March 17, 2008
Story & Photos by Rodel I. Cruz-Herrera (odiewan)

 

A JAWA'S TAKE ON WWLA 2008
The temperature was nearing 85 degrees at 10:00AM and the sun was bright, but winds were starting to pick up here in Los Angeles. What a great day this should be, too bad I will be spending it indoors for Wizard World Los Angles 2008. The drive to the Los Angeles Convention Center was reminiscent of Star Wars Celebration: IV. The 25 minute drive in kept me wondering if this would be as fun as CIV & SDCC and kept my hopes high for a good event.

A little after 10:30AM I turned off the AC and the radio to park the car, my excitement level is just rising. I walked into the LA Convention Center to be greeted by two R2 units. Then head over to the registration to pick my badge. The process was quick and painless. To think of it pre-registration was faster than SDCC 2007. These guys are pretty good. Well at least for badge pickup on the second day of the convention. WWLA was extremely small compared to SDCC and CIV. Bear in mind CIV had the whole convention center to use, while WWLA only used the smaller expo area for the main hall.

I walked in and the exhibitors were up front with companies like ACME, Golden Apple, and various comic and media vendors showing their products. From card games to movies to video games just about every niche was here. Behind the Exhibitors booth is the reseller’s area. Common faces from semi-weekly Frank & Son Collectible Show in City of Industry were on hand to sell their wares. There were some good deals to be had, but unfortunately for this trooper money is scarce since filling up a tank is as expensive as Gentle Giant mini-bust. On to artist alley, about 25 - 30 artists were on hand signing and sketching artwork for fans. Sadly I just couldn’t recognize any of the artwork. It has been over 10 years since I bought a non-Star Wars comic. The guys from West Coast Customs, “Pimp My Ride” crew, where here to show their handy work. They had four vehicles with Marvel inspired creations.

A little before 11:00AM I head over the Kotobukiya panel to hear their latest news. There was a little draw back in the presentation; Frank Supoit and the Kotobukiya team were added to the guest list at the last minute and attendance was very light. Too bad there was little attendance, because Kotobukiya had awesome things to show the convention goers, I think it was 11:20AM before they started. Since this is a comic convention the biggest buzz was Kotobukiya picking up the Marvel license. Their license covers comic books, movies and other media. Needless to say they can create artwork for past, present, and future movies. The best thing out of the presentation was the Iron Man mini bust. That was simply jaw dropping. Nothing new was mentioned for Star Wars and Indy that wasn’t already discussed at NY Toy Fair. I can’t wait for the ARTFX Theater line. No mention of Star Wars for this PVC and/or Resin diorama line, but that is an interesting possibility says Frank.

At 12:15PM, after the Kotobukiya panel I walked the show room floor to see some more fans in costume and to take a closer look at the West Coast Customs cars. I swung by the fan booths. 501st was well represented and they had their convention long looking for droids game running. Next to them was a new group called LA Jedi, these people practice saber techniques with FX Master Replicas Sabers. They put on a few ad hoc demonstrations for the kids and fans. There are some very talented individuals in this group.

Touring the show floor and waiting for the LucasFilms panel to start I saw Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk, being interviewed by a TV station. I was able to stop by and see Daniel Logan, young Boba Fett, at his signing booth and took a picture with him. He is a very nice person. Ray Park was in transit from the GI Joe filming and I would have to see him after the Steve Sansweet’s LucasFilms panel at 1:30PM.

Summer Glau, the good robot in Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles was on hand signing and having photo opportunities with the fans. I swung by the ACME booth to see what was new. They had the Han Solo Character Key for sale as well as some of the new Giclee/Lithographs for viewing. I would have bought the new Key, but I am waiting for my online order to arrive in the mail. I decided to get some lunch and realized how expensive the food was here at the LA Convention Center, $11 for pizza and a soda.

After lunch it was close to 1:30PM and the 501st were leading people to the LucasFilms panel. This panel was led by Steve Sansweet. He started off with a few videos from all Star Wars Celebrations, I, II, III, IV, and Europe. He said that Celebration Japan is the final destination of the 30th Star Wars Celebration gatherings. Then he brought out Seth Green and Matt Senreich to discuss about Star War Robot Chicken, they showed the same videos from CIV and SDCC.

After the Seth and Matt left, Steve talked about TFU and the upcoming Clone Wars movie and TV show. The videos shown were the same form CIV, SDCC, and Wonder Con. Too bad the ShoWest preview didn’t make it to WWLA, I was really hoping to see that this weekend. He ended the presentation with Indy Lego video game and Crystal Skull movie previews. Again everything was the same from SDCC or videos you can see online. Nothing earth shattering.

Around 2:30PM, after the LucasFilms panel I made it back to the show room floor to take some last minute photos and stop by the Guitar Hero & Rock Band contest area. I also saw Erin Grey from Buck Rodgers TV show, she was charging for pictures but I was being a scrooge and didn’t want to pay for a photo op with her. I was able to take a picture with Ray Park and he mentioned that since the filming parts of Snake Eyes for the GI Joe movie was here in LA; he was able to make some time to be at this event, instead of other venues this weekend.

At 3:15PM after a final walk around the WWLA, I decided to head on home I think I ate something here that is not agreeing with me. This event had its moments and I would attend to WWLA next year. I just need to save up and plan for this event a little better. Until next time this Internet Media reporter will be signing off. “United we find,” troopers and “Utinni” to all the Jawas out there.

PHOTO GALLERY
To see the different photo galleries click on the links below.