Comic Con Dashboard

New DC LEGOs revealed at Comic Con

This weekend was Comic Con. I’m not about to tell you everything that happened there… you can find that anywhere and all over, if you look. Here’s a little rundown of the things that I saw and enjoyed:

– Kick-started with the very first viewing of Captain America. Chris Evans was there to introduce the film in person (very, very pretty person). This movie was really wonderful. I was impressed by Evans’ portrayal, by the faithfulness to the WWII era, and by the acting of Stanley Tucci and Hayley Atwell especially. Tommy Lee Jones was perfect for his role. Surprise hottie of the film was Sebastian Stan, AKA Carter Baizan from Gossip Girl. This was possibly my favorite superhero movie yet. Don’t get me wrong, I love Iron Man, but this had more heart to it. Also, the sneak peek at The Avengers at the end was AWESOME.

– Went to see the Batman Arkham City panel with Mr. I’m not a gamer myself, but I most certainly am a Batman fan, and this panel was especially great because I was able to see Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill talk about having worked together as the voices of Batman and The Joker for almost two decades. I had no idea they’d all worked together so long. The game looks fantastic and gritty, and I know Mr. is very excited for it.

– Went to Simon & Schuster’s first ever Comic Con panel, and won two books by Wake author Lisa McMann! The first is Cryer’s Cross, about high school students disappearing, and the second is an ARC of McMann’s first Middle Grade novel, a fantastic looking book called The Unwanteds that’s about a world where children are punished for being creative. It was explained that she got the idea from talking with her son about how all the art programs are being stripped from schools.

– I was able to also see Scott Westerfeld and his panel about bringing to life the world of Leviathan. This was an exciting panel for me because I was able to get some insight on the worldbuilding from a series I really enjoy. He spoke about why he wanted to write an illustrated novel, the history of World War 1 and the collaborative process with Keith Thompson that went into making this series. I was excited to snag a signed copy of Leviathan from the Simon & Schuster booth at the end of the Con, and am really looking forward to Goliath, the last book of the series, due out in September.

– I stood in line with a bunch of other great girls during the Name of the Star giveaway by Penguin Teen, and a lot of us were tweeting back and forth with Maureen Johnson whilst in the line, which was a lot of fun. We’re some of the very first to be getting this book, and I know for example that the girl behind me had a guy with her because someone on Twitter had offered to give $50 to a favorite charity for anyone who got them a copy of the book, so she got him to grab one for herself. Clever! Eventually the booth gave the books to us a little earlier than planned, because the line had gotten so long that all the spots were taken! I think next year will be a very good one for book swag at the Con…

– My favorite moment at the Con was the signing I went to after the Middle Grade panel that I went to. I was able to meet and chat with some awesome book people. Firstly I was able to get my Beyonders book signed by Brandon Mull, author of the magnificent Fablehaven series, and I was able to tell him about how he was one of the authors I was sort of proud of, because I found him on the second-to-bottom shelf in a fenced-off children’s section of a Deseret Book, before there was any hype about his books, and that I’d been telling people to read them ever since. He gave me a high five and sincerely thanked me for telling people about his books, saying that’s how you gain readers. Also, I told him I hadn’t had a chance to read Beyonders yet, and he assured me that I’d really enjoy it, telling me how it’s a little bit of an older audience than Fablehaven, and that he honestly thinks it’s better.

– Sitting next to Brandon Mull was John Stephens, author of the new Middle Grade novel The Emerald Atlas, part of a series called The Books of Beginning, which my sister bought at the Con. Stephens has also worked on two of my favorite TV shows—Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl. I was able to thank him for being involved in Gilmore Girls, especially (he told me he was a writer for the first four years of the show), telling him that I was grateful for anyone who’d had a hand in bringing Rory Gilmore to life, as she was the same age as me and was so wonderful to have on TV as a smart girl who loved books.

– I was also able to very briefly talk to Nathan Bransford, agent and author of Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow. I was able to thank him for the wealth of information available on his blog about the publishing industry, telling him that I was one of those people who want to do it “right” when I have a manuscript ready to submit to an agent. He told me that I was going about it the right way—learning all I could about the industry and about individual agents themselves. All three gentlemen were extremely nice and it was such a thrill meeting them, mainly because I love book people, and it was so new for me to meet people in person who are as passionate about the bookworld as I am.

