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Futurama at Comic Con 2008

(Report by Jon Hughes)

Picture Early Saturday morning I woke up at 4 AM, grabbed a few friends, and headed out the door by 4:30 AM to the San Diego Comic Con 2008. Generally speaking, San Diego is only a two hour trip from my place. But for some reason, we didn't get to the entrance of the convention center until 8:30 AM. I immediately cut in line (as there were hundreds of people waiting) and headed straight up to the ballroom where the Futurama panel discussion would be taking place shortly. The panel featured Matt Groening (creator), David X. Cohen (co-creator), Bill Morrison (animation director), Katey Segal (Leela), Billy West (Fry, Zapp, etc), John DiMaggio (Bender), Maurice LaMarche (Kif, Morbo), Eric Kaplan (co-executive producer, writer), Claudia Katz and Rough Draft director Peter Avanzino.

The problem? By the time I got into the ballroom, I only caught 15 minutes of the panel before it ended. Nevertheless, I was able to catch some fun tid-bits of information that I'm sure die-hard fans will appreciate. Some of it contains spoilers, so please highlight the below text at your own risk!

The following paragraph includes minor spoilers. Click to read.

Picture When asked if the relationship between Fry and Leela would be re-visited in the series, the panel spoke of how fans were upset by Fry's new love interest in "The Beast with a Billion Backs." They also went on to say that this was needed to keep things fresh, and that we should expect some romance between Fry and Leela in the fourth DVD coming out Summer 2009. Katey Segal chimed in and mentioned that there is a kiss in the new film, which prompted Billy West to smooch Katey on the lips (this would seemingly be the first time Fry and Leela had kissed in real life, as voice actors).

When asked about the possibility of the series coming back to television once the third and fourth DVDs are released, the panel spoke of how this is the first year in Comic Con history that Fox Television has showed up at all (booth, daily activities). They went on to say they hope there are a few Fox executives in the audience and that they take notice to the outpour of love the show receives from fans at places such as Comic Con. The creators of Futurama wish to keep the series going after the last DVDs are released, by either bringing it back to TV full time, releasing more DVDs, or even possibly making a full-length feature film to be released to movie theaters.

The third and fourth straight-to-DVD Futurama movies will be released for the first time on Blu-ray.

There are still quite a few Futurama secrets that Matt Groening and David X. Cohen would like to bring into the series.

Picture Once the Futurama and Simpsons panel discussions ended, I headed out to the main convention center floor to see what was going on. As it turned out, David X., John D., Billy W., and Maurice L. were all signing limited edition Futurama lithographs at the Fox booth. I found this out by simply walking by and noticing it. Right as I was about to go into their booth for some signatures, they cut the line off and said I had to leave.

Picture With much sadness, I walked to the Bongo Comics booth and got the very last 'autograph ticket' for a The Simpsons meet and greet/signing later in the day. Finally, something good coming from the day. I showed up at 4:30 PM and once again was the last person in line! Luckily I was guaranteed a second or two with the guys and managed to get a handshake in with Matt Groening, Bill Morrisson, David Silverman (Simpsons) and Mike Anderson (Simpsons).

Picture Featured at the Funko booth was a large plastic glow-in-the-dark Bender piggy bank, which was limited to only 260 copies. The Toynami booth had a Christmas themed Robot Santa and Bender set available with a run of 2000 copies. The Toynami booth also featured a ton of other great new figures, which can be seen below.

All in all, the day was a blast and even with some mishaps, I managed to get some information to report back with, so I'm satisfied. Over and out...

-- Jon Hughes for CGEF, July 27th, 2008

Additional photos...
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