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Comic Commotion 2004

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While the nation’s attention mainly focuses on this week’s political conventions in Boston and New York City, this weekend Southern California played host to a major convocation of its own. Comic book lovers from all over the world invaded San Diego for Comic-Con 2004.

Once a tiny gathering of folks buying and selling comicbooks, Comic-Con AKA “The Nerd Prom” has become the pop culture event of the year for sci-fi and superhero enthusiasts and the entertainment-industrial complex that loves ‘em. Hollywood, always on the lookout for the next “tentpole” attraction, generates buzz for upcoming flicks by screening previews and putting its stars on display here. Agents and “creative execs” trawl the Comic-Con exhibition aisles looking for the next big thing. Needless to say there was lots of traffic (mainly limos?) on the 405 South between LA and San Diego.

Just in case some readers couldn’t make it to the Con this year, LAist is providing a round-up of Con-related reports in blogland. Ain’t It Cool News breathlessly provides day-by-day dispatches on the latest previews and panels while The Beat and The Pulse gives us snarkier views of the same doings. Local blogger Dave White, via LAComfidential, and ZombieTruckStop gives us their impressions.

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Attendees past and present discuss this year’s Con at the Comic Journal .

Ian Brill tells us about the Freaks and Geeks panel and other dish. Illustrator Jeff Parker blogs from LA with audio posts about his experiences at the Con, but Gojira Kijou makes fun of the proceedings from home in the Northwest.

Since comics are on our mind, we urge you to check out some LA-based cartoon artists: Sammy Harkham and Souther Salazar, who made an appearance in San Diego this weekend.

Who Was There?
Keanu, Sarah Michelle Geller plus Jason Behr, Frank Miller, Michael Chabon, Batman Begins' screenwriter, Cillian Murphy, Aaron McGruder, Keith Knight, Jessica Alba and Neil Gaiman at the Dark Horse Comics booth.

What Happened?
Paramount Pictures erected two huge robot balloons from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow across the trolley tracks in San Diego (pictured above, via Heidi McDonald’s blog, The Beat).

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New Line devoted a whole panel on the Special Extended Edition of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King which includes 500 extra hours of footage. You’ll need a U-Haul to carry it home from Costco. No, actually it’s only 50 minutes of additional footage that finally restores Eowyn and Faromir’s romance to its rightful place in the narrative.

Oh, and Lucasfilm made some announcement about a Star Wars film title…something to do with Siths.

LAist wishes the networks would televise Comic-Con since it's a lot more entertaining than the upcoming political conventions. Or better yet, merge the three into one fascinating geekfest!