SDCC '10: To Panel or Not to Panel

Panels are a tricky business at SDCC. You can see your favorite comic people, celebrities, toy makers, game makers, and etc. talk about their upcoming stuff. However, for many of the panels, you need to get in line 30 minutes to an hour earlier just to make sure you get a seat because seating is limited. For some panels you may need to get in line hours before it starts. If you are a regular reader of DigitalMonkeyBox, you know that I usually cover a lot of panels, but that also meant I stood in lots of long lines because a press pass doesn't mean you can get into whatever you want. This year, before attending SDCC 2010, I was debating about whether I was going to attend any panels because I always felt like I missed out on being able to cover stuff going on down at main the convention floor. Once the programming schedules were finally posted, I was able to make up my mind. There were many panels I wanted to cover this year, but three of them were literally at the exact same time and three others overlapped one another. Because of that, I decided on no panels this year to see how a convention differed if I was covering more on the actual floor. Well, that is no panels unless I could get in without having to wait an hour in line. Most of the panels I had attended in the past could usually be found on YouTube after the show. Most of the panels this year did end up online, except the Transformers and G.I. Joe ones. Nobody had a video camera at those? Weird. It also seemed weird that there seemed to be less write-ups of the usual panels I cover than other years. I guess I wasn't the only one who missed the panels.

I only attended one panel this year, the Udon: 10 Year of Comics and Games panel. I didn't have to wait in any kind of line and it was half-an-hour after the main show closed. Did you know Udon's first project was a series of X-Men: Evolution comics for a Burger King promotion? I didn't. The panel was mainly a brief look at the work they've put out for the past ten years. All their work has been based on licensed properties, but debuting at SDCC was Vent, a book containing the first purely original Udon work from many of the artists. Actually, a complete checklist of Udon's work from their first 10 years can be found in the back of their new Vent book. Vent is good stuff and even has lessons by many of the Udon artists on how they make their art so amazing. Udon Chief, Erik Ko, even told everyone there that if anyone had everything on that checklist, Udon would send them one copy of every new project forever. I would love to see someone take him up on that challenge.

There's was always awesome art and signings going on at the Udon booth.

Udon's very first project: X-Men: Evolution comics for Burger King.

I also attended the Tron: Legacy press conference. The press conference is kind of like a panel, except it's only limited to members of the press and you don't have to wait in ridiculously long lines. Like many of the panels, the Tron: Legacy press conference was also recorded. You can watch the first part below, courtesy of our friends at Action Figure Insider. Because I didn't attend a load of panels I felt like I got to cover more on the main show floor. I just hope the panels I want to cover for you guys next year don't all overlap.

The Tron: Legacy press conference begins.

Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen, and Olivia Wilde.

Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Joseph Kosinski, and Steven Lisberger.

- Shawn - 8/8/10