Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The 7 key events from San Diego Comic-Con 2014

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Cosplayers dressed as Captain America and Superman, wielding American flags, pose with other fans at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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"The Flash" star Grant Gustin and "Arrow" star Stephen Amell appear at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 in Hall H.

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Cosplayers as Mortal Kombat characters Sub-Zero and Scorpion — if they were mariachis, at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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A giant, futuristic-looking Batman watches over the floor at the Funko booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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Legendary actress Julie Newmar appears at the Batman '66 panel to promote the '60s "Batman" TV show heading to home video for the first time this fall, at San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Newmar played Catwoman on the show.

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The convention floor at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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Pizza Hut's promotional tie-in with the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie: A tank that launches pizza-shaped discs, at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada accepts the Inkpot award at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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Stephen Amell speaks at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, surrounded by the casts and crews of "Arrow," "The Flash," "Gotham" and "Constantine."

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Cosplayers dressed as AIM scientists pose with a giant M.O.D.O.K. at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

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A cosplayer dresses as Michael Jackson character Captain EO at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.

Another year of one of the world's biggest pop culture convention, San Diego Comic-Con 2014, is in the books. Here are the key moments — and lack of key moments — that fans are talking about coming out of this year's convention.

Marvel, DC disappoint fans by keeping movie plans under wraps

The fans who made it in for the first Hall H panel Saturday morning were the ones who camped overnight, and while they had the chance to see some first peeks, they were left wanting when it came to announcements about the cinematic futures of the two big comic book companies.

At the Warner Bros. movie panel, director Zack Snyder brought out the cast of the upcoming "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," including Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman). The cast proceeded to wave at the fans then immediately leave, without answering any questions from either the moderator or fans, or saying anything at all.


Weird Al parodies the Pixies in #FirstWorldProblems, the 6th of 8 music videos in 8 days

"Weird Al" Yankovic

A screenshot from Weird Al's "First World Problems."

"Weird Al" Yankovic is in the middle of releasing eight videos over the course of eight days from his new album "Mandatory Fun," and the first of two weekend videos brings us "First World Problems."

In the song, he takes the #FirstWorldProblems meme and tackles such deep problems as someone calling him on the phone instead of texting, no breakfast menu since he slept in until 2 and only having non-gluten-free cookies available in the airport lounge.

Feel free to assume to assume Al's character in this video — and his self-described "douchey" blonde wig — are from whatever part of Southern California that you hate the most.

The song is a style parody of the Pixies, including a nod to the band with an opening rift lifted from the pixies' "Debaser." Compare it to the original here:


Batman kisses Spider-Man on pre-Comic-Con magazine cover

Pacific San Diego Magazine

Batman kisses Spider-Man on the cover to the July 2014 issue of Pacific San Diego Magazine.

Free monthly Pacific San Diego Magazine has two big events this coming week: the city's gay pride festival this weekend, and San Diego Comic-Con next week. They took the two and combined them with a riff on the Spider-Man upside-down movie kiss in an unauthorized DC/Marvel crossover on this month's cover.

"As Pride and Comic-Con descend upon San Diego, the time has come to reveal the truth: all heroes are welcome, even when they’re kissing their boyfriends,” Pacific San Diego Magazine editor-in-chief/publisher David Perloff told Fox 5 San Diego.

The cover faced split reaction, with San Diego Pride voicing their support while mother Cindy Montoya told Fox 5 "I don’t want to see it right on the street where my daughter can get it."

Perloff also wrote some flirtatious dialogue for Spidey and Bats' secret identities, including Peter Parker promising to walk in the pride parade with the Hulk in drag as Wonder Woman.


Is it OK to crowdfund a trip to San Diego Comic-Con?

Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" Autograph Signing - Comic-Con International 2013

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Marvel

A general view of the atmosphere at Marvel's 'Thor: The Dark World' Autograph Signing - Comic-Con International 2013 on July 21, 2013 in San Diego.

Writer and vlogger Kiala Kazebee is set to appear at a San Diego Comic-Con panel on women in comics, but she's come under fire for using crowdfunding to pay for her trip.

Kiala tweet

Kazebee explains on her GoFundMe page, which launched Tuesday, that she was laid off and lost her home due to a break-up. She has plans to move to Los Angeles, but that move is where her savings have all been allocated, so she sought support from her fans to enable her to attend Comic-Con.

In addition to the panel she's appearing on, she's also set to meet with fans of her online video show Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, which also stars actress Felicia Day, and she also wanted to socialize with friends and fans. The effort was fully funded in one day.

Kazebee expressed her own reservations about using crowdfunding.


Chinese moviegoers love Michael Bay's 'Transformers,' but where are the critics?


Fresh Movie Trailers (via YouTube)

Trailer for "Transformers: Age of Extinction": It's a huge hit...in China

Chinese moviegoers really liked the Na'vi in James Cameron’s “Avatar." But they are head over heels in love with the Autobots in Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

The latest clashing robots sequel has shattered China’s all-time box office record set by “Avatar,” which grossed $221.9 million back in 2010. In just three weeks of release, the third “Transformers” sequel has grossed $262.3 million.

That’s substantially more than the critically drubbed action film netted in domestic theaters, where “Transformers: Age of Extinction” has taken in $208 million. While that’s certainly a relatively good haul, the comparative returns trail the first three “Transformers” films at the same point in release.

Chinese moviegoers have been inordinately kind to Bay’s films for a long time.  The original “Transformers” movie grossed $45 million in China in 2007, the 2009 sequel took in $72 million there and the third film hauled in $172 million in 2011.