If you’ve been to Comic-Con before, or any comic convention around the world, you’ve probably seen those odd looking orange/yellow/red knit caps with the pompom on top. If you didn’t know that it’s from Joss Whedon’s Firefly, you might need to check your geek cred at the door.
Fans of Firefly, and the follow-up movie Serenity, are called Browncoats and they’ve been growing in number ever since the show was released and then cancelled in 2002. The show has garnered a lot of praise and combined with fans of Whedon’s work in general or his other shows (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse), you’ll never have to look far to find a Joss Whedon fan walking around Comic-Con.
This means that there’s a lot of interest in the happenings in and around the Whedonverse at Comic-Con. The following is going to be just a sampling of the events, panels, and exclusives coming your way this week.
First, let’s start with panels. The man himself, Joss Whedon, will be doing a panel on Saturday in the Indigo Ballroom from 3-4 PM. The cast of Firefly has moved on to other projects and many of them will be at the con this year. Morena Baccarin will be on the Showtime panel some time during its two-hour timeslot in Ballroom 20 on Thursday from 5:30-7:30 PM. Adam Baldwin will be doing his last Chuck panel in their traditional Saturday morning slot: Ballroom 20 at 10 AM. The always entertaining Nathan Fillion will be appearing on the Castle panel in Room 6BCF from 11:45 AM-12:45 PM. Alan Tudyk, missing from Comic-Con for a few years, is coming full force with panels for Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil Friday in Hall H at 6 PM and Good Vibes Saturday in Room 24ABC at 6:30 PM. Everyone’s favorite butt-kicking crazy girl, Summer Glau, is back at the con promoting Knights of Badassdom on the panel in Hall H on Saturday at 2:15 PM.
In addition to the panels at the con, Nerd HQ is running some “Conversations” with some of the Firefly cast. Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, and Jewel Staite will all be at the Conversation with the Cast of Firefly Friday morning at 9AM. Nathan Fillion will be doing a solo conversation Saturday at 2:30 PM since he had to cancel on the Friday panel. Unfortunately, both of these events are already sold out.
One of the things Whedon’s shows are known for is their writing, and not just from Whedon himself. Many of the writers who have worked on Whedon shows over the years have gone on to create, produce, and write on plenty of shows you know. For now, let’s stick to a couple of the writers who worked on Firefly: Jane Espenson and Jose Molina. Both will be doing multiple panels including Jane on the Torchwood panel Friday morning at 10AM and Jose on the Terra Nova panel Saturday at 11 AM, both in Ballroom 20.
So what about the fans? For the seventh year in a row, Browncoats will have a booth at Comic-Con. Every year the non-profit California Browncoats raise money for a charity chosen or supported by one of the cast/crew of Firefly or Serenity. This year, they have partnered with the unofficial sequel, fan film Browncoats: Redemption, to raise money for five different charities. When you head to their booth, Tables A7/A8 at the end of Aisle 300 in Hall A, you will find a large amount of merchandise and ways you can support any and all of the five different charities: Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation, The Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, and The Dyslexia Foundation. Donate and get Browncoats: Redemption on DVD or Blu-ray, an exclusive “Shiny!” pint glass, or an exclusive Firefrog (Muppets/Firefly mash-up) print. They have quite a few cool things to take home and show off to your friends. They are also taking donations directly and you will be entered into a daily prize drawing for awesome swag, including some items signed by the cast of Firefly/Serenity.
If you want a chance to hang out with other Browncoats, you’ve got four chances organized by the California Browncoats besides the crazy random happenstance of meeting them in the aisles or panels. Kicking off preview night, the California Browncoats are screening Serenity at the Reading Gaslamp Stadium 15 on 5th & G at 8 PM. This screening is part of the annual worldwide Can’t Stop the Serenity charity event to benefit Equality Now. Tickets are $15 and available on Fandango or at the door. You don’t need a Comic-Con badge to attend and all details can he found here.
The three chances you have at the convention to hang out with Browncoats start with a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Thursday night at 8:30 in Room 6BCF. Come on by and sing along with 2000 other fans, and don’t forget to grab your callbacks book on the way in so you can do it Rocky Horror style. On Sunday, the California Browncoats will be hosting a fan meeting room from 2-4 PM in Room 32AB. Stop by and hear announcements from around the ‘verse and you’ll also be treated to a mini-concert by Marian Call. Finally, the Jayne Hat Flash Mob on Saturday immediately follows the Chuck panel outside Ballroom 20. Grab your Jayne hat and be prepared to belt out the Hero of Canton along with all the other Browncoats.
Of course, with so many actors, writers, and producers currently working that have been involved with Whedon projects, there are going to be a ton of other events for you to check out. Signings are all over the con at various booths. Joss is appearing at both the Dark Horse and Marvel booths on Saturday for an hour-long signing. Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Jose Molina, Jane Espenson, and more will all be appearing at the California Browncoats booth. If you’re a fan of the Whedonverse, you’re going to be very busy.
In fact, there is so much going on, I’ve only scratched the surface of possible Browncoat and Whedon related events. Luckily a Browncoat from Portland, The One True b!X, has put together a comprehensive list of every panel, signing, screening, and offsite event and is keeping it updated with all the latest information. You can find it at Whedonesque.org and it should help you find and plan out your Whedon-centric weekend.