Comic-Con 2013: Parties toast Action Comics No. 1, Superman and a pirate ship?

July 20, 2013 | 1:40 p.m.

"Man of Steel" star Henry Cavill poses with "Action Comics No. 1" at the DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. party. (Jerod Harris / Getty Images for DC Entertainment)

"Black Sails" actor Mark Ryan at the DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. party at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for DC Entertainment)

"300: Rise of an Empire" actor Sullivan Stapleton at the DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. party at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. ( (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for DC Entertainment)

"Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder takes a photo of himself in front of "Action Comics No. 1" as the DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.-hosted Superman 75 party at the Hard Rock Hotel. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for DC Entertainment)

"Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell attends the Samsung Galaxy Experience party. (Michael Buckner /WireImage/Samsung)

Ryan Hansen and Jason Dohring attend the after party for Veronica Mars at the Samsung Galaxy Experience on July 19, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Michael Buckner /WireImage/Samsung)

"Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas attends the Samsung Galaxy Experience party. (Michael Buckner /WireImage/Samsung)

Jason Dohring attends the after party for Veronica Mars at the Samsung Galaxy Experience. (Michael Buckner /WireImage/Samsung)

Actors Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Morrison attend Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" pirate ship party. (Jordan Strauss/Invision for Ubisoft/AP Images)

While the San Diego Convention Center hosts the fanboys and hit-girls of Comic-Con during the day, in the evening the bars, hotels and streets of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter become the home of the annual convention’s lively nightlife.

Comic-Con has earned a reputation for its hospitality to many fandoms as it has expanded from a mere comic book convention to an event that celebrates all genres with major fan followings. The annual gathering of some 130,000 pop culture enthusiasts gives way to a lavish party scene. Sure, there’s still a cosplay prom and countless trivia contests, and many attendees spend their nights camped out on the sidewalks awaiting badges for the  panels. But the mainstream Hollywood studios that have been attracted to Comic-Con in the last decade also shell out big bucks to entertain celebrities and industry members who make the yearly pilgrimage down to San Diego.

Take Warner Bros., which hosted a cocktail party for its TV branch at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Float Rooftop Bar on Friday night.  The hotel is a mere block from the convention center, giving it a plum location to also house IGN Entertainment and Focus Features’ party for “The World’s End” on Thursday night. It  will also be the hot spot for Entertainment Weekly’s annual star-studded bash Saturday night.

But on Friday, media, talent and handlers milled about among industry professionals. WB TV played host to its CW stars Shane West and Maggie Q (“Nikita”), Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), Paul Wesley (“The Vampire Diaries”), and Joseph Morgan, Phoebe Tonkin and Charles Michael Davis (“The Originals”). “Person of Interest” star Michael Emerson reunited with fellow “Lost” alum Henry Ian Cusick, who was spotted near the bar. At one of the high-top tables in the open-air lounge, “Game of Thrones” alum Jason Momoa, who will reportedly return to TV in an upcoming Sundance Channel series, joined partygoers in singing happy birthday to “Supernatural” star Jared Padalecki. Momoa, best known as the late Khal Drogo, even force-fed a bit of cake to the birthday boy.

The cocktail party then gave way to DC Comics’ fete honoring the 75th anniversary of Superman and the franchise’s long history. One of the night’s most highly anticipated guests was “Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill, who posed for cameras on the red carpet and was later joined by producers Zack and Deborah Snyder. But they were quickly outshone by another sort of guest of honor: “Action Comics No. 1″ — the first Superman comic book and what some guests called “the birth of Comic-Con.” The rare issue was on loan from the White Stripes singer Jack White and was displayed in police-guarded glass casing.

There were few costumes in sight, save for custom-made dresses and outfits a few specially selected fans created out of the studio’s giveaway bags. Pillows stitched with “WB” or “DC” decorated the white lounge sofas and servers circulated between bars with trays of beef and chicken skewers, bruschetta and vegetarian egg rolls. Buffets with sliders, halfed grilled cheese sandwiches and sushi littered the space. Behind the cabanas, “The Avengers” star Samuel L. Jackson lounged with “The Following’s” Kevin Bacon, who also appears on the big screen in “R.I.P.D.”

Also in attendance: “Community’s” Yvette Nicole Brown, “The League’s” Paul Scheer, “Revolution’s” Giancarlo Esposito, “Almost Human’s” Michael Ealy, “I, Frankenstein’s” Aaron Eckhart,  “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2″ star Anna Faris, “300: Rise of an Empire’s” Sullivan Stapleton and Bond girl Eva Green.

