Thursday, August 20, 2009

ONE PIG'S DREAM



Do Muppets have dreams? Of course they do. Are these dreams ever realized? Most of the time - no. The fact of the matter is that there's always some jewel thief, theater owner or fast-food-frog-leg franchisor looking to crush the aspirations of our lovable gang of furry misfits.

So when I came across these photos today, I was simply ecstatic. Miss Piggy's dream of becoming a "high-fashion model" - which began in 1981's The Great Muppet Caper - is now a reality! And although sadly Lady Holiday isn't involved in this venture, Piggy's still in good hands with the quirky and ab-tastic Marc Jacobs.



Everyone's favorite Muppet diva met with MJ at his SoHo design studio in NYC to discuss her couture options for Fashion Week. Naturally.




I absolutely love these photos, and I find no shame in that whatsoever. Anything that helps the Muppets get back in the spotlight (without acting alongside Ashanti) is a-okay in my book. And being a graduate of Fashion College, I'm very pleased to see that designers are starting to embrace...how you say? Oh yes...FUN. Thanks, Marc!



Of course it's also worth noting that Miss Piggy has already been making her way back onto the celebrity scene! Who could forget her appearance on
30 Rock? Certainly not me. She's the only one I could agree with besting Jenna Maroney on the red carpet. Muppets forever!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD CON



Ah, Summer. It's a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, the beginning of Summer is marked by two tiny-but-mighty (hyphenated) words: COMIC-CON. I realized more this year than in years past that even the concept of Comic-Con is completely abstract for me. A lot of my friends look at it as one of the most exciting weeks of their nerdy years. I look at it differently, given the fact that I've only been as an exhibitor and not an attendee. The fact of the matter is that working the show is a completely different animal. The animal is still really cute and fun...but don't turn your back on it, even for a moment!

But trials and tribulations? What a downer! Now that I have successfully defeated the show for possession of my soul, it really only seems necessary to talk about the good stuff. And even though I was way too out of my mind to mobile blog this year, there were a few really bright, shining moments during Comic-Con 2009. To start, the talent appearing at the booth this year built on our previous success with Dexter. People couldn't wait to see what we were going to do in 2009, and I'm extremely happy and very proud to say that we did not disappoint!


Thursday Celebrity Guests
Julie Benz - "Rita Bennett" from Dexter
Jennifer Carpenter - "Debra Morgan" from Dexter


Friday Celebrity Guest
Todd McFarlane - creator of Spawn and comic/action figure legend



Saturday Celebrity Guests
David Zayas - "Angel Batista" from Dexter
James Remar - "Harry Morgan" from Dexter
CS Lee - "Vincent Masuka" from Dexter

And after the show closed on Thursday and Friday night, I had the distinct honor of attending two incredible events...


Avatar: The Video Game VIP Reception

Based on James Cameron's upcoming film Avatar, the party was held on the rooftop of the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Joining Mr. Cameron in attendance was the one and only SIGOURNEY WEAVER. Maybe you've heard of her? Depending on how long you've been reading Zip and a Kick!, you may or may not know that I basically worship her.

Long story short (too late), I was lucky enough to be one of the few people in a little room getting a guided tour of the video game...with Sigourney Weaver. She's not a fan of violence, but she sure loves color commentary: "Now that one wasn't even attacking you, why did you have to shoot it?" and "I wish there was a game where people could just exist in this environment and make decisions." I mean, wow. Just when I thought I couldn't love her any more - I summoned the courage to speak to her. I managed to somehow not make a complete ass of myself, and she was gracious, charming and lovely. One of the greatest moments of my life.


"The Music of Battlestar Galactica"
Bear McCreary & The Battlestar Galactica Orchestra

As part of a special 3-night concert series during Comic-Con, Bear McCreary and the amazing Battlestar Galactica Orchestra performed at the House of Blues. Thanks to our partnership with NBC/Universal this year, I was able to attend on Friday (VIP, even!), and was treated to quite the evening. Hosted by Edward James Olmos and Grace Park, EJO came on stage beforehand with a couple of announcements. First, he let anyone who had attended the show the night before know that tonight was going to be "fuck tons better". His ability to command an audience is like nothing I have ever seen. I would say that he was almost preaching - but without any of the negative connotations of that word.

His second announcement was more serious. The night before, BSG producer Harvey Frand passed away very suddenly. He explained in no uncertain terms that these 18 musicians were responsible for every bit of music heard on the show, from the miniseries to the finale. You could feel the overwhelming sense of respect from EJO, as he began to talk about his family. Not his relatives, but his Battlestar Galactica family. And with that, he brought on stage his co-host Grace Park...and several others:


From left to right: James Callis (Gaius Baltar), Michelle Forbes (Admiral Cain), David Eick (Executive Producer), Michael Trucco (Sam Anders), Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek), Grace Park (Sharon/Athena/Boomer), Nicki Clyne (Cally Tyrol) and Edward James Olmos (William Adama)
Not Pictured: Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh)

They all proceeded to pass the microphone across the stage, each taking a few moments to express - genuinely, mind you - the importance of the music, the impact it had for them in their experience working on the show, and memories of the man no longer with them. Absolutley frakking beautiful...and I mean that with the utmost respect.

As the show began, I was literally surrounded by the stars of Battlestar Galactica. They were drinking, hugging, laughing and catching up. It was like watching a heartfelt family reunion. Which is the main reason I didn't want to approach any of them (even Michelle Forbes and Michael Trucco...in his fitted powder blue hoodie, no shirt underneath, and skintight jeans...). Anyhoo, the concert was brilliant. The music means even more to me now, hearing it completely separated from the show. Just perfect.

Beyond ALL of that, it was a very successful Comic-Con. The sheer insanity of the show definitely took its toll on me - but I survived, and that's what matters! But just for fun, take a look at me with and without my soul:


Top: Getting Started
Bottom: Going CRAZY

Finally, no Comic-Con wrap-up would be complete without some shots of the best costumes I saw at the show. I noticed that there weren't as many people dressed up this year...but the ones that did really took the cake:


Merriweather, Flora and Fauna - the three good fairies from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. And now, Asian!


On the very last day, I bolted out of the booth with my BlackBerry in hand. Drag Queen Zatanna was a great way to end things on a high note.

And that - as they say - is that. Another San Diego Comic-Con International is a thing of the past. Never a dull moment, that's for sure. And it'll be back again before I know it...