You know I don’t do geek. (Though that’s less a hard and fast rule than it used to be.) So here’s Luke Y Thompson to cover the 2009 Con for DHD with an emphasis on all things Hollywood:

Comic-con, like most of us, is feeling the recession’s pinch.

If there’s a big display here, I didn’t see it. Nothing like the fake snow falling on last year’s booth for The Spirit (not that it helped the movie). The closest thing to Watchmen’s Owl Ship is a battle suit from James Cameron’s AVATAR, alongside toys from the movie, which appears to feature a colorful alien menagerie and a wheelchair-bound protagonist. But crowds gathered swiftly for the exclusive Star Wars and Transformers toys at Hasbro, Masters of the Universe at Mattel, and Big Lebowski collectibles at Entertainment Earth. But for smaller companies like Mezco and NECA, the access was way easier than in years past.

Greenscreen photos are apparently cheap and easy: you can get yourself depicted on the cover of a Ninja Turtles Wii game, in a 3-d lenticular card. Or inserted into the trailer for Mike Judge’s Extract, reacting to a crotch hit. Huh-huh, cool.

Few familiar faces here, though I did run into Rob Liefeld and asked him how the Youngblood movie was coming along. Despite the announcement of Brett Ratner as director, the script is still being written. Amazingly, Liefeld is happy with Ratner, despite the guy’s vocal naysayers, and cited Michael Bay as another big blockbuster director whom fanboys didn’t used to like, either. (Some still don’t, but Bay undoubtedly cries all the way to the Federal Reserve.)

The only hot-selling toys at the dealer booths seem to be Mattel’s DC Universe Classics, which are notoriously hard to find. Last year’s biggie, the Heath Ledger Joker, now goes for ten bucks. Deals are everywhere: I scored a $12 WWE Classics Goldberg figure for $4, a $14 Ah-nuld Terminator for $10, and a 12-inch Watchmen Comedian, who initially sold for $125, at the low price of $50. The recent DVD release seems to be doing nothing to sell the merchandise. (Though this will be the 3rd Con with a Watchmen panel, toy sales are not a given. I know the movie wasn’t perfect, but c’mon. It would have been damn hard to do it any better.

Obama is still a pop-culture icon, whether as a doll or a zombie fighter in the comic “President Evil.”

Here’s hoping the panels will be more lively. Watching fans crowd each other to get superhero plastic bags is way too depressing.

2009 Comic-Con: The Hollywood Preview

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.

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