– I did also see the panel for the new Spiderman movie—which I’m really surprisingly looking forward to. I thought it looked ridiculous at first, but it’s being done by the same producer as (500) Days 0f Summer, and looks like an actual, organically told story, instead being as cartoony as I’m used to Spiderman being. I think what broke me down was when they showed an exclusive trailer, and the music that rolled in was Coldplay’s “Kingdom Come,” which is probably my favorite Coldplay song ever. And it was on footage for Spiderman. Suddenly this didn’t look like a movie about an obnoxious, whiny kid who puts on a red suit and fights bad guys. It looked like a movie about an actual teenager who was smart and conflicted and was coming up with solutions to problems. The producer talked about how influential music was in making the film, and I sort of wanted to make out with him. Also, the kid playing Spidey—Andrew Garfield, was just adorable in the panel. He reminded me of a young Daniel Radcliffe with his overacting talking and excitedness. And the movie has Emma Stone in it, and if she’s not the cutest thing to hit Hollywood since Meg Ryan, I don’t know what she is.

So, maybe not what you were expecting from a Comic Con post, but it’s what I enjoyed the most! It was very exciting to see the book publishers back at Comic Con in full force. It seems like their presence has weakened over the past few years, but they were definitely there this year!

In which Lisa talks about the things that entertained her in 2010

So, I have an embarrassing admission to make.  I got barely any reading done in 2010.  In all, I finished only about a baker’s dozen worth of books.  Two of those were re-reads.  One of those re-reads was scripture, so I probably shouldn’t even count it (but I do).

Two more of these books were novellas, including Bree Tanner.  (The other was Henry James’ Daisy Miller).

So, if you take those out, I read only nine books this year.  Even including them, I finished exactly 40 less books than I did in 2009.  Humph.

I have a lot of excuses for this.  First of all, I was being seriously courted and then got engaged and then had a wedding to plan and then got married.  C’mon, just looking at that sentence wears me out a little. 😉

The books I did read, though, were amazingIncarceron by Catherine Fisher, for example.  I’ve never been sucked into a fantastical world as quickly and fully as I was here, or at least, not in a very, very long time.

I’ve also started and thoroughly enjoyed the Percy Jackson series.  The movie, not so much.  The books, however, are a fast-paced wallop of fun, fun, fun.  You don’t see the character-development much, but when it hits, it doesn’t feel forced, either.

I also read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, and cannot recommend it highly enough.  Such thorough detail and beautiful tie-ins with history, along with some seriously strong characters.  Lastly, I was able to read Shannon Hale’s fourth Bayern novel, Forest Born, and while it took me some getting into, I ended up loving the character as much as any of Hale’s other darlings.

I did see a lot of movies this year, a la the serious courting that I mentioned before.  My favorite was, of course, Harry Potter.  The Potter franchise really does continue to get better and better, and the fact that there’s only one film left rips me up a little bit.  The first installment of Deathly Hallows followed the book so surprisingly well (after so much was left out of earlier films) that I couldn’t help but be grateful for David Yates’ devotion to the project.  And want to read the novels all over again, pronto, which I think is something a good book-based movie should always do.

My other favorite of the year, I have to admit, was Despicable Me.  That movie was too cute for words, and I can’t wait to own it.  The littlest girl was my favorite, followed closely, of course, by the minions.  Rounding out my favorite flicks of the year?  Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man II (yes, two RDJ, but then I’ve always loved him!) and Tangled.

I’m a little ashamed to say that I don’t think I’ve made any significant music discoveries in 2010.  Really this year was about immersing myself in old favorites, and getting to know their older stuff better.  Mainly Tegan and Sara, and Badly Drawn Boy.

TV was sparse this year for me, too… but Gossip Girl continues to be a delicious guilty pleasure… and Vampire Diaries has really surprised me with how much its made me love it.  You can blame Ian Somerhalder for that.  I sure do.  I also caught up on Lost this year (again, thanks to Ian Somerhalder)… which maybe deserves a post of its own.

And that was my year of entertainment in 2010.  How did yours look?  Probably a lot more impressive than mine…