Maddy saw Guardians of the Galaxy opening weekend and can’t wait to share her love of Rocket Raccoon and Groot with the whole world. Anya, on the other hand was more enthusiastic about sleeping in, so the only thing she can share this week is what she knows about of infinity stones/gems. There also may or may not be some sisterly labeling of which twin is more like Nebula and which, by default, is then Gamora.
Tagged: Rocket Raccoon
I cribbed the information contained herein from the piece written by our pal Rich Johnston over at his Bleeding Cool website which, for what it’s worth, I endorse for its honesty and professionalism. But instead of simply posting the link and letting it speak for itself, I shall wax poetic.
It’s easy to blame all sorts of bad, evil things on corporations and, damn, the Supreme Court recently made that a whole lot easier. But in the interest of fairness we should endeavor to embrace the whole enchilada.
No doubt you were one of the 160.1 million dollars worth of humans worldwide (and counting) who have seen the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. If you haven’t, there are no spoilers here: I thought it was great fun, as did the other minions of the Lower Connecticut Comics Mafia that occupied the theater last Thursday. The fact that we all seemed to be in agreement was, in and of itself, the highest praise I can heap upon any movie. But unless you don’t have a television set, a comic book habit, and/or friends, you are probably aware that the movie stars a small sentient rodent-like creature named Rocket Raccoon.
Rocket was created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen. One of the true horrors of comics history is that in 1992 Bill was the victim of a hit-and-run driver while rollerblading, suffering irreparable brain damage and ending his career in both comics and in law as a public defender. After awakening from a coma, he has spent the ensuing 22 years in a health-care center.
When work on GOTG commenced, Marvel (part of Disney, which I might not refer to as “the evil empire” any longer) renegotiated Bill’s deal regarding Rocket Raccoon, providing some ongoing income to help offset his enormous ongoing medical expenses. This alone is, as we say on 47th Street, a mitsve. Last week, Marvel outdid themselves – big time.
As quoted by Rich, Bill’s brother Michael reported “Marvel hooked Bill up with a private viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy, and my wife Liz and my beloved cousin Jean assisted Bill throughout, enabling him to sit back, relax and relish in the awesomeness of what is going to be, in my humble opinion, Marvel’s greatest and most successful film ever! Bill thoroughly enjoyed it, giving it his highest compliment (the big “thumb’s up!”), and when the credits rolled, his face was locked into the hugest smile I have ever seen him wear (along with one or two tears of joy)! This was the greatest day of the last 22 years for me, our family, and most importantly, Bill Mantlo!” Marvel execs David Bogart and David Althoff arranged for the screening and joined Bill at the event.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: Marvel did not have to do this. Their only obligation here was moral and, even then, arranging for all of this goes beyond even that high standard. I am impressed, and as a person who has toiled in the four-color fields for almost 40 years, I am proud of how Marvel’s consideration reflects on the creative industry we all enjoy.
As for Bill – who we miss, and whose work we miss – his legacy is now assured.
The San Diego Comic Con can be completely overwhelming. With panels, “experiences” (as they tend to call the activities set up outside of the Convention Center), pilot screenings, performances, and parties, it’s hard to know what to see first. And one of the craziest places to start is the floor of the Exhibit Hall. With wall-to-wall exclusives, freebies, announcements, signings, trailers, comics creators, scavenger hunts, merchandise, and maybe even a celebrity or two in disguise, it’s pretty much impossible to see everything, unless maybe that’s all you do for the entire con. And without fail, it’s also always a seething, writhing mass of other people who want to see or buy all of the same things you do.
I still love it, though. From accidentally walking through the same booth so many times you start to feel like it’s your second home until you realize you’ve actually never seen the part of it you’re standing in right now, to winding up in the completely wrong aisle from where you meant to be and discovering an awesome bit of merch, to running into a friend you totally never expected to see in the middle of the crowd, to seeing an amazingly clever cosplay, to taking silly pictures with booth displays (one of my favorite things to do), it’s just fun. And while I certainly didn’t see everything, here are some of the coolest things I experienced this year.
