Three months after its theatrical release, Morgan Spurlock’s documentary about Comic-Con 2010 was shown to close to 4000 appreciative fans in Ballroom 20 on Thursday night. Not only did the audience get to see the movie, but they also got to see those who were part of it.
The screening was to publicize the DVD, released just a few days earlier. Many fans purchased a special edition of the DVD in the Exhibit Hall that includes small action figures of Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News and the legendary Stan Lee. Other versions, such as the DVD with Joss Whedon and Morgan Spurlock toys, and another version with four HeroClix figures, are available at Toys R Us and other vendors.
The movie shows that people who attend Comic-Con come in all shapes and sizes. They’re just like “regular” people, only they wear weird costumes, buy comic books and travel thousands of miles to get a glimpse of their favorite stars. It admits Comic-Con is growing, both in numbers and perhaps away from its roots as a comic book convention. Still, you get a good sense of what it is like to be there.
The story centers on two budding comic book artists, a costume designer, a comic book store owner who has seen Comic-Con change a lot, a couple who may make a big decision, and a collector of action figures.
Afterwards, some of the people featured in the film gathered for a panel…
Skip Harvey, a bartender from Missouri who hoped to get discovered, is there with his dad Dennis. Holly Conrad, who made an incredible Mass Effect costume, is in the center. Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics in Denver is joined by his assistant Ashley. Rozanski said that the movie was right when it said at the end that he did move into a new warehouse, but he had to sell those very rare comics of his (including the Red Raven, one of Marvel’s first titles) to do it. “To give them up was extremely painful,” he said, “but at the same time, I want to be here for another 40 years.” Holly revealed she’s moved from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, where she has her own company called Crabcat Industries. As it says on the website, Holly saves the galaxy… or makes excellent props and costumes. She even has a YouTube series that teaches anyone to make costumes.
Skip is still bartending, but he’s moving towards self-publishing his work. On his website, he is putting together a book on what it’s like to be a geek in the Midwest. He also has a webcomic from Jamie Hibdon about the Comic-Con Experience.
As for Spurlock, he just finished a documentary called Mansome, about how men work even harder than women to look their best. Jason Bateman and Will Arnett are featured in it. That idea has spun off into an upcoming series on Yahoo. Spurlock will also work on a regular movie soon, although he didn’t give many details. He also gave some ideas on how to improve Comic-Con, including expanding it to a full week. He also thinks the show should consider “digital passes,” where people can pay a fee to see the biggest panels online, and not have to wait in line for 12 hours to see them. G4 is already doing that in a way with its Comic-Con coverage, but it may be better than seeing the con a week later on grainy YouTube videos.
He also talked about how the DVD is being sold with a small figurine of him, along with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles. Spurlock said his son was really excited to see that “Daddy is a toy.” The movie has also helped some parents understand why their kids are so obsessed with comics, Star Wars or costumes. He revealed that Holly’s dad understood her love for costume making after seeing their film.
Comic-Con IV: A Fan’s Hope is available on DVD in many locations and online, with or without figurines. A Blu-ray release is being proposed, but there was no information on when that will happen.