February 10th, 2009

smiling

New York City, Comic Con, and Dollhouse

raecarson and I had a great time in New York this past weekend. We stayed in the Washington Jefferson Hotel because, given the time period of my books, how could we not? But it ended up being a great decision: we could walk to the convention, we could walk to Times Square and the Del Rey offices, and there were blocks and blocks of fabulous restaurants everywhere we turned. We ate at a Thai place called Yum Yum Bangkok where I had the tastiest mango striped bass I have ever eaten, hit a couple of diners on 9th Ave. and Broadway (we like diners, so sue us), and had dinner one night in this little basement Italian place called Mama Pia that was stunningly good.

Comic Con itself was... HUGE. Okay, seventy-seven thousand people isn't a lot of people compared to, say, an Ohio State football game or your average Obama rally. But when you put them all into a convention center and send them scrambling for the autograph lines, it's a pretty intense experience. Even with the storm troopers and wookies for crowd control. Despite the size of the crowd, we saw scbutler, chris_r_evans, and johnjosephadams (although lousy cellphone reception inside the Javitts Center meant we missed hooking up for lunch), but I know pabba was there and we never connected and I don't know who else we missed.

Whoever put together the slides for the "What's New From Del Rey" panel left out my books, which was worrisome, but my editor had my back and talked them up a lot before the end of the panel. If anyone came to the panel hoping to see me, I'm sorry we didn't have a chance to connect. And the promotions folks at Del Rey had these nifty magnetic bookmarks with The Patriot Witch cover on them and they were sticking them in every book they gave away from the Del Rey table. Hold on, I'm going to see if I can snap a quick picture of one with my cellphone...

Not a good pic. Calls for a cut tag.

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That picture's not blurry! I think you've been drinking...

Anyway, the biggest event of the con was the Dollhouse panel with Joss Whedon and Tahmoh Penikett. I'm going to be honest -- I was not impressed by the video clip we saw, which was supposedly the first act of the pilot episode. For one thing, it started three times. There was a scene of Echo (Eliza Dushku's character) being recruited, but it didn't really go anywhere past exposition. Then there were several scenes of her on a "routine" assignment which felt like an excuse for motorcycles, sexy dancing, and exposition, but still no real story. Then there was a pretty good scene of a kidnapping, which set up the story arc for the episode. I would have liked it more if it started with the kidnapping, then came to Echo's handlers, then done the exposition. And why bring Tahmoh all the way to New York, talk about how shirtless he is in the episode and how he does kickass martial arts scenes, and then not show any clips of him? I just don't get it.

But this is Joss. I trust him. I thought the first few episodes of "Angel" were a bit of a mess too, but then he eventually brought Wesley in, settled the series down, and ultimately gave us all season 5, which was amazing. Here's hoping he gets a chance to settle into "Dollhouse" and have time to figure it out too.

We spent Monday at Random House and with my agent before coming back to Ohio and those meetings were all very productive. So now we've got a big to-do list. raecarson wants it noted that the list includes "going back to New York".