FX and Maxim

Over at hotel Andaz, FX and Maxim threw a rooftop party that was packed with celebrities from the network’s shows. Also in attendance were “Teen Wolf’s” Holland Roden and Crystal Reed, “Archer’s” Aisha Taylor, “Wilfred’s” Fiona Gubelmann and Dorian Brown, “Once Upon a Time’s” Emilie de Ravin and Jennifer Morrison and “How I Met Your Mother’s” Jason Segel. Servers were decked out in themed T-shirts, and the bar was rebranded as Paddy’s Irish Pub, a nod to the watering hole in “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Guests partook in beer pong, an extremely flattering photo booth and danced the night away in sky-high heels on the dance floor.

Playboy, Universal and ‘Kick-Ass 2′

Playboy joined forces with Universal Pictures to fete “Kick-Ass 2″ with an interactive event celebrating the sequel based on Mark Millar and John S. Romita Jr.’s irreverent comic and 2010 comedy. The latest installment, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, will hit theaters on Aug. 14, chronicling the continuing misadventures of the high school vigilantes. The film’s accompanying party, which took place in a closed-off parking lot on Market Street and 7th Avenue, hosted superheroes and super-villains alike. A few Playboy bunnies were spotted, but you’d expect that from a party billed as “a 21-and-over playground.”

Earlier Friday, creators Millar and Romita Jr. joined the film’s newest characters — Donald Faison, John Leguizamo and Lindy Booth — at the “Kick-Ass 2″ panel. The cast arrived together for the party and Faison and Mintz-Plasse celebrated with “50 Shades of Grey” author E.L. James. Olivia Munn and her boyfriend Joel Kinnaman, musician Jermaine Dupri, “The Big Bang Theory’s” Johnny Galecki, “Castle’s” Nathan Fillion, “Defiance’s” Grant Bowler and “Hatfields & McCoys’” Bill Paxton also joined the festivities.

Jackson, Bacon, West, Wesley and Amell resurfaced at this event, and Faison and Mintz-Plasse took part in bungees that allowed them to bounce over the party. Decor was inspired by enormous building-style sets and women in costume zip-lined across the party while other costumed women took part in live action display. The San Diego Fire Department was on hand for one pyrotechnic display from a woman dressed up as masked crusader.  Revelers enjoyed food from hot dog carts, Patron cake pops and popsicles and a prison cell photo booth.

Samsung and ‘Veronica Mars’

At the “Veronica Mars” panel earlier Friday, writer Rob Thomas and show star Kristen Bell teased fans of the high school P.I. series with a few scenes from their upcoming Kickstarter-backed reboot. Samsung Galaxy hosted the show-turned-film’s official after-party, which included members of the Neptune High crew: Percy Daggs III, Ryan Hansen, Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni and Thomas.  Ryan Devlin, who played Mercer Hayes, made an appearance at the event to support his former costars.

The event also celebrated Bell’s 33rd birthday, with Samsung announcing that it had donated enough money to the charity This Bar Saves Lives to help a symbolic 33 children in need. At the party, guests gave new Samsung products a whirl including the Galaxy S4 and Note 8.0. DJ Cobra provided the high-energy music for the event, guests drank comic-themed cocktails and cast members recalled pranks they pulled on one another on set. (Apparently Bell tricked Teddy Dunn into believing Thomas had written a script that had him kissing Dohring.)

Ubisoft and ‘Assassin’s Creed IV’

Over at the 5th Avenue landing, an enormous pirate ship was docked to host Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” Comic-Con Party and Showcase. The latest edition of the open-source video game, launching Oct. 29, takes on an 18th century naval theme, which played out perfectly at the party. The event was set on a pirate ship inspired by the ship commandeered by assassin Edward Kenway in the game.

Guests had to board the “Jackdaw,” which flew a huge skull sail and a black flag, and were greeted by costumed pirates on three main decks. The two top decks overlooked the first-floor dance floor with partygoers dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Fittingly, the bar’s main poison was rum.  Smoked turkey, roast beef and ham mini-sandwiches and egg rolls were laid out for guests to munch on.

Ubisoft titles including “Just Dance 2014 ,” “Watch_Dogs” and Tom Clancy’s “Splinter Cell Blacklist” were on hand for guests to play. “Hart of Dixie’s” Scott Porter bee-lined for the “Black Flag” preview set up at the computer bay on the middle deck while Jennifer Morrison and Aaron Eckhart mingled. “2 Broke Girls” star Matthew Moy danced with friends on the first deck and Go Daddy nerd Jesse Heiman showed off his moves during a Just Dance dance party. “Game of Thrones” and “Harry Potter” actor David Bradley joined the festivities early in the evening and was later followed by Henry Cavill, who watched the dance floor from the second deck while mingling with friends.


– Nardine Saad | @NardineSaad | Google+

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Comments


One Response to Comic-Con 2013: Parties toast Action Comics No. 1, Superman and a pirate ship?

  1. Geeky Nerd says:

    I want to go to comic con… :(

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