- The trailer and announcement for the Disney Infinity Games Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy play set. I just happened to be wandering by the Marvel booth on preview night in time to catch this, and it really does look awesome. From the trailer, the one I’m most looking forward to playing is Groot, but Rocket Raccoon and the others look fun too. (You can watch the trailer here.) I also was on the spot at the right moment to get a free Star-Lord design poster and Groot mask signed by artist Jon Diesta, which was pretty sweet (I guess I was the first person to ask him to sign the foam mask. We discovered it wasn’t easy). I’m glad I happened on that when I did, because every other time I walked by the Marvel booth over the weekend it was such a madhouse that I couldn’t even step into the booth area! Oh, except that I did see the most epic Marvel battle scene that has ever been, in toy format. Whoever set this up is clearly a well-versed Marvel nerd who thought of every detail, from Professor X’s chair hanging in the air to Deadpool just chillin’ while chaos ensued around him. I luff you, Marvel nerd. Also I want to play with this.
- The Hasbro booth, including the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic photo op, simply because I love taking silly pictures and this may be my favorite silly picture of the weekend. They had several scenes and speech bubbles to choose from, for maximum silliness. Well played, Hasbro. I also got a cute free MLP poster and coveted their Spider-Man toys. (That mask is cool.)
- Sideshow Collectibles!! I barely even know where to start with this booth. Every single thing was awesome, from the Back to the Future set to the gigantic Doctor Doom that so needs to be the first thing to greet people in my foyer if I ever have one, to the Captain America movie figures and the life-sized Han Solo in Carbonite that you could win. But the most important thing to me was the Deadpool (!!!!!). Because you guys, they are making a Sixth Scale Deadpool, and he looks amazing. :D :D :D :D :D (Seriously, I can’t express my level of joy at this without emoticons. I’m that speechlessly happy. Also I need this immediately. When does it come out??)
- The excellent cosplays. There were many, many cool costumes on the floor. A few of my favorites were this cute classic Harley Quinn (with smiley purse!); this Skipper from Penguins of Madagascar (he actually looks like he could be an official one? I don’t know. Either way, nice!); this picture-perfect New 52 Wonder Woman (she looked adorable with the Tonner Doll Company Wonder Woman, and made the entire thing, from leather to metalwork!); this clever Hamburglar (Hee!); this pair of Jay Garrick Flashes; this Discworldian Moist von Lipwig (someone said, “Is that a Snitch?” but I recognized him immediately. Yay, Discworld fans!); and this cute Little Mermaid family (that Ursula is boss).
- The DC Comics booth, celebrating 75 years of Batman with neat displays and a variety of custom-designed cowls like this Harley Quinn one. They also had several of the DC Bombshells statuettes on display. Even though I totally recognize the cheesecake-y sexism of pin-up girls and part of me wants to be peeved about these, I can’t help but think they are a really well-done homage to a time gone by, and kind of adorable (and hey, compared to all of the blatant and tasteless attempts to sell comics through sex and female exploitation or dehumanization these days, these feel positively classy). They also had a great depressed Batman statue in the middle, àla the new Ben Affleck Batman, which allowed for some more statue pose picture silliness. You can’t keep me down, emo Batman!
- The Darth Vader Hot Wheels car. Who thought of this? Who did?? You get a prize. Also? I want one. To drive. And I will park it right next to the life-sized Funko Pop! Rocket Raccoon I plan to install on my lawn.
- This thing. No, I don’t know what it is or what it is from or why there is a little floating demon joystick-driving its brain. It is just adorable and creepy and I love it. It can hang out with my Rocket Raccoon. They can be life-sized lawn gnome best buddies, and maybe have cute but disturbing adventures at night when no one is looking.
- Life-sized Star Wars Rebels! I like Hera. She looks sassy. Like she will pwn you and not put up with your nonsense. I hope this is the case. Also she is voiced by Vanessa Marshall. Sweet!
- Con exclusive merch! Like this Deadpool Mr. Potato Head, this glow-in-the-dark White Lantern Flash, this Harley Quinn purse (with bells!), this Firefly Leaf on the Wind keychain/necklace, this too-adorable-for-words Catbug plush, this ghost Yoda bank, and this fiercely adorable Final Battle Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon 2.
Aaaaaand, that’s all, folks! Well, all of the stuff I can remember from the con floor. (Full photo set here) But I have plenty more to report on from SDCC, including fun panels, parties, and press interviews. So stay tuned for more, and until next time, Servo Lectio!
Part Two of Emily’s Grand Adventure will appear right here at ComicMix.com this Thursday!