The Adventures of Tintin at Comic-Con

It's hard to explain the feeling you get when you first walk in to the seemingly endless main hall at Comic-Con in San Diego, California. Once you get past the initial culture shock that overwhelms a first time visitor and begin to acclimate to the sea of fans dressed up as their favorite comic book characters, the booths featuring scenes, images or life-size (or sometimes larger) replicas from your favorite TV shows, movies and graphic novels you begin to appreciate the beauty in the chaos. Who doesn't love seeing fellow fans joyously basking in their fandom?
The four day convention has grown considerably since its modest debut in 1970. It is now attended by roughly 130,000 people, attracts over $100 million to the local economy and has become something of a momentum-inducing (or reducing) testing ground for the hottest new Hollywood productions. The buzz generated by Comic-Con previews has helped launch recent box office smashes like 300, Iron Man & Avatar.

2011 will be remembered as the year Tintin stole the show at Comic-Con!

Tintin books (the new Young Reader's Editions, the classic albums and the new edition of Tintin: The Complete Companion), collectibles (such as WETA's new line of Adventures of Tintin collectibles) and posters (which seemed to be omnipresent) were all snatched up by eager convention shoppers. The biggest Tintin "buzz" (and for that matter the biggest "buzz" of the convention), came on Friday morning at the Paramount Pictures Adventures of Tintin panel. The most eagerly anticipated event of the convention did not disappoint!

The panel included scheduled first time guest Steven Spielberg and surprise guest Peter Jackson. The two shared insight into the film ("It's a dense detective story, a murder mystery, it's very funny when it needs to be." stated Spielberg. Jackson went on to explain that they were trying to make a perfect hybrid of live action and animation). Spielberg and Jackson discussed the joys of working together ("It's like working with your brother," said Spieberg. "It's very, very easy.") and treated the 6,500 capacity audience to a four minute action-packed 3D preview of the film. The preview included Tintin receiving a warning of great danger, footage of Tintin and Haddock meeting ("grafted" from The Crab with the Golden Claws - as Spielberg later explained), the trio (with Snowy, of course) eluding a bevy of bad guys and Tintin narrowly dodging cars (breathtakingly shot from a variety of angles). Spielberg and Jackson closed the panel by answering a number of questions from the audience (including one from another surprise guest, cast member Andy Serkis!).

The excitement generated from the brief preview of a modern adaptation of Hergé's work gives us an early indication of the positive response the film should receive -- not just here in the U.S., but globally.

John Nelson. Vice-President Moulinsart USA.
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