On our way into the convention center, we caught the unveiling of the KITT attack car. Possibility for a lame series, but a pretty awesome looking car nonetheless. Check the pics:
An attempt to the Watchmen panel was made, but the hall had actually been shut down by the fire marshall, and the chances of getting in were zero. So, in a strategic move, we made our way towards the next desired line to catch the American Dad & Family Guy panels.
However, before Seth MacFarlane and company graced us with their presence, we were enveloped by Joss Whedon, his thousands of screaming fans, and his "Joss-verse" panel discussion. As the creator of such cult favorites as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and the new online sensation Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Whedon gave fans (and trust us, there were a lot of them) the opportunity to ask anything and everything they desired about his previous and upcoming creations. Hammering out the hour-long fan interrogation with the assistance of friends and family including Neil Patrick Harris (a.k.a. Doogie Howser) and Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Whedon provided just the right amount of juicy info his adoring fans so desperately wanted. The only thought crossing our minds through the entire process was, "Who is this guy?"
There's an aura that surrounds truly talented individuals that can immediately ignite everyone's excitement once they enter a room and that's exactly what happened when American Dad and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane walked across Ballroom 20's stage.
With back-to-back panels for each show, the American Dad family initiated the fun by offering an exceptionally unique opportunity for Comic Con attendees. Not only did they present an unreleased episode for everyone's enjoyment, they also broke it into three separate acts in order to display the intricate layers of the animation process. For the first act, the entire cast performed the episode with a live read on stage. Having the chance to see MacFarlane and friends in action is absolutely priceless. For act two, attendees were directed to the overhead screens where black and white artist renderings, accompanied by the talents' voices, granted the viewers the ability to see the next stage in the development. To close the presentation, act three contained a fully functional animation. MacFarlane wanted the audience to see him and the animation procedure from "naked" to completion. Absolutely brilliant.
Round two of MacFarlane's antics were joined by fellow actors and producers including the voice of Chris Griffin, Seth Green, and the voice Cleveland Brown, Mike Henry. The big news, although it was leaked several months ago, is the Family Guy spin-off series featuring Cleveland, who will be leaving Family Guy. Featuring a family of bears and a new family for Cleveland, the series takes place in Stoolbend, Louisiana.
Another tidbit of info that got the crowd stirring was the confirmation of the plans to create a sequel to Family Guy's interpretation of Star Wars, Blue Harvest. This time, MacFarlane and friends will spoof Lucas' The Empire Strikes with their episode appropriately titled "Something, Something, Something, Darkside." While no footage was shown, the creators did read snidbits from the list of complaints sent by Fox's department of Standards and Practices regarding the episode's content. To witness Writer, Producer, and Voice Talent, Chris Sheridan read various violations, check out the following clip.
A preview of an episode from the upcoming season had the crowd in stitches, with the traditional Family Guy flashbacks, references, and skull-pounding repetitive humor. Mark my words, the bird is the word will become the most annoying and hilarious joke from Family Guy after its airing next season.
During the Q&A, MacFarlane and fellow cast mate, Seth Green, addressed the issue of how they handle the "rivalry" between their two shows, Family Guy and Robot Chicken. Check out the "love" that keeps their relationship strong in the following clip.
Sitting through an absolutely awful Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series/movie panel allowed us to catch phenomenal seats for one of the most anticipated panels of the series – the visionaries panel featuring Kevin Smith (Clerks), Jud Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad), Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300), and Frank Miller (Sin City, The Spirit). These directors fully represent the mainstream explosion of comic book culture into cinema. When asked about user generated media and internet films, Zack Snyder preferred keeping the movies to filmmakers and in the theater, while Frank Miller stated, "Get your message out however you can, do whatever you can do to fuck shit up" a sentiment echoed by Kevin Smith and the thousands of screaming fans. To see how Smith, Apatow, and Snyder responded when asked what made them want to create their particular types of films, check out the following video.
A comic con tradition, Kevin Smith took the helm of this panel and quickly turned into a stand up comedy hour. Cock jokes were in full salute and the segue was in place for the preview of Kevin Smith's new film: Zack and Miri make a Porno. Featuring Seth Rogen, this upcoming film marks a distinct move towards more professional cinematography and filmmaking – yet sustaining the trademark wit and crude humor. From the clip shown it looks like this could be the next big comedy blockbuster, and Seth Rogen's adlib dialogue may turn out to be the secret force behind Jud Apatow's series of successful films.