The third and fourth days of Comicpalooza were mostly very enjoyable, but it always seems like time flies by so fast at conventions and you never have enough time to get to all the panels you’d like to or buy enough merchandise or artwork. I was disappointed that I missed everything Buffy related at Comicpalooza. James Marsters and Nicholas Brendon were around all four days of the con and something else always came up.
A Joker panel was also supposed to occur on Sunday, but was canceled last minute. Everyone assumed that Greg Capullo, the host of the panel, just went home early likely due to illness. As it turns out, the convention just scheduled the panel too close to his flight time and Capullo spent what time he could signing for the fans instead of the panel.
After attending panels for Mike Mignola and James O’Barr, I really wanted to buy something related to Hellboy and The Crow. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything and the merchandise Mignola and O’Barr had at their booths weren’t scratching the itch.
What’s disappointing is how many panels were scheduled at or around the same time as another, two, or sometimes even three other panels you were interested in. I’m really disappointed I missed the Panel to Frame panel with Mignola and O’Barr on Sunday, a panel dedicated to Godzilla and giant monsters on Friday, I completely missed the Rose McGowan panel Monday, and I didn’t get to go to any of the writing panels that I would’ve liked. After hearing about how disastrous the Billy Dee Williams Q & A was, it just reminds you that even a convention as fun as Comicpalooza always has room to improve.
The final two days were mostly devoted to purchasing last minute prints, comics, and shirts. I went to the James O’Barr panel very last minute and missed the first 15 minutes, but it was still one of the best and most interesting panels I went to the entire con. The Cary Elwes panel was also fantastic. It was so enjoyable that my girlfriend and I decided to get his autograph and a picture with him on Monday before we left. Elwes is just as nice and charming in person as he seems. It was a lot of fun and one of the coolest experiences anyone could ever have. Nevertheless, Comicpalooza was an amazing experience that I plan on going through all over again next year.
I took a lot of notes during the James O’Barr and Cary Elwes panels, as well. Here’s a look at what I jotted down:
Cary Elwes immediately brought up the book he’s working on that covers “The Princess Bride.” The book is called As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Princess Bride and it will be released October 7. You can currently pre-order it for $17.64 on Amazon. Elwes brought up his love for the original Tintin books, the film, and working with Steven Spielberg. Elwes told an amazing story about catching Spielberg in the grocery store and getting his part in the movie on the spot. He’s always hated auditioning and reading for parts since he thinks he’s terrible at it. He prefers straight offers. He mentioned working with Andre the Giant, who called everyone boss. On the set of “The Princess Bride,” Andre would ride around on an ATV since he couldn’t fit on regular transportation. Andre talked Elwes into riding the ATV, which ended with Elwes breaking his toe. Elwes was convinced he’d lose his job, but Rob Reiner ended up being really sweet about it.
Elwes says that Leigh Whannell and James Wan are brilliant filmmakers. He’s proud to be a part of the “Saw” legacy. Elwes was asked about his time on “Psych” and said that he hopes the outtakes are released in full since the cast was absolutely hilarious at all times. He says that his role in “The Princess Bride” is his favorite since he considers it to be the gift that keeps on giving. Elwes said that England used to only have 2 television stations. A show called “Do Not Adjust Your Set” starring cast members from “Monty Python” was an early inspiration for him.
Elwes never hesitated to hug the individuals asking questions. He hugged at least three people who approached the microphone and even took a picture with a woman celebrating her wedding anniversary. Cary Elwes has an incredible reputation for being extremely nice and it’s well deserved. He’s very polite, has a really positive attitude, and does absolutely brilliant impressions.
James O’Barr is completely against the sequels to “The Crow.” After looking into a lawsuit that would’ve seen him lose money, O’Barr was kind of forced to collect royalties instead. He never watched “The Crow: Stairway to Heaven,” but is a fan of Mark Dacascos and even mentioned Mark being the best part of “Brotherhood of the Wolf.” Trent Reznor was a huge fan of the book before being on the soundtrack for the film.
O’Barr has a lot of input on the upcoming reboot of “The Crow.” F. Javier Gutierrez, the director, flew over from Spain just to discuss the film with the O’Barr. Gutierrez wants to make O’Barr’s book rather than remake the original film. Relativity Films will be financing the reboot. O’Barr has say on the casting and again has control over the soundtrack. Lead actor Luke Evans also flew over from England to get O’Barr’s blessing for the role of Eric Draven. O’Barr called Evans the perfect choice since he’s so dedicated and absorbing. It doesn’t hurt that he looks killer in The Crow makeup. Skull Cowboy and the talking bird will be featured in the film. They also plan on using different film styles for different aspects of the film including being black and white for dream sequences and 70s filmstock for violent scenes.
Brandon Lee was like a little brother to James O’Barr. Lee choreographed all of his own stunts for “The Crow” and did nearly all of his own stunts. O’Barr says Lee was inexhaustible and improvised the halo light bulb sequence on the spot. O’Barr went on to say that Eric Draven’s story was over after the first film and there wouldn’t have been any sequels even if Brandon Lee was still alive.
O’Barr is very soft spoken and straightforward. He’s a little crude, but incredibly humorous. He seems like he’s very easy to talk to.