2011 San Diego Comic-Con Day Two recap
Morrison, Chopra and Jack Kirby’s Motherbox
You know you’ve had an interesting day when it begins with Deepak Chopra leading a meditation to connect you with your inner super-hero and ends with Kevin Smith sharing way too much information about his marriage.
• Grant Morrison and Deepak Chopra—In the program, their panel was billed as “Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison. But Chopra has never written a Batman comic or a groundbreaking run for a second-rate DC superhero (as has Scottish writer Morrison).
This was the third year Morrison and the spiritual guru have done a panel together at the SDCC, and both were there to chat up ideas in their respective just-published books, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes (Chopra) and Supergods (Morrison). The two discussed the themes in their books. But Morrison had the more interesting things to say; he pointed out that there had been superheroes before Superman but that Superman was the first to use his might, not guns, and that he also had a bit of the showman in him (the big red “S”).
In comics, Morrison said, the creators are able to embody an emotion as a character and have the superheroes conquer that emotion. he also pointed out that most of us now carry our own god-device “motherbox”, a term first coined by comics artist Jack Kirby, in the form of smartphones. Chopra, who was there also with his son Gotham (who publishes his own line of comics under the name Liquid), had a few interesting things to say too—such as, how he had a problem with the latest X-Men movie because he didn’t believe supervillain Magneto’s helmet would actually protect his thoughts from being read.
In other words, you probably had to be there, or at least be a huge comics fan to fully appreciate the Oprah fave debating the finer points of comic book credibility.
Kevin Smith on Red State, his next movie and his comic-book guys TV series
• Cowboys vs. Aliens—We weren’t able to procure a coveted pass to tonight’s premiere screening of this new comics-based movie. But we did chat briefly with its initial screenwriters, Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus. The team also wrote the first Iron Man movie as well as the dystopian sci-fi thriller Children of Men. Standing at the Cowboys & Aliens booth in the midst of the madhouse that was the exhibition floor, the team chatted about their approach. They said they were careful to adopt a non-ironic tone for the flick and to stay true to the original’s mix of science fiction and the Western.
• Kevin Smith—There is a rite of passage fort every true San Diego Comic-Con attendee. And that is attending one of the Mallrat director’s q-and-a sessions.
His rambling discourse has become a tradition at the Con. Organizers now give him the biggest room, Hall H. Over 6,000 Smith devotees and curious Con-goers showed up early Saturday evening. Smith gassed on about comic books, his marriage, masturbation, and smoking weed. He also discussed his decision to quit making movies. He said he has more fun podcasting and wants to devote more creative energy to that. But first he has one more movie up his hockey jersey. It’s a proposed hockey flick called Hit Somebody. (Titled, perhaps, after the eponymous Warren Zevon song, which is also about hockey and features David Letterman in the chorus.)
The biggest surprise was the clip Smith brought with him from his latest, Red State. As Smith said, “Don’t look for Jay and Silent Bob” in the movie. The thriller is his homage to Tarantino and the Coens. A fast-paced, noisy clip of John Goodman shouting into a cell over a hail of bullets attested to this.
He also said he’s developing a reality-TV show about a comic book store (his own). He described the show as “part Hoarders, part Antiques Roadshow.”