By Juan C Pineda
(a bit of back story before you read this ) Our comic book review Bill Liston was suppose to meet up with Comic Nation Tv’s Juan C Pineda and Shakil Assi. Also for some reason Shak didn’t receive an email conformation so I gave him mine.
Billy didn’t show up so it was Shak and me. We stood online for a few minutes, they checked ID’s to make sure we were over 21. Then as we walked in they checked our names on the guest list. I gave my name and I was on the list, then the guy asked Shak for his name and he said “Greenwood” so he was good to go. Just inside the entrance was a table of video game magazine
giveaways…and another copy of the guest list. I scrolled down and found “Assi, Shakil”. Looks like they got his RSVP after all. I
suggested we call Ed so he could check in as “Assi, Shakil” One more check in spot so they can put on wristbands and then into the gallery. They set up the stage right by the front with rows of chairs and cameras set up. Shak and I found a spot in the center a few rows back. Each chair had more video game magazines. The cute chick next to me said it was open bar! 42 Below vodka was a sponsor so it was on. I laid my jacket on the chair to save my spot, it actually was not that crowded, there were a few empty chairs around us.Heading up to the bar they had a few pre-mixed drinks ready to serve. Perusing their drink menu I chose “42 and Twisted” Vodka, grapefruit juice, bitters, sprite, something else and all sorts of goodness. Right by the bar, X-Box (another sponsor) had setup a few game demos of Forza Motorsport 4, you could sit in these race car style chairs and use the steering wheel and pedals for a true racing car experience except for the crashing and dying…what? Too soon? They made the announcement that the panel will start soon so I went back to my chair between Shak and the cute chick. Some dude went up
and welcomed everyone to the panel. Asked if we were fans for the obligatory cheer. Then he introduced an “exclusive” clip…which turned out to be the opening scene from LAST SUNDAY’S season opener. He knew we caught on to that so he had to joke that it was an exclusive clip from something that was on tv last week. Kirkman and Hardwick were running late so talked to some people in the audience…mostly the hot blond in the front row actually.
Finally Hardwick and Kirkman show up to cheers and applause. They sat down and started being witty and charming and mentioned something about Sasquatching. I imagine it’s a similar talk that takes place on “The Talking Dead”, a show Chris Hardwick hosts on AMC.com on Sunday night after Walking Dead. Most of the conversation centered around the major differences between the comic book and the tv series, such as Shane being alive on the series and dead in the comics….oh, SPOILER ALERT! Never mind. Then they took questions from the audience which pretty much centered around the same thing. Also a few comments of adulation from the fans about how Kirkman single handedly brought back the zombie and even helped a woman get over her zombie phobia. I have a phobia of people with phobias of imaginary creatures.More comments and mutual admiration of manly beards and then it was time to move on to the meet and greet. Fans stood on line for a chance to bask in the presence of the Kirkman and the Hardwick while I stood on line for more drinks. Did I mention it was open bar? Not only was it open bar but they were giving out free hamburgers! The crowd pounced on these juicy morsels like….well….zombies. Also I played on the Forza driving game demo with drink in hand…Texas style. After the meet and greet, Kirkman and Hardwick managed to magically disappear…and so did the cute chicks, so it was Shak, me and men with manly beards. That’s when we made our exit. All in all a good evening, I got to learn a bit more about the creative process behind the comic and TV series, Shak got to learn a little about me and I got to learn about Shak’s tolerance for alcohol. I still don’t know what Sasquatching is.