Tacky plastic giveaways and overpriced giant pretzel lunches aside, San Diego Comic-Con 2012 did offer some extraordinary encounters that the ordinary pop culture fan just couldn’t get live anywhere else. It’s not everyday that one could shake hands with the star of their favorite comedy TV show or recognize the familiar face that just walked by as an Oscar-winning movie director. Of course, most Comic-Con attendees would only have the opportunity to glimpse celebrities from some miserably cramped chair deep in the bowels of massive-capacity Hall H or Ballroom 20. Still, surprises could and did happen.
But one had to be prepared to pay for them. A close-to-the-stage seat in Ballroom 20 for the “Firefly” 10-year anniversary panel meant that interested fans had to line up outside the San Diego Convention Center in the wee hours of Friday morning. (If a front-row seat was desired, camping out overnight on Thursday was necessary!). Just to get any seat inside the room meant waiting upwards of 4 hours or more, then sitting through two other hour-long panels in which attendees might or might not be interested. This was due to the fact that it is Comic-Con policy to not clear the larger event rooms between sessions.
But for the devoted, getting a glimpse of “Buffy” and “Dollhouse” creator Joss Whedon tearing up at panel’s end made any wait, however excruciating, worth it. “When I see you guys, I don’t think the show is off the air. I don’t think there’s a show,” said Whedon. “I think, that’s what the world is like. I think there are spaceships, there are horses, and our story is alive.”
The director of “The Avengers” also said that more “Firefly” comic books are scheduled, and although he’s not interested in creating an animated series, he would be willing to explore the idea of a radio show.
At the press conference held following the panel at the nearby Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, it was announced that a “Firefly” reunion show will air on the Science Channel in the fall of 2012. Entitled “Browncoats Unite,” this special will chronicle the cast members getting together for their reunion at Comic-Con, and include footage from the convention panel featuring creator Whedon and several of the show’s stars, including Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, and Sean Maher.
And for those fans unwilling to wait until November 11, there’s always YouTube.