Dean Cain hasn’t played Superman for 15 years, but he’s still a hero for many fans.
Hundreds of people turned up last weekend at Atlanta's Dragon*Con to hear him reflect on his years in the 1990s hit “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
The actor, charming as ever, made the ATL geek fest especially unforgettable for Ruby Rinekso of New York, who was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Jennifer Haviland, at the convention.
As Comic-Con wound down, with exhausted fans seated on the floors of the hallways, a handful of journalists got to chat with the folks from "Paper Heart," a new indie flick that combines fiction with documentary to explore the nature of love.
The idea for this film came from writer and actress Charlyne Yi, whom you might recognize from her role as Jodi in "Knocked Up." She was feeling skeptical of love, and thought about making a documentary about it. Director and co-writer Nicholas Jasenovec describes the final product as "a fictional love story with documentary support."
In fact, Jasenovec was hoping that because of her "unique perspective on love," she might fall in love on camera while making this movie, she said. However, on Sunday she indicated that it's only a rumor that she's really dating co-star Michael Cera of "Juno" and "Superbad" fame.
The cast and crew traveled to several states including California, New Mexico, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee in a van while making this film. Many of the actors already knew each other and then became friendly with the crew, so making the movie "felt like hanging out," said Jake Johnson, who plays the character Nick. Many of the cast members' on-camera interactions were improvised, and all of the "documentary" portions are real and unscripted, he said.
What did Yi learn about love from this movie? "I think it's what you want it to be," she said. For instance, when she asked bikers what they think about love, they said that, to them, love is hanging out with their friends at a bar.
Although not based on a comic book or science fiction novel, "Paper Heart" did have its place at Comic-Con. After all, Jasenovec said, "It's a geek love story."
Meet Haminal, the wide-eyed furry animal who fits perfectly in a sharp-edged can and comes topped with a pineapple slice.
This is the creation of Crystal Chesney-Thompson, who has been selling these strangely cute ham-inspired creatures at Comic-Con in San Diego, California, for three years. She came up with the idea in 2004, when she and others in her martial arts group were roasting canned ham on a campfire. Today, she's selling pig-like pink "canned" Haminals, as well as red "deviled" Haminals, just for Comic-Con. Next year, she plans to introduce a tuna fish.
No, this is not Chesney-Thompson's only job. She will be directing four episodes of "Futurama" this season.
"I love working in animation," she said while drawing a sketch for two young girls who recognized her from last year. (In this chaotic maze of posters, action figures, geeky T-shirts, network promotions and bizarre costumes known as the Comic-Con Exhibit Hall, Haminal did seem like a friendly face to me.)
Aimee Major Steinberger, sitting on the same row as Chesney-Thompson in the Exhibit Hall, is an assistant director for "Futurama," but she's also promoting her side project: a graphic novel for teenagers called "Japan Ai." It's based on her own trip to Japan, she said.
When it comes to these side projects, neither of these "Futurama" collaborators reported a negative impact from the economic downturn. Chesney-Thompson has been seeing good sales via the Internet, and Steinberger's business has been doing better this year than last.
"People need an escape of buying artwork or entertainment," Steinberger said.
So what's in store for fans in "Futurama’s" much-anticipated revival? There will be more "what if?" episodes, and the show will explore interesting relationships between characters that have not been explored before, Chesney-Thompson said, echoing the "Futurama" panel from earlier in the Con. The show will also explore the backgrounds of Scruffy and Dr. Zoidberg, she said.
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