something about the people in line being lucky. I asked her if she didn't get a ticket and she said no, and then her face crumpled and she began to BAWL, while telling me how they ran out of tickets (360 were given out) right before her turn and how this other girl managed to luck out and be let in to take pictures and how she had come from across the country just for this and-- and how--

I stood there hugging her, patting her back and trying to figure out what the heck to do. I talked to the security guy and it turned out he was the one who had let the other girl in, but was afraid of getting fired if he did it again. So I promised to email her some pics, and stood there chatting with her until she stopped crying. So sad.

Dominic's Lost panel:
It was distressing.

Screeching, out-of-control teeny fangirls embarrassed EVERYONE. The panel was for his new show, and he was there with his co-stars, and the show's writers and producers.

They showed us about 50 mins of the first episode, but these girls (who were all really young, too) would not stop screeching at the top of their lungs every time he came on screen. When he walked out it was a fucking madhouse. And the worst part was that during Questions and Answers they took over the whole thing, asking only Dom questions about LotR behind the scenes stuff, if you can believe that. A lot of people walked out. And the rest of the panel looked quite pissed. Was not pretty.

He answered their questions, I guess not to seem like an ass if he told them it was not appropriate. And he looked a bit worn by the whole thing. He really should have just stuck to yes or no answers and hoped they got the message.

(BTW, I've got a trillion Dom photos if anyone wants more.)

Cillian Murphy was *guh*
He was *guh*, I tell you. For his panel (Batman Begins) he and the writer (David Goyer) were late by about 10mins. The next day, however, Goyer in another panel, explained why. He said backstage before the Batman panel he asked Cillian how it felt to have all those people so excited about his movie. Cillian kinda went, huh? and Goyer said you know, the nearly 7,000 people sitting out there waiting. He said Cillian's face simply drained of blood, and Cillian said, "I have to take a piss" and ran off. And so they were late.

He remained calmed throughout the panel, though. lol. Cutie pie.

I didn't have a ticket for their signing session, so to get these photos I had to charm another giant security guy with a shaved head. God bless those guys.

Cillian still looked quite overwhelemed, but he was thoroughly gracious. *cackles* *tackles*

After I was done taking photos and walking away there was a kid, about 13 or so, yelling into his cell phone that he had just gotten Cillian's autograph. This kid was losin' it. His voice was quivering, and he was red as a beet. But whomever was on the line didn't seem to get it. I wanted to pet the boy on the head and say, there, there, read some Cillian slash and you'll finally understand what you're feeling.


I want Robert Rodriguez. Period.

Why the FUCK didn't anyone warn me he was sex on a stick.

He was there with Frank Miller for their new movie, Sin City, based on Miller's comic book of the same name. The film looked unlike anything I've ever seen. Black and white comic pages recreated perfectly with the effect intact. Miller has been screwed around in Hollywood a lot before this, and Rodriguez took him out to Texas and let him make the movie he wanted. Therefore: Miller was more than ready to have Rodriguez’s babies.

Here you can see him resisting the desperate urge to take a bite out of him. lol. No, you can't tell from Miller's expression, but during the panel he fangirled Rodriguez in a really repressed manner.

But when alone, Miller is notorious for being a huge grouch, and said on his tombstone it'll read: Does not play well with other children. It was quite odd and titillating to watch him try and control his obvious need to jump Rodriguez in front of 6,000 people. And ruin his reputation, I suppose.

Warner Bros. brought Keanu Reeves for Constantine, his new movie from the comic book Hellblazer. We saw 18 mins of it. The movie had a great visual look, but was crap writing and directing. Keanu was very friendly though. (The woman with him is Karen Berger, the Executive Editor of Vertigo Comics which publishes Constantine and is owned by Warner Bros.)

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean were there to talk about their new movie coming out in January or so, called Mirrormask. All of Dave's images come to glorious life. Pure genius.

But Dave isn't really a genius with everyday things. And he freely admits it. Turning that mike on gave him problems. *hearts*

Neil, as usual, looked so godDAMNED sexy. Fuck. When is that man going to put me out of my misery. His groupies were also there, naturally. But I can't even say I blame them, as all we geek girls want our moment with Neil.

During his talk, he accidentally nearly gave away a surprise, and he immediately clamped his hand over his luscious mouth like a four year old kid and his dark eyes went saucer sized. I blinked rapidly and ovulated. Hard.

And finally, what is Comic-Con without sights such as these:

Anakin and Amidala. Though, I think these two had just finished fighting when I came upon them. Maybe they were fighting over Anakin's fate in Episode III?

Boba Fett.


One of the clones from George Lucas's student film, THX 1138

The Batman villains

A Klingon with a cell phone. *blink*

I think these are Pokeman thingies.

This R2 unit is also a CD player. rof!

The Easterlings stayed in our hotel. *grins* They wowed the crowed at Masquerade (huge costume competition on Saturday night) with excellent costumes and a war dance. They won one of the categories, and then gave the audience a pleasant surprise when they took off their head gear to reveal a troop of all women.

Oh, also featured in our hotel lobby as guests: Jude Law, Giovanni Ribisi, Val Kilmer and Lance Henriksen. I went to the Sky Captain panel but I wasn't able to get decent Jude Law photos.

And last but certainly not least: There is nothing more disconcerting than walking into a room to find that the artist you safely worship (Tim Sale) because you assume he's a round geek with glasses turns out to be a complete hotass in the best scruffy sense and stares you down until your camera starts to shake.

After the panel my [guy] friend asked me why Tim Sale started when I came into the room. Did we know each other from before? I didn't say anything beyond a mumble. I saw Sale on the Exhibition floor later that afternoon and he had his hat off and had lots of wavy Hector-hair. I was too horny to go talk to him. Too fucking horny. Will someone PLEASE warn me about these things!

And I shall end on the note that though all these things are a blast (not to mention things like the Starship Smackdown-- this year Kirk's Enterprise was victorious, defeating Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon), what really makes Comic-Con special is seeing and hearing great sci-fi writers and thinkers like Harry Harrison, Greg Bear, Terry Brooks and Ray Bradbury.

Every year Bradbury does a panel where he just talks about his hopes for the human race, the importance of space exploration, challenging your imagination, writing your dreams.

Every year I go, and every year he says something that makes me cry. This year, in reference to the U.S. government spending a billion dollars or whatever a day on war, and still not allocating nearly enough money for space exploration, he said our society is "Too soon from the caves, too far from the stars."

And that's all she wrote.
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