AutoMatters: Things That Move You at Comic-Con 2013


By Jan. R. Wagner

One of the most fun events in San Diego each year is Comic-Con. My goal was to find cool things that move you. So, with camera in hand and a large Comic-Con bag on my shoulders, I walked the floor of the Convention Center, attended some panels and experienced some of what was free for all to see and enjoy in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Let’s begin with something from Star Wars. A company called FanWraps chose Comic-Con to showcase their new line of Star Wars partial vehicle wraps. Somehow they managed to fit a car (okay, it was a little


car) into their space in the crowded exhibit hall. On that car were very cool wraps from Star Wars. Imagine the attention you will surely get while driving around town with images of Darth Vader, R2D2, a Stormtrooper, Yoda and others on your car. They appear to be easy to apply and are available at


In the Gaslamp Quarter a free, fan experience promoted the upcoming science fiction movie entitled “Ender’s Game.” Based on the best-selling novel written by Orson Scott Card, and set in the future, “Ender’s Game” tells the story of Ender Wiggin and other exceptional young people who were trained in the Battle School and then, using a time travel device, led Earth’s epic battle against an alien race that had attacked Earth. To have any hope of defeating this adversary and saving the human race from annihilation would require a radically new way of thinking – a new strategy, which is no doubt what makes this suggested reading for members of the Marine Corps.

Inside the fan experience were several actual, highly detailed and realistic sets from the movie, including sleeping quarters, what appeared to be a troop transport module and a futuristic classroom with multiple computer workstations from the Battle School, which we could sit in and examine. There were also props and costumes. A window looking towards a spectacular view of deep space offered a great place to get our photo taken.

The movie’s all-star cast includes Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley. If you’d like to view the official trailer, go to You Tube and search for “Ender’s Game trailer 2013.” You’ll also find information on Facebook at “”

Did you ever wonder how composers score music for those exciting car chase scenes in the movies? I did too, so I attended a Press round table for “Behind the Music with CW3PR: Scoring for Comic-Con’s Favorite Projects” and asked that question to composer Kevin Kiner (AMC’s “Hell on Wheels”). He also scored part of the music for the car movie “Too Fast, Too Furious.” Kevin prefaced his answer by saying that he’s one of us: “I’m a total car guy. I have a GT-3. I’m just like totally, I just, I love that car. It’s like the fastest thing. I shouldn’t be allowed to drive it!” Then he went on to explain that composing the music for a car chase scene “has to do with the film itself really, that’s why it’s different. Our job as film composers is to support the dramas, to support what’s on the camera, and every show, whether that’s “Fast and the Furious” or whether it’s “Superman,” it brings its own kind of feeling to it.” “It’s just different because the movie’s different.”

Immediately east of Petco Park was a collection of several highly customized Kia automobiles, designed by the legendary comic book artist Jim Lee. The exhibition, which also included other, smaller works of art too, was a fundraiser in support of fighting hunger through the “We Can Be Heroes” auction on eBay (from July 17 – 27 at The inspiration for each one-of-a-kind automobile is an iconic member of DC Comics’ Justice League: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.

Custom cars including the “Ghost Busters” Ecto-1 1959 Cadillac ambulance and the rusty old Dodge Charger from SyFy’s hit series “Defiance,” a bus with an alien-covered interior from the TBS series “Falling Skies,” the Barmageddon-mobile and pedicabs decked out in graphics and props from what’s new and what’s coming soon to TV and the theaters, could be seen parked or cruising around the Convention Center.

Finally, for those of you who prefer your mode of transportation to be alive, a dinosaur was spotted in the Gaslamp Quarter.

As always, please write to me at

with your comments and suggestions.

Copyright © 2013 by Jan Wagner